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An Updated Look for Sparty

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I had planned to run a really interesting baseball entry today, but then Michigan State unveiled their new football uniforms yesterday, so the baseball item will have to wait until next week. Trust me, it’s really good.

So, MSU: As you can see above, it’s pretty similar to the previous set, but with a new tailoring template, some new details, and a new alternate. There are lots of photos here (and most of those are pretty high-res, so you can click on the thumbnails to see much larger versions), and we’re privileged today to have some guest commentary from Eric Greenwald, who runs the MSU-centric Spartan Jerseys site. Take it away, Eric:

Anytime fans hear that Michigan State is changing its football jerseys or helmets, they hold their breath — and with good reason, since the past 15 years have seen some of the best and worst uniforms in Michigan State football history.

The new home and away uniforms are an excellent second generation of the uniforms that came of a branding study with Nike in 2009. Fans will be relieved that the overall look remains the same, but the beauty of this update is in the details. The Spartan helmet logo on the V-neck, the Greek key pattern on the shoulders, and the removal of bronze on the away jerseys are all changes for the better. Excellent refinement of a very popular set of jerseys.

Where they fall short for me is with the alternates. No school or mascot name on the front, and the “MSU” on the sleeves reminds me of 2002, when we had the basketball team’s “State” logo on the football jerseys. On the plus side, the bronze color was kept just on the alternates and it looks like Nike finally nailed the color. No more telling your friends, “It’s not gold, it’s bronze.”

Well stated. I generally agree with Eric’s analysis, except I’ve always hated MSU’s custom font and wish they’d scrap it.

• • • • •

Too good for the Ticker: My latest ESPN column, which is a timeline of MLB headwear innovations, features lots of odd helmet-like contraptions, but here’s one I hadn’t seen until yesterday:

That’s Philadelphia A’s catcher Cy Perkins, who wore that odd bit of headgear in 1921. Big thanks to the always-resourceful BSmile for coming up with that one.

• • • • •

New design contest! Several weeks ago I asked if people would be interested in purchasing a Uni Watch smart phone case. Over 400 of you said yes, which is definitely enough to move forward with this project. So here’s what we’re going to do:

1. We’re going to have a contest to choose the smart phone case design. The designs will be submitted to me, and I will choose three (or maybe five) finalists. You will then be able to vote for the winner. The winning designer will get $100 (plus a free case, of course).

2. Cases featuring the winning design will be produced by a company called CustomBee, which makes phone cases for pretty much every make and model you can think of. The cases will be priced at $19.99 and will be available for only three weeks, at least initially. (If demand warrants, I may make the case available again at a later date.)

3. Designs can feature pre-existing Uni Watch logos and graphics or you can come up with your own. There’s only one restriction: In keeping with longstanding Uni Watch chromatic policy, designs featuring even a fleck of purple will not be considered.

4. Design submissions must show a mock-up of a phone case. In other words, you can’t just send in a logo and say, “Put that logo on the case.” I encourage you to go to this page and then click on “Layout” to access CustomBee’s design interface, which is relatively intuitive. (I used it to create the simple graphic shown above.) It lets you add text and images and shows the range of available background colors.

5. You can submit as many designs as you like. Send them to me by next Friday, May 1, 7pm Eastern. Okay? Okay!

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: “A buddy of mine and his friends do a trip to a different MLB ballpark every year to check out the scene and get to know the locals,” says Brian Anderson. “This year, they went to Cleveland to talk to the locals about Chief Wahoo, the Indians name, etc. Here’s a video they made.” ”¦ Here’s a new argument against the ’Skins name: It’s bad for the economy (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ California lawmakers are poised to enact a ban on “Redskins” as a high school team name (from Richard Paloma). … Some students have proposed new names for the ’Skins (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ A dozen Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s new movie because the script featured a slew of seriously inappropriate scenes. See, that’s the problem these days — everyone’s so busy looking to be offended that they can’t take a joke! Too bad the Injuns were here first or else they could just go back where they came from, am I right?

Baseball News: The Pirates pandered to the G.I. Joe crowd yesterday. … The Chunichi Dragons’ stadium features a big display of their jersey history (from John Fitzgerald). ”¦ Here’s an article on the Red Sox bat knob decals (from Nick Curley). … The Durham Bulls wore Game of Thrones-themed jerseys last night. … The Reds will wear 1990 throwbacks tonight. Chris Creamer has provided a good analysis of them. ”¦ The Kennedy Space Center will sponsor a space-themed promotion for the single-A Brevard County Manatees on May 7-9, with the team playing as the Brevard County Space Explorers (from Patrick O’Neill). ”¦ Minor league players often wear their MLB parent team’s gear under their jerseys, but you can’t often see it like you can here (from Jared Buccola). ”¦ When the new Yankee Stadium opened, I wrote an article about their on-site steakhouse restaurant. If you click ahead to page 10 of this PDF, you’ll find an article on the uniforms worn by the restaurant staff (from Chris Bisbee). ”¦ Chilly day yesterday in Queens, so Mets third base coach Tim Teufel wore some sort of bulky, hooded garment under his uniform (screen shot by Gregg Tiernan). ”¦ Cool throwbacks last night for the Nashville Sounds (from Jerry Lawless). … Last night’s episode of The Odd Couple featured a softball jersey in Uni Watch colors. ”¦ If this truly is a game-used Reds jersey, as the seller claims, then that’s one messed-up NOB (from Scott Turner). ”¦ Cort McMurray has written a piece advocating for the Astros to bring back the shooting star uniforms on a permanent basis. And of course he’s right. ”¦ Our own Mike Chamernik has written a piece about the new food items being offered by the White Sox. ”¦ Sometimes all you can do is tip your cap in wonderment at the sheer volume of sponsors, hucksterism, and bells and whistles crammed into one promotional paragraph. That’s the case with the following graf found on this Charleston RiverDogs page: “Tomorrow is the second ISHPI Red Shirt Friday of the season and it is presented by WEZL, with postgame fireworks over the scenic Ashley River presented by Home Telecom. Support the military by wearing red and when you come to the box office, you can and receive $1 off your ticket. Fans will have the option to donate that dollar to Canines for Veterans, who will once again bring ‘Titus the Bat Dog’ to perform his batboy duties during the game. The RiverDogs will wear special red jerseys as a show of support for our military. We will also be celebrating Arbor Day all evening with fun for the whole family. The club will present a ceremonial planting of a Crepe Myrtle outside The Joe in the adjacent VIP parking lot at 6 pm. The new tree is part of the 10,000 Trees for Charleston Initiative, and one lucky fan will be able to take home a five-foot live oak tree.”

NFL News: The Patriots gave President Obama a No. 44 Pats jersey during their visit to the White House yesterday. Interesting that they went with the white road jersey, but I guess that’s because they wore white in their recent Super Bowl victory. ”¦ Todd from Rochester’s in-laws were down in Cancun and picked up this hand-painted ceramic Bills skull. Cool!

College and High School Football News: Virginia Tech’s spring game will be color vs. color (from Andrew Cosentino). ”¦ Lots of uniforms and other gear on display in Amy Schumer’s spot-on Friday Night Lights parody (from Ben Fortney). ”¦ Here’s what Northern Iowa — the school with the world’s best acronym — will be wearing for their spring game (from Aaron Wigg).

Hockey News: Here’s why Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t wear a Winnipeg Jets jersey to the Jets’ playoff game two nights ago. … Capitals C Michael Latta kissed teammate Karl Alzner’s helmet after Alzner scored a goal last night. ”¦ Oilers owner Daryl Katz’s son has a habit of showing up onstage in an Oilers jersey alongside the team’s top draft picks. Now there’s a petition to stop him from doing it this year, because it looks rinky-dink or something (from Will Leslie).

NBA News: Warriors and Pelicans went color vs. color for last night’s playoff game. ”¦ “As you know, the Hawks play in Philips Arena, with naming rights paid for by Philips Electronics,” says Steve Skor. “At halftime of Wednesday night’s playoff game there was a brief concert by Atlanta’s own Ludacris. Right before it began, a small crew went on to the court and placed two large, basketball court-patterned sheets of paper over the Philips Arena logos. You can sort of see it in this story — if you look at the first video (pregame intros), the Philips logos are clearly visible on the court, but they’re gone in the second video. I suspected at the time that this was likely because Ludacris has a deal with another electronics company for headphones, and sure enough, a Google search shows he endorses Soul Electronics.” … David Teigland was surprised to see the NBA Fit logo on his navel orange. When I posted that photo on Twitter, Conrad Burry quickly informed me that some supermarkets actually have NBA Fit produce displays. (And there are also Star Wars apples, but that seems like, um, apples vs. oranges, because it’s not a fitness initiative.)

Soccer News: A British graphic designer has been on the receiving end of some seriously negative reaction to his new Bolivia kit design (from @tvaughn7). … Nike’s U.S. women’s kits, like many of the company’s products these days, are made from recycled plastic bottles (from @FormerDirtDart). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a world map of EPL fans based on the teams’ Twitter followers. ”¦ The Nigerian national team has inked a new deal with Nike.

Grab Bag: “The Essendon Bombers of the Australian Football League have created a new jersey for ANZAC day here in Australia (which is like America’s Memorial Day),” writes Alan Jennings. “It features poppies that make up the traditional red sash of Essendon and also has all the names of Essendon players that have served in the military. I think it does a better job of commemorating soldiers than stupid camouflage.” ”¦ The U. of Buffalo’s athletics dept. doesn’t know what to call itself. .. Presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul was selling Ray-Ban sunglasses emblazoned with his first name on his website, but Ray-Ban served him with a cease-and-desist. ”¦ Good article on National Park Service uniforms (from Chris Bisbee). … A Utah man has designed a line of big/tall cycling jerseys. ”¦ New logo/mascot for Florida Polytechnic (from Wayne Koehler). ”¦ After a British university recently unveiled its new logo, students disliked it so much that they’ve started a petition drive to halt the school’s rebranding. ”¦ Hidden within Google Maps is a graphic that shows the Android logo urinating on an Apple logo. Classy.

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: Went to Manhattan last night to see some music. Afterward, while walking back to my car at about 11:30pm, I was feeling a tad peckish, so I stopped in at a bodega to grab a Snickers. As I waited my turn to pay, I noticed that the chick behind me in line was holding a bottle of wine in one hand (she was already carrying this when she came in) and a stick of cookie dough in the other. She noticed me noticing and said, with a slight Russian accent, “Yup ”” wine and cookie dough,” to which I replied, “Now that’s a party, right there!” After paying for my candy bar, I looked over my shoulder to say good-bye to her and saw that she was paying for the cookie dough with rolls of pennies, which she was calmly producing from her bag. The price was $4.39, so she gave the counter guy nine penny rolls and then said, “Keep the change.” Counter guy, who’d been on the phone the whole time, jibber-jabbering in some foreign dialect I couldn’t deduce, nodded his assent.

I fucking love New York.

48 comments to An Updated Look for Sparty

  • Connie DC | April 24, 2015 at 8:21 am |

    “… … Cort McMurray has written a piece advocating for the Astros to bring back the shooting star uniforms on a permanent basis. And of course he’s right. … ”

    He is SO right.

    • walter | April 24, 2015 at 9:40 am |

      Riffling through the teams off the top of my head: If every team had to wear its first uniform, the only one that suffers is Tampa Bay.

      • Paul Lukas | April 24, 2015 at 9:42 am |

        Now *that* is a really interesting exercise (although it gets tricky for some of the really old teams). Might need to examine that idea in-depth.

        • walter | April 24, 2015 at 9:54 am |

          True. Yankees in Highlander uniforms is a bit of a stretch.

        • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 10:18 am |

          The Highlanders thing raises an interesting point. For about half of MLB, “first uniform” is essentially a blank uniforms with colored socks and/or hat. May need to clarify some definition of “first modern uniform” such that we’re talking about the first uniform with insignia representing the team’s identity somewhere on the jersey.

    • walter | April 24, 2015 at 10:56 am |

      So which teams would prosper by wearing their first uniform? Which ones would suffer? It seems most expansion-era teams (save Tampa Bay) got it right first time around. “Classic” teams need to reconcile upgrades in material and tailoring, and the evolution of baseball, itself. Short answer? Old baseball team’s sweet spots are close to 1967, Devil Rays in green. Feel free to disagree.

      • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 11:36 am |

        Man, 1967 does pretty well nail it. Just about the only exception I can think of is the Giants, who’ve never looked better than they did in 2000. Maybe also the Phillies, who need to default to sometime in the burgundy/powder era.

  • Big CK | April 24, 2015 at 8:48 am |

    My first thought on seeing that Navigators logo the kids came up with for the ‘Skins: the Clippers should take a look at this idea.

  • Hank-SJ | April 24, 2015 at 8:57 am |

    Tim Teufel is wearing a cool weather windbreaker/hoodie same as Jonathan Papelbon is wearing in a recent interview (as well as a couple of teammates in the background).
    http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/jonathan-papelbon-will-be-disappointed-if-phillies-dont-trade-him-this-season

  • GB | April 24, 2015 at 9:02 am |

    Sooo… Regarding the phone case, why don’t you use that mock design, stick the existing uni watch logo and call it done? You, paul, of all people should know if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Use what you got – it works!

    • Paul Lukas | April 24, 2015 at 9:07 am |

      Sure, I could do that. But I’d like to think there are other ideas out there worth considering. And it’s fun to involve the readership.

    • marc | April 24, 2015 at 11:21 am |

      Hey Paul, are there sites where we can see leaks of the UW phone case designs?

  • Ryan | April 24, 2015 at 9:19 am |

    With all your recent articles about protective head wear in professional baseball, I thought you might be interested in this kickstarter project for a carbon fiber hat insert for pitchers. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1366001838/carbon-fiber-head-protection-for-pitchers?ref=nav_search

  • Jay Winkler | April 24, 2015 at 9:20 am |

    Dan Gilbert has, on multiple occasions, allowed his son to represent the Cavs at the Draft Lottery. If I were a kid I’d want to do the same thing the Oilers owner’s son does. Who cares? Sports are supposed to be fun.

    • walter | April 24, 2015 at 9:52 am |

      Cripes, that Petition Guy is cruel! I may think to myself some people’s kids are unsightly, but I hold my tongue. Maybe this guy’s kids are the Von Trapps; I doubt it.

      • mild bill | April 24, 2015 at 12:25 pm |

        There is a lot of anger among the Edmonton fan base aimed at the owner. I am not justifying what Petition Guy is doing, I can still remember a time when spouses and children were off-limits.

  • Tape | April 24, 2015 at 9:30 am |

    Sparty looks best when they’re just green and white. Ditch the bronze (and black, obviously).

    • walter | April 24, 2015 at 10:07 am |

      Not a fan of the Team Name over the Numerals, whether it’s a tradition or not.

    • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm |

      Much as I abhor non-official team/school colors on uniforms, I dig the idea of the bronze. But the execution here is terrible. Ditch the black, and use the bronze on white elements so it’s actually visible.

  • Toddro | April 24, 2015 at 9:41 am |

    not uni related, but might fall into the ‘Skins Watch.

    Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/23/native-actors-walk-set-adam-sandler-movie-after-insults-women-elders-160110

    • Paul Lukas | April 24, 2015 at 10:01 am |

      Someone didn’t read today’s ’Skins Watch.

      • Toddro | April 24, 2015 at 10:19 am |

        dammit.

    • terriblehuman | April 24, 2015 at 10:04 am |

      It’s interesting how they got to that point – Netflix claims it’s a misunderstanding over satire that mocks old Native American stereotypes, but that clearly wasn’t communicated to the actors or the cultural consultant (and if they’re mocking old Western tropes, why not use white actors with makeup?). The statement says everyone was “in on the joke”, but that’s demonstrably false: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/netflix-defends-adam-sandler-movie-native-american-actors/story?id=30537657

  • KC | April 24, 2015 at 9:49 am |

    Re: Riverdogs – what do you expect when a Veeck is involved?

    Also, from the game last night: http://wcsc.images.worldnow.com/images/7552091_G.jpg

    • Le Cracquere | April 24, 2015 at 11:20 am |

      A Veeck who–grown man notwithstanding–insists on being called “Night Train”! In his defense, though, he’s a perfectly pleasant fellow who seems to love baseball, and to enjoy what he does to no end.

      Almost a shame I won’t be at tonight’s game. (I’ll know when it’s over, though: I live in easy earshot of the RiverDogs’ fireworks show.)

  • Dumb Guy | April 24, 2015 at 9:56 am |

    Any “Odd Couple” reference is a good “Odd Couple” reference!

    (but only if you are talking about Randall/Klugman or Matthau/Lemon)

  • Mainspark | April 24, 2015 at 9:57 am |

    What is the G.I Joe “crowd,” the military itself?

    • Paul Lukas | April 24, 2015 at 10:02 am |

      Nope — the dress-up soldier crowd.

  • Dave G | April 24, 2015 at 10:00 am |

    LOVE the story about what Paul did last night. Hilarious.

    • terriblehuman | April 24, 2015 at 10:37 am |

      Agreed. The one thing I miss about living in NYC is that every block felt like a small town and there was always an opportunity for weird, random interactions like that.

      • marc | April 24, 2015 at 11:13 am |

        “… weird, random interactions” are awesome! But don’t discount the ‘burbs’ capacity for the surreal. A couple nights ago, I’m at the supermarket service desk with my son and an obviously inebriated, scraggly old-ish guy staggers over and gets in line behind us. I notice he’s got a blue plastic grocery bag stuffed with meat. On the floor is a spreading pool of meat-blood, so I say “You’ve got some dripping going on there.” He says (despite being the only other person within 20 feet) “Who me?” I give him the blue bag I was holding so he can put his mess into a new bag. He bends over and starts wiping the floor with it as if I’d given him a paper towel.

  • Thresh8 | April 24, 2015 at 11:03 am |

    From the White Sox food article, can any Chicagoan UWs tell me does the Adobe Mango Chicken Sausage refer to:

    The software company, who sponsors the sausage?

    A corruption of adobo, which even a northeastern dweeb like me knows about?

    Or, is it actually served in a little helmet made out adobe which is mine to keep?

    • marc | April 24, 2015 at 11:14 am |

      I think it’s Adobe’s new Photoshop plug-in.

      • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 11:18 am |

        I think that’s what Adobe is calling its replacement for Flash. Your Mango Chicken Sausage animations and videos will finally work on iOS.

        • marc | April 24, 2015 at 11:25 am |

          “At least that’s what we’ll tell you. Whether it actually works is an entirely different matter altogether. Kinda like our new Acrobat DC*”

          * Aggravating POS. It’s messin’ with my Outlook and crashes constantly… even when I don’t have it open! Fix the bugs before release, Adobe!**

          ** Sorry for the rant.

    • Mike Chamernik | April 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm |

      Ugh I copy/pasted the name from the team’s 2014 press release. I knew you guys would catch it! I changed it to Adobo. Thanks for clicking to the piece.

      • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm |

        Nah, if you copied it from the press release, then it should be Adobe [sic] Mango Chicken Sausage. Or, just because sometimes it’s fun to make readers stop and think, Adobe Mango Chicken Sausage [sic].

  • Mickey g | April 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm |

    Ate at NYY Steak @ the Stadium a couple years ago. For $50.00 I thought I’d get a better cut of meat than a hoof. Also, too, you’d think the “chef” would have a bit more pride in his job to throw something that poor on the grill. However, on the bright side, the two decent bites I got out of the whole “steak” were pretty tasty !

  • Brian C | April 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm |

    “A dozen Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s new movie because the script featured a slew of seriously inappropriate scenes.”

    An offensive and tasteless Adam Sandler movie? I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tells ya!

  • Lindsay Resnick | April 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm |

    So I had never heard of Florida Polytechnic until I read that article about its new logo. Apparently it’s not just a new logo- it’s a new university, just finishing up its very first school year. One of the few four-year, public universities established in the 21st Century. Also, it apparently has a bookless library.

    • arrScott | April 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

      And they chose the Phoenix as their symbol. Pretty much the last word I would opt to associate myself with if I were founding a new public university.

  • Graf Zeppelin | April 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm |

    Best thing about the Mets’ 10-0 homestand? They wore the white pinstripes in every game.

    OK, maybe not the best thing, but still…. :)

  • loserem | April 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm |

    Google has updated their map of Pakistan :(

  • Dumb Guy | April 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm |

    I could never hold out for wine and cookie dough. Once I reach $1 in rolled pennies they go toward a Lotto ticket.

  • Brett Alan | April 24, 2015 at 5:03 pm |

    Is it justme, or are those Game Of Thrones jerseys not very Game of Thrones-y? The logo isn’t very recognizable to me, and nobody on the the show speaks Shakespearean English with “doth” and “-eth” ending verbs. Weird.

  • Art | April 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm |

    Paul,
    The story you told of the pennies reminded me of a story my dad told me. Sometime in the late 60’s, he was given a ticket by the local police in front of his pizza shop he has just opened. My dad always told me that he hated the police chief and always felt targeted by him. He said he paid for the ticket in person at the police station in pennies after he urinated on them. To this day, I never forget that story. He passed away almost 2 years ago, thanks for the memory Dad!

  • Graf Zeppelin | April 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm |

    I really like those 1990 Cubs road jerseys.

  • Dan T. | April 25, 2015 at 12:56 am |

    Does anybody else wonder what becomes of all the customized jerseys that US Presidents leave office with? I’m not sure exactly how many pro and college national championship teams get invited to the White House but after eight years it’s not hard to imagine that Obama will have a really cool collection of at least 50 jerseys with his name on them. Maybe when he sets up his presidential library he will display some of them?