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A Look at the U.S. Open Volunteer Uniform

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Curtis Black, who’s going to be volunteering at the U.S. Open golf tournament next month at Chambers Bay in Tacoma, Washington. Enjoy. ”” PL]

By Curtis Black

I took my first swing at helping out for community events when I volunteered for the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay. They made me a Marshall — whenever a golfer was approaching the ball, it was my job to raise my arms and signal the crowd to be quiet. Then I volunteered for a Seahawks championship parade through downtown Seattle in February of 2014. My job was to create space for vehicles to drive through. My reward was a poorly produced neon green hat that said, “Seahawks Super Bowl Parade.”

Now I have been assigned to the Caddy Shack at the 2015 U.S. Open. We’re expected to work for four shifts but I plan to do five. My uniform set, which cost about $150, includes two polo shirts, one hat (I chose a bucket hat over the visor or baseball cap options), one jacket, and one water bottle, plus I’ll also get free parking and access to the tournament. The apparel quality is much better than what I wore for the 2010 U.S. Amateur, which may simply be a reflection of this being a major PGA tournament.

Here’s a look at the gear [for all of these images, you can click to enlarge]:


2 US Open Volunteer (8) 4 5 6 7 8 10

”¨Some of you are probably wondering why volunteers have to pay for their clothing when the tournament’s prize pool is over $9 million. It’s a fair question. The NFL, FIFA, and the Olympics all have this same policy for their marquee events. When I looked at the cost of parking and the cost of tickets, I decided that the $150 and my time as a volunteer was a fair trade for the access I’d be getting. For me, this is a rare opportunity to be a very small part of U.S. Open. I take pride in my community and am looking forward to being an ambassador for the region.


Paul here. Thanks for the photos and commentary, Curtis.

I think it’s worth noting that while Curtis has provided a good explanation for why he thinks paying the $150 is worth it to him, that’s not the same as saying it’s right or proper for the USGA to be levying a fee on volunteers. Seems to me that they’re leveraging and exploiting Curtis’s civic pride, betting (correctly) that he’ll be willing to pay for the “privilege” of volunteering. I bet they’d charge even more if they thought they could get away with it. Tom Sawyer would be proud.

•  •  •  •  •

Research query: The Golden State Warriors of the NBA use a state nickname as their geographic locator (California’s official nickname is the Golden State). Has any other pro team ever used a state nickname as part of its name? I can’t think of any, but I’m worried that I might be missing one. Am I?

• • • • •

Uni Watch turns sweet 16: It was 16 years ago today — May 26, 1999 — that the following column appeared in the sports section of The Village Voice (click to enlarge):

That was Uni Watch’s very first appearance. At the time, I thought of it as just another media project and certainly couldn’t imagine that it would still be going strong 16 years later. (This website, which was designed to supplement my ESPN work, didn’t debut until 2006.)

With the project now turning 16, Uni Watch’s 15th-anniversary season has come to a close. My thanks to everyone who’s helped us get this far.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This early-1970s Miami Dolphins bulletin board from Sears was a basic template for teaching me how to draw NFL players back in the day. The repeating wordmark was a trademark of 1970s NFL graphics, and I definitely took notice. Now, let’s see what else we have this week”¦.

• I seriously recommend that you take a look at this 1976 NFL Media Information Book. I got one of these every year back then — totally cool.

• Kind of a different look to the Chicago Blackhawks logo on this 1969 pin.

• Showcased in this promo booklet: the favorite products of your 1967 Minnesota Vikings. Why, they won the Golden Helmet Award!

• Look at the artwork on the cover of this 1976 Bills/Steelers PRO!gram. Boy, I could not WAIT to get my copy of PRO! when I went through the gates at Riverfront to see the Bengals.

• If you were the MLB Player of the Week in the 1970s, you got this watch. Oh boy!

• Only one word can describe this cardboard poster for the NFL pro championship game: quaint. Hear it over NBC!

• Wonder if Roger Goodell would sport one of these 1970s “Patriots Country” stickers on his bumper?

• Here is a set of Phil and Phillis pennants from the 1970s. Why do these characters remind me of “South Park?”

• Check out this early-1960s kids’ Cowboys helmet from MacGregor, still sporting a “Ford PPK Winner” sticker!

• Were the Pirates dressed in Christmas colors in the 1960s, as shown on this Bat Boy Bank?

Like the old-time vibe on this 1960s Chicago Bears water transfer decal.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

•  •  •  •  •

Treasure hunting: What you see above is a piece of an old Gabby Street baseball card. It’s one of dozens of artifacts — old candy wrappers, buffalo nickels, ancient ticket stubs, Red Cross service pins, and more — that a bunch of Manhattan fourth graders have been finding under the floorboards of their classroom closet. It’s an amazing little project, and I’ve written an article about it for today’s New York Times. Check it out — I think you’ll like.

•  •  •  •  •

LAST CALL for this month’s T-Shirt Club design: Today is the final day to order the June offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club — the BFBS design. It’s available here until 11pm Eastern tonight. (Yesterday would normally have been the last day, but we extended the deadline by 24 hours because of the Memorial Day holiday.)

Here’s another look at the design, just in case anyone needs a reminder (click to enlarge):

• • • • •

Baseball News: I see no reason to recap yesterady’s MLB G.I. Joke shenanigans. If you saw it, you know how bad it looked; if you didn’t see it, well, you still know how bad it looked. Either way, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, I’m opposed to this nonsense both aesthetically and socio-politically. And I’m not the only one (from Ragnar Danneskjöld). ”¦ My old pal Tim Adams spotted Cubs C David Ross consulting a quarterback-style wrist-mounted cheat sheet yesterday. Not sure I’ve ever seen that on a big league backstop before. ”¦ The A’s doubled down on the pandering quotient yesterday by giving away caps with American flag patches — which happened to be backwards, but hey, it’s the thought(lessness) that counts, right? ”¦ Some early dugout jackets on display in this 1930s Cubs photo (from @JCasper268). ”¦ Jose Canseco’s going to play a game with the independent Sanoma Stompers, and the team will being giving away foam hands with the tip of one finger missing, just like Canseco’s (from Christine Freeman).

NBA News: While looking for something else, I came across this 1970-71 Nets warm-up top with amazing lettering on the back, although the colors seem more Knicks-like. ”¦ Next season’s all-star game will be held in Toronto, and the logo for that event will be released tomorrow.

Soccer News: New kits for the Bulgarian team Levski (from Ed Å»elaski). … A shoplifter in Belfast was easily caught because he was wearing a Man U jersey with his own name as the NOB (from Vernona Elms). … Sevilla has new kits for tomorrow’s Europa League final. ”¦ Many City’s new third kit is going the DayGlo route (from Cort McMurray). ”¦ Paris Saint-Germain went into their final match having already clinched the league title, so they mowed stars representing their five championships into the grass. They also wore next season’s kit (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Good article about Canada’s uniforms for the Women’s World Cup.

Grab Bag: Remember when Nike saluted Derek Jeter by working his uni number into the word “Re2pect”? That started a alpha-numeric trend in the sports world that has now gotten seriously out of hand (from George Chilvers). ”¦ In a development that I can only describe as tragically misguided, there’s an initiative afoot to make local police departments more friendly-seeming by giving them purple uniforms (from Alan Tompas). ”¦ A Swedish design student has created a flag for planet Earth (from Jimmy Lonetti). ”¦ Travelers Insurance Co., whose logo is an umbrella, aggressively polices bullies small companies that use umbrellas in their logos. ”¦ Here’s a look at Andy Murray’s new Under Armour outfit and a look back at John McEnroe’s old Nike shoes (both from Brinke). ”¦ According to this story about the fried-chicken wars, “Over the next few years, KFC will redo its packaging, uniforms, and dining decor in red-and-white stripes, which executives call a throwback to the classic look of carnival tents.” ”¦ Interesting note on whether the gamecock in the South Carolina logo should include the spur.

Comments (169)

    I’m volunteering for the Constellation Senior Golf Championships in Boston in June.

    For $75, I get free parking all weekend, plus a pass for a guest to attend the tournament all weekend (including practice rounds), plus meals. Sure, I’m giving of my time, and the cost of the gear (we get a hat, a jacket and a golf shirt) at first seemed odd, but the more I thought about it, I was going to attend the tournament anyway, and for $75.00 I get a front row view of the tournament (I’m a marshall on 2 different holes during the event.).

    Folks have been volunteering for years for the Green Bay Packers, shoveling out snow from the stands at Lambeau Field.

    I always find statements such as “For $75, I get free…” interesting. It’s like I tell my kids, if you are paying, it isn’t free.
    But the value sounds like it is there for the $75.

    I volunteered for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women’s curling championship) a few years ago and had to pay $75 for my uniform. Before any volunteer could question the fee, the organizers addressed the issue by saying that the fee was to prevent people from signing up as a volunteer just to watch the event for free. They wanted people who were committed to the role of volunteer, would show up for scheduled shifts and put their best effort into the event. In the end, perks of being a volunteer such as watching the games, free food and backstage access to all events added up to much more value than just the shirt and jacket that I paid fair value for.

    Globally, I concur with Paul here, especially as an aspiring labor and employment law attorney. It’s largely BS that instead of *paying* a staff of what would be seasonal workers in temporary employment, these big tournaments can get away with having these people pay for the privilege of working. But if I should suspend my incredulity over this matter, that is probably the best reason why the uniform fee works.

    Sometimes, volunteers need to have a little skin in the game in order not to flake out and leave the others hung out to dry. I’ve heard of people who have to volunteer time to community service in order to graduate from high school or to progress in Boy/Girl Scouts. Or maybe it’s like an administrative convenience fee for getting a copy of a map or a document from public records. It’s your right to have it, just pay a little bit so you’re not hoarding documents and killing expenses. Take what you need.

    So now, pay $75, get clothes that you bought, so it’s your size and yours to keep, in exchange for some free food, free parking, and some “I was there” moments? I guess that’s “least bad” logic. But really, I’d rather see the golf tournament hire a work force, because they can and should.

    (WHOA there, I’m still a law student, but I love labor and employment law, and if I pass the bar, that’s what I want to practice. But I’m not an attorney yet, so don’t hire me and take my non-legal reasoning with the appropriate grain of salt.)

    I think the skin in the game point is well taken, but if those folks are truly volunteers they should have a security deposit for the cost of the clothes which is wiped clean after completing the designated shifts.

    Mike, you are correct about volunteers and skin in the game.

    I work with a non-profit that holds an annual fundraising event. It lasts about four hours on a Sunday. We need a lot of volunteer help, especially to direct individuals around the site. All we have to offer is a free t-shirt and our hearty thanks.

    We get a lot of high school students that want to volunteer at our event, so they can get credit for performing four hours of community service activity. We are more than willing to document their service at our event. Unfortunately, for every student that makes a reasonable effort to do the job, we have two or three that want to get by with the least amount of effort possible, or less.

    I am beginning to think that if we charged the students $10 for the t-shirts, we would get people that provided a superior effort. We might be able to get by with a smaller crew of better motivated people.

    Costs are much the same to volunteer for the Senior Tour Boeing Classic in Washington. But you do get free parking and access for the volunteer time.

    The Bay State Patriots. Maybe it doesn’t really count since they never played a game as such, but the team did publicly announce the change from Boston to Bay State.

    The Bay State Bombardiers did play in the CBA in the mid ’80s. Their home was Worcester.

    Empire State Imperials.
    Granite State Rocks.
    Sunshine State Solar Flares.
    Sooner State Tardies.
    Dairy State Lactoids.
    Peach State Pits.
    Garden State Tillers.

    I went searching for the Sunshine State Solar Flares expecting to find garish a minor league hockey jersey – but sadly these teams are just meant to be ironic.

    I remember when the Bay State Patriots name was announced. It was very short lived. Once the team realized that the name would be shortened ton the B.S. Patriots, or just B.S., the name was quickly changed to New England.

    I’m inclined to fold teams named after two (Carolina Panthers) or more (New England Patriots) states into this grouping. You may disagree. I think I just long for the conciseness of a city or state name, even when it stretches the truth.

    Philadelphia Quakers, NHL, 1930-31. PA known as the Quaker State (among other nicknames).

    The short-lived Women’s United Soccer Association had a team named Bay Area CyberRays.

    Not a state nickname per se, but the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse, who play their home games in Annapolis.

    It’s not a state but “Capital Bullets” in the early ’70’s was a unique way to represent a “District” or whatever the fuck Washington D.C. is?

    Actually, Abe Pollin used the “Capital” Bullets name as a means of promoting the newly-built Capital Centre in Landover, MD to which he relocated the team, and also in the hope that not renaming them the “Washington” Bullets would help the franchise retain its Baltimore fan base.

    Neither of which strategy reaped great rewards.

    Also, Potomac Nationals, because nobody wants to be called “Woodbridge” or “Prince William”.

    I hesitate to call Roller Hockey International a pro sport, but there was an Empire State Cobras (based in Glens Falls) back in the ’90s.

    The A’s flag cap patches were not backwards. That is the correct orientation for displaying a flag in all instances, except: 1) On a vehicle, and 2) On the right shoulder of a uniform worn by a serving member of the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard. In all other instances, the union (the blue bit with stars) should always be displayed on the left. Even on the righthand side of a person’s head.

    Of course, flag etiquette also tells us that flags should never, ever be worn on sports uniforms, so I guess we’re lucky that the A’s got the orientation right and kept the flag red-white-and-blue instead of rendering it in gold and green.

    Paul, not trying to be argumentative, but is there any example of a team showing patriotism that you would not consider pandering? Where is the line between a nice bit of patriotism on a national holiday and pandering?

    The A’s caps seem tasteful to me. They’re not being worn on the field, and the flag is small and off to the side, not incorporated into the logo or printed across the top, like the image of the July 4th caps you showed us a few weeks ago.

    Are the “Gigantes” jerseys considered pandering to Latinos? Where do the Jays’ red Canada Day uniforms fit in?

    Again, not arguing, just discussing. Struggling to see where the line is.

    When it’s part of a larger program that seems to be growing (and therefore watering down the intended meaning), it’s hard not to see it as pandering. If a team/league went a few years without any of this stuff and then did it as a one-off, that would be nice. But when you’re already misrepresenting the holiday by wearing camouflage and then you add a flag-cap giveaway, that’s not “patriotism” — that’s just checking off another box.

    The flag strikes me as a particularly poor choice for yesterday, because Memorial Day is a day when flags are flown at half-staff, and there’s no way to depict that on a cap patch.

    In Canada, the Blue Jays wear their one-off uniforms for Canada Day. I’ve spoken with several Canadians about this (including Chris Creamer, who’s from Toronto), and they’ve confirmed that most Canadian teams don’t have alternate unis for Canada Day, nor is there a larger trope of Canadian teams wearing flag-based uniforms (whether for Canada Day or for any other occasion). So the Jays’ gesture is just a team-based thing that they’ve come to own, as opposed to a larger campaign of jingoism by the sports-industrial complex. I’m fine with that.

    Similarly, Canadian teams (as well as those in the UK and other British commonwealth countries) wear poppies for Remembrance Day, which seems like a thoughtful gesture of mourning. It also mimics a cultural phenomenon, because citizens of those countries routinely wear poppies on Nov. 11. So the sports poppies are a legitimate cultural expression, not some trumped-up marketing gimmick like camouflage caps.

    I wonder what kind of (right wing) backlash there would be if a player bristled against the camo stuff, the way james mclean was villifed in the UK for refusing to wear the poppy on his kit.

    Carlos delgado got lots of flak for his (non) stance for the Anthem, and that was before the wave of nationalism hit pro sports.

    Delgado did not refuse to stand for the national anthem.

    Rather, he refused to stand for “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

    The comment in the article tells me those doing these tributes don’t realize the larger picture. He says people don’t have to stand. Uh, yeah, try that and see how warmly you’re received by those around you. I’ve been on ESPN once in my life; I don’t want to check in at number 6 on the Not Top Ten list for not standing and having a beer dumped over me.

    These tributes are overwrought and heavy handed and make us look like North Korea or a Russian May Day celebration. There’s nothing wrong with patriotism but isn’t that already covered in things like the national anthem and the flags and flyovers? Or should we just change every teams’ uniform to stars and stripes and sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” after the first, second, and last innings? Personally I would feel embarrassed wearing camo. I didn’t serve and I’m not in combat–I’m being paid millions of dollars to shoot/catch/throw/hit a ball. I haven’t earned wearing it.

    (I realize that you were just asking Paul, but…)

    “…is there any example of a team showing patriotism that you would not consider pandering?”

    I’m ok with the national anthem being performed (tastefully). And having a flag at the stadium is cool.

    What else do you really need?

    On a recent occasion when a similar topic was discussed at length, I posed the question of whether people in non-sports occupations should have days on which they wear a special outfit (camouflage, for example) to honor those serving in the military.

    I don’t think anyone ever responded. Care to offer an opinion?

    ‘Are the “Gigantes” jerseys considered pandering to Latinos?’


    I’m also not Paul, but:

    The problem isn’t so much the pandering but the disingenousness of it all. It’s a convenient marriage of military recruiting and mercy sales, but the participants dress it up as something nobler. If they’d just said, “We heard some fans like Duck Dynasty and shit, and of we’re donating to veterans,” I’d be okay.

    The Spanish team names might be pandering too, but they don’t pretend it’s anything more than fun.

    ‘Are the “Gigantes” jerseys considered pandering to Latinos?’

    ¿Quieres decir que sí?

    Oh Hell yes and nicely done too…

    Would I buy one, not for myself, but I have bought the Gigantes & Piwowarzy jerseys as gifts for some deserving friends and they were thrilled. Stunned actually.

    Mind you they are not baseball purists per se,not much at all… but they got the connection instantly. Tastefully done – it works fine. I suppose there is a line between nicely done and pandering. Which I guess is what Pee El is pointing out.

    Would love to see the “Los Angeles” on an LA Angels jersey script.


    Oh, come on! You could have held that back until mid-afternoon, at least.

    Oh well.

    Good catch. The bottom of the page says:

    This site is a satire of the current state of Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical work. Stories posted here are not real and you should not assume them to have any basis in any real fact.

    So, yeah, definitely bogus. Paul, you should probably change the Ticker to make that clear….

    Regarding Jeter and the idea of ‘RE2PECT’ numbers and letters overkill. Maybe? I guess. No. On second thought not really. This feels like a gross simplification of something that has been a LONG time coming and had a very logical progression.

    It wasn’t sports. And we didn’t have Twitter. But the marketing campaign for the motion picture SE7EN used the same technique 20 years ago! With email passwords getting more sophisticated and us using letter numeral combos to cope?, with gaming lingo like w00t and L33T approaching full public awareness? with letter/numeral athlete logos like CP3s or AK47s…. none of this seems particularly newsworthy to me. Like at ALL. If the point is that it’s achieved such common status that we’re forcing it where it doesn’t naturally fit? OK. Sure. Some of them work better than others. I prefer the FO43VER one better than Jeter’s to be honest. Reads easier.

    Yeah, and the band 5ivestyle was doing it 20 yrs ago too. I think the point of the article is that it’s now gone overboard in the sports world.

    When Formula 1 drivers were allowed to choose their own car numbers prior to the start of the 2014 season, Valtteri Bottas chose 77 so that he could replace the t’s in his last name with 7’s.

    I cannot begin to say how much I hate “RE2PECT.” The only time that sort of thing works is when the number begins with the same letter sound as the letter it replaces, otherwise it reads as “RE-TWO-PECT.” David and Nigel from Spinal Tap point out that there’s a fine line between stupid and clever. “5IVE” is clever, “RE2PECT” is stupid.

    “You should never write words using numbers unless you’re seven or your name is Prince”
    Weird Al Yankovic

    The Flag on the A’s hat is actually correct. Flag protocal states that the stars are on the left side when hung or portrayed (vertical or horizontal). The US Military (Army specifically) wears the flag backwards on their right sleeve in order to portray the flag as flying in the wind as they move forward (not entirely sure why they didn’t just move it to the other sleeve….). Portraying the flag with the stars on the left side at any point would not be considered wrong. The backwards flag on the right sleeve is more an allowable exception than correct.

    Weren’t the Baltimore/Washington Bullets once called the Capital Bullets for a season or two?

    Research Query section, last sentence has an apostrophe catastrophe. ” instead of ‘ in I’m.

    The A’s doubled down on the pandering quotient yesterday by giving away caps with American flag patches – which happened to be backwards, but hey, it’s the thought(lessness) that counts, right?

    -Paul Lukas doubled down on someone else’s tweet that incorrectly states that the A’s flag is backwards, but hey, its the opportunity to bash that counts, right?

    Nice write-up on the US Open volunteer packet. However, the golf nerd in me is compelled to say that it’s a “major USGA tournament”. Not a PGA tournament.

    I don’t know why the submitter didn’t know that. Both the Amateur he volunteered for and the Open are USGA events. There’s only one golf major that the PGA has any responsibility for, the PGA Championship.

    And that’s the PGA of America, which is for golf pros, and not the PGA tour, which is for professional golfers.

    I thought that article looked familiar… it was in the Ticker on link.

    (Easy to miss because that was the day the 49ers’ black unis were discussed…)

    There was that one nomadic season in 2012, when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees were temporarily known as the Empire State Yankees.

    That reminds me, the Yankees are called Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but the hockey team is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. I don’t live anywhere near there. Why are the names reversed? Are there other towns that have multiple teams with different geographic identities? (Oakland A’s/Golden State Warriors, for example)

    Interesting – I have NEVER seen it referenced as Wilkes- Barre/Scranton before this.

    Are there other towns that have multiple teams with different geographic identities?

    Well, there’s the New York Knicks & Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. Of course NYC is freakin huge so maybe they get to play by different rules. The Brooklyn Nets seems to work as a team name, while the South Side White Sox probably wouldn’t.

    Also, I think that brings up another potential research project: Teams which have used multiple cities in their name at the same time. Off the top of my head, in addition to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, there’s the New York/New Jersey Knights and Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks of the WLAF, and of course that mess with the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles or whatever they’re calling themselves now.

    That would be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of Northern California of the State of California of the United States of the North American continent of the planet Earth…

    Love the “Young Treasure Hunters” article Paul, great stuff! That Gabby Street baseball card is from the 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders series, Walter Johnson would have been the card attached on the left! link

    That purple police uniform story has to be a hoax. That website calls itself “The 27th most trusted source for public safety news,” the article isn’t sourced, the photo is a (lousy) photoshop job, and there’s no mention of this anywhere else on the internet.

    No other mention? Oh, sure there is…



    Anyway, it’s interesting to note that there were some purple police uniforms used in Sochi, during the 2014 Winter Olympics.


    I like purple well enough, but those outfits just weren’t very good.

    Happy Anniversary! I remember reading that column you posted today and just about everyone you have written since.

    Yeah, discussing the uniforms in more than a cursory way used to get one branded as a “dweeb” or “light in the loafers”. Now I don’t feel so lonely. This place is a godsend.

    Removing the spur from the South Carolina logo would necessitate a name change for the school’s live mascot “Sir Big Spur.” (link)

    But if the legality of cockfighting is an issue, it probably makes more sense just to scrap “Gamecocks” altogether.

    The Reds had a US Army Sargent play taps prior to the singing of the National Anthem at yesterday’s Reds/Rockies game which I thought was an appropriate remembrance on Memorial Day.

    Does anybody just play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch, nowadays?

    I’ve been to games in Oakland and in Arlington this season and both the Athletics and Rangers played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” AFTER “God Bless America”. But you won’t see that on TV; they usually cut to commercial after the first number.

    If you don’t mind a collegiate baseball reference, the Thunder Bay Border Cats just play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch, but you are stuck will both Canadian and U.S. national anthems before the start of every home game. There’s also the unnecessary walk up song clips for the home batters, and some mocking ones for some of the away team batters.

    Not a state nickname but the San Jose Earthquakes indoor soccer team made up a regional nickname “Golden Bay” Earthquakes for the 1983 & 1984 seasons.

    Yes, you “stole” my answer the Golden Bay Earthquakes. I remember they and Steve Zungul came to town to play the old Buffalo Stallions.

    I volunteered at the 2011 US Open at Congressional (shuttle driver) and also paid $150 to do so. Does it sound a little odd to say you paid to volunteer? Yes, a bit. But I happily paid that to get access that would have cost $500 otherwise, not to mention the behind the scenes access. I exchanged a “what’s up” chin jut with McIlroy days before he won the title, and got a photo of him drinking from the trophy from one of the other drivers who was at the hotel Sunday evening. And while the jacket and hat were rather cheap (we didn’t have a bucket hat option then or I would have done that), the shirts were pretty nice. I still wear mine.

    It still seems kinda shitty on the part of the PGA, but in a way, it’s sort of a fantasy camp experience.

    Does Carolina Panthers/Hurricanes count for nicknames. Also would New England Patriots be one? New England is a region and Carolina is a combo of 2 states. You can’t go “to New England or to Carolina” just like you can’t go to “Golden State”. To me Carolina would be like if UND called themselves Dakota.

    The thing about “Carolina” is that it means different things for different teams.

    The Panthers play in Charlotte, over 150 miles from Raleigh, where the Hurricanes play, while the Mudcats play in Zebulon, an exurb about 25 miles from Raleigh. And let’s not get started on the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill both calling themselves “Carolina”.

    If we’re going to be specific, the Panthers should really be Carolinas, the term that refers to the Charlotte metropolitan area that extends into South Carolina.

    In the early 70s the California Angels and California Golden Seals played their home games 400 miles apart (Anaheim and Oakland).

    By way of comparison, the Carolina Cougars of the ABA in fact DID play games all around the State of North Carolina. Unfortunately, doing so also contributed to their inability to gain a fan base in any one location, and in turn their relocation to St. Louis.

    You would think that somewhere someone has used “Lone Star” as a locator. It isn’t a state nickname, but I know Inland Empire and High Desert have been used for minor league teams, and those don’t correspond to any town or city.

    When the North Stars moved here the prevailing thought was they would be the Dallas Lone Stars. I think there was a concern about the word “lone” describing a plural (stars) but also some concerns about copyright infringement for the numerous businesses already trading in the Lone Star moniker.

    Seems like a good name for a soccer team. Lone Star FC.

    I guess Tampa Bay doesn’t work?

    Here we have two ball clubs, the Gateway Grizzlies and the River City Rascals.

    Do the Quad City River Bandits fit in? Quad Cities crosses 2 states an 4 cities…

    There’s also the WHL Tri Cities Americans, and Short A League Tri Cities Dust Devils in Eastern Washington.

    Quad Cities River Bandits (IA/IL)
    Tri Cities Americans (WA)
    Tri Cities Dust Devils(WA)

    With the anniversary being over, will the number on the Uni Watch logo change back from a 15? It was a 7 or 21 before that, right?

    Brinke wrote; “Boy, I could not WAIT to get my copy of PRO! when I went through the gates at Riverfront to see the Bengals.”

    Currently, the NFL doesn’t work with illustrators the way that David Boss and co. did back in the day. Probably because DB was an illustrator himself, thus a fan of the top fine artists of the ’70s/’80s.


    PRO! was the coolest. I had a subscription till the end and read every issue cover to cover. The only copy I know that I still have (somewhere) is the one with Doug Williams in the Bucs’ Creamsicle whites on the cover.

    The Flames AHL affiliate seems to have the market cornered on the nickname thing, seeing as they had both the Quad City Flames for a couple years, and just recently the Adirondack Flames. Quad City had the Mallards of the old UHL prior to the Flames as well.

    It’s funny that the hockey team is “Quad City” but the minor league baseball team is “Quad Cities”.


    Hawaiian Islanders

    The Hawaiian Islanders were a minor league team of the Arena Football League’s developmental league from 2002-2004

    People really don’t understand this query. Either that or our nation’s reading comprehension is in the fucking terlet.

    I understood that you wanted nicknames.

    I figured my submission was “iffy” at best because it was Hawaiian (pertaining to) and not Hawaii (the state).

    But being insulting is not going to help crowd source submissions in the future for a question that you had to know was virtually impossible to answer as using state nicknames (show me state? the peach state? the sunflower state?) DOES NOT lend itself for a sports name.

    So who’s comprehension is in the fucking terlet now?

    Virtually impossible, but not impossible – see Connie DC’s comment up the page.

    The item about Jose Canseco’s “comeback” has a typo. It’s the Sonoma Stompers not “Samona.” Not sure where “Samona” is, but it sounds like it’s half-way between Northern California and America Samoa. Perhaps they make Mango Wine there….;-)

    It’s not really a “state Nickname” but the AHL hockey team in Cleveland is called the Lake Erie Monsters.

    The Georgia Peaches from the All-American Girls Baseball Association

    I think Cary’s referencing the Georgia nickname “the Peach State” — He’s trying.

    ….also, (because my reading comprehension is not in the [damm] terlet*] while it it’s not a state nickname, the California League from 1981-85 had the Redwood Pioneers. The Redwood in the geographic description referred to the Redwood Empire, a section of California consisting of the five coastal counties north of San Francisco.

    * I couldn’t help but read Paul’s comment in Archie Bunker’s voice.

    The Tampa Bay Rays play in Florida, the Sunshine State. As to the Miami Heat.

    You could argue that the San Francisco 49ers are named for the gold rush, which is part of the reason California is known as the Golden State

    What an asshole…

    I understood that you wanted “nicknames”.

    I figured my submission was “iffy” at best because it was Hawaiian (pertaining to) and not Hawaii (the state).

    But being insulting is not going to help crowd source submissions in the future for a question that you had to know was virtually impossible to answer as using state nicknames (show me state? the peach state? the sunflower state?) DOES NOT lend itself for a sports name.

    What were you hoping to find? Buckeye State Broncos? Garden State Vegetables? Land of Enchantment Wizards? Beehive State Bees? Mount Rushmore State Granites?

    So who’s comprehension is in the fucking terlet now?

    What were you hoping to find? Buckeye State Broncos? Garden State Vegetables? Land of Enchantment Wizards? Beehive State Bees? Mount Rushmore State Granites?

    For all I know, such teams might exist on the minor league level. That’s why I asked. And I had completely forgotten about the Bay State Patriots.

    If you think the query was stupid, that’s your prerogative — so just don’t answer it. But please don’t clutter up the site with posts that don’t fit the parameters of the query.

    We’re done here — let’s move on. Thanks.

    I enjoyed the Guardian piece about the overuse of numb3r2 as 13tt3r2. Has anyone noticed how Guardian’s gotten really good at US news coverage, sports and otherwise, in the past couple of years?

    They do have a dedicated US bureau, and they are aware that there’s a significant audience for a decent form of journalism that is very scarce here.

    I read somewhere that roughly half of The Economist readers are in the US. Wouldn’t surprise me if The Guardian was pulling similar numbers,

    The NFL, FIFA, and the Olympics all have this same policy for their marquee events.

    That’s different from my experience. I was an Olympic volunteer in Atlanta. It was my responsibility to get to Atlanta, and to pay for most of my meals (depending on your schedule, you got one or two meals during the day, and you could always scrounge the sumptuous boxed meals that the athletes ordered but did not eat). My lodging was taken care of (a college dorm) and my uniform was free.

    I guess the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Delaware Blue Hens don’t count because they don’t have “state” in it? (confused why Georgia Peaches are disallowed)

    A little bit afraid to post this now, since I’m still not quite sure if the query referred to “place name” or “team name,” but no one’s yet mentioned the Minnesota North Stars, which gets at one of the state’s nicknames, which itself comes from its motto (L’Étoile du Nord).

    To be irritatingly picky, I think that Minneapolis Lakers comes from the city (City of Lakes) rather than the state. Another nickname for Mpls. is “Mill City” which could be at the root of the old Minneapolis Millers. And I guess the Twins (from Twin Cities) could fit too, but that’s such a boring metropolitan area nickname that it hardly counts.

    Team names are usually made up of two parts, location, and nickname. Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, etc. Paul is asking for teams who use a nickname of their location, rather than the actual location, rather than the nickname being based on the location. The example given was the Golden State Warriors, since “Golden State” is a nickname for California.

    I have never seen a watch like the MLB Player of the Week watch. It’s analog (I think), but has the look of digital.

    Not a State Nickname, but when the Senators decided to move to Minnesota, they were going to be called the “Twin Cities Twins” hence the TC Logo.

    Ok, before this goes any further off the rails, let me try to clarify what the actual question intended.

    Are there any teams (besides the Golden State Warriors) that fit the pattern of:

    [Nickname of State] [Team Nickname]

    instead of:

    [Actual Name of State, City, or Region] [Team Nickname]…?

    Seriously, Paul is going to lose his #@%& here.

    Hmm…I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe you’re right, The Jeff.

    Maybe you’re right.

    My reading comprehension was shit earlier, but better now.

    Here’s an example of “state nickname as geographic name” that Paul *isn’t* looking for:
    Prairie State Pioneers

    Granite State College doesn’t seem to have a sports program, unfortunately.

    I admit to being stumped; so much so I checked the nicknames of the Canadian Provinces.
    State nicknames truly appear to be more the domain of the big universities (Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ohio State Buckeyes, North Carolina Tar Heels), especially when the nickname is concrete and easy to anthropomorphize. Otherwise, you’d have the Colorado Centennials, Texas Lone Stars, and Florida Sunshine.

    Grand Canyon Antelopes – or does it need to be Grand Canyon State Antelopes to work?

    Garden State Grays
    “Road team” (playing all games on the road) in the Can-Am (independent) League, debuting this season

    Sorry Philip Whitman, I meant to reply to your post since you had the idea first

    The USGA is not exploiting anyone. For the price, the volunteer gets access to all 7 days of the event, meal vouchers, and the apparel. In exchange, the USGA gets 4 days (or 5 in this case) of service. All of this is disclosed up front, and each volunteer voluntarily signs up.

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were tax-related or legal implications if the USGA did pay for the apparel. It may violate the job as a volunteer type and cause paperwork issues for everyone.

    I am sorry, but this is exploiting. Not just on the part of the USGA, but on the part of all leagues that do this. This are multi-billion dollar industries and they are taking advantage of fans’ desire for access to not only volunteer, but to get the fans to PAY to volunteer. These organizations could easily pay at a minimum, minimum wage and comp the uniform that they FORCE you to wear.
    I simply find it disgusting, but in this day and age, expected. Rip the fan off for every penny that you can get.

    I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote, except for the part where you explain how a free market works.

    “The repeating wordmark was a trademark of 1970s NFL graphics,…”

    And other things too:


    In the mid-2000s Buffalo had a low level minor league soccer team known simply as “Queen City FC” after Buffalo’s nickname as the Queen city of NY State. The team folded as teams like that tend to do but it always seemed like a cool Euro style name that actually fit the area unlike the forced “Real” and other BS MLS has produced.


    I’ll throw in one more on the state nickname thing since it hasn’t been listed yet and I do understand the question: There was an indoor football team in the St. Louis area a few years ago called the Show-Me Believers. I always thought it was a really bad choice for a nickname, but it does fit the criteria.

    I see reference to Quad Cities teams, but nobody’s yet mentioned the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, nowadays known as the Atlanta Hawks?

    For minor league baseball, people have already mentioned the Empire State Yankees and the Garden State Grays. There was also a minor league team in Arizona a couple of years ago playing in the very low level independent Freedom League called the Copper State Prospectors. link (despite the website, the league has been inactive since 2013).

    And even though I know its not what the question is asking, there is a current team playing in the Frontier League that uses a CITY nickname. The Windy City Thunderbolts. link

    I have a feeling these suggestions for Paul’s nickname question might have been better received before all those reading comprehension issues blew things up earlier, but I’ll give it a short anyway…

    The Great Lakes Loons of the Class A Midwest League play in Midland, Michigan.


    …and Michigan’s nickname is the Great Lakes State.

    The LoneStar Strikers are a minor-league basketball team from The Woodlands, TExas, who play in the International Basketball League.


    And the Bluegrass Stallions were a minor-league basketball team based in Kentucky from 2009 to 2011.


    None of these use the word “state” in their geographic locators, but they are nonetheless obvious allusions to their states’ respective nicknames.

    Agreed. I was going to suggest the Loons, but you beat me to it.

    Volunteered at the Cincinnati ATP Championships for four years, as the Stadium PA announcer. It was quite fun (unless the third match of the session, usually doubles, went to three sets.) Adidas was the official supplier for the ATP for years- we’d get a polo shirt for free..and then there was a volunteer store where you could get really nice Adidas Edberg, Lendl, ATP items- shirts, shoes, warmups, like at 75% off retail. I totally cleaned up.

    I was thinking he now knows what it’s like to be a parent, but yours is spot on, Kenn.



    I can understand Minnesota teams not wanting to alienate fans from Minneapolis or St. Paul. I can see Oakland with San Francisco, Tampa with St. Petersburg and Dallas with Fort Worth. Aside from those, I don’t know why any other team would use a state or a region instead of the name of a city.

    If I heard Keystone State Tigers, I would think it’s a team NOT in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. I’d picture a rural area.

    The Denver Nuggets sounds like they represent a major city. The Colorado Avalanche sounds like a team in the middle of nowhere. Both share the same arena.

    Way back in the 70s, I thought it was sad that the WHA stooped so low when they had a team called the Michigan Stags. I thought they were in Lansing or Flint or some other mid-sized city. I was amazed when I found out they were in Detroit. It’s a great logo, but why lessen your image? Why not use a big league city to identify yourselves?

    As a kid, I created sports leagues and sports teams. One team was the Garden State Cougars (it does sound like Golden State). I thought it sounded better than calling a team New Jersey or Northern New Jersey or Newark or Meadowlands.

    If you’re the only team from your league in the state, I think it’s fine. Colorado Nuggets? Why not?

    Listening to Cavs games on the radio, I’ve come to the conclusion that play-by-play guy John Michael should get a Uni Watch Honorable Mention or something. Most announcers make it a point to describe the teams’ uniforms to the listeners, but John does it often. A LOT, in fact. One game I was even thinking, “Alright already,” but that’s probably because the Cavs were wearing their hard-to-read blue alts. I was trying to picture them in wine & gold, but he kept bringing me back to reality.

    Tonight the Hawks are in red and the Cavs are in gold. As. It. Should. Be.

    Josh H… I am betting that the Scranton/ Wilkes Barre…Wilkes Barre / Scranton thing has to do with where the venues are located. The Pens venue is in or closer to Wilkes Barre while the Railriders stadium is closer to or in Scranton.

    How about the Tri-Cities Blackhawks.

    Founded in 1946, as part of the National Basketball League.

    They are still in existence as the modern day Atlanta Hawks.

    Been a long day. Let’s recap:

    The Golden State Warriors of the NBA use a state nickname as their geographic locator (California’s official nickname is the Golden State). Has any other pro team ever used a state nickname as part of its name?

    Well, I went looking through as many major top tier American leagues as I could, and there are only a handful of teams that do not use a geographical locator such as a city or state. And a few have used a borough (i.e. Brooklyn or Staten Island) or a neighborhood (i.e. Frankford Yellow Jackets).

    The only state nickname I have found was the Golden State Warriors.

    You have four teams that have used a regional locator. New England had been used three time. The Patriots currently, the Tea Men of the NASL (1978-1980), and the original name of the Whalers until the came into the NHL. The forth team to use one was the Tri-Cities BlackHawks that played in Moline, IN. They played in the NBA’s first 2 seasons, but was part of one of the precursor leagues.

    Then you have these two odd ball teams.

    First off, you have the Oorang Indians, that played in the NFL for 2 season (1922-1923). They was a travelling team based our of LaRue, OH. But the name “Oorang” refers to the name of the team owners business, Oorang Kennels.

    The other was played just in the 1983 NASL, Team America. Team America was planned with help of the USSF to be a professional team, with the players born in the United States, and foster hopefully, be members on the USMNT. It didn’t work out like anyone planned, and the plug was pulled after one season.

    Another thought on the concept of paying to be a volunteer: $150 bucks is also enough to function in a manner similar to the Poll Taxes of the Jim Crow era. It enables the USGA and the other organizing parties to make sure that all their volunteers are well-to-do without openly discriminating. It also makes sure that you’re one heck of a fan of the game of golf. Who else would take time off from work and pay $150 for the opportunity to be a low level helper?

    I’m not implying that this is necessarily racially motivated, but it certainly helps the organizers filter out a lot of less desirable applicants.

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