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A Folder Full of Minor Tragedies

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For all of today’s photos, click to enlarge

I have a new project in the works that I’m really excited about, and we’re going to go off-uni today so I can tell you about it.

As many of you know, Permanent Record began as an inquiry into a bunch of 1920s and ’30s report cards from a girls’ vocational school, which I found in a discarded file cabinet. Now I’ve been given access to another stash of school records with some interesting stories to tell.

The folder shown above, which is currently stored in the basement of a New York public school, is labeled “Accident Reports, 1942-1949.” Inside are dozens of write-ups of elementary school student mishaps from the 1940s — everything from the kid who tripped and skinned his knee to the kids who got in a fight, and lots of other stuff in between. It’s a fascinating trove of youthful misadventures, and the bureaucratic documentation thereof.

Each accident report begins with basic information typed up on a standardized New York City Board of Education form, like this one, which tells the story of two boys who threw books at each other:


Each form is accompanied by a sheet of statements from the injured student, the injurer (if applicable), any witnesses, and the teacher or other adult in charge (whose statement is often, “I was busy at the blackboard and didn’t see what happened”). These statements, which are usually typed but occasionally handwritten, are oddly compelling. They read like deadpan poetry, or absurdist haiku. Here are the ones for the form shown above:


I love the bland recitations, the repetition of the same event from three different points of view, the fact that the students’ statements were obviously written by an adult who put the sheet in front of them and said, “Here, kid, just sign this.”

As you can see, I’ve blurred out all of the surnames. That’s because many of the students could still be alive (most would now be in their 70s). A few of the surnames were real doozies, so it’s a bit of a shame to omit them, but it’s not a crippling blow.

Here’s another, about a girl who tried to show off on one of the school’s staircases:



And here’s one more, which I love for several reasons. For starters, the original injury is supplemented by a bonus injury (see the “Additional Remarks” at the bottom of the form), and then the injured student’s statement is just too perfect:



So what should I do with these? I can write about them, of course — that’s the “duh” option. But I’ve been thinking that it might also be interesting to do some sort of performance/theater production. If I had, say, four actors — two male and two female — they could read the students’ and witnesses’ statements, trading off the roles with each new report, which could be projected onto the wall behind them. Or something like that — I’m still sorting it out.

Or maybe I could work with an artist and create a book filled with illustrations of all the accidents — sort of like an Edward Gorey volume with a schoolhouse spin.

In any case, I think there’s a lot of potential here, and I’m excited about where it might lead. Thanks for listening.

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ITEM! New redesign contest: I usually do my ESPN design contests for teams that are scheduled to get new uniforms in the near future. But the Clippers’ new logos and unis are so bad that I’ve decided to do a new contest to let readers to submit designs for the route that the team should have taken. If you were one of the many people who saw the new unis and said, “I could do better,” now’s your chance.

The official announcement will be made on ESPN later today (I’ll tweet the link today when it’s available and will have it here on the blog tomorrow), but you all know the drill for my design contests by now. The deadline will be next Thursday, July 3, 7pm Eastern. is available here.

(Big thanks to reader Kevin McCarthy, a very unhappy Clippers fan, who suggested doing the ex post facto design contest. Good idea, Kevin!)

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Ex-Rays splash

And speaking of design contests…: In case you missed it over the weekend, Phil is hosting a “Redesign the Rays” contest, in honor of the team’s possibly impending move to a new city. Contest deadline is June 30, and you can send all your entries to Phil. Please mark your email subject as “Rays Design Contest.” Thanks.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

There they are: Kruk and Kuip, two members of the very popular Giants announcing team. “Holy Grail” is an eBay cliché, but this time it fits. This bobble was issued in 2003 and wasn’t a stadium giveaway. Nowadays, the Giants do about 15 bobbles a year, but this one was sold via the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper for like $25. I had just been laid off at CNET and didn’t want to spend that cash. Big mistake. These always go for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I can see it now, going into BofA: “I’d like a bobblehead loan, please.” The voice chip on this one doesn’t work, and I don’t care. Sigh. Still too much to spend on resin. Ah well, dare to dream.

Here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• Kids, back in the day, the NFL was divvied up into different divisions than the ones we know today. This gumball helmet set is for the NFL’s “Western Conference,” and includes un-assembled helmets for the Colts, Rams, Bears, Vikes, Lions, Niners, and Packers.

• I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an L.A. Rayduhz pennant before. Did they just get lazy with the artwork and not correct it, or hope for black helmets? Which they should do anyway. Blackout at the Coliseum, baby.

• We’ve seen this 1960s Dave Boss Cowboys artwork before. But click through these playing card images and check out the box art!

• Now there is one fine-looking set of 1970s MLB stickers, from Kellogg’s.

• I remember Virgil Carter from the early 1970s Bengals. Raise your hands, how many of you think this is a better look than the wretched design they wear now. #PaulBrownKnewBetter.

• Is this 1960s NFL pillow a DIY? Kinda looks like it!

• Very nice cover art on this signed Mickey Mantle book, Playing Major League Baseball. Love the reference to “Larry (Yogi) Berra,” too.

• First-time sighting for the St. Louis (football) Cardinals in the 1960s WDW helmet bank series!

• Earlier in the week, we saw the new Sixers uniforms with “Phila” across the chest. They were doing that back in the 1960s on this Eagles button, too. (How can you fit the entire name on a tiny button, after all?)

• If you took third place in one of the old PP&K competitions, you won one of these guys.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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In light of the current debate over the presence of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol, I thought this would be a good time to dust off an ESPN column I did in 2011 about a minor league baseball team that wore the flag as a sleeve patch. You can find that column here.

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Theoretical update: In case you missed it yesterday, the Brooklyn Beefsteak went on the road last weekend and made a stop in Boston. As usual, there was lots of beef, beer, and fun, and I got to thinking, just theoretically speaking, about what sort of T-shirt design might be appropriate for a Boston beefsteak — perhaps something like this.

If you’d like to discuss this situation, feel free to be in touch.

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PermaRec update: A 44-year-old message in a bottle, shown above, was recently discovered on a beach in Scotland. Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Game One of the College World Series looked dreadful last night. Vanderbilt went with black pinstripes and Virginia’s camo didn’t match, making for a particularly bad-looking game. Further commentary here (from Brent Schwartz and Will Edge). … The Red Sox will retire Pedro Martinez’s No. 45 on July 28 (from Michael Stoudt). … The Rays and Red Sox will wear throwbacks on Saturday — or fauxbacks, in the Rays’ case (from Phil). … Yesterday Paul wasn’t sure what the Fort Wayne Tin Caps were wearing this weekend, but Marc Viquez tells us the team had a Saturday Night Live promotion. “They dressed their players up in Spartan cheerleader uniforms that were made famous by Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri. They also included lineups of home and away players in SNL mockups, clips from the show, and an announcer who did a great impersonation of the late Don Pardo.” … The Louisville Bats are going with the MLB-style stars and stripes caps for Independence Day, and so are the Frisco RoughRiders and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (all from Phil). … Here’s a good list of minor league promotions and theme nights (from phil). … The mayor of Paterson, N.J. hopes to have plans for Hinchliffe Stadium, a Negro League park that Paul has written about, ready by September (from Dave Rakowski). … Nelson Cruz, who’s in his first year with Seattle, had an outdated Mariners jersey photoshopped on him. You can see the difference here (from Jim Shemaria). … The Mets give away free T-shirts every Friday and reader Max put his spin on this week’s release. … Louisville Slugger produces the bat handle wraps that were mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker. Here are a few shots of the grip tape in action (from Jason Ricles). … The Indians didn’t use the period-appropriate font for their 1995 Mike Hargrove jersey giveaway last night. … The Yankees gave away purple hats for Alzheimer’s awareness (from @BSmile). … We often talk about color vs. color, but how about white vs. white? That’s from an Iowa high school game. ”¦ New 15th-anniversary patch for the Brooklyn Cyclones (thanks, Phil).

NFL News: The Raiders, who’d been among the holdouts using the old Reebok-style jersey template, are switching to Nike’s Elite 51 jersey for the coming season, which means they’ll have the Nikelace, the sweatbox, and so on. …A clip from the unreleased Madden 16 shows us how the Browns uniforms might look in action (from David Chisholm). … Lions rookies were taught how to tie their ties yesterday. … The Ravens will not wear throwbacks for their 20th season in Baltimore, but they will wear a patch. And, here’s a good all-access look at the Ravens’ locker room (from Andrew Cosentino). … NHRA’s Cruz Pedregon Racing has a Raiders-inspired logo (from David Firestone).

College Football News: Here’s an opinion about the best Nike uniforms in college football (from Phil). … A Mississippi State shirt at Walmart had a Texas A&M logo on the sleeve (from Dustin Semore).

Hockey News: Here’s something that didn’t get much advance notice: The Capitals will unveil a new alternate jersey today at 4:45pm Eastern (from William Yurasko). ”¦ NHL Draft caps are now on sale (from Tim Capper).

Soccer News: A Scottish soccer club has a nightmarish mascot (from Mark Coale). … The bump under the Canadian player’s jersey as seen in yesterday’s Ticker was probably some sort of fitness monitor (from David Wagner). … Also from David, it looks like USA player Alex Morgan has worn a heart rate monitor during the World Cup. Here’s how it straps across a player’s chest. … A couple items from Yusuke Toyoda: Fans voted Plymouth Argyle’s purple kit as the most disgusting uni ever. … Porto’s new brown away jersey is just as bad. … Cardiff City and Halifax Town have very, very similar blue Adidas kits. … New crest design for Cagliari.

Basketball News: The Hawks will unveil their new uniforms tomorrow. … Dwight Howard is switching shoe brands, going from Adidas to Peak (from Phil). … One of the ESPN mock draft applications uses a bunch of outdated logos (from @premalthegreat). … Stephen Curry, an Under Armour man, wore Nikes in a recent TV ad. … Here’s what Kansas will wear for the World Games in South Korea next month (from Phil).

Grab Bag: Under Armour was quite pleased that Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open on Sunday. … The 1987 Brisbane Bears jumper is the only one in VFL/AFL history to feature a logo on the long-sleeved version of the jumper,” says Graham Clayton. … Competitors in an Ironman race ran in Syracuse, N.Y. were awarded medals that had the skyline of Rochester, N.Y. on them (from Jonathan Knowles).

Comments (67)

    Looks like the Curry video was uploaded in 2011. So that would be pre-Under Armour, right?

    A follow-up on the Wisconsin high school that is using the new Bucks logo on its court. This is from my city’s newspaper, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram — Elk Mound, the high school in question, is literally next door. Some interesting quotes:


    Are you being sarcastic? This sounds like the principal knows he may have to reel this one in if he’s challenged.

    ““We respect the Bucks organization, and if they were to contact us, we would work with them so not to infringe on their logo,” Weber said. “I think we’ve made changes significant enough to make it our own. If the Bucks contact us and say we need to cease and desist, we will. We’re not going to get into deep pockets over this.””

    1) He says he regrets having tweeted the logo — not that he regrets having poached it in the first place.

    2) He says he thinks making minor alterations to the logo makes the poaching OK.

    3) He says he thinks it’s OK to poach a logo because lots of other schools do it.

    4) He plays the “I think people should have bigger things to worry about” card.

    Yup, that’s a jerk.

    “I think we’ve made changes significant enough to make it our own.”

    Apparently not, since even I–a non-NBA fan–think it looks VERY much like the Bucks logo.

    You gotta find a new way to draw a buck, chief. Or ask the Bucks about your new logo BEFORE plastering it on the floor.


    Was there not an attempt in the Uni-verse to provide some sort of graphic assistance to Prep schools seeking help with logo designs a while back? An option like that has got to be better than poaching. Terrible role model for students.

    I am sure that aspiring Todd Radoms out there could do much, much better than ripping off Major sports teams logos.

    Lastly, is that an Native American Buck?

    At one point I thought I could get ESPN to establish a program that would provide financial support for home-grown designs. But it turned out to be, let’s say, complicated. Didn’t happen, unfortunately.

    I notice only 2 team logos have the ® (trademark thing) in the 1970 MLB sticker set.

    Wonder why the Reds and Angels have it but no others.

    Fans voted Plymouth Argyle’s purple kit as the most disgusting uni ever.

    I’m sure Paul’s happy to read that line… though I’d have to say that brown Porto kit is worse. Plymouth Argyle at least keeps their design relatively simple, compared to Porto’s mess of stripes (and that blue one is especially jarring).

    Especially funny as their normal colour is green – could there be a more perfect piece for Uni Watch?

    Following up on yesterday’s discussion of mascots, a good slideshow of them in today’s Guardian.
    The final image being the money shot, natch.

    Those Porto jerseys aren’t in the least ugly (although I’m not sure which of the two pictures in that article depicts the actual colors). At least they won’t be if they’re paired with light blue shorts instead of brown ones.

    I don’t really see the problem with the Plymouth Argyle away kit. I know their away kits have usually been yellow, but it’s the away kit.

    I actually kind of like the Porto away kit. It’ll certainly be distinctive! I’ve always kind of liked the combo of brown and blue, and this strikes me as a particularly good combination of shades of both colors.

    Also that Browns uniform as rendered in Madden 16… the lack of actual, you know, brown is kind of off-putting. They really need brown numbers on that white jersey.

    Besides, I don’t know if anyone saw Porto’s away kit from this past season, but… the new brown one is a LARGE improvement. link

    Agreed on the Porto jerseys. Brown and blue is an underrated combination. The New Balance mark is kind of awful, though.

    Am I the only one that likes the Vandy black and gold pinstripes? They fit really well and are so unique that the novelty doesn’t wear off. I went to the Vandy/Fullerton game last week, and they look muuuuch better in person than on TV.

    “Am I the only one that likes the Vandy black and gold pinstripes?”


    Not in the least. I think they’re glorious. (At least on the Twitter however) I may be the only one of that opinion.

    I don’t remember where it was I saw it, but I read someone describing those Vanderbilt unis as looking like something a civil war prostitute would wear. I didn’t necessarily agree, but I found the line funny. Also, is there a Civil War era Hooker fashion guide somewhere? One thing about college baseball jerseys, they certainly cover a wide spectrum of designs (Texas being my favorite).

    Those Vanderbilt mono-blacks with pins are a pair of Roberto Clemente 1970’s stirrups away from being unbelievably and unconventionally awesome. As is, it kind of has a Negro League vibe going for it, and as ONE team that does it, I definitely dig it.

    There is at least one other person on Twitter who agrees with you…

    Love that uniform.

    I’m with you, Phil.

    As a traditionalist, when I first turned the game on, I was displeased. However, the longer I watched, the more I liked Vandy’s black pins. Definitely a uniform for night games or cold weather –

    I especially like that the jerseys and pants match; no one matches pants to colored jerseys in baseball, which is a shame.

    I am trying to wrap my head around a world in which anyone could say anything positive about these costumes, which I believe to be the worst I’ve ever seen in any sport. They are awful in every conceivable way* and are clearly meant to pull an Adidas/Baylor (grab attention with no attempt at looking good). The only way they could possibly be worse would be to say “‘Dores” on the left chest instead of using the logo. They remind me of the uniforms I used to see adult-league softball teams wearing in the 80s and early 90s and wonder to myself how anyone could possibly think they were a good idea. Yet here we are, a quarter-century later.

    *Actually, the caps are fine, but wearing them (and the black socks) with the jerseys and pants commits the second-worst pinstripe sin (after pinstripes on a dark background): pairing uni elements of the same base color where one is pinstriped and one is not. As truly heinous as a gold cap and socks would be with this combo, it would actually be an improvement.

    Anyone notice in the all-access look at the Ravens’ locker room that the jocks are also refered to as “jimi caps”

    Stay classy Baltimore!

    Re those incident reports, what are the measurements of the paper sheets? I recently learned that Letter and Legal sizes (8-1/2×11, 8-1/2×14) became standard not that long ago. Prior to 1981, for example, the federal government used 8×10-1.2 for correspondence. (Though the feds were a late adopter of standard Letter size.)

    That Raiders pennant looks like a horrible counterfeit.
    single bar. no NFL shield.

    btw, I LOVE horrible counterfeits! They put the “fun” in “phony”!

    re: Fitness monitor worn by soccer players

    It looks like the Canadian keeper is wearing something that link under the jersey. It seems pretty cumbersome, especially worn over a sports bra (not to mention it looks like a sports bra).

    My guess is Alex Morgan is wearing link (Polar is the official supplier for all US national teams) which seems somewhat less intrusive, especially when the player already has a bra.

    I wonder what they use to collect that data, as far as having enough range to collect that wherever players are on the pitch. I have a polar bluetooth which I use for cycling (paired to my phone) and I don’t think the range of bluetooth smart is very far. Maybe there’s some sort of device elsewhere on the player that is collecting the data. I also wonder about the utility of collecting this data, I tend to use HR as a real-time metric to gauge intensity, and after the fact for training load analysis, don’t know if other sports use HR in the same way.

    I doubt the data is used in real time, so range is probably not that important.

    The big data in soccer is the distance traveled. They likely keep track of heart rate and sprint pace over the course of the match.

    Those fitness monitors are on most (if not all) players in the NRL in Australia. They also have GPS capability, so that they can determine distance run, where on the field, etc.

    I believe the SuperLeague in the UK uses them, and I *think* maybe Aussie Rules’ AFL may use them as well.

    What a day on Uni Watch. An off-sports lede, TWO design contests, link to a possible vintage DIY….wow!

    Wow do the Browns look like Cincinnati in that video. What were they thinking???

    In the link to the NHL Draft hats I noticed that 5 of the teams (Bruins, Flames, Sens, Leafs and Caps) have an alternate logo on the brim on the hat. All the others do not. Not sure why they chose that. Well not all teams have alternative logos but more do then they use. They didn’t use Vancouver or Columbus.

    still waiting for Under Armour to break into the tennis world. They haven’t hitched onto one of the Big 3 just yet, let alone anyone all that big in the sport.

    @Toddro: Andy Murray, the world #4, wears his own personal line of UA clothing and sneakers on court.


    oh wow, didn’t know that. Thanks.

    Shame they took one of the players on the tour I dislike the most. I just never liked his sloppy, unshaven look on the court.

    Amusing Walmart story-

    I went to Jacksonville in the spring. I always look at the men’s clothing section to see what local teams are represented. It was pretty much all Florida Gators. There was a rack with orange shits with Florida designs. I went through the rack…..

    in the middle was the same exact Florida shirt, in a different shade of Orange…with Illinois Fighting Illini designs on it.


    I personally promise 100 votes who whomever can use toenails in their “Clppers” typeface.

    The Confederate battle flag was also seen on the helmets of the “South” side of the High School All-Star Classic football game as late as 1965. See the ticker item under College/High School from last January:


    Or just take a look at the photo:


    That Rochester skyline on the Syracuse meals story is funny because the two cities, plus Buffalo try to promote a friendly ‘rivalry’, with unofficial competitions in several areas, usually using the NYS Thruway as the tie in:

    There is a competition to see who gets the most snow in a winter, which Buffalo almost always wins.

    The three AAA teams play for a Thruway Cup

    Each of the cities also has a decent meat packing company that makes a classic hot dog – Sahlen’s in Buffalo, Hofmann’s in Syracuse, and Zweigles in Rochester. Since Rochester is the hometown of Wegmans, an since Wegmans tends to distribute Zweigles throughout their system, Zweigles seems to have advantage there.

    since Buffalo is much bigger than the other two, and has actual big league sports – okay….they have the Bills and Sabres….they tend to stay above the fray. But the Rochester/Syracuse thing is nothing to sneeze at.

    Nothing beats a Sahlen’s hot dog. Nothing. And you can get them at Wegman’s.

    I have used “visiting my aged mother” as an excuse to go to Buffalo, just to afford access to Sahlen’s hot dogs. More than once, I’ve gone straight from the airport to Ted’s Red Hots, for a footlong and some loganberry juice.

    Mom can wait.

    I don’t think anyone else commented on this, but I went in to see what the Coyote’s draft cap looks like since they’re launching new unis at the draft. Not only does it show their current logo and colors, it also lists them as the PHOENIX Coyotes!

    Partick Thistle is based in Glasgow, and lives in the shadow of its two far more popular and until very recently more successful neighbors, Celtic (“the Catholic” club) and Rangers (“the Protestant” club). Partick Thistle has long been an iconoclastic presence in Scottish football: they are the club of non-conformists, artists, and eccentrics. Bill Forsyth, the genius behind such films as “Gregory’s Girl” and “Local Hero”, is a big Partick supporter: ther’s Partick memorabilia all over “Gregory’s Girl”. The “demented sun god of Scotland” mascot fits perfectly with the club mentality. It’s weird, it’s funny, and it provides a gentle prod of all those who take this stuff seriously. I think it’s the Best Mascot in the World. Besides Moonchester, the equally eccentric, if not quite as terrifying mascot of Manchester City.

    I love that the Hungry Jack’s logo is like the old version of the Burger King logo.

    I dig that intercontinental/corporate, different name stuff!

    El Danno,

    I should have clarified my original comment – the logo was on the sleeve of the jumper, as well as being different from the logo on the front of the jumper.

    I don’t know how I overlooked Porto on today’s ticker (they’re my team). I kinda like it, but I’ve always like brown and blue combo (in cycling, I’m a fan of the AG2R team kit). I think it may look less odd once the sponsor is placed

    I have never understood the knee-jerk revulsion to brown in shorts uniforms. I consider it a criminally underutilized color choice in teams’ palettes. I’d rather see more brown than another unimaginative navy blue or black design any day.

    I haven’t seen anyone mention this but the grips are made by Lizard Skins not Louisville Slugger. That link is to a giveaway of a Slugger bat with a Lizard Skins grip (and is on the Lizard Skins website.)

    Dodgers are wearing their script Dodgers jerseys again tonight. It looks like they are making the script LA (my favs) the alt jersey now. ugh!

    again – the Rays are not moving anywhere – except maybe across the bay to Tampa

Comments are closed.