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Kansas City (vs.) Kansas City, Here I Come

a's splash

By Phil Hecken

The Oakland A’s became the Kansas City A’s, at least for one day, as they threwback (sorta) yesterday. While the uniforms looked great, the team didn’t quite match the one worn from 1965. According to Marc Okkonen, in Dressed to the Nines, this is what the A’s wore in 1965. If you look at the splash, and a few photos below (click to enlarge), it’s easy to spot the slight differences:

Royals Athletics Baseball

Royals Athletics Baseball (2)


OK — those look gorgeous, right? Yep. Unfortunately, if you refer back to Okkonen’s rendering of the ’65 A’s, you will notice that the team had not yet adopted white cleats (they still wore black in 1965), and the stirrups, beautiful as they are/were, were not of the striped variety the players were wearing yesterday — they were solid green. They wouldn’t add white shoes until 1967, which is when they also began wearing the featheredge stirrups.

They wouldn’t add the gold sanitaries until that year either. Also, according to Okkonen, in ’65 the A’s wore uniform numbers on the undersleeves — those were missing yesterday. So, the uniform the team was more appropriately throwing back to yesterday was 1967, not 1965 (despite this being billed as a 1965 throwback). While the historical accuracy would have been nice, it was still a beautiful looking game (at least for the A’s, who went throwback as the Kansas City A’s). Their opponents, the current Kansas City denizens, didn’t come into existence until 1969, and as such, couldn’t have thrown back to either 1965 or 1967. But they could have worn gray tops…


Also disappointing, although not altogether unsurprisingly, the A’s didn’t create kelly green helmets with the “KC” logo, instead opting to wear their current forest green “A’s” helmets:


It appeared that every player wore the beautiful striped stirrups with gold sannies. Well, all except for Sam Fuld, who for some unknown reason went with a pair of the dreaded 2-in-1’s. Yeah, it looked as well as you might expect:


It was a good looking uniform the A’s put on, but it’s disappointing they didn’t go the full nine yards to make the throwback correct to 1965 — either that or just say it was the 1967 uniform. But I guess the 50th Anniversary was a more important date. One more thing, the “vest” the A’s wore yesterday was much more like the true vest worn back in the day, not the ‘sleeveless jersey’ that teams have worn of late. Nice touch, at least, there.

And at least the A’s didn’t “invent” a uniform the Royals “might” have worn in 1965, as they did not yet exist as a franchise (or give them a minor league or Negro League team uni to wear — of which the Royals have plenty to choose from and have worn over the years). It would have been great if they’d given the Royals these sweet thangs to wear.

. . .

But speaking of teams who “invented” a uniform they never wore (because they didn’t exist): the Tampa Bay Rays (again) threw back to their made-up, navy and powder blue “Padres-esque” uniforms yesterday, against the Boston Red Sox, who reprised the wearing of their own 1975 throwbacks (which they wore earlier this year). Since I’ve written extensively about the Rays throwbacks, I won’t repeat any of it here (but if you do care, you can read here, here and here). You can read more about yesterday’s game here, and there are plenty of photos here.

So what do you think, readers? Should teams make every effort to get every exacting detail (from shoe color, to socks, to batting helmets, etc.) correct when they play a throwback, or should they just do what the A’s did and have fun with it, but throw historical accuracy out the window? And should they (or any team hosting a throwback) have outfitted their opponents with a period-appropriate throwback as well, or should just one team go it alone? Clearly guys don’t wear the unis the way they wore them back in the day, and the helmets (sometimes not even appropriate for a throwback game) and shoes are usually going to look much different anyway — so most throwback games don’t have a true throwback look regardless of how much else is correct.

I used to get very upset when teams missed the details like the A’s did (and I still do), but I’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about it over the years, since I realize a perfect throwback game will never really happen. What do you think?

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colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

I have a bunch of colorizations this week, and they all come from Uni Watch favorite Bruce Menard.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

zzCompare bw color Babe Ruth slides1925 (Jun23) - Bruce Menard

z1925 (Jun23) Babe Slides Into 3rd vs Senators 2015  (edit)7W - Bruce Menard

Hi Phil,

Just thought I’d send along my latest, it’s a reworking of a colorization I/we posted last year: Uni Watch  » 2014 CFL Preview.

You’ll see the Babe Ruth Father’s Day pic is there too.

Anyways, it’s the “Babe Ruth Slides In Safe At 3rd” photo, taken June 23, 1925 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. I had been playing around with it for the past few weeks…and then ironically I saw that Chris Whitehouse/ManCave had done a close-up take it! Maybe he was inspired by my old post?

I’ll have to send you the other colorization from Sunday too, of Cliff Melton, New York Giants pitcher and the small boy playing catch.


. . .

1930's Cliff Melton and small boy (c1937-38)  comparison - Bruce Menard

1930s Cliff Melton NY Giants with boy (edit7)W - Bruce Menard

1930's Cliff Melton and small boy (original) c1937-38


Here’s the Cliff Melton colorization I made for Father’s Day. My guess is that the photo is c.1937-38. I wasn’t really going for a photo realistic look, but more of an artistic addition of color (like vintage tinted photos). Cliff had an amazing rookie year in 1937 pitching for the New York Giants, going 20-9 with a 2.61 ERA. Unfortunately, he finished that season by losing two games in the ’37 World Series vs. the New York Yankees, and his career was never quite the same. It looks like the photographer (or somebody next to him) is tossing the ball to the boy…I’m not sure if that’s Cliff’s son or not, but it’s still a classic photo!


. . .

1965 (Jun28) Ernie Banks 1b Lee Maye Astros Wrigley (for  Phil Hecken) Uni Watch - Bruce Menard

1965 (Jun28) Ernie Banks 1b Lee Maye Astros Wrigley (orig  UPI wire)


Last night I started playing around tinting this pic of Ernie Banks and Lee Maye from June 28, 1965 (50 years ago this coming Sunday). Love that Astros star on Maye’s stirrups!

Here’s the completed colorization of that Cubs/Astros wire pic from 50 Years Ago, June 28, 1965 at Wrigley Field, Chicago.

I really hadn’t intended to do a full color/tint on it, but once I added one color to see how it looked, I kept on going.


. . .

And finally, while this isn’t a colorization, per se, it’s still good for this section:

1918 (Jun) Baseball Magazine Red White Blue stripes (final  edit)W - Bruce Menard

1918 (Jun) Baseball Magazine Red White Blue stripes  (original)


I also just finished another Baseball Magazine edit from June 1918, featuring HOF’er Edd Roush…

1924 (Feb) Baseball Magazine Edd Roush (edit)2BrdW (1) - Bruce Menard

…Interesting thing is, they rehashed the original illustration for a cover in February 1924! (which I also edited a while back).


That’s it for today. Tremendous job, as always, Bruce.

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Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Pete Woychick who has some changes to the Calgary Flames (note I run these in the order received, so some of the info in the setup is dated):

calgary_home - Pete Woychick

calgary_road - Pete Woychick

Hi Phil”“
I apologize for the late submission. With Calgary on the brink of elimination, I thought I’d better send this sooner rather than later. I’m not a Flames fan, but I am rooting for them versus Anaheim.

Orange-y red, unique to Calgary
simple, traditional, blue-collar, no nonsense
visual references to fire departments and ”Mounties”

multi-directional, multi-stroked striping
italic or extended type
yellow adjacent to white
national or provincial flag patches
faux-historic (e.g. laced collars)



. . .

And we close today with James Liberatore with third sweater for the Buffalo Sabres:

Third Ideas - James Liberatore

Paul & Phil,

First of all, please let me say I really enjoy your site. We share the same opinion on many topics involving uniforms. They are such an important part of sports. That being said, I was horrified a couple years ago when the Sabres unveiled the Turdburger. Although, Steve Ott forcing Ted Black to do it early was a classic. I have always wanted the Sabres to use their original home whites as a third jersey. I think it’s the best jersey they’ve ever had. I don’t know what the current league rules are regarding 3rd’s. I would imagine they don’t allow white, even though I know I’ve seen Toronto and Montreal wear them in the past as 3rd’s.

Anyway, that’s why I had this idea. I took the original classic Sabres home jersey, and turned it blue. I’ve also used the scripted Buffalo from their 40th anniversary jersey. I didn’t want to have the same or similar crest on all 3 jerseys. I also thought it was a very nice tribute to Buffalo hockey history. I’ve also created one in yellow, in case the team wanted another shot at that color.

I’d love to get your take on them. I don’t have the best graphics program, so I apologize for them being a bit sloppy.

Thanks, Jim

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Design contest reminders: In case you missed it, Paul is running an ESPN contest to redesign (or, if you prefer, re-redesign) the Clippers. The deadline is next Thursday, July 2, 7pm Eastern. Full details here.

Also: I’m running a contest to redesign the Rays. Deadline for that one is next Tuesday, June 30. Full details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: “Interesting to see umpire C.B. Buckner wearing one of those ‘Copper’ arthritic compression sleeve(s),” writes Dustin Semore. “Don’t think I’ve seen an umpire with that kind of accessory before.” … Another Saturday, another Star Wars jersey promotion: here’s what the Williamsport Crosscutters wore last night (h/t MiLB Promos). … Check out this official scorecard from the first MLB night game ever in Cleveland (from Bruce Menard). … The Potomac Nationals (affiliate of the Washington Nationals) will be giving away a Wilson Ramos Buff-a-rine on July 5. Here’s a bit more on that (from Andrew Hoenig). … “An ad for this officially licensed shirt showed up in my Facebook feed,” says R. Scott Rogers. “The uni watcher in me is deeply offended. Killebrew never wore his name on his back on a home uniform during his career. And the Twins never wore red numbers and pinstripes at the same time during Killebrew’s career. That’s a 1987-2014 home jersey, and Killebrew’s number 3 had been long retired by the time the Twins introduced that jersey. Maybe it’s just that I’m a Twins fan, but this bothers me much, much more than all those ‘Jeter 2’ jerseys on the backs of Yankees ‘fans’.” But how do you really feel? … The Corpus Christi Hooks wore Boy Scout unis last night, complete with the Boy Scout logo on front below team name, with a backpack on back with number & name (via Tom Tagliabue). Here’s a close up look at the front and at the back (also from Tom), who adds the back “No NOB, instead South Texas Council & number over backpack image which includes some orange thing rolled up (tent? Jacket?) Obviously I was never a Scout. Front: Team name, Boy Scouts logo & green backpack shoulder straps. Sleeves: Boy Scouts logo on one; American flag on other.” … The Boise Hooks went with a dark gray (charcoal?) uni yesterday (from Corey Barnes). … The Montgomery Biscuits wore Back To The Future themed unis last night (via CR Griggs). … Reader Jeff Funke writes, “The socks you’ve seen McCutchen and others wearing lately for the Pirates look an awful lot like the ones Iowa wears. I sent you a picture back in 2012. Man, striped stirrups don’t get any better than these Iowa beauties.”

NFL/Football News: Check out this tweet from Jeff Nelson (of PSU), of Bud Meredith holding a PSU helmet. Reader Chris Flinn thinks it’s “interesting that they chose a different font from the one that used to be on the helmets.” … I’m sure we’ve seen this photo of Herschel Walker holding a Vikings jersey with the mismatched purples before, but once more couldn’t hurt (h/t AOL Sports).

NBA/Basketball News: Interesting piece here on how Muslim girls have designed new basketball uniforms to preserve their religious culture. Key line: ‘Using an extremely breathable fabric, they created leggings, a flexible skirt that would allow them to move freely, a long-sleeve tunic-style top and a tighter hijab that had a Velcro closure for added security.’

Hockey News: There were a few nameplate affixation issues during Friday Night’s NHL draft, including this shot of Ivan Provorov of the Flyers. Says submitter HT Adjemian, “I know the NHL likely didn’t have a lot of time, but comparatively the NFL doesn’t do this poor of a job on nameplates.” … Paul says, “I think you got everything, but here’s a good round-up of all the NHL news. Probably worth including in tomorrow’s Ticker.” … Reader Jim Wooley was at the draft in Florida Friday and Saturday. “Nothing special to report,” he says, and adds, “Lots of draftees were walking around the concourse after they were drafted – and wearing the team jersey with “15” on them. I noticed that the Bruins were the only team to have an asterisk which I found odd (and tacky).” [I believe that’s because it’s retired for Milt Schmidt — PH] … Here’s a shot of one of the Nashville Preds players sporting the All Star Game patch (from Max Herz).

Soccer News: Although the submitter of this item, Tony Bruno, didn’t explicitly say, I’m going to assume this is a soccer entry: “My daughter played US Club regionals in Greensboro, NC last weekend. That is where I saw the QR code on the sleeve of a U-14 boys team.”

Grab Bag: Here’s another one from Paul (and I know we’ve touched on this one before): The NASCAR chairman wants the Confederate battle flag banned (or close to it) at races. Key lines from that, from President Brian France, “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.” Wow. That seems like a pretty big step (and a welcome one) from NASCAR. … Even though Nike doesn’t officially take over the Tennessee contract until July 1, there is apparel appearing already (from Chad Fields). … Check out these Packer Mini Golf Hole pictures (from Michael Bialas), which were taken in Appleton, WI..

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That’s all for today folks. Everyone have a great Sunday. Thanks to the Bruce, the colorizers and those who sent in for the ticker. Catch ya soon.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


.. … ..

“I was not aware that a hockey puck would actually stain anything.”

— The Jeff

More on Uni Watch
Comments (39)

    It isn’t just baseball, either.


    Interestingly, the Tennessee Titans have never worn an Oilers throwback against the Houston Texans.

    Maybe it’s “too soon.”

    I’m actually sorta OK with that one, since both teams did exist at the same time. I still can’t understand why the Cowboys were in 2 of the “AFL” throwback games that year. I kinda get Dallas vs Dallas (and it was color vs color, fuck yeah!), but why the hell did they do the throwback thing against the Raiders?

    …and while we haven’t had the Oilers vs Texans, we did get stuck with the Titans (as Oilers) vs the Jets (as Titans) which is almost as bad.

    I have to agree about one thing; that was a *nice* example of how color-vs-color can sometimes work well.

    As for Cowboys-Raiders, I don’t know. It could have had something to do with Oakland’s schedule that year; maybe they weren’t able to coordinate enough throwback games against old AFL opponents or something, and Dallas happened to be a team with an era-appropriate throwback uni at the time (Philly hadn’t debuted their ’60s kelly green yet).

    But Titans-Titans was about nicknames, not geography…and it was hilarious!

    I’m not a fan of teams wearing stuff from an era they never played in aka fake retro. It’s one thing to honor a team that played in the past like wearing the Negro League jerseys, it’s a whole other thing to just make it up like you’ve been playing for that long.

    Unless the team’s completely fudge up their throwbacks, I’m fine if certain elements (i.e. helmets) aren’t period accurate. No equipment manager is going to be completely OCD to the point where he demands the owner pony up extra cash to reproduce everything down to the last minute detail.

    I agree with you, Hodges14. I LOVE when teams wear throwbacks. But if we start demanding special batting helmets and shoes and other pieces of equipment, it’s just going to become too expensive or difficult for teams and they won’t do it.

    The A’s did a nice job. They look good and it was a fun day.

    Considering the payrolls of these teams, “too expensive” is an absolute bullshit excuse.

    If you’re gonna do a throwback to a specific year, then fucking do it right. If you want to call it “retro” or “inspired by the 60s” or some such thing, then you can improvise and be a bit less than accurate.

    Expensive? They can sell everything as game used and turn a profit…it’s like printing money.

    The thing that bothers me about throwbacks are wrong number fonts…that kills it for me.

    I also agree. The A’s did a good job yesterday. The unis looked great and they also did a number of other things harkening back to 1965, like cartoon sheep beyond the right field fence (there were actual ones in K.C. back in 1965) and apparently also had a Charlie O. mule, though I did not see it. They even brought back broadcaster Monte Moore to spend a couple of innings in the booth. I know this is an obsession for some, but most people are just happy they do these things occasionally.

    Sorry, I could not find any photos, but there were a few A’s players who wore solid green stirrups. I was watching the game and they showed some pitchers warming up and there was a couple of guys wearing the solid stirrups. It was very jarring compared to the properly attired players. It stuck out more than Fuld’s two-in-ones.

    It looks like some A’s players are wearing striped socks not stirrups.

    If a team is going to do a “Throwback”, they should do it with 100% accuracy..but let’s get to the REAL reason for doing these events…Uniform Sales…!!

    So, if they’re not ACTUALLY correct…who cares…shell out big-bucks, and buy them anyway…!!

    Maybe I should try de-caf…???!!!???!!!

    Actually, throwback jerseys aren’t always made available for retail sale.

    And it’s hard to imagine the A’s (or any team) getting big sales out of a vest. That format tends not to sell well (which is a big reason why teams have stopped wearing it).

    There are plenty of instances when what we see on the field is driven solely by retail/merch motives. But that probably wasn’t the case here. Save that criticism for when it truly applies.

    1. If you’re going to throw back, get the details right. In this day and age, with so much available information and research out there (and sites like this), there is no reason to do these things half-assed. Two years running, the Phillies have messed up their 1960s throwbacks because the numbers are too small and the font was conspicuously wrong. And we have Mitchell & Ness based here!!!
    2. R. Scott Rogers is 1000% right. And why do Yankees replica jerseys have more added elements than the real thing? You’d think that there is no reason to put extra letters where they don’t belong, and it probably costs more to do so.

    Re: #2
    On the replicas and the shirseys, I can practically guarantee that the MLBPA wants the royalties to be unequivocal. The union is a stakeholder because the difference between a Yankee fan who likes the number 13 and a Yankee fan who buys an A-Rod jersey is palpable. I don’t love the outcome, but that’s how they get there.
    And cost? I’d be surprised if the extra cost is more than a penny per thousand units.

    It’s awesome to visit this web page and reading the views of all friends about this paragraph, while I am also keen of getting familiarity.

    The Bruins’ draft jersey has an apostrophe, not an asterisk. I think an asterisk would have looked better–after the number, not preceding it.

    That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture, as well. Why would they put an asterisk? Then again these are the Bruins were talking about, so I would not have been surprised.

    Twins fan R. Scott Rogers is very misguided on he Killebrew/Jeter comparison. The fact is that the Yankees at no point in their history have had NOBs so anyone wearing one looks like an idiot. While I understand Killebrew never wore that jersey while he was playing, he certainly did in his retirement years: link .
    I agree that the t-shirt would’ve been better designed with Killebrew wearing a jersey that was accurate to his playing days, but it is not nearly the abomination the NOB Yankee jerseys are because at least it is an actual Twins jersey style that Killebrew even wore.

    The A’s unis looked fantastic, but doesn’t anyone in the organization do any research?

    The apostrophe on the Bruins jersey signifies an abbreviated 2015.
    It makes no reference to a retired number.

    The Bruins Tweeted that their jerseys used a ’15 and not the number 15 because the number was reserved for Milt Schmidt, and thus not to be used.

    I thought the A’s uniforms were a near perfect look but it does annoy me that they weren’t accurate to the year they were commemorating. What annoys me far worse though are players wearing baggy, unhemmed pants, 2-in1s and teams not footing for matching batting helmets for throwback promotions. It’s one thing if it’s a class-a or short season team but for MLB teams to do it when they’ll later auction the uniforms off is beyond Bush League.

    Didn’t the ’67 KC A’s Jerseys have a green ‘A’ unlike the ’65 gold ‘A’

    Another inaccuracy in the A’s throwback was the belt: in 1965-1967 it was green; on yesterday’s throwbacks it was black.

    Still, that’s just a quibble. While, ideally, all details should match, this uni looked so beautiful that I can easily forgive the inaccuracies. They successfully brought the overall look to life, in large part because most players showed the (albeit 1967, not 1965) socks, and because (as Phil pointed out) the vests were cut correctly, and were not just sleeveless jerseys.

    Another thing that was key was the use of the correct number font; problems with number fonts have sunk past attempts at Padres and Phillies throwbacks. Of course, it helps that the number font, McAuliffe, is used by the Red Sox, and so is readily available, while the Padres and Phillies used non-standard number fonts that had to be re-created. But that need didn’t stop Tampa Bay from getting the non-standard number font of the Senior League’s St. Pete Pelicans exactly right. The moral is that getting it right is just a matter of will and effort.

    Even with the quibbles, I give congratulations to the A’s. I hope that the use these uniforms again — either as throwbacks, or else as the basis for an alternate uniform.

    Does the mini-golf place have to pay rights for using replica of lambeau?

    I read lots of outrage about the high school making an Elk by knocking off the new Bucks logo so just curious.

    Or is it different because that was “logo on logo crime” and this is “putt putt on stadium likeness crime”?

    Serious question – not trying to create drama or bait anyone.

    I would like to think MLB teams can afford to do it and should be right on if they specify a certain year. But what is the percentage of fans in the stands that give a rat’s a** if it is correct? 5%? Less? I imagine most of them are not even aware there is a throwback game going on. Probably think it is just another warm up jersey being used.

    For those with short memories, the dual-shade Vikings jersey didn’t appear just at Herschel Walker’s welcoming event — the team actually wore those jerseys on the field in 1989.



    (This would likely be hard to do nowadays, with “modern” seam patterns being so screwy.)

    Presumably, the odd coloration tied in with the “40 for 60” commemorative patch honoring the 1969 NFL Championship team, combining the slightly bluish purple used in the 1980s (and ’90s) with the purple from earlier in the team’s history.

    I’m kind of speculating here. Does anyone know for sure?

    Flames one looks good, could definitely see Calgary doing that. Buffalo Blue is good, but I never wanna see them in gold again. Terrible unis. Old & tweek.

    I’m a big Flames fan, and live in Calgary, and it seems like the prevailing sentiment here is that we’d like to see the Flames go back to their classic uniforms with the white flaming C full-time, they break them out a few times per season, but it’s time for them to come back for 41 games. If they were to introduce a third uniform with it, I’d like it to be the striped jersey they wore in the 2011 Heritage Classic.

    Having said all that, the uni tweaks submission is a definite upgrade on what they currently wear, what started as a good look in 2003-04 has turned into a complete mess with too many lines and stripes and they need to get rid of the shoulder patch flags. The submitted jerseys would be a significant step in the right direction.

    When Phil told us to do a comparison before reading, the thing that jumped out (to me) first is that the “A” on the front of the 2015 vests does not have the little pointy thing sticking out on the thin side (closer to the buttons). The one on the Dressed to the Nines page clearly has that. It appears that the doodad is only on the 1963 and 1965 vests… the ’67 database record matches what the team wore yesterday. More basis for calling them 1967 throwbacks.

    Love that Nashville Predators wear a yellow sweater, I call it ballsy.
    Colorado needs to switch their new patch as to be their main crest and perhaps use the avalanche logo as a shoulder patch.
    Lightning and Maple Leaf sweaters are wayyy too similar.

    I feel throwbacks like the A’s uni profiled today should be as close to accurate as possible. It’s really not hard to do the research–any team can have an intern spend a couple of hours on pulling together everything that’s needed to get it right. I get sometimes Majestic or New Era might not be able to easily do this or that but generally speaking it’s not that difficult to get things right. Frankly it’s a bit lazy not to.

    It appears most guys wore the striped socks.

    A few wore stirrups with yellow sani’s.

    And Sam Fuld decided he’d wear 2-1’s. Disgusting. Did he lose a bet?

Comments are closed.