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Play for the Name on the Front of the Jersey (and the back, while you’re at it)

Potentially entertaining development yesterday in the world of minor league baseball, as Marlins farmhand Austin Nola (above left) was promoted from the Double-A Jacksonville Suns to the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, whose wardrobe includes a navy jersey with a “NOLA” chest mark (above right).

That got a lot of folks very excited, including the people who issued this tweet:

That tweet got picked up by lots of other outlets, including SportsCenter, and soon everyone was talking about how Nola would be wearing his surname on both sides of his jersey.

Fun, fun, fun! Just one problem: Nobody bothered to see if the Zephyrs’ navy jerseys actually have NOBs. Well, nobody except me. Unfortunately, as you can see in the following photos, they don’t:

Bummer. Interestingly, though, the Zephyrs’ white jerseys do have NOBs, so Nola will get to wear his name on the front and back of his jersey while with the Zephyrs — just not at the same time.

Or at least that’s the case for now. Given the way minor league teams tend to engage in wacky promotional stunts, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Zephyrs added NOBs to the navy jerseys, maybe just as a one-game thing, to capitalize on the Nola/NOLA factor.

So are there any athletes who have worn their surnames on the front and back of their jerseys simultaneously? I’m aware of two examples:

1. Journeyman outfielder Curtis Pride played 14 games for the Nashua Pride in 1999 and 16 more games for them in 2003. I can’t find any photos at the moment, but I specifically remember that he was wearing his surname fore and aft during these stints. (As an aside: Pride, who is deaf, is the only MLB player I’m aware of to have worn a hearing aid on the field.)

2. Basketball great Jerry West represented the Western Conference in several NBA All-Star Games, and on those occasions he got to wear his surname fore and aft. Here he is in the 1972 ASG:

I’m not aware of any additional examples. Anyone else..?

Finally, two obligatory box-checks:

•  Whenever this topic comes up, someone always mentions Johnny Podres, who pitched for the Padres in 1969 and coached for them in 1973. Unfortunately, “Podres” and “Padres” are not the same word/name/etc. and, more importantly, the Padres didn’t start wearing NOBs until 1974. So Podres never even wore his name and its homophone on the same jersey.

•  This is the part where I have to mention that Carlos May of the White Sox wore his birthday on the back of his jersey. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but some chucklehead always feels compelled to mention it during discussions like this one, so I’d rather just get it out of the way here.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner: Just Keep Truckin’
By Brinke Guthrie

The Grateful Dead were in the Bay Area this past weekend, playing the West Coast part of their farewell tour down the road in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium, which is located just a few miles from the Dead’s first-ever gig in 1965. This version of the Jerry bobblehead — a Giants giveaway from 2010 — is very well made. The Giants released another Jerry bobble in 2012 for his 70th birthday, and it was a knock-off of the earlier one — same pose and everything. Not as good quality there. The Giants also released this Dancing Bears figurine in 2011, and this Uncle Sam in 2013. I passed on that one.

Okay, getting back to more traditional sports-oriented Collector’s Corner fare, here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• These caught my eye: a vintage pair of 1970s Adidas baseball spikes. I always loved the tongue flap thing that folded over the laces- whatever happened to those?

Dave Boss this week! Can’t say I’ve seen that Colts design before. Given the time frame for this 1960s poster, this is probably supposed to be Raymond Berry.

• Also from the same period and in the same blue/white scheme, this Los Angeles Rams bobblehead.

• Got some items from the 1969 50th NFL season. First, this Vikings button that says “Think Super Bowl.” That part worked, but maybe the button should’ve read, “Win Super Bowl.”

• Take a look at this Pocket Pro 1969 Saints preseason black helmet. Wouldn’t they look great wearing these now? Staying with the Saints, here’s a poster from the same year — no black helmet, though.

• Here’s a 1969 Chiffon Margarine NY Giants rub-off decal.

• Do those wings on this 1980s Eagles helmet decal look a little different to you? Maybe it’s the shade of silver.

• When I saw the “Bank The Bombers” part of this auction’s headline, I first thought this bank had to do with the Yanks, but it was apparently a minor league promo item. And your money is Saaaaaffffee!

• As we know, the Philadelphia 76ers rolled out their new look this week—and these 1970s game worn short-shorts were definitely not part of the redesign. Think of the social media reaction if they’d re-introduced these.

• Wake up to the ’Boys with this 1971 Cowboys alarm clock!

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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PermaRec update: A guy in DC recently saw something floating in the water (see above). He fished it out and discovered that it was a photo album documenting the first week of a baby’s life. Now he’s trying to find the family and return the album to them. Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal, who’s a switch-hitter, wore a lefty batting helmet while batting right-handed during the fifth inning of last night’s game against the Diamondbacks. It didn’t impede his hitting, though — he singled (Chad Moriyama was the first of many readers to send this one in). ”¦ Here’s a cool piece on Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron and his use of calligraphy to fill out lineup cards. … Hartfordites (Hartfordians? People from Hartford) don’t much care for their recently relocated minor league team’s new name, the Yard Goats. … A 1916 Ty Cobb pennant is for sale on eBay (from Jonathan Daniel). … Iowa City High and Cedar Falls played a black-vs.-black game the other day (from Jake Binggeli). … ”@callmew1lly spotted a 2007 Padres World Series ticket at a coffee shop in Newark, of all places. He thinks it may be bootleg, but it could be real: The Padres nearly clinched a Wild Card spot that year and lost in a one-game playoff to the Rockies. … On Sunday the Orioles gave out Buck Showalter gnomes to fans, and the manager had a few thoughts about it. … Civic Stadium, former home of the Eugene Emeralds and one of the last 12 wooden ballparks in America, burned to the ground yesterday. The Emeralds responded by saying they’d wear throwbacks for today’s game.

Pro, College, and High School Football News: Hyundai will pay the NFL $50 million annually for its sponsorship deal with the league (from Brinke). … Kansas football coach David Beaty worked with some kids in the Kansas Mentors program recently. He tweeted some photos of the event, and that may have revealed some new helmets for Kansas. … A high school uses a modified version of the rap group Wu Tang Clan’s logo on its helmets (from David Petroff).

Hockey News: We already got a peek at the Sharks’ 25th-anniversary patch during last weekend’s draft, but yesterday they officially released the patch design and other anniversary logos (from Phil). … The Blackhawks played a bit of an exhibition game against Muppets on Ice skaters in the 1970s. … The Mississippi RiverKings of the SPHL will unveil a new logo and uniforms on July 7. Here’s what the team’s current logo looks like. … “With the drafting of Connor McDavid, for the first time in my life I was compelled to take a closer look at the Edmonton Oilers’ logo,” says Matt Knapp. “The trails beneath the letters in ‘Oilers’ look like (and I assume are meant to represent) dripping oil. If so, shouldn’t they all drip to the middle rather than to the player’s right side? Wouldn’t it look better if the drips from the ‘I’, the ‘L’, and the left side of the ‘E’ were reoriented toward the middle?”

Soccer News: All of these soccer items come from Yusuke Toyoda: USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo has at least two pairs of gloves. She wore a pair that had “Solo” on them against Australia, Sweden and China, and a pair that said “Stevens,” her married name, against Nigeria and Colombia. … New unis for Coventry City, along with a photo gallery of the club’s past jerseys. … The Portland Timbers really orchestrated a fan display against the rival Seattle Sounders.

NBA News: NBA commissioner Adam Silver has once again hinted at the inevitability of ads on NBA uniforms. In this piece he is quoted as saying (emphasis mine): “We, of course, allow beer advertising in our league right now. It’s on the courtside signage. We haven’t gotten to the point yet where we’ve looked at what the guidelines will be for when we do have logos on jerseys. So the answer is I don’t know. That’s something that requires further discussions with the teams and with our sponsors” (thanks, Andrew Edwards). … Nets rookies received their uniform numbers (from Brian Erni). … Dirk Nowitzki took a goofy picture while wearing a literal baseball helmet. … After the draft last Thursday, a tall Brooklyn-based writer wore a suit and a Jazz hat and wandered around Manhattan prentending to be an NBA Draft pick. More insight on his shenanigans here. [In case anyone is wondering: I am not tall. ”” PL]

College Hoops News: Former Indiana player Jordan Hulls got married this past weekend, so he and his groomsmen all wore the Hoosiers’ trademark red-and-white striped pants during the reception. … Boeheim’s Army, a team in the TBT, an upcoming national 5-on-5 hoops tournament with a $1 million prize, unsurprisingly has Syracuse-inspired unis (from Sam Haymon).

Grab Bag: As a follow-up to yesterday’s entry about schools that use Confederate imagery, a Little Rock graphic designer has offered to redesign schools’ Confederate flag logos and mascots for free (from Stephen Boyd). … Tennessee athletics’ new uniforms will be revealed tomorrow afternoon. … One writer’s opinion: Adidas has become a joke. … New Tour de France kit for the American team Cannondale-Garmin (from Sean Clancy). … Bernie Langer also sent in the Cannondale-Garmin item, and had this to add: “I’m still waiting to see their treatment of the US national time trial championship jersey, to be worn by Andrew Talansky,” he says. “Stars, stripes, and argyle? It’s happened before.” … Baltimore’s new police SUV sure isn’t subtle (from Andrew Cosentino). … New logo for Fort Bragg (from James Gilbert). … New uniforms and an awkwardly posed photo for the Japanese track team (from Jeremy Brahm). … Ghostbusters director Paul Feig is very excited about the movie’s new uniforms (from Emily Gordon).

Comments (97)

    Do those wings on this 1980s Eagles helmet decal look a little different to you? Maybe it’s the shade of silver.

    It’s not just the shiny silver, the white outline is way too thick as well.

    …and no, the Saints don’t need to be thinking about bringing back that helmet, at least not until the Falcons go back to red or the Jaguars go full gold instead of half gold. We have enough black helmets in the league right now.

    Eagles sticker…. I guess chrome stickers became “doable” in the 80’s. I remember them being all the rage.


    Oh Lord, I hope the day never comes where the Saints have black helmets to go with their black jerseys and black pants.


    The all time best would have been if Miroslav Satan got traded to the Devils. Would that have counted as NiNOB (NickName On Back)? Alternate Name on Back? (I realize that the Devils don’t have their team name on the front of their jersey, but I had to mention this anyway.)

    I remember hoping Reggie Cleveland would end up on the Indians, or Daryl Boston might get traded to the Red Sox.

    Dave Philley played for Philadelphia’s AL and NL teams in the days before NOB.

    Filip Ahl is a Swede that was drafted by the Senators this year. If he were to be sent to Binghamton and play in the AHL all-star game the result would be amazing.

    On Hope Solo’s gloves – is there a chance it’s one game set with “Solo” on the left glove and “Stevens” on the right? The photos each only show what’s on one hand and the color/style of the gloves is identical.

    Paul, I didn’t see anything in the linked story, but do you happen to have a list of the 12 (or 11 now, I guess) remaining wooden ballparks? I have gone to (and played in) lots of games in Danville (IL) Stadium, which is a wooden stadium. I did not realize it was such a rare building.

    There is no definitive way of identifying all the wooden ballparks still in existence; not sure where the dozen number comes from, but it’s unlikely to be accurate. One list I found online doesn’t have Danville Stadium on it as a wooden ballpark, and also doesn’t list Huntingburg League Stadium, a wooden ballpark built for the “A League of Their Own” movie and then used for both professional and amateur baseball.

    A couple of football players have had “WASHINGTON” on their backs, but the only front wordmark would have been “Redskins”.

    Yeah, I was just thinking about this and looked it up. The Redskins have had Anthony (83-84), James (95), Joe (81-84), and Marcus (04-08) Washington, but unfortunately, they don’t put the city name on the front.

    I don’t know their uniform history well, but this seems like it could be a possibility for the University of Washington. Other lesser possibilities include Dayton, Denver (which has D1 hockey),Xavier, and a bunch of others I suspect.

    Not sure about football, but I suspect U of Washington basketball has “Washington” on the front. I suspect they have some history of NOB. No idea whether they’ve had a player by that name.

    This is Anthony Washington. link

    He played for the Huskies in the early 2000s. I couldn’t find a pic of the back of his uni, but you can see in this pic here (link) from the same game that the Huskies had LNOB.

    Incidentally, they have a football player now named Dwayne Washington, but like the pro team they do not have a uni that has “Washington” on the front,

    Eh, fans are almost always critical of minor league team names like the Yard Goats, but once the logo is unveiled I’m sure we’ll be reading pieces in the New York Times and elsewhere about how the merchandise is flying off the shelves, just as it has for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Biloxi Shuckers, etc. Even the New Britain Rock Cats nickname was hated in its early years, but is now a pretty well-liked nickname.
    Curiously, this is the second time the Times has written a highly negative piece about professional baseball coming to Hartford.

    The Padres ticket is real. Teams near a playoff berth at the end of the season always print up postseason ticket sheets (play-in games thru World Series) for potential sale. Season ticket holders usually have to buy the entire strip. Search “phantom ticket sales” on eBay and you’ll find dozens.

    That Dave Boss poster has been linked to before. It doesn’t depict Raymond Berry – rather, it depicts Alex Hawkins:

    One player who came close to wearing his name on both sides of his shirt was former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe, who played for the team when their shirts featured the sponsorship of the electronics company Sharp on the front.


    Then there’s Stephen Ireland, who didn’t play that many matches of Ireland and when he did, link.

    Minor League teams are generally pretty savvy with these sort of things. Certainly, they have a tendency to jump at any chance to capitalise on some social media intrigue. Does anybody else think it’s a distinct possibility that they’ll add NOBs specifically for Nola?

    Sigh. Yeah, I know someone who thinks it’s a distinct possibility. That someone even said as much in the text of today’s entry.

    D’oh. And given that the whole point of today’s lede is that people should really pay more attention before blurting things out it makes it all the more embarrassing.

    What also makes it likely is that Nola is a “local” guy. He played his college ball just up the road at LSU.

    The Lowell Spinners once gave out a bobblehead of Mike Lowell. The question is whether the doll had Lowell depicted in a road uniform with an NOB.

    So are there any athletes who have worn their surnames on the front and back of their jerseys simultaneously?

    This is kind of in the realm..

    Dwight King plays for the LA Kings

    Wheaton King (!) played for the Brandon Wheat Kings (link)

    David West was an NBA All-Star in 2008 and 2009, and played in the Western Conference with New Orleans. I can’t find pictures of David West specifically, but the players definitely wore NOBs both years, and their conference name on the front of the jersey, so he would be another example.

    NHL player Jordan TooToo wore his NAME, NUMBER? and his Birthday on his jersey. He wore Number 22 (Two-Two) and he was born on February 2nd (Two-Two)

    How many times is San Jose gonna move around the tail on their Shark and call it a new logo? This makes three as near as I can tell…and this one, with the back fins clumsily folded behind it, it would look embarrassing for beer league team.

    I think a lot of Adidas’ problems are less about their designs and more about their focus as a company. They dominate the soccer market worldwide but have found it difficult to make that translate into other sports. They’ve also increasingly become focused on streetwear and are currently a very popular fashion brand. I work in the fashion industry and when I told a co-worker that Adidas was getting trounced by Nike and Under Armour he was shocked. While Nike and Under Armour definitely want to sell you their clothes and shoes they are firmly, at least in my mind, sportswear companies, while Adidas has drifted. When was the last time you saw a runner on your street or someone in your gym outfitted in Adidas?

    I feel like they’ve fallen as a fashion brand too, though. For a while, Adidas Originals (the gear with the old trefoil logo) was huge, but I don’t see it much any more.

    And do kids still wear the Yoji Yamamoto stuff?

    Adidas Originals are quite popular at the moment via collaborations with fashion designers like Nigo. Superstars, or shell toes as we called them growing up, are also back on trend again. I don’t have any numbers to back anything up but I wouldn’t be surprised if Adidas did more business through Urban Outfitters than say Dick’s, Modell’s, Sports Authority or whatever your local sports chain is.

    Adidas needs to get back to the clean designs that made the Rod Lavers, Stan Smiths, SuperStars, Gazelles, and Sambas about as timeless as sneakers can get.

    Another not-great decision by Adidas was to vacate popular shoe styles while they were still selling, the classic Adidas Superstar 2g for example – and there are others. And remember a couple of seasons ago when both Notre Dame and Indiana refused to wear their new NCAA tournament uniforms. It can’t be good when your clients revolt.

    Yeah, I would focus on taking what’s working for Adidas fashion business right now and apply it to their sportswear business. That would mean an emphasis on their history and classic designs like the Superstar, Samba, Gazelle, etc., but updated with modern colour ways and materials, and a return to the classic trefoil logo for all branding. I mean not that I’ve thought about it.

    The Raptors announced the name of their D-League team yesterday which will play in Mississauga, Ontario : Raptors 905. No city name, just Raptors 905. (905 is the area code for the cities that ring around Toronto). So somehow, the dumbest team name in pro sports found a way to make it dumber.

    I really want the 76ers to put a D-League team in Buffalo so they can be named after the Buffalo area code and be the 716ers

    “… This version of the Jerry bobblehead – a Giants giveaway from 2010 – is very well made…”

    When did Jerry Garcia ever look that neat and thin?! Shambolic tubby would have been more fitting.

    PS The new Japanese track unis would be perfect for Sri Lanka.

    “When did Jerry Garcia ever look that neat and thin?! Shambolic tubby would have been more fitting.”


    With the gray beard? Probably not ever. He was quite thin, however, in the early days of the band. Even later he cut a slimmer look. But yeah, for the Jerry being depicted with the bobble, this was more Jerry’s body type.

    I’d say that bobble is pretty damn fine, proportions notwithstanding — they even got his missing middle right digit correct.

    Not what you’re looking for, but I’m wondering any South Carolina sports teams have had a player named “Carolina”, or a UNC-Charlotte team with a player named “Charlotte” (as far as I can tell, UNC women’s sports teams that have “CAROLINA” on the front generally don’t have NOBs).

    Brook Lopez was going to wear “Brooklyn” as his NOB for the NBA nickname game, which would have matched the front, but he did not end up playing.

    I don’t know if this is the proper venue to get into music nerd nit-picking, but the Grateful Dead did not play in the Bay Area this past weekend. The surviving members of the Grateful Dead, with a few guests, played last weekend, as they will this weekend in Chicago. The Grateful Dead ended as a performing/touring entity in 1995, after the death of Jerry Garcia.

    Sorry, it just bugs me because I think it’s a significant distinction. Several media outlets have also made this error recently–it’s lazy journalism, IMO. But nothing personal, Brinke.

    Brinke more than likely sent the CC to Paul before this past weekend, and as such, he would have been using the proper terminology as he sent it, but yeah, point well taken.

    Also, yes, the true Grateful Dead ceased to exist (in my mind as well as many other Deadheads’) on August 9, 1995. None of their other incarnations, Furthur, Dead, etc. were truly the Grateful Dead (I caught them in 03 as “The Dead” at Jones Beach, my only post-Jerry show) and it wasn’t the same. Not that the various members didn’t put on good (or even great shows), but it still wasn’t the same.

    Bill Kreutzmann (GD drummer) put it best: “The Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia was like the Miles Davis Band without Miles Davis.”

    Technically you’re correct, but by the same token the gigs are being marketed as “fare thee well” and “50th anniversary” shows. On the Dead’s own website.
    Personally it seems less a function of “journalistic laziness” than of the band members themselves encouraging the notion.
    Then again, public image aside the band members were pretty shrewd capitalists as a rule … which I don’t mean perjoratively.

    Question: What name are they officially touring under? If they’re calling themselves The Grateful Dead, then yes, even without Garcia, they are The Grateful Dead. Black Sabbath were still Black Sabbath when Dio was singing (and Dio was better than Ozzy anyway). Van Halen were still Van Halen with Haggar or that other guy. Lineup changes don’t end the existence of a band.

    As link shows, they’re really not touring under any band name at all. The event is titled “Fare Thee Well,” & it notes that they’re celebrating 50 years of Grateful Dead music, but there’s no band name given – just the names of the performers, with Billy, Mickey, Bobby, & Phil top billing.

    At some point it becomes the Band of Theseus.

    If you change all your members, one at a time, is it still the same band?

    Can all those old members then meet up? What band are they?

    I ask because I once paid to see Sam and Dave featuring neither Sam nor Dave.

    I am friends with a band (that generally has 5-7 members anyway) that has at least 12 former members (some were “removed” and some moved on to other projects that interested them more). I keep threatening to gather all of the former members, give them a similar name, and start booking them (maybe as the “New _____”) in the manner of the five or six versions of the Drifters or the Coasters that travel the state fair circuit. (or, for that matter, the touring Beach Boys that contain only one original member and HE’S NOT BRIAN WILSON).

    Related to the Adidas article, one Nebraska writer is pining for the school to move away from them — even saying they contribute to program perception:


    If the GAA ever started putting NOBs on jerseys you could potentially have a spate of new ones, specifically for any player named O’Neill (a common enough name). Well, almost. The main manufacturer of jerseys for the GAA is O’Neills who put their wordmark on the front of their jerseys. So you would have O’Neill on the back and O’Neills on the front.

    I really wish a real baseball team would use those helmets that Dirk is modeling as their real batting helmets. Someone, somewhere, please make this happen.

    A couple other “close but no cigars:”

    In the movie “Raising Arizona”, at the end they show a dream sequence where the Nicholas Cage character is imagining a grown Nathan Arizona playing football for a team that has “Arizona” on the front of the jersey, and also has NOB. Can’t remember if the colors were right for the University of Arizona, and the Arizona Cardinals did not yet exist, so it wasn’t them. But there is a fictitious example.

    And Raiders Hall of Fame center Jim Otto wore 00 (ought-oh) as a play on his last name, so that would seem like a special category all unto itself.

    For some reason, I’ve never really thought of Otto’s 00 as ought-oh, just that it was two 0’s to match his name having two O’s. If that is a special category, then Chad Ochocinco (he’s reverted back to Johnson now, right?) is probably the only other member.

    I have a hard time giving Chad Johnson credit here. First, he changed his name specifically to match his number. That’s a lot easier (at least to come up with, maybe not necessarily the legal paperwork involved) than figuring out a way to make your given name tie in with a uniform number (like the “Matt Forte, #40” example below, or NHLer Steve Heinze wearing #57 most of his career, a tie-in to Heinz Ketchup). Second, In Spanish, Ochocinco (which isn’t even a real word, so let’s say “ocho-cinco”) does not translate to “eighty-five”, it translates to “eight-five”. Eighty-five would be “ochenta y cinco,” which is not quite as catchy as “Ochocinco”. So I ding him for what I consider to be too loose of a translation (purely subjective ruling)!

    Nathan Jr. was wearing a white and metallic gold uniform, which I think might have been styled as an Arizona State uniform (no, the colors don’t work for ASU either). The scene was filmed at Sun Devil Stadium.

    At the 1983 CFL All-Star Game, James West of the Calgary Stampeders played for the Western All-Stars, who had “WEST” on the front of their jerseys. No photos, unfortunately, but I remember the CBC commentators mentioning it during the game.

    This is the closest I could get – a photo of Warren Moon’s jersey


    James West was also an all-star in 1988 (the last time the CFL had a game) but that year wasn’t west-vs-east format.

    No luck so far on photos of James West in the 1983 all-star jersey. Did find a pic of a game worn jersey from that 1983 game for a Western all-star player (Warren Moon).


    Has anyone with the last name Reyes played for the Sacramento or LA Kings? Or are there any minor league teams named the Kings that have had a player named Reyes play for them?

    Because Reyes is Spanish for Kings and the Spanish equivalent to the last name King. If this counts I think this may add to the list (winning there’s a minor league team, I don’t think LA or Sacramento have had many Reyes play for them).

    Everyone must be tired of hearing this, but the Zephyrs, like many other NNOB teams these days, have certainly left enough space between the collar and the number to fit a NOB in very easily. Easily enough that the jersey probably looks more balanced with a name inserted than without one.

    Jerry West also had West on the front of his jersey while he was at West Virginia.

    Mean Joe Greene played for the North Texas Mean Green in his college days but I can’t find NOB pic.


    How many politically incorrect things can you find for this article posted on the school’s website?

    There are many spoken origins to the name “Mean Green.” The oldest written source comes from a 1967 Dallas Morning News article by Randy Galloway entitled “MEAN GREEN ON THE LOOSE! Defense Swallows Foes For NTSU.”

    UNT cheerleader
    The article features defensive players; James “steals kids’ candy” Ivy, Lindy “cheats at marbles” Endsley, Joe “kicks puppies” Greene, Ret “slugs old ladies” Little, Charles “the hatchet” Beatty, Henry “tears up dolls” Holland, Bob “likes to let air out of wheel chair tires” Tucker.

    The article describes that around campus, the “Mean Green” phrase originated from Sidney Graham, wife of the Eagles’ sports information director in 1966 and soon became a second nickname.


    Ken Houston played for the Houston Oilers in the 60s/70s, but I don’t recall them having “Houston” anywhere else on their jerseys.

    Also, Speed Riddell played 1 game for the Rock Island Independents in 1920, which is way before any of the helmets would have had a “Riddell” sticker on the front nose bumper.

    If we allow for possible untucked jerseys, 1990s pitcher Jeff Russell would have had the same name on his back as on the manufacturer’s tag for several seasons.

    You would have needed quite a high-definition camera to see his name in the front, but it was there.

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