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Big news yesterday out of Indiana, where the Pacers announced that they’ll be wearing Hickory uniforms from the movie Hoosiers for select games next season and beyond (no word yet on exact dates; additional photos here; and there’s a side-by-side comparison of the movie uni and the Pacers’ reproduction here). It’s not the first time Hollywood and a major-level pro sports team have overlapped, but it’s definitely among the most interesting ones.
I had a lot of questions about this initiative, and I got to pose them yesterday to Pacers exec Todd Taylor. You can see a transcript of my interview with him in this ESPN piece, which was posted yesterday, a few hours after the uniforms were unveiled. I suggest you start there before reading the rest of this entry.
So what do I think? I think it’s pretty cool. “But wait,” I hear some of you saying, “you’re supposedly opposed to advertising on uniforms, and this uniform is basically one big ad! It’s promoting a movie! It’s basically just a 69 between two big corporations, which is precisely the kind of thing you’re usually against!”
True enough. But sometimes a piece or art or commerce (a movie like Hoosiers qualifies as a bit of both) transcends those categories and becomes part of the civic firmament. Granted, I’ve never lived in Indiana, but I get the impression that Hoosiers has achieved that kind of status there. As such, it’s a legitimate component of Indiana culture, and is therefore a perfectly legitimate thing for the Pacers to be drawing upon. I would definitely be opposed to this move if it involved a uniform taken from a new movie, or if MGM had a remake of Hoosiers in the works. As it stands, though, I’m cool with it. In fact, I really like it.
Incidentally, the Pacers aren’t the first team to have worn the Hickory design. “There is a high school all-star game that uses Hickory uniforms every year,” says reader Derek Linn. “It’s called the Hoosiers Reunion All-Star Classic. They play in the gym used as Hickory High in the movie and they play as Hickory vs. Terhune. Here is a cool slideshow from the 2007 game.”
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: Bryce Harper hasn’t been wearing an undershirt lately (from Eric Wright). … The Buffalo Bisons held a Star Wars Night on Saturday (from Mike Kent). … The Fresno Grizzlies will be renamed the Tacos on Aug. 6. … Someone reimagined the Padres’ swinging friar logo as an air guitar logo. … The Winnipeg Goldeyes will hold a Bacon Night on July 30. … The Lakewood BlueClaws will become the BruceClaws, in honor of Springsteen, on Saturday (from Phil). … The Washington Wildthings will wear breast cancer awareness jerseys on Saturday against the Normal CornBelters (from Aric Wendorff). … The Rochester Red Wings had Nos. 1 and 2 leading off the game the other night (from Aaron Staebell). … “I got a box of gummies today at the store and noticed it had Cal Ripken on the back,” says Dustin Semour. “I understand there not being Orioles logos, that always happens with a player is advertising something on their own. But usually when that happens, the uniform the player wears at least mimics the wearer’s club. Jeter ads have him in a white jersey with navy pinstripes. Interesting to see Ripken In a completely red uniform/hat as opposed to a white/orange uniform.” … Andy Chalifour visited the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend and picked up a Pedro Martinez Lego figurine. The jersey had an accent mark on the NOB, though; Pedro, to my knowledge, never wore an accent mark in real life. … Russell Martin wore LeBron Solider 9 spikes last night, and Joey Votto wore Kobe Bryant’s shoes adapted as spikes. … Former pitcher Atlee Hammaker played for a semi-pro team named the Chargers that had a similar wordmark to the NFL team. … The Reds gave racer AJ Allmendinger and team owner Brad Daugherty jerseys. Cincinnati had to get creative to make AJ’s NOB fit (from Jon Horton). … Big Klu would be proud: The independent team Kansas City T-Bones are holding a Redneck Weekend and players will wear sleeveless jerseys (from Jeff Husted). … Drake is the most popular artist of MLB at-bat walk-up songs. ”¦ The Tennessee Smokies will wear Smoky Mountain service dog jerseys on Aug. 30 (from Phil). ”¦ The top of Yankee Stadium is rimmed with flags representing the various MLB teams, which are rearranged daily according to the standings. Here’s a great article and slideshow on the workers who handle that task. ”¦ The Mets make an annual visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center during one of their road trips to DC. This year’s visit was yesterday, and the team wore their camouflage jerseys for the occasion (from Phil). ”¦ Christmas in July jerseys this Saturday for the Boise Hawks (from Brandon Mehling).
NFL News: A Chiefs ugly Christmas sweater misspells the word “decibels” (from Phil). … Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is now a photographer, and he’s even worn an NFL vest to shoot pro football games. … Sports Illustrated mimicked a 50-year old cover shot, originally done with Joe Namath, with Darrelle Revis. … Panthers CB Josh Norman turned some laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Experience and was photographed with a Carolina race helmet (from a reader who didn’t give his or her name). … The Seahawks are giving 12th man flags to season ticket holders. The flags even contain the year in which the person first bought season tickets (from Andrew Cosentino).
College Football News: New uniforms for Chattanooga (from Phil). … The winning coach in this year’s Boston College-Georgia Tech game wins a Waterford Crystal helmet (from James Gilbert). … New uniforms for Lamar (from Chris Mycoskie). … New unis for Elon (from Dan Wyar). ”¦ Some small uni adjustments — including, thankfully, the return of the full pants stripe — for Auburn (from Jon Walden).
Hockey News: Anyone ever seen this jersey before? Tiffany Burns wants to know what it is. … “Just saw a commercial for the new comedy show about hockey called Benders, coming in October to the IFC channel,” says Chris Flinn. “There were four jerseys featured in the commercial.”
Soccer News: New away kit for Chelsea. It will be worn for the first time next Tuesday (from Chris Cruz). … Also, here’s Chelsea’s non-EPL kit typeface (from Conrad Burry). … New uniforms for Buffalo (from Dennis Abrams). ”¦ “West Brom’s James McClean stirred up controversy in South Carolina for not respecting a flag — but not that flag,” says Yusuke Toyoda. “McClean is from an Irish nationalist area of Northern Ireland and he’s received death threats before for not wearing the poppy for Remembrance Day.” ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Cerezo Osaka released a cherry blossom-patterned alternate jersey for a match in August.” ”¦ And one more from Yusuke: Fans in Spain are upset because the goalkeeper kits for Valencia and Real Betis are identical.
NBA News: Both Jon Solomonson and I have seen these toys around: NBA Heroes, which are NBA player figurines mixed with action figures, wearing a jersey. … Check out this portrait of Boris Diaw out of 11,750 push pins. And, someone made the Blazers’ logo out of beads. … If Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis is to be believed, Carmelo Anthony texts his name as “Me7o” in casual settings. … Some 2016 All-Star logo apparel has been released. … Here’s a look at how the new Hawks uniforms look in video game form (from gamingtailgate). … A Houston-area carpet cleaner has a logo similar to what the NBA used for the 2011 All-Star game. … The Sporting News ranked the best jerseys that were unveiled this offseason (from Phil).
Grab Bag: Zach Johnson wore Titleist mittens during the final round of the British Open on Monday (from Pat Costello). … Possible new logo for PayPal (From Brinke). … A Massachusetts newspaper is letting artists redesign the alphabet one letter at a time. … Here’s how Tour de France leaders get their bikes turned yellow so quickly (from Sean Clancy). … The Smithsonain started a Kickstarter to preserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit (from Justin Dilks). … David Firestone broke down a bunch of NHRA items. ”¦ New Aussie football ump jerseys will have the word “umpire” in seven different languages (from Phil). ”¦ How did NC State volleyball end up with a typo on their own logo?
What Paul did last night: Two meat-centric documentaries opened here in NYC last Friday. They’re both on one-week engagements and my only open time window during that week was last night. So last night I went out and saw both of them.
First I went to Cinema Village to see Famous Nathan, which is about Nathan Handwerker, the founder of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. The film was made by his grandson, Lloyd Handwerker, and it’s tremendous. It’s a little bit about hot dogs, but it’s mostly a very intimate look at the pleasures and perils of running a family business. It’s very American, very New York, very Brooklyn, and very, very Jewish. It’s at Cinema Village for two more days, and then it goes to San Francisco and L.A., plus it’ll be available on demand in early August. Highly recommended. Here’s the trailer:
The director was on hand for a Q&A session, so I stuck around for that and then I walked over to the IFC Center (stopping for a hot dog along the way) and saw Steak (R)evolution, a French film about one man’s quest to find the world’s best steak — a quest that takes him to Japan, Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Sweden, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Brooklyn. Along the way he interviews butchers, ranchers, cattle breeders, restaurateurs, and chefs (all of whom insist, often contradictorily, that they know the one true secret to great beef). It’s super-interesting and informative, the visuals are mouth-watering (I probably muttered, “Whoa-ho-ho!” and “Ooooh!” a bit too audibly several times), and the filmmaker’s pick for the world’s best steak turns out to be a major surprise on several different levels. It’s at the IFC Center for two more days, and then I’m not sure where it’s playing after that. But again, highly recommended. Here’s the trailer: