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Some Thoughts on the Pacers and Their Hickory Uniforms

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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.”

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
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:

101 comments to Some Thoughts on the Pacers and Their Hickory Uniforms

  • Adam | July 22, 2015 at 8:04 am |

    Quick “1976 White Sox uniform” thought – we already know they’re wearing 1959 uniforms for a game against the Cubs as a Minnie Minoso tribute. Well, Minnie Minoso actually was on the 1976 Sox, he came out of retirement for 3 games at age 50 and even got a hit. Maybe they’re going to wear the 1976 uniforms during the Cubs series too?

    • Rob S | July 22, 2015 at 8:59 am |

      He was also a base coach for the Sox at the time, so he wore the Veeck Sox uni for more than just those three games. And then he wore it again when they brought him back for two games at the end of the 1980 season.

  • John | July 22, 2015 at 8:06 am |

    If I was visting Indianapolis and went to attend a Pacers game, I would expect them to wear Pacers uniforms. This is getting out of control.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 8:23 am |

      Do you say the same thing when MLB teams wear Negro Leagues throwbacks, or other throwbacks that are city- or region-based but not team-based?

      • John | July 22, 2015 at 8:34 am |

        Yes, I want to see the uniform that they currently wear. I am paying money to see the current team and don’t like seeing a uniform from the 1920’s or a throwback uniform/hat with a different team name on it.

        • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 8:37 am |

          Fortunately for you, throwback games are almost always announced well in advance, so you can avoid buying tickets to those games.

        • Inkracer | July 22, 2015 at 9:19 am |

          Technically, whether you catch a throwback game or not, you are watching a game with them wearing what they currently wear.

        • Dumb Guy | July 22, 2015 at 9:38 am |

          Are you there to see players or uniforms?

          You don’t get to pick WHO plays, nor do you get to pick what they wear. You don’t get to pick what games are at night, what games are away, or what kind of bubble gum they chew.

          Buy tickets or don’t. THAT is what you get to pick.

        • tbone | July 22, 2015 at 10:10 am |

          This does take the idea of “rooting for laundry” a little to the extreme.

        • walter | July 22, 2015 at 10:51 am |

          No secret here: I would go to see the uniforms. That explains why I don’t go.

    • John | July 22, 2015 at 12:11 pm |

      Example: If I’m at a Cowboys game, I want to see the white jerseys. I don’t want to see a blue jersey or any throwback with stars on the sleeves. Or a few weeks ago in Washington, the Mets wore ugly monochrome blue uniforms. Just wear the grey for crying out loud.

    • tretorn | July 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm |

      I agree with you. What if I lived in New York and was obsessed with the Brooklyn Dodgers? So is it okay for me to put Dodgers uniforms on the Knicks, Jets, Rangers and Mets? why stop there? I love Star Wars too! Now everyone one of my teams should wear a darth vader mask while they play?

      Kill me now

  • The Jeff | July 22, 2015 at 8:19 am |

    Well, I don’t know what the people of Indiana think about the movie… but those uniforms look like crap.

    • Aaron | July 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm |

      The people of Indiana absolutely adore that movie. I wouldn’t give that opinion on those jerseys too loudly in the state.

      • Scott | July 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm |

        While I don’t live there anymore, I grew up in Indiana, and do adore the movie (and the old, one-class high school basketball tournament). I also think this idea is moronic, and agree that the Pacers’ version of the uniforms look like crap.

        • Scott | July 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm |

          look_s_ like crap, sorry.

  • Chris H | July 22, 2015 at 8:30 am |

    Would love to see the Mets rock the New York Knights unis some day. Unfortunately, it would be doomed to inaccuracy, as the guys in the movie could actually hit.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 8:36 am |

      The thing is, the Knights (and The Natural in general) don’t “belong” to NYC. Or, I guess, they haven’t been adopted by NYC, at least not the way Hoosiers has become part of the fabric of Indiana. I think you could say that Knights arguably belong to all of baseball, and that any team could wear their uniform — which is probably why no team should do so.

      • arrScott | July 22, 2015 at 9:49 am |

        I disagree. Malamud didn’t set the Knights in New York by accident. Just as the name of the team is deeply meaningful to Malamud’s narrative, so is the fact that Hobbs comes from the West to New York. Recall that as a young man, the big break he ultimately misses is a tryout in Chicago. (On the way to which, the great New York ballplayer of the day looks down on him and tries to humiliate him in front of a woman. Even in Chicago, the book makes clear, Hobbs will still be considered a chump.) Hobbs goes back to the sticks, plays semipro ball, but holds on to his dream “to be the best there ever was.” In the America of that era, New York symbolized the height of success and sophistication, everything that Hobbs yearns to achieve. Maybe New Yorkers no longer see their city that way, but it’s not possible to read the novel or watch the film and conclude that the story would work just as well if set in Kansas City.

        Plus, the Knights are shown in the movie playing at least 5 of the 8 real National League teams of the time. It would make no sense for the Phillies or Pirates, who are overtly shown playing (and getting beaten by) the Knights, to portray the Knights.

        • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 10:35 am |

          You’re talking about intent; I’m talking about how things have actually played out. And as a longtime NYCer, I feel pretty well qualified to say that nobody here in NYC feels any connection to the Knights. It’s just not part of the local culture (as opposed to Hoosiers, which is very much part of Indiana’s culture).

        • terriblehuman | July 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm |

          I think the only thing that comes close to ‘Hoosiers’ becoming part of Indiana’s basketball DNA is Philadelphia’s embrace of Rocky Balboa. Even then, he’s not really part of the sporting culture of the city (playing ‘Gonna Fly Now’ at arenas doesn’t count).

      • Cort | July 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm |

        If any city has adopted the New York Knights, it’s Buffalo. The movie was filmed in Buffalo; the world premiere was held in Buffalo; and a number of Buffalonians (including the controversial then-mayor Jimmy Griffin) have cameos. It was filmed at a time when spirits in Buffalo were cratered: the economy was a shambles; the Bills were awful; Jim Murray’s early 70’s description of the city as “the armpit of America” and Michael Bennett’s observation in “A Chorus Line” that “suicide in Buffalo is redundant” had both taken root in the local zeitgeist. Buffalo was a beat-down, self-loathing, dying place. Then Barry Levinson showed up, and things got better. Robert Redford had nothing but good things to say about the city. Buffalonians liked the way the city looked on film.

        The film has a very different timbre than the book. It’s a film about renewal, and redemption, and family, very much in keeping with the spirit of Western New York. If any club whould wear New York Knights uniforms, it’s the Buffalo Bisons.

  • Lance Smith | July 22, 2015 at 8:53 am |

    Are there any other fictional team unis that a pro team might realistically adopt? You could argue that the Wild could wear Duck uniforms if Anaheim weren’t in the NHL. I’d love to see the New York Mammoths, but most people have never read Mark Harris. Who gets to claim the Charlestown Chiefs?

    • terriblehuman | July 22, 2015 at 9:41 am |

      * I’d like to see the Dolphins be the Miami Sharks, right down to the coach wearing an all-black suit.

      * Washington could drop the whole nickname controversy and become the Sentinels. Again, the coach needs to wear Gene Hackman’s pork pie hat.

      * A Springfield MiLB team could be the Springfield Isotopes (I know, I know, there’s already an Albuquerque Isotopes)

      * Somebody has to be the Pittsburgh Pisces

      • mike 2 | July 22, 2015 at 10:55 am |

        I’m sure you know this, but the Albuquerque Isotopes were named that because of the Simpsons. The Simpsons had an episode where the team moved from Springfield to Albuquerque and kept the name, so when the Calgary Cannons moved to Albuquerque they imitated the episode.

        • terriblehuman | July 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm |

          The best part is, the Isotopes’ stadium is on Avenida Cesar Chavez, and the spirit of Cesar Chavez (that looks like Cesar Romero) appears on one of the best gags in The Simpsons history.

    • ChrisH | July 22, 2015 at 10:35 am |

      Perhaps in the near future, the Pittsburgh NFL team will make ‘all the right moves’ and replace their bumblebee throwback with these (1 helmet rule be damned!):

      http://www.lewiswaynegallery.com/entertainment/20556.jpg

    • Brian | July 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm |

      The only real team name in Slap Shot was the Long Island Ducks, but that name is already taken these days by an indie league baseball team (and, the nickname is already taken in Anaheim).

  • Joe Reimers | July 22, 2015 at 8:56 am |

    High school basketball is HUGE in Indiana, and Hoosiers is pretty much required watching here. If the intent is to market to Indiana and to tie in to high school basketball, this is a very good move. Bonus points if they can get Gene Hackman to show up.

    • Mainspark | July 22, 2015 at 9:49 am |

      Bonus-bonus points if they can get Shooter out of rehab and run the old picket fence.

  • Doug | July 22, 2015 at 8:59 am |

    As for the Ripken image, he is wearing an MLB-logo hat and there are team logos on the packaging so they could have dressed Ripken in an Orioles uniform.

    I’m guessing (just guessing) it is either: 1)The company wanted more of a national appeal opposed to regional appeal (Baltimore), 2) The Orioles no longer wear what Ripken wore for the majority of his career (although it is similar to what he wore in his early years) – think Jeff Bagwell in the current Astros uniform, or 3) The partnership is with MLB and MLB feels it is best to present Ripken with its brand/logo than with the O’s.

    All speculation here but it’s probably most likely case #3 – that MLB preferred Ripken to be associated with the league opposed to just one club.

    • tretorn | July 22, 2015 at 3:19 pm |

      i agree with everything you wrote but it doesnt explain why they went with the Zombie eyes.

  • Kurt S | July 22, 2015 at 9:30 am |

    The Hooiser idea is brilliant. I would be willing to bet that those jerseys sell out in the Pacers gift shop and will probably be the highest selling jersey this year.

    Indiana basketball fans (ie fans of the sport of basketball from the state of Indiana) will buy these by the box load.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 10:32 am |

      Sigh. Their sales potential is not a particularly relevant factor for us to consider. Lots of things that could sell boatfuls are total shit; lots of great things won’t sell.

  • George N | July 22, 2015 at 9:35 am |

    Those NBA hero figures are… something.

    I think the Derrick Rose “action” figure should have bionic legs. Unless of course he comes with special “Season-ending leg injury” action…

  • Joel Manuel | July 22, 2015 at 9:40 am |

    That Paypal logo reminds me of a crossword puzzle I did a couple of weeks ago whose theme was “A Minus,” meaning the answers were almost all words with the letter “A” in them, but all the As were missing. “PyPl” would have been an answer to, say, “Ecash payment system,” for example.

  • Geeman | July 22, 2015 at 9:41 am |

    On yesterday’s story of the Orioles wearing orange jerseys in 1987 for the first time in three years to break out of a slump, here is the story in The New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/15/sports/american-league-role-reversal-orioles-end-jay-s-streak.html

    If memory services, that same month the Orioles wore the orange on the road for the first time ever. I think it was at Yankee Stadium.

    I had a replica orange O’s jersey and matching cap as a kid and loved them.

  • scottrj | July 22, 2015 at 9:43 am |

    Don’t see why Bryce Harper not wearing an undershirt warrants mention. The Nats have been on a home stand, and the weather in DC has been hot as fuck of late. Would be weirder if he WAS wearing an undergarment.

    In other news, Barcelona FC’s new uniforms were on display against the LA Galaxy last night, and they were a far-too-busy-looking hot mess:
    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/k3CP5nMbzm0/maxresdefault.jpg
    Reminded me of nothing so much as this:
    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=899&q=court+jester&oq=court+jester&gs_l=img.3..0l10.1497.5387.0.5829.26.16.6.4.4.0.71.730.15.15.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..1.25.729.UqTfrHszsIg#imgrc=83KsLCuLO3VOoM%3A

  • James | July 22, 2015 at 9:43 am |

    The crystal helmet trophy (BC-GT) is for NEXT YEAR, 2016. Sorry if there was any confusion.

  • Matt | July 22, 2015 at 9:43 am |

    I didn’t even view it as advertising. The movie is part of the basketball culture in Indiana. So to further that, I would have the Pacers play one preseason game at Hinkle Field House.

    • Aaron | July 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm |

      I cannot support that idea enough.

  • Jake | July 22, 2015 at 10:00 am |

    It’s cosplay. It’s pretend. The line between uniforms and costumes increasingly blurs.

  • Tony C. | July 22, 2015 at 10:14 am |

    how disappointing is it that the Brewers were hosting a “Major League” night and niether team wore uniforms to honor it. It would have been a great time for the Tribe to bust out 90s throwback unis…

    i know Bob Uecker is their long time announcer, but it is a bit odd that the Brewers where having a promotion night for a movie that was based on a fictional version of the team they were playing

    • Mike Engle | July 22, 2015 at 10:33 am |

      Didn’t the movie production take place at Milwaukee County Stadium, despite the Indians being the home team?

      • Tony C. | July 22, 2015 at 10:39 am |

        it did.. which is another reason why i get their honoring.

  • Todd | July 22, 2015 at 10:31 am |

    I grew up in Indiana. I’m a supporter of a return to the single class basketball tournament. I also believe that Hoosiers is the greatest movie ever made. It captured rural Indiana so well. I get why the Pacers are doing it. I love the uniform concepts, but I actually agree with David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, why not wear Milan uniforms to honor the real team that inspired Hoosiers?

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 11:49 am |

      Did you bother to read my ESPN piece, where that point was specifically addressed?

      • Todd | July 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm |

        I have not read it yet, blocked at work. Although, on my lunch break I was listening to Dan Dakich and he made a valid point, and I apologize if you already made it, but the NBA doesn’t want to go down that road as far as royalties and a potential PR disaster if something happens at Milan High.

    • DJ | July 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm |

      There was your mistake — agreeing with David Haugh.

    • Concrete Brad | July 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm |

      Just like single-class hoop for the boys, I yearn for six-on-six girls’ basketball.

      I love basketball girls wearing skirts.

      #thegoodoldays

  • Steve | July 22, 2015 at 10:32 am |

    Paul-

    I couldn’t disagree with you more on the Hickory uniforms and I honestly think you’re really stretching to defend what is hypocrisy here. While I grant that Hoosiers is a fantastic film, and I am sure it has achieved legendary status in Indiana, it is nonetheless no different in this case than any other team using their uniforms for some sort of corporate tie-in. If anything, the Pacers should have worn uniforms honoring Milan High, which won the 1954 state championship and was the team that Hoosiers is based on. I think if other teams wore uniforms that paid homage to films or other commercial items that are iconic to their city or state you’d likely jump all over them. Not seeing the difference here.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 11:48 am |

      If anything, the Pacers should have worn uniforms honoring Milan High…

      This point is addressed in my ESPN piece, which I gather you didn’t read, even though I suggested reading it before reading all of today’s blog entry.

      I think if other teams wore uniforms that paid homage to films or other commercial items that are iconic to their city or state you’d likely jump all over them.

      Depends. I think a NJ minor league baseball team wearing Springsteen-themed uniforms, for example, is stupid, because Springsteen has nothing to do with baseball (no, the “Glory Days” video isn’t enough). But Hoosiers has a lot to do with the history and culture of basketball in Indiana. Like I wrote, it has transcended its origins in the worlds of art and commerce and become part of the civic firmament. You might disagree with that assessment, and that’s fine. But that’s MY assessment, and it’s a standard that I’m comfortable with.

      • Steve | July 22, 2015 at 11:53 am |

        Actually I did read your ESPN article and saw where Milan was addressed. I just continue to believe based on your previous columns and comments that in another context this would be seen as an unholy blending of corporate culture and uniforms, which you have typically frowned upon. I see it as hypocritical, but understand why you consistently take umbrage to that accusation in this blog (e.g., your recent post regarding the selling of Uni-Watch merchandise not being hypocritical). Hell, nobody ever likes being accused of being a hypocrite, so perhaps we should agree that your rationale for being comfortable with this is convenient?

        • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm |

          I don’t see why you characterize it as “convenient.” The convenient thing would have been for me to trash this idea because it involves a movie. Instead, I took a more nuanced view. You don’t have to agree with it, and it’s fine for you to think I’m being hypocritical or intellectually inconsistent, but my position certainly isn’t convenient.

          I think we’re done here. Let’s move on. Thanks.

  • Stan gable | July 22, 2015 at 10:32 am |

    That film on Nathan Handwerker looks interesting… Too bad “hot dog; the movie” was taken

    • scottrj | July 22, 2015 at 10:36 am |

      “Do you know what I had for breakfast this morning, rookie? How do you say… I had Sonny side up, und I had Sonny side down, und I had Sonny side all ze vay around.”

  • Matt | July 22, 2015 at 10:36 am |

    On James McLean… It is my understanding that national anthems are *not* typically played before most club soccer matches in Europe (except cup finals and club internationals). So, this situation would rarely arise before matches for West Brom.

    • terriblehuman | July 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm |

      I don’t think you hear anthems played even before cup finals or matches involving clubs from different countries. Instead, you hear Abide With Me at the FA Cup Final and the Champions League anthem at CL matches.

      Playing of the British national anthem would only realistically happen in America.

      • Matt | July 22, 2015 at 2:19 pm |

        I’d believe that as well (I knew the situation was something like that, and a quick google search led me to what I said). Agreed, pretty much only in America.

  • mike 2 | July 22, 2015 at 11:00 am |

    Slap Shot is set in rural western Pennsylvania. I’m sure the Penguins would get a lot of love for playing a couple of games as the Charlestown Chiefs.

    Of course, the Penguins are themselves the subject of the second-greatest hockey movie of all time, Sudden Death.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114576/

    • Mike Engle | July 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm |

      I think the Pacers Hoosiers jerseys look good, but that uniform’s presence is so stupid in the NBA that I don’t like it. Now moving on to the Slap Shot Chiefs, I think this is much closer to the Roy Hobbs Knights than Hoosiers, as Paul and Arr Scott hashed out before. New York has no connection to the Knights. Indiana has a grand connection with Hoosiers. Western Pennsylvania has the best logical geographic tie to Reggie Dunlop’s team, but I think that movie primarily belongs to hockey, and especially rag tag low level minor league hockey. So I think Charlestown Chiefs jerseys would be really silly in the NHL.

      • Joe W. | July 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm |

        If anything, when Johnstown, PA (where Slap Shot was filmed) had an ECHL team (also named the Chiefs, not coincidentally), they would have been ripe for wearing Charlestown Chiefs unis. In fact, they may have actually done so at one point, not sure.

  • martyB | July 22, 2015 at 11:11 am |

    Came across this very pretty USA Shooting Jacket with a glorious patch:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ORIGINAL-TACTICAL-SHOOTING-USA-TEAM-SHOOTING-1960-039-s-SHOOTER-WEAR-SZ-42-/321812386316?&_trksid=p2056016.m2516.l5255

    Feel free to buy it for my birthday (and teach me how to shoot left-handed…).

    -martyB

  • Kirby | July 22, 2015 at 11:30 am |

    I tend to agree with you that this is a bit different than corporate sponsorship. My disliking of this is because I don’t want to see the floodgates open to more of this. The Wild could wear the original green Mighty Ducks uniform (though the existence of the Ducks would probably prevent that) and I suspect there are other kids/high school sports movie uniforms that could be donned by big-league teams. Save movie nights for the minors.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 11:33 am |

      I agree that this case, while acceptable and even commendable, could definitely lead to a bunch of copycat initiatives that are a lot less acceptable. For now, I’m just trying to judge this promotion on its own terms. But your point is well taken.

  • SaveFarris | July 22, 2015 at 11:50 am |

    I mean, if you’re gonna have a Chiefs sweater with a misspelled word…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmgice3ieZ4

    Great Googly Moogly.

  • Chris Cruz | July 22, 2015 at 12:08 pm |

    Slight typo in the soccer portion of the ticker. “non-APL” should read “non-EPL” for “English Premier League” although some people insist on using the “official”/sponsor-driven designation of “Barclays Premier League” or “BPL.”

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 12:13 pm |

      Thanks — fixed.

  • Steve | July 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm |

    Is this a preview of the court the Atlanta Hawks will use next season? There had been rumors of a “blacktop” themed court. They’re building this court in a neighborhood park.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2015/07/22/atlanta-hawks-to-unveil-team-branded-basketball.html

  • Eric Romain | July 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm |

    Another example of sports imitate the movies:
    ‘Days of Thunder’
    Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) had the Mello Yellow #51 Car
    http://carsmedia.ign.com/cars/image/article/789/789564/days-of-thunder-lumina-20070517041759604.jpg
    which was adapted for real life by Kyle Petty
    http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/513683/4199242card1.jpg

    • ChrisH | July 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm |

      Kurt Busch has run the ‘Wonder’ and the ‘Me’ paint schemes from “Talladega Nights” in Cup, and the ‘City Chevrolet’ scheme from “Days of Thunder” in the (I still call it the Busch) Series.
      Maybe Kevin Harvick will one day give us a “Six Pack” throwback?:

      http://www.imcdb.org/i166082.jpg

    • David Firestone | July 22, 2015 at 3:02 pm |

      FALSE! Mello Yello didn’t sponsor Kyle Petty until AFTER the movie came out. Look at his stats. In 1990, the year the movie came out, he was sponsored by Peak Antifreeze. In 1991, the year after Days of Thunder was released, was the year Mello Yello started sponsoring him.

      http://www.racing-reference.info/rquery?id=pettyky01&trk=t0&series=W

      • BvK1126 | July 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm |

        What do you mean, “FALSE”? Eric’s point was that Kyle Petty adapted the Mello Yello paint scheme after Days of Thunder came out. What you said *supports* Eric’s position.

        • David Firestone | July 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm |

          Ugh, sorry, I misread that, been up since 7PM last night.

  • Alec | July 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm |

    Typo on the Spanish keep kit controversy, the club is Real Betis.

    • Paul Lukas | July 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm |

      Thanks — fixed.

  • Eric Romain | July 22, 2015 at 12:35 pm |

    Re: The Carolina Panthers race helmet.

    It reminds me of when Joe Gibbs (then Red Skins coach) bought the #18 Winston Cup nascar team, and his driver, Dale Jarrett, wore a different NFL team paint scheme on his helmet every race.
    http://joegibbsracing.com/2011/09/27/the-nfl-nascar-helmets/
    (sorry for the flood of 90s NASCAR posts)

  • Josh | July 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm |

    If you go to Randy Johnson Photography’s webpage (http://rj51photos.com/) you’ll see that his logo references one of the more interesting moments in his career. Pretty funny stuff… if you weren’t the bird in question.

  • Josh | July 22, 2015 at 2:09 pm |

    Just an fyi, those Joey Votto Kobes you have featured today aren’t cleats. They’re his bp/pregame shoes he made on Nike ID. He’s been wearing them all year, and you can even see the bp tarp in that pic. Joey is a Nike Elite athlete, and they would have a complete hissy fit if he wore a pair from Custom Cleats. They’ve flipped out on much less high profile contracted athletes than Joey.

  • tretorn | July 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm |
  • BvK1126 | July 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm |

    Jim Caple of ESPN.com wrote a nice piece a few years back about the “Hoosiers” high school all-star basketball game with the period-specific uniforms. Here’s the link:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/travel/columns/story?id=5219787

  • BvK1126 | July 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm |

    …And continuing the Hoosiers theme, Milan, Indiana, has a museum devoted to its high school’s 1954 state title team, which includes a pretty impressive collection of uniforms worn in the movie:

    http://milan54.org/help-save-hoosiers-collection/

  • BvK1126 | July 22, 2015 at 5:43 pm |

    In case you can’t wait until the Pacers release their new “Hoosiers” alternates for retail, Chinese knockoff versions of Hickory’s jerseys have been available online for quite some time:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Hoosiers-Hickory-High-School-15-23-Basketball-Costume-Burgundy-Jersey-Tank-Top-custom-NEW-Stitch-Sewn/1850653_32389381394.html

  • Ray Schaefer | July 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm |

    Re the Pacers Hickory unis … They look nice. I have an idea: How about re-creating the Milan High and Muncie Central uniforms or the Milan High, the team that won the state title in 1954?

  • Ray Schaefer | July 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm |

    Re the Pacers’ Hickory unis … They look nice. I have an idea: How about re-creating the Milan High and/or Muncie Central (the state runner-up) uniforms?

    • tretorn | July 22, 2015 at 7:36 pm |

      did you bother to read paul’s ESPN piece, where that was specifically addressed?

  • Will S | July 22, 2015 at 11:07 pm |

    Nobody taking a shot at identifying the Tiffany Burns hockey jersey.

    If I had to make a wild guess I would guess an all star jersey from one of the incarnations of the USHL. A bigger guess would be the pre-junior incarnation (pre 1979) 1961-79. I really have no idea and am just guessing.

    If I’m on the right track, maybe try contacting the guy on this site:
    http://www.thebatchellerpad.com/

    I would have said trying gameworn.net but seems they added a credit card to their registrations steps. Maybe some other jersey forum. Possibly the folk at vintage minnesota site may be able to help; one of the few retail jersey sites that has a hockey history section:
    http://history.vintagemnhockey.com/page/show/729549-history

  • daveclt | July 22, 2015 at 11:16 pm |

    It’s a minor league move.

    “Hoosiers” is about the little guy taking on the big boys. It’s hard to consider any NBA team a little guy.