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Striped Beauty Lurking in an Unexpected Place

As most of you know by now (and as is pretty obvious from the photo shown above, taken a little over a year ago), I like stripes. Always have. And I don’t like them just on uniforms and other apparel — I like stripes in all sorts of contexts. And we’re going to go off-uni today to explore one of them.

The thing I want to talk about today is something I’ve been aware of for many years but hadn’t really thought about until a few weeks ago, when I was inside an old Brooklyn factory building that’s been repurposed as the home for over 100 small businesses. I’d been inside the building many times before (I have a few friends who work there), but this time I noticed something I’d overlooked before — a wall-mounted thingie that I recognized as being telephone-related (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

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If you ever see a phone company technician working on the box at the top of a telephone pole, the inside of the box looks a lot like that wall-mounted thingie. I’m told that it’s called a punchdown block, so named for the way a wire is “punched” down into a slot, which pierces the wire’s insulation and makes the connection.

What intrigued me wasn’t the punchdown block itself but the wires connected to it. Phone wires tend to be candy-striped — bright colors alternating with white — which I find very appealing. There’s a whole color code to it, but I don’t really care about that. I just think it’s interesting that this particular technology gets to have candy-striped wires. How did that start?

In this case, the striped wires led from the punchdown block to a big cabinet, as you can see in this next series of photos:

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Whoa-ho-ho!, I thought. That cabinet must be the mother lode of candy-striped wiring! So I opened the cabinet door (it wasn’t locked) and beheld the wonder that awaited inside:

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That photo doesn’t really capture just how chaotic everything looks inside the cabinet. There are colored wires all over the place, many of them looking like an impenetrably tangled maze. I realize electrical impulses don’t really care about neatness, but I still kept thinking, “Man, how can a phone system work — how can anything work — in a mess like this?”

But lurking within the chaos are little snippets of beauty — an interplay of colors here, an artful draping of wire there, and so on. I don’t have the best photographic skills for this type of thing, but I think some of that beauty comes across in these shots (I strongly recommend clicking to enlarge, to get the full effect):

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I can’t fully explain what I find so compelling about these images, but the candy-striped wires definitely have a lot to do with it. I like the way their playful colors contrast with the industrial setting that houses them — a nice juxtaposition.

The little card-stock tags hanging from some of the wires apparently represent work that was done on the line (or maybe when the line was activated). Here’s one from about two months ago:

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Up on the wall adjacent to the cabinet is a big spool of wires that aren’t connected to anything. Apparently they’re just being stored there for later use. To me, though, they look like a big gob of candy:

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I’m sure someone who works in the telecom biz can tell us more about all of this. But for now I’m happy just to have found a new outlet for my stripe-o-philia.

One final note: As you can see, some of the wires are purple. And I don’t even mind! The purple looks fine in this context. But here’s the kicker: In the telecom world, there’s no such thing as purple. As explained on this page, “The color violet is sometimes called purple, but in the telecommunications and electronics industry it is always referred to as violet.” Nice.

•  •  •  •  •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

The baseball trade deadline is coming up. There’s a realistic chance that your favorite team will trade away your favorite player. If you buy sports jerseys, you might be stuck with an outdated piece of merchandise. If you’re a Tigers fan or a Brewers fan, this is not the week to buy a David Price or a Carlos Gomez jersey. People still will, though. (And yes, Majestic is offering “trade insurance,” but that really just an inducement to get you to buy another jersey, not a refund or free replacement.)

If you buy jerseys or any other sort of sports memorabilia, what’s the fastest any item has ever become outdated or obsolete?

I got a Michael Vick jersey for Christmas in 2002, and about two weeks after I got it the Falcons changed their uniforms.

•  •  •  •  •

’Skins Watch: The list of possible names to replace Fighting Sioux at the U. of North Dakota has been narrowed to five options, which will be put to a public vote (from Jerry Nitzh). ”¦ An Indiana school district is considering changing its high school’s team name from “Redskins.” The local newspaper has issued an editorial in favor of the change (from Dave Flapan). ”¦ A number of Canadian music festivals are banning bands and fans from wearing Native headdresses (from Yusuke Toyoda).

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Royals and the Cardinals reprised the 1985 World Series by wearing throwbacks last night. Lots of additional photos here. … The Brewers wore their navy “Milwaukee” alternates last night, but Hernan Perez wore his navy “Brewers” one for a portion of the game. … Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria had some fun announcing great moments in Mets history in some of his characters’ voices (from Patrick O’Neill). … “Today’s New York Times crossword puzzle has the clue ’42 for Mo.’ Pretty obvious, Mariano Rivera’s uni number, right?” Asks Bernie Langer. “Except it’s four letters. Answer: ‘ATNO,’ atomic number. Mo is molybdenum, element number 42! Mo’s uniform number was the same as his nickname’s atomic number! What is that, ANOB?” … Here are the rankings of the top-selling MLB jerseys from the first half of the season (from Phil). … A building in Philadelphia has an excellent and really big Phillies mural. … Thomas Fiers created a custom printed T-shirt based on the Astros’ tequila sunrise design. … How about this trio: Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, and Donald Trump, all at a Yankees spring training game. Steinbrenner even wore a University of Florida cap (from Jonathan Daniel).

NFL News: The president of the Dolphins says that the team will finally unveil its throwback uniforms next Wednesday (from David Hirschberg). … Trevor Milless’s brother was sent a Russell Wilson jersey with an upside-down NOB. … An Arizona man robbed a convenience store while wearing a Raiders helmet-shaped hat (from Phil). ”¦ Bills RB LeSean McCoy was told to stop using the team’s logo in his invitations to private parties (from Aaron Husul).

College Football News: Nebraska unveiled its new black alternate uniform yesterday. And if you think that one’s bad, here’s a reminder that some of the Cornhuskers’ past alternate unis haven’t been so great either. … New helmets for Troy, along with white uniforms (from Clint Richardson). … “I suspect it’s more inertia than anything, but it’s interesting that the banner on UCLA’s own site has a uniform with the iconic curled numbers as it announces the new adidas gear with the funky block numbers,” says Patrick Runge. “I doubt it was intentional, but it does provide an effective comparison as to what UCLA could be, and what it is (at least this year).” … Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium is being renovated (from Josh Claywell). ”¦ Here’s a good side-by-side breakdown of Auburn’s uniform changes for the coming season (from Tom Peavy).

Basketball News: Here’s a look at the Sixers and Bucks’ Christmas Day jerseys, which hadn’t been shown in Paul’s initial report on the Christmas designs. … Rapper Bow Wow was friends with Michael Jordan’s sons back in the day. He says that one night when he was at the Jordan residence, MJ took away his Allen Iverson basketball shoes. … Ray Allen adopted the nickname Jesus Shuttlesworth after playing a character by that name in Spike Lee’s He Got Game. Allen even has a T-shirt of Jesus (Christ, in this case) shooting a jumper. … The Wisconsin high school that adopted the Bucks’ new logo for its court a few months ago is now changing course and has voted on a new design (from hofflalu). … Tulane wore vertically-striped socks during the late 1960s (from uniformcritic).

Grab Bag: Here are the jerseys (all designed by fans) for the new National Women’s Hockey League. … New away kit for Manchester City (from Tory Thompson). … Not uniform-related, but it’s difficult to get work done in a cat cafe (from Brian Lorello). … Tim Dunn sends in this shot of NHRA’s Courtney Force and Indycar’s Graham Rahal. “Interesting to see racing shirts that are basically mirror images (one red with black stripe, the other black with red stripe), but apparently no shared sponsors,” he says. … David Firestone found a photo of all of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s paint schemes for the Winston, now Sprint, All-Star Race.

85 comments to Striped Beauty Lurking in an Unexpected Place

  • DarenL | July 24, 2015 at 8:15 am |

    QotW: I bought a Manitoba Moose jersey a week after it was announced that the NHL was returning to Winnipeg in 2011. But that for the purpose of having a keepsake for a beloved team that was no more.

  • Derek Jackson | July 24, 2015 at 8:16 am |

    As someone who works in the telecommunications field i could explain a million different things about all of this. Yes the wires are many colors, but even then they only come in bundles of 24 (twelve solid colored wires with adjoining ones with stripes) The stripes are color coded too so that when you have bundles of 500 or so you can split the individual sets of 24 down.
    Things to take away from the photos- The spool of extra wire is referred to as cross-connect. It is used to connect between where the wire land on the punch down block from a jack in a room to a punch down block that leads to the main switching cabinet of a building.
    The cabinet in this slideshow is a mess, someone was a little hasty in terminating the wire for sure

  • Hank-SJ | July 24, 2015 at 8:28 am |
    • marc | July 24, 2015 at 10:53 am |

      The Phils’ mural is great, but I wonder why the artist chose to depict Grover Cleveland Alexander in black and white while everyone else is in color? Klein and Delahanty – from the same era – are in color. Weird.

  • Hodges14 | July 24, 2015 at 8:30 am |

    Qotw: I got an Xavier Nady Mets shirt in June of 2006. A month later, he was traded for Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez

  • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 8:30 am |

    RE: the candy (wire) cabinet….

    I know nothing about telephone wiring, but am also intrigued with rigs/messes like this. They look so code-ignoringly bad that they can’t be legal right?! Of course phone wires and electrical wires have their own standards but it still ‘looks* pretty horrid.

    It seems like this box and wiring is just out for all to see; am I correct? It’s one thing if this Medusa-esque tangle were hidden away in a mechanical/phone room, another to have it out on display.

    Big points for the ringed, paper tags tied on with string. Love!

  • Matthew Radican | July 24, 2015 at 8:31 am |

    My brother got a Winter Classic jersey for Jordan Staal halfway through his last season with the Penguins. I tried to get him to order a Crosby or Malkin but he wanted Staal.

  • Mr Griffith | July 24, 2015 at 8:34 am |

    Paul, as a loyal reader for some years came to the site this morning full of myself for knowing what the feature would be.

    http://gizmodo.com/converse-redesigned-its-iconic-chucks-for-the-first-tim-1719769003

    Great stuff nonetheless! The tags on the bundles remind me of your asphalt tag story from last year.

    • Paul Lukas | July 24, 2015 at 8:55 am |

      The Converse story was in yesterday’s Ticker and discussed a bit in yesterday’s comments.

  • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 8:35 am |

    Dammit!

    If only Russell Wilson was #7, that jersey would almost still make sense!

  • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 8:39 am |

    “LeSean McCoy was told to stop using the team’s logo in his invitations to private parties ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO1k_98QX_g

  • Jaime | July 24, 2015 at 8:40 am |

    I like those Tulane socks. The cool thing about the picture is that they are playing against Pistol Pete, who is wearing his remarkable floppy socks. It is an interesting contrast.

  • Seth | July 24, 2015 at 8:45 am |

    QOTW: One of my favorite things to do while watching a ballgame is to see the cross-section of different jerseys fans wear. I am intrigued by the not-so-obvious choices. (Aside from shirts with the owner’s own name and number.)
    Take the White Sox 1981 “Saloon lettered” jerseys, for instance. 99.5% of them will have “Fisk 72” on the back. Too cliche and obvious for my taste.
    Point me to the guy with a “Farmer 22” or a “Luzinski 19” and that will be the guy I remember.

    But, to answer the question as far as what I actually owned, one Christmas I got a Tom Waddle (number 87, NNOB) Bears replica jersey, because that guy took a beating out there yet popped back up. A few months later, Tom attended a Bengals camp and chose to retire due to lingering knee issues. I still own the thing and wear it on occasion. People around my age recognize it as Tom’s number.

    • arrScott | July 24, 2015 at 9:51 am |

      Agreed. The only fan shirt/jersey choice that I actually judge negatively is when I see “JETER 2” on someone’s back. Yankees are NNOB; show some respect. But I love it when I see, for example, “GUZMAN 15” or “WILKERSON 7” on someone’s back at Nats park.

      My own personal rule also often spurs conversation. I’m strictly a NNOB guy. I have a couple of Nats jerseys with #24 on them, no name. It’s a personal favorite number, and also a reference to Washington’s 1924 World Series championship. Since #24 Nick Johnson left the team (who was, admittedly, a favorite early-Nats player of mine), younger fans sometimes ask me if I’m still holding a torch for Nick, whereas older fans sometimes ask me if I’m representing some original or expansion Senators player they remember wearing #24. In either event, it’s a great conversation starter.

    • DJ | July 24, 2015 at 10:11 am |

      It’s much easier for a fan to wear a 1980 Fisk jersey, as that’s what Mitchell & Ness make as part of their Cooperstown Collection. If someone had a Farmer or Luzinski jersey…I’d notice, too; it’s quite likely a game-worn one.

      • DJ | July 24, 2015 at 10:13 am |

        That should read “1981 Fisk jersey;” he didn’t come to the White Sox until then.

    • marc | July 24, 2015 at 11:38 am |

      That’s one of the reasons I never bought an “official” jersey. My favorite players have never been the “stars.” Usually, they are guys who aren’t in the spotlight (or even first string), but work hard and contribute, usually on defense. As an Indians fan back in the 90s, I’d have sooner gotten an Alvaro Espinoza jersey instead of the more common Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle or Sandy Alomar jerseys. As a Browns fan, I’d have worn an Eddie Johnson jersey sooner than a Bernie Kosar or Ozzie Newsome. It’s not that I don’t like the stars, but I always felt those guys got plenty of attention already and it’d be cool to shine a light on the guy who shows up every day and does well the little things that don’t show up in hilite reels.

      I must have passed that gene on to my son because, as a huge Cavs fan, he didn’t ask for a Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving or LeBron James jersey for his birthday, he begged us for an Iman Shumpert.

  • Lance Smith | July 24, 2015 at 8:48 am |

    QotW: The obvious answer is that I’ve bought discounted stuff after the player was traded/released/retired. I found Pat Neshek and Mike Redmond Twins shirts cheap and picked them up because they were both quirky players when they were with the Twins.

  • Adam R. W. | July 24, 2015 at 8:52 am |

    Just curious, was the Wilson jersey from Nike, or one of the overseas knockoffs? I know the counterfeits from China are notorious for having mismatched, misspelled and upside down nameplates.

  • John | July 24, 2015 at 8:54 am |

    QotW: Bought a Authentic Mats Sundin Quebec jersey in May 1993, (included the “Coupe Stanley 100 Years patch)…You figure he’s 23 years old, a cornerstone player, so he’d be there 10+ years. Sundin traded to the Maple Leafs in June 1994. What a waste of $259….and then the Nordiques moved in 1995, so my team was obsolete too.

  • Sean | July 24, 2015 at 8:57 am |

    QOTW:

    Several years ago, I ordered a replica Texas Rangers road vest jersey like this:

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_BAlMsYEg2uY/TWKfdb_mXhI/AAAAAAAADGk/NxpqPCsWLqg/Stairs%20TEX%20road.jpg

    I’d always wanted a grey jersey and thought that the blue sleeves gave it a nice “pop.” So I spent a while shopping for one as they weren’t common, and finally found a pretty small U.S.-based online sporting goods company that had them for a nice price.

    I bought it, and after a week or two of nothing, I received a notice that they were on backorder. At that point, I spent a while going back and forth asking for my money back because the site had said “in-stock” when I ordered. They refused, saying that all sales are final on their site (that’s what I get for using a no-name online retailer).

    Fast forward 2-3 months to the offseason, and the Rangers announce they’re scrapping the jersey. About 3 weeks after that, my backordered shipment finally came back in stock and I receive my jersey. I was honestly surprised that the company was able to fill the order after it had been on backorder for so long.

    So, to summarize, I ordered a jersey that I liked only to see the team discontinue it before my jersey ever arrived.

    • walter | July 24, 2015 at 9:20 am |

      Great picture! Among other things, it shows the Rangers with the trimmed belt tunnels, one of the few teams with that feature.

  • Doug | July 24, 2015 at 8:58 am |

    #42 was also Mo Vaughn’s number

    • Rufus | July 24, 2015 at 9:42 am |

      Mo Vaughn is what came to my mind first.

  • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 9:13 am |

    Paul, was the lede photo of you taken in the same place as the phone wiring box? Just wondering because of the UW banner and all.

    • Phil Hecken | July 24, 2015 at 9:27 am |

      Pretty sure that photo was taken at the UW 15th Anny party at Sheep Station…

      • Paul Lukas | July 24, 2015 at 10:04 am |

        Correct.

  • sparky chewbarky | July 24, 2015 at 9:27 am |

    I’m a cable tech and that box needs replacing!
    The colour code thing is interesting.
    Wires are twisted into “pairs’…a tip wire and a ring wire.
    The ring wires are coloured in sequence…blue, orange, green, brown, slate (grey).
    The first 5 are twisted with a white wire; then the next 5 are coupled with a red wire; then black; then yellow; then violet (purple).
    With this system, you can “count” up to 25.
    #1- white-blue…#6- red-blue…#17- yellow-orange…etc.
    Then, each 25 pairs of wires are wrapped in colour coded “strings”, using the same colour code. So the first group of 25 are wrapped in a white-blue string.
    So pair #26 is the white-blue pair in the white-orange group.
    Quick…what would pair # 97 be?…

    (The violet-orange pair in the white-brown group)

    sparky

    • Kevin Kilby | July 27, 2015 at 5:33 am |

      Man all of the wires takes me back. I spent a summer working for a telephone company helping to do installs and repairs when I was in college. Always tried to stay sharp on the knowledge I gained even if I never use it.

  • walter | July 24, 2015 at 9:29 am |

    I’ve always been loath to buy numbered jerseys for just that reason. But twenty or so years ago a pop-up store opened on Fifth Avenue with high-quality NFL uniforms that were cheap, cheap, cheap! Even so, the Shaun Springs (sp?) Seahawks shirt (2 yrs) and Zach Thomas (about 9 yrs) Miami jersey stayed current longer than I had reason to hope.

  • walter | July 24, 2015 at 9:36 am |

    A number of Canadian music festivals are banning bands and fans from wearing Native headdresses (from Yusuke Toyoda)

    Canada is a separate kettle of fish, that might not fly if it were the US. Free speech and all that. Mind you, if the festivals were held in private facilities, that could trump your right to wear a headdress. Now, if you happen to be an aboriginal Canadian (my term) who chooses to wear a headdress to a music festival, would you be stopped?

    • terriblehuman | July 24, 2015 at 10:23 am |

      It’s all anecdotal and squishy and not scientific, but I get the sense that Canadians are more sensitive to cultural appropriation and native imagery in general.

      It seems like wearing headdresses at Canadian music festivals isn’t a big thing anyway – there was one girl in Winnipeg wearing a headdress earlier this summer that made the rounds on social media, whereas it’s a common fashion accessory at US festivals.

      What if someone with the very common “1/12 Cherokee blood” wants to wear it? They’re free to make a stink about it, but considering the headdress has a very specific meaning, I don’t imagine they would have a sympathetic audience.

    • scottrj | July 24, 2015 at 11:01 am |

      Well, there was that whole Pharrell imbroglio last year…
      http://www.mtv.com/news/1837987/pharrell-elle-native-american-headdress/

    • arrScott | July 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm |

      Mind you, if the festivals were held in private facilities, that could trump your right to wear a headdress.

      This needs to be unpacked. 1) There is no “right to wear a headdress.” Freedom of Speech is simply your right not to be prevented from or punished for speaking by the government. A subtle difference, but critical to understanding and exercising one’s rights. 2) “Private facilities” is the least of it. If it’s a private event, even if held at public facilities, the organizers will be well within their rights to set just about any standards of attendee or performer conduct. If a private producer wanted to organize theater in the park, he is free to order the performers not to wear blackface, or to institute a dress code for attendees banning shirts with the Confederate flag. Since he’s not the government, the First Amendment’s speech provisions do not apply to his relationship with his performers or spectators.

    • The Jeff | July 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

      I’m really curious… when did wearing Native American headdresses at concerts become a thing? I’ve never seen that at any show I’ve ever been to, and I’ve actually been to quite a few. I’ve seen Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Iron Maiden, NIN… and a few less popular bands like Iced Earth, Trivium, Therion and In Flames… Is there a specific genre that happens with, or what?

  • Phil Hecken | July 24, 2015 at 9:45 am |

    QOTD — but opposite…

    Waaaaaayyy back in the mid-2000s I was dating a Florida lady and we had tickets to the Saints/Bucs game (she was a Bucs fan) on New Years Day. So, I picked up a Joe Jurevicius jersey on deep discount, as he’d been released, traded or was a FA (either way, he wasn’t on the Bucs anymore). I think that jersey was like 15 bucks (maybe even less). Hit the discount rack shortly after he left the team.

    So, this was a case where (not quite like Mike’s question) a (supposedly) obsolete jersey had quickly become worth less (some might say worthless) but I gladly gobbled it up since I didn’t (and still don’t) particularly give a shit about having a “current” player jersey. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $20 for polyester, and only the football jerseys I own have NOBs anyway. The few other ones I have are all NNOB/N#OB.

    • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm |

      Around the same time (must’ve been the prior year?) we had a charity auction at my work (I live in Orlando). Two people REALLY wanted the autographed Jureviscius jersey. It went for a fortune.

      Only a few months later we’d walk by the guy’s office where the jersey hung and say, “Well, at least it was for charity.”

  • Thresh8 | July 24, 2015 at 9:52 am |

    Re North Dakota: Isn’t there already a team of some renown wearing green and called Roughriders up there?

    • Ricko | July 24, 2015 at 10:19 am |

      Had same thought.
      Way to be original, guys.

      • Ricko | July 24, 2015 at 10:21 am |

        And, yes, I know about Teddy Roosevelt n’all.

    • walter | July 24, 2015 at 11:10 am |

      I’m pulling for North Stars.

    • The Jeff | July 24, 2015 at 11:24 am |

      Sure, there’s a team… but it’s CFL. That’s barely above the Arena league as far as most of the US is concerned. You’re not gonna care if your local college team has the same name as a minor league baseball team 100 miles away, are you?

    • Tim | July 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm |

      You did see that “None of the above” is the preferred choice in the survey being conducted by the Grand Forks newspaper…

      • Chris | July 26, 2015 at 3:55 am |

        It seems the people has spoken………….

    • Lindsay Resnick | July 27, 2015 at 12:11 am |

      While I know that Saskatchewan also has the Roughriders in basically the same colors, I think Roughriders is by far the best choice out of all the names.

      If they call themselves the Nodaks, though, I will slap someone with a salmon.

  • Colonel Will | July 24, 2015 at 9:58 am |

    QOTW: My wife got a Luke Scott shirsey when he was with the Orioles & the next season he was gone.

    She replaced that with a Robert Andino shirsey & he was gone the next season.

    I’ve been trying to get her to buy a Ryan Flaherty shirsey for the past 3 seasons.

    • Kevin Zdancewicz | July 25, 2015 at 8:56 am |

      I see what you did there.

  • random reader | July 24, 2015 at 10:01 am |

    QOTW: I purchased two Ichiro Suzuki t shirts in a store near Safeco Field on the day he was traded to the Yankees (the news broke just as I arrived). The shirts were immediately put on sale for 50% off so I bought two, knowing that they were now going to be obsolete merchandise.

    The following year, the Mariners team store still had some Ichiro authentic jerseys on their clearance rack so I bought a Mariners teal one and my friend bought their navy blue alternate.

    • Matthew Radican | July 24, 2015 at 10:26 am |

      I think an Ichiro jersey isn’t really obsolete. He is still one of the best Mariners player of all time.

      • terriblehuman | July 24, 2015 at 10:45 am |

        Seems like Ichiro has become to the Mariners what Montana is to the 49ers or Jordan is to the Bulls – evergreen icons, other employers notwithstanding.

      • tbone | July 24, 2015 at 11:05 am |

        Agreed. I’d gladly buy one today.

  • The Jeff | July 24, 2015 at 10:21 am |

    QotW: I convinced my parents (I was like 13 at time ) to get me an NFL 75th season coin for the Los Angeles Raiders. I didn’t get the coin until after the season had ended, so the team never actually played a game in LA while it’s been in my possession.

  • Austin Gray | July 24, 2015 at 10:46 am |

    HOW HARD IS IT to get the weight of the “N” to match the stroke of the stripes on those Nebraska pants. They did the same thing last year with those asinine red and silver uniforms. Amateurs.

  • rad | July 24, 2015 at 10:50 am |

    Bought a Muhsin Muhammad Bears Super Bowl XLI jersey, a couple of years after the fact, as it was pretty much the only Super Bowl jersey still available in the NFL shop. Two weeks later, the Bears cut him and the jersey price was slashed by $50. My timing could have been better.

  • scottrj | July 24, 2015 at 10:56 am |

    Paul, have you ever looked underneath the playfield of an electro-mechanical pinball machine, or even behind the backglass? If not you’d have a field day…
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N9HL-T5oS4Q/UWCVPOpvYtI/AAAAAAAAAYI/YrNy-PcALrg/s1600/IMG_1462.JPG
    By the way, if you do go poking around in one, make sure you unplug it first to avoid getting electrical shock.

    • Paul Lukas | July 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm |

      Nice — thanks!

  • Tim | July 24, 2015 at 11:22 am |

    Looking at the online voting for the Grand Forks Herald and the UND name change, sort of telling to see that “None of the Above” is winning the vote, currently, at 47%…

  • Mike Engle | July 24, 2015 at 11:25 am |

    QotW.
    First off, I don’t care about jersey “obsolescence.” Show me an “obsolete” jersey, and I’ll show you an instant throwback. As long as it isn’t a Hab who then becomes a Bruin or a player who gets into criminal trouble, that jersey is fair game. I have absolutely picked up blank hockey jerseys on eBay and then had them customized to an appropriate player of that time, even if it should be immediate obsolescence. I might be the only Habs fan to own a 2009 Mathieu Schneider #24 jersey, and I love that fact.
    My best answer to QotW as Chamernik asked it: when I cared about football and was a Jets fan, I got a Jonathan Vilma jersey at TJ Maxx. A few days later, he got cut and eventually signed with the Saints (my brother’s favorite team). I must have missed the memo where the Jets declared he wouldn’t be back for scheme or salary cap reasons. But frankly, I didn’t care. And like I said, if I still cared about football, I still wouldn’t care that that jersey is obsolete.

  • ChrisH | July 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm |

    The photo of Earnhardt’s cars is only of the special paint schemes he used at The Winston.
    Before 1995 cars ran with their standard schemes for that event…Earnhardt was the first to run a ‘one-off’…his usually black #3 was painted silver to pay tribute to Winston’s 25th year of association with NASCAR’s top series.
    QoTW:
    I foolishly invested somewhat heavily in Elliott-Marino Racing merchandise featuring driver Jerry Nadeau:

    http://fantasynascarracin.yolasite.com/ndrivers.php

    • The Jeff | July 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm |

      I hope I’m not the only person who thinks it just feels weird to see that 3 on a non-black car.

    • Adam R. W. | July 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm |

      I fell into the trap too… I was a Bill fan, I liked Marino, my favorite number was 13… They got me. The car did look cool though.

  • Carl | July 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm |

    QoftW
    Well in the 2012-13 season I bought a Dwight Howard Lakers jersey when I went to a game that year. Well I bought it because they didn’t have a Steve Nash in my size and I already had a Kobe jersey (I mean, which Laker fan doesn’t?)

    I also purchased a Ladainian Tomlinson Chargers jersey the same year he left to play for the Jets

  • KC | July 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm |

    Oof, that wiring. Someone needs a lesson in cable management.

  • RobYaz | July 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm |

    Considering that almost all my jerseys are from 1996 or earlier, I don’t worry about them being out of date! I guess the last one to go out of date, and quickly (in keeping with the QOTW), was a Rangers 1999-2000 jersey of Brian Leetch with the Captain’s C. They brought Messier back in 2000-2001 and renamed him Captain.

  • Will S | July 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm |

    QOTW:

    outdated, obsolete??

    By some definitions that’s all I have for customized jerseys (and some say for taste in jerseys). Retired players and defunct teams are more popular with me. Even if I had a current player’s jersey and he was traded it wouldn’t matter to me as far as wearing the jersey.

    More likely to get a blank or customize my own unless a real deal can be found. Don’t think I’d ever make/buy a jersey with a specific player unless he’d been on the team for a while or I really like that specific player.

    Have done a pair of Devils Daneyko jerseys, considered but never customized a San Franciso Spiders with Langway, working on a Bill Lee Expos uniform (just blue and red striping left to do), and the Sharks Irbe and Nordiques Forsberg jerseys are barely started and still on the backburner for now. Best “recent” find for customized jerseys was a Bernie Ruoff Ti-cats jersey at a fairly cheap price at the thrift store a year or so ago. Have some used NBA jerseys with various players, but don’t follow basketball and just wear them to bed as pajama tops.

  • Anthony | July 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm |

    Qotw: Not me but my cousin purchased a Ricky Davis Celtics jersey the day before he was traded. The actual day before. Even worse for him, he bought it online so he didn’t even have it while Davis was on the team.

  • Dumb Guy | July 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm |
    • The Jeff | July 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm |

      You know, I really think the XFL could have survived if certain people hadn’t been so focused on instant profit. Fix a few number fonts, and the league really didn’t look that bad. There was definitely too much black, but that problem would have likely fixed itself in a couple seasons.

  • Tim | July 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm |

    Paul-

    You want stripes? Here’s a couple of pages of Rugby shirt manufacturers who offer hooped kit.

    http://www.americanrugby.com/catalog_c7788.html

    http://www.badger-rugby.com/hooped-rugby-shirts.asp

  • Ethan | July 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm |

    As a Husker fan I’m disappointed. For ucla and Miami you did full articles to explain what you thought of the uniforms. For us you shoved us to the college football section to say you think they’re bad and post a couple of brief links that didn’t even have good photos of the uniform. I found it very lazy as there are better pictures out there from the players (from yesterday) and the uniform doesn’t look that bad in those. If you go off of Adidas’ pics they look awful, but if you go off of the live pics from the players, they look pretty good. I’m just disappointed that you probably spent 2 minutes looking at them, reaching a conclusion and moved on without going into pros and cons and simply coming to a negative conclusion based solely on the fact that it’s adidas’ uniforms and not Nike.

    • Paul Lukas | July 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm |

      I’m just disappointed that you probably spent 2 minutes looking at them, reaching a conclusion and moved on without going into pros and cons and simply coming to a negative conclusion based solely on the fact that it’s adidas’ uniforms and not Nike.

      Yeah, if they had been Nike uniforms I would’ve loved them. Because everyone knows how much I love Nike. Uh-huh.

      Anyway: If you go back and look at the UCLA post, you’ll see that I said I don’t really give a shit about these awful college designs anymore (and yes, the Nebraska design is awful), but I made an exception for UCLA, for reasons I explained. The Miami review was by Phil, not by me. In both of those cases, we were talking about the teams’ primary uniform sets — not an alternate that’ll be worn once and then forgotten, which is what the awful Nebraska design is. It’s just another bit of nonsense that makes my head hurt. A sentence or two in the Ticker is entirely appropriate for it. (Have I mentioned that it’s awful?)

  • Ryan M | July 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

    QotW:
    I’ve purchased 2 Manchester United home shirts over the past decade or so. As is the case with big-time soccer clubs, it was already “out-dated” by the following August. I suspect 99.9999% of Americans wouldn’t know that, so it’s a little different from seeing people wearing their David Freese or Allen Craig jerseys to Cards games (to that end, any and all baseball or football jerseys or shirseys I’ve bought are blank or contain the name/# of a future HOF-er that helped the franchise to its only Super Bowl title).

  • GLRules | July 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm |

    Regarding the Russell Wilson jersey, interesting difference between the fan jerseys and the real gamers: The gamers don’t have the full bright green – blue chevron pattern around the collar. It stops just as it begins to round to the back of the collar on the game-worns.

  • Mike Chamernik | July 24, 2015 at 3:05 pm |

    Good stuff people!

    Along with some of you, I also like to buy the jersey or shirt of a player who was recently traded or left in free agency. They are usually on clearance and, depending on the player, might evoke good memories. It might even give you some “I remember that guy!” credit with others.

    But that’s a little different of a feeling than buying a jersey at full price with the expectation that the player will be on the team for the foreseeable future, then having the player leave the team. That just sucks.

  • Pete The Yeti | July 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm |

    When I was in college I waited tables and we got to wear NFL jerseys or apparel on Sundays, so I picked up a Dre Bly Broncos jersey for $20. It was dirt cheap on account of him being recently traded and I loved it. I even wore it to a Broncos game the next year.

  • David Firestone | July 24, 2015 at 3:46 pm |

    Courtney Force and Graham Rahal “racing shirts that are basically mirror images (one red with black stripe, the other black with red stripe), but apparently no shared sponsors,”

    The same can’t be said for their cars…

    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Graham-Rahal-IndyCar-Indianapolis-2015.jpg

    https://traxxas.com/sites/default/files/newsarticle/NHRA/20150206%20CF.jpg

  • Chuck | July 24, 2015 at 6:42 pm |

    Troy helmets are waaaay better than previously – the black in particular. The old ones were too busy with the shield and swords and such. This is a clean and sensible design. Well done

  • Rydell | July 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm |

    Nice article Paul.
    It reminded me of the mystery behind the Barber Shop candy stripe..

  • Lindsay Resnick | July 27, 2015 at 12:14 am |

    I’m not liking what I can only guess is the new Adidas Mississippi State jerseys. I love the retro styles and the cream (and those Kansas ones are amazing) but I just hate how they just say “State.” That is the nickname of half the major schools in the country, no uniqueness. I truly can’t tell what school it is- I’m just assuming Mississippi State because it’s the only maroon school with “State” in it’s name that uses Adidas that I can think of.

  • Lindsay Resnick | July 27, 2015 at 12:14 am |

    oops I think I meant to put my last comment on the last post. I’ve been catching up on a bunch i’ve missed over the past few days.

  • Rex | July 27, 2015 at 12:33 am |

    I see that UCLA is using Adidas’ newest template, which allows for the shoulder stripes to drop back down. Unfortunately, the designers at Adidas have conveniently pushed the insanely huge stripes away from the special features of the jersey and even closer to the middle. So much for subtlety.