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SDSU Gets New Unis, Goes Full Aztec

SDSU 550

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from the site and will return in September. Daily content is continuing under the direction of deputy editor Phil Hecken, who’s running the site this month.]

By Phil Hecken

Another day, another college football program gets a new uniform. Yesterday it was the San Diego State University Aztecs. Let’s take a look at the new uniforms (click any image to enlarge):



As SDSU’s release describes them,

San Diego State’s helmet will feature a black stipe down the middle, which is a color not seen on an SDSU helmet since 2004, and a red Aztec Calendar on each side. Manufactured by Hydrographics, Inc., in Newburg, Oregon, the helmet will also have SDSU’s primary logo on the backside.

SDSU will wear its new black uniform at home games and go with a white jersey when on the road. On the center collar will be an embroidered primary San Diego State logo and the uniform sleeve panels will have the red Aztec Calendar with San Diego State emblazoned on the chest.

This season’s pants are black with a three-inch striped panel on both sides. Inside of each panel will be the red Aztec Calendar. San Diego State will wear black pants with both the white and black versions of the uniform top.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “the (Aztec calendar) design was developed over two years by equipment attendant Sonny Sanfilippo, a 2010 SDSU grad who said he was inspired by an Aztec calendar he used to walk by at the Piedra del Sol apartments near campus. That calendar was donated by the Class of 1995.”

The new uniforms are not all that different from their previous set. The shoulder stripes are gone, replaced by sleeve cap designs and there is a new helmet to replace the old ‘spear’ helmet. The formerly stripeless pants now have the Aztec calendar print serving as a stripe. The numbers and wordmark appear unchanged (although the numbers on the white uniform now have red outlining, and the black jersey has red numbers with white outlines).

sdsu comparison

Here’s are some closeups “red Aztec Calendar” motif:




You can see the full Aztec motif on the helmet, jersey “sleeves” and the pants stripe here:


And some more looks:



11231148 11231144


And here’s a video:

OK then. Strictly from a design standpoint, I actually kinda like these. The helmet, jerseys and pants all work well together, and there are (at least so far) just a home and road jersey, one set of pants and one helmet. That’s good.

As an historical note, the school has used the “Aztecs” nickname since the 1920s. From the school’s own website, here’s how the name “Aztecs” was chosen:

After the athletic teams were established in 1921, media referred to the teams as “Staters” or “professors”. The school newspaper tried to encourage “Wampus Cats” during its coverage of the 1923-24 school year. In the fall of 1924, Athletic Director C.E. Peterson urged the students to select a nickname and the school newspaper, The Paper Lantern, invited suggestions. Over the next few issues, names such as Panthers, Balboans and Thoroughbreds were suggested and submitted to a committee of Dean Al Peterson, C.E. Peterson and a student. In 1925, student leaders chose the nickname “Aztecs” over such other suggestions as “Balboans”. They felt the terminology was more representative of a southwest image and the selection met with no dissent. In February of 1925, President Hardy gave his formal approval to the “Aztec” nickname and teams adopted that identity within a week.

The new uniforms seem to pay respectful homage to Aztec culture, much the way the central and northern Northwest Coast art (traditional to the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian and Kwakwaka’wakw tribes of Alaska and northern British Columbia) served as the basis for the original Seattle Seahawks logo. Still, the team name and imagery was the subject of some recent controversy (a topic I will not get into here). Whether by coincidence or in response, the moving of the spear logo to the rear of the helmet seems to be moving the university further from that controversy.

What do you guys & gals think? I like the look from a purely aesthetic viewpoint (and the fact that so far, anyway, there aren’t 75 different alternates, helmets, pants and jerseys). Even though the Aztec calendar pattern won’t be discernable from a distance, it isn’t overpowering or distracting. What’s your take?

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classic scoreboards splash

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment usually appears every Saturday, but will run on Wednesdays for the month of August.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

Previously in Classic Scoreboards, the subject was the original scoreboard at the World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum. Of course we’re talking about Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. In this edition we’ll look at the next generation of scoreboard installed at Memorial Stadium.

Baltimore Memorial Stadium II_UW

Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)

Baseball and Football Home of: Baltimore Orioles (MLB) (1954”“1991), Baltimore Orioles (minor league)(1944”“1953), Baltimore Colts (AAFC / NFL) (1947”“1950), Baltimore Colts (NFL) (1953”“1983), Baltimore Stallions (CFL) (1994”“1995), Baltimore Ravens (NFL) (1996”“1997)
Opened: April 1950
Last baseball game: October 6, 1991; Demolished: 2001

By 1970 the massive right field scoreboard, originally installed in 1954, was ready for replacement. The new all electronic scoreboard was now positioned in left-center field. The scoreboard was significantly smaller than its predecessor and provided less fan information (limited space to display out-of-town scores). The design made is easy to configure for either baseball or football.

It’s unclear why the original scoreboard wasn’t simply upgraded, perhaps installing a completely new scoreboard was less cost. Work on the new installation was not completed until late in the 1970 season. So both new and old scoreboards were visible for much of the season.

During the mid to late Seventies National Bohemian Beer (originally just National Beer which replaced Schaefer – Beer, baseball and Baltimore is a complicated story) and LONGINES were new scoreboard sponsors, although the ubiquitous LONGINES analog clock was always part of the original scoreboard.

Moving ahead to the mid Eighties, a Diamond Vision screen was installed in right field. For all facts, concise history of Memorial Stadium’s scoreboard evolution can be read here.

For the illustration the scoreboard captures an Orioles vs Toronto game played on September 21, 1978. Doug DeCinces has just homered to increase the Orioles lead to 5-0.

A Few Things to Know

• After demolition Memorial Stadium’s site, similar to many of the these old ballparks, has a compelling afterlife story.

• A concise history of Memorial Stadium’s scoreboard evolution can be read here.

• The illustration includes the “Baltimore is Best” moniker on the lower billboard space. Mayor William Schaefer (1971-87) coined the slogan, one of many the city adopted over the years.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at

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Paul’s Latest on ESPN

Paul has a new piece on ESPN with his review of the Toronto Raptors new uniforms. And it’s awesome.

Give it a read!

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nike black 9 550

Nike BFBS Update

On Monday, I wrote about the possibility of Nike producing 9 BFBS jerseys for select schools. Paul received an e-mail from a trusted source yesterday which (possibly) sheds some light on that, which he forwarded to me:

“On those Nike NCAA black jerseys you wrote about yesterday, I don’t think those are anything more than a t-shirt design for this coming season. I don’t have any specific proof other than those designs are in the Nike catalog that all Nike accounts received back in October of last year. It just doesn’t seem like Nike to “give away” those designs so early.

Here’s a picture from my catalog.


Once again this is just an assumption on my part. It is in the same section of the catalog as the jerseys and the “shirseys” so it’s possible that it will be a jersey, I just find it unlikely.”

Hmmmm. We’ve already confirmed that at close to half of the schools won’t be wearing a black alternate, with only Ohio State saying they will. Stay tuned.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: A new minor league baseball team will be coming to Columbia, South Carolina, and will be known as the Columbia Fireflies, a new Single-A team for the Mets. Here’s a look at their logo. And here’s a bit more on that (from Scott Fite). … Here’s a look at the cap the Diamondbacks will wear on Saturday with the Randy Johnson patch on side (h/t Josh Mac) — looks like it combines the caps from two uniform eras in which Johnson pitched. … Here’s a couple from Chris Cruz: (1) Andrew Cashner of the Padres is known for his curly mullet. On Monday’s it appeared that he had shaved off his mullet mid-game. Apparently Cashner just tucked his mullet inside his hat (did he have to wear a bigger hat to do this?) to make it appear that his mullet was gone; and (2) The Padres are giving away replica jerseys this coming Saturday to honor the newest members of the team’s Hall of Fame, Benito Santiago and Garry Templeton. The jerseys are the 1987-1990 style (white with brown pinstripes and without the RAK initials) with a sponsor on one sleeve (no surprise) and the team’s Hall of Fame logo on the other sleeve (a logo he’s never seen before.) … “Here is an interview conducted with Lou Gehrig after his retirement that is currently on Youtube,” writes Patrick O’Neill). “It is only about 7 minutes long but it includes Lou’s observations of night baseball; his opinion that Ruth, Cobb and Wagner were the three greatest ballplayers (all for different reasons); his noticing of young talent (‘that young [Ted] Williams’) and other insights. Even if it is not ticker material, it is worthy of a listen by any baseball fan.” … Elian Herrera was back in his his beautiful hosiery for the Brew Crew again last night (via Joey Van Lieshout). Here’s another shot (via Kurt Rozek). And a closeup (via Chris Sodergren). … The El Paso Chihuahuas will have ‘Star Wars’ night with special jerseys on August 12th.

NFL News: “I noticed this evening while watching the recap of training camp that all the quarterbacks have an addition to their practice jersey,” writes Kevin Ortiz. “There is some sort of pocket on the back of the jersey holding some sort of device on the name plate area. Any idea what this may be for?” … Here’s an interesting Dolphins logo, found on a golf ball (from Jon Solomonson). … On Monday night, a fight broke out at Titans Camp. Safety Daimion Stafford pulled off Tight End Phillip Supernaw’s facemask (good spot by Eric Wright). … Nico Moreno notes, “something doesn’t seem right about these alternate Chargers jerseys.” … “Looks to me like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers removed some red from their uniform pants in favor of the slightly-darker-than-creamsicle orange, which I think is a good move,” says James Connick. “Last year they wore orange socks against the Ravens, which looked way less offensive than the usual red or pewter. I’m hoping this will eventually lead to an orange alternate jersey, which I think would go way better with those awful pewter sleeves than red currently does.” … Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano wore a KC Chiefs’ Eric Berry shirt at Colts practice (thanks, Brinke). … Check out Ronnie Hillman’s mouthguard at Broncos’ training camp (via Cody). … Here’s a great collection of 1940s-1950s NFL letterhead from the University of Oregon archives (big cap tip to Kenny Ocker). … Tweeter Rusty Flynn noticed ESPN is using the “wrong Browns logo and it’s backwards”. … The Bears have released a uniform schedule (h/t CJ Michael). According to that, they’ll be opening the season in their “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks against the Packers.

College Football News: Three-star athlete A.J. Taylor announced he would be attending Wisconsin, and he did so in an elaborate customized game of Monopoly (from Chris Flinn). … The University of Charleston Golden Eagles have new unis. … Youngstown State U has new home jerseys (h/t Ciof). … The South Carolina Gamecocks have new practice jerseys (via Gamecock Football). … The Tulsa Golden Hurricane have a new white helmet. … Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is sporting a new Steve Fuller commerative patch (from Justin Welch). … Here’s a look at the patch participants wore (team color specific) at PAC12 media days last week for #100Pac12 (from The Emblem Source). … The University of South Alabama has upgraded to the newest Nike template (from Uniform Nation Blog).

NBA/College Hoops News: New Spur LaMarcus Aldridge built a new house in Dallas with a massive closet, but it still wasn’t big enough to hold all his shoes (via Joe MacQuarrie). … “I have a friend whose son is playing on a team that Hakeem Olajuwon is taking to China,” says Vince Guardado. “Interesting that Hakeem is wearing a modified Rockets jersey with his name on it.” … New uniforms for Northwestern Basketball (via Jacob Altstadt). … Oh good lord, it looks like neon green jerseys are back for Baylor (h/t Tim O’Donnell and Austin Staton). Here’s more on that.

Hockey News: Superheroes on Ice Alert! The Chicago Steel, a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team formed in 2000, are going to play in the Junior Club World Cup. This is one of the jerseys (thanks to Nicole Haase). More jerseys and more here. … Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson’s new mask design is out (thanks to Chris Cruz).

Soccer News: The new Tottenham Hotspur third kit has been released. Submitter Terence Kearns wryly notes the new “kit is ironically, purple.” It’s made by UnderArmour. I don’t follow soccer enough to know such things, but is UA a big player in the soccer uni manufacturing business? … The new soccer kits (or at least the homes?) for Bowling Green ladies soccer have a checkerboard pattern that looks a lot like Tennessee’s (via Matthew Daley).

Grab Bag: “Brazilian player Paulao changed his #4 shirt at half time during a recent match for his team Mogi Mirim,” notes Graham Clayton. “When he came back on the field, he was wearing the #3, the same number as his teammate Fabio Sanches. He received a second yellow card for the error, which meant a red card and sending off.” … Kentucky Senator Rand Paul held a media availability in Davenport, IA last week and wore the jersey of the hometown Quad City River Bandits while taking some batting practice and during an interview with CNN. Submitter Jesse Gavin adds, “That appears to be a Western Kentucky baseball cap he’s wearing.” … Fans are apparently not happy with the new Central Coast Mariners new jerseys (h/t altimetr). … Bristol Motor Speedway is doing the ‘blackout’ thing August 22 (thanks to Chris Hickey). … There is a new Penn State academic logo, notes William Yurasko. “The letterhead will be changing; I prefer the 1855 logo that’s on my class ring (which I stopped wearing the day the Sandusky scandal broke) but I’m not going to get upset about it.”

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And that’s all for today folks. Big thanks to Gary for the Scoreboards feature, which normally runs on the weekends, but which I’ll run once a week during Paul’s hiatus. Thanks also to everyone who submitted for the ticker, either by e-mail or via Twitter. Back tomorrow with what I think is going to be a really fun post. Till then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“That’s the thing with a motto: Normal sentence grammar doesn’t necessarily apply, and in fact that’s an exception to the rules that’s an accepted part of grammar. So ultimately, even to the most persnickety prescriptivist, ‘We the North’ is grammatically correct.”
–R. Scott Rogers

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Comments (77)

    The spear hasn’t quite been removed from the SDSU helmet; it remains on the back of the helmet (similar to the placement of the Oregon “O”) as part of their primary logo.

    Substitute “Sioux” or “Cherokee” for “Aztec” in the SDSU piece and tell me if the use of symbols isn’t decried as racist. If it’s about misappropriation of native culture it should cover the extinct cultures too, especially those destroyed by European “explorers.”

    Yeah sure, but if you throw in extinct cultures, then you have to take out Spartans and Trojans and Vikings, and…. it’s kinda ridiculous. If the culture doesn’t exist anymore, then it shouldn’t matter. The majority of Human History is just a series of different cultures meeting and then trying to kill/conquer each other. Quite frankly, the culture represented by “Redskins” is basically extinct too, as you don’t exactly see modern Native Americans wearing feathers, using warpaint or carrying spears any more. Hell, the whole reason the word works as a slur against modern people is because of its obvious association with the more primitive culture and the insulting implication that they haven’t changed. Of course, some idiot owner wants to insist they’re “honoring” people and thus everything the team does keeps backfiring on them because everyone knows that angle is bullshit. Redskins as a historic people should be fine, just like Spartans, Trojans, Aztecs, etc. Redskins representing the entire Native American race throughout all time is why there’s a controversy in the first damn place.

    The Jeff,

    I agree with the bulk of your comment save for one thing – The culture represented by “Redskins” is not extinct. If you imply the Native American culture and not the lame ass “fast buck marketeer” types who cannot see beyond the range of wallets.

    It is true that Native Americans were nearly genocided out by official US policy, it still exists as a culture, albeit reduced to 5.2 million or 1.7 percent of the US population. That being said, it is indeed a small number of Americans yet there are still way more Native Americans than Washington football fans.

    Also you don’t see many white people in DC walking around in tricorn hats,buckled shoes walking to the slave markets either, that does not mean racism is dead either, though I wish it was.

    If there is a silver lining in any of this, at least we are arguing over race about Team sports and not fighting wars over them – (WWI, WWII).

    apologies in advance in breaking the “no fore-skin chats till friday rule”.

    Not only is the culture not extinct, the name “Redskins” is a slur in and of itself, as has been discussed here time and time again. If you want to “honor” all American Indian culture with a name, better to use “Indians.”

    You guys are failing to separate “culture” from “race”. The feather/spear/tomahawk imagery doesn’t accurately represent modern Native Americans any more than hieroglyphics and a sphinx represent modern Egyptians, or horned helmets and swords represent modern Scandinavians. Native American 2015 and Native American 1815 are NOT the same “culture”.

    Well, we should take out Spartans. Classical Sparta was the closest thing European civilization produced to Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia before the 1930s. Ancient Sparta was an extraordinarily evil society, even by the depraved standards of the time. It would make as much sense to name an American sports team the Khmer Rouges as it does to name it the Spartans.

    Same goes for the Aztecs. I’m not concerned with whether SDSU is being insufficiently respectful to their civilization–little enough there to respect. If I were to object to the nickname, it’d be on your “Spartan” grounds.

    Well, Aztecs are actually from Mexico, not the US so it is more like using Vikings, Trojans and that sort of names. It is not a bad term like Reskins but it does seem strange to me that they coined the term knowing that Mexicans still feel proud about being Aztec descendants and that there were no Aztecs in San Diego.
    Our main soccer stadium is the Aztec Stadium so that can tell you how proud are mexicans of the term.
    Now, about the design, I think that using the Aztec Calendar is a great way of showing that Aztecs were more than warriors, they were interested in science too. The could have easily just built the imagery around the Jaguar or Eagle warriors like most of the mascots, but even their Aztec Warrior is wearing the traditional attire for rituals, not war. If you ever visit Mexico City, you’ll find a lot of people dancing and dressed like that for a living near downtown.
    About the spear, the only controversy there is that spear was not the Aztecs main weapon. They preferred clubs with obsidian attached on the sides

    Sorry for being so long

    Its an interesting question, what separates an acceptable nod to first nations from an unacceptable act of appropriation?

    The Redskins and Indians are fairly obvious examples of blatantly offensive stereotypes.

    What I find interesting is the thematic links between the SDSU informs with the FSU uniforms. Rather than rely on “native,” “savage,” or “warrior” themes, they’ve chosen artistic patterns that actually reflect the specific culture. There’s an absence of generic tropes, there’s an attempt to make it appear as though it was licensed rather than stolen and/or insulted.

    You need to be precise. In the case of the Redskins, it’s the name that’s offensive, not so much the logo. Keith Olbermann, for example, has opined that if the team changed its name to the “Washington Americans,” the logo would be acceptable and appropriate. In the case of the Indians, it’s the Smiling Indian logo (I use the name Bill Veeck, who commissioned it, always used) that’s objected to, not so much the name.

    Interesting response in that I think a key problem with those examples is their exact lack of precision. The reduction of a stupendously diverse range of peoples, languages, and cultures to a “Redskin” with nothing offered in return. There’s a cultural imperialism there.

    With FSU, there’s an established relationship between the school and the Seminole that’s allowed them to use the Seminole language and patterns to assert, “Hey we are more than just a random spear.” SDSU I think has attempted something similar by focusing on other aspects of Aztec culture that are not limited to a generic looking weapon and being very specific in detail.

    LaMarcus Aldridge signed with the Spurs, not the Mavs…unless Cuban “kidnapped” him like the Clips did with D’Andre Jordan

    Big discussion on the fan page yesterday. Most agree the new San Diego State uni’s are gorgeous! I love them!!
    I think the name plate pocket is holding a radio/microphone.
    You guys have a good one!!

    They did that once, with a not-really-accurate orange throwback jersey for a Thanksgiving game in 2004. I don’t think they’ll do it again since the uniforms they actually used the white C with are basically the same thing they wear now. Maybe if they decided to honor the 1963 championship team for some reason.

    They could do a white-C-helmeted throwback with some measure of accuracy… if they paired the helmet with a version of their modern jersey without the GSH initials on the left sleeve.

    The new SDSU look is very cool. though, it suffers some from overkill. Black stripe…not needed. Thick pants stripes and shoulder segments with treatment…overkill.

    Good things come in small doses.

    What is it with people confusing what are clearly shirseys for actual alternate jerseys lately?

    Evidently, the Chargers have link

    The new togs are nice- a huge improvement- but I agree with you. They should not have stretched the image for the pants’ stripe, but used a stripe-shaped sliver down the center of the calendar, keeping the original aspect ratio.

    The Columbia Fireflies. I dig it. Fits right in with the Sally League’s insect theme. Greensboro Grasshoppers, Columbus Green Jackets, and now the Sand Gnats are going to be the Fireflies. Fireflies was one of the candidates for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rebrand a few years ago–glad to see it resurface somewhere else in the minors.

    Great name! The animal kingdom yields a wealth of potential mascots, a good resource to have now that Indian and ethnic mascots are passing from the scene. Can’t wait for a team called the Dragonflies!

    I’m pleasantly surprised by the name. There was a push for something related to the zoo, like Gorillas or Kangaroos or Wallabies. Like the colors, and will probably get a cap when they become available. I’m honestly a little disappointed that they didn’t recycle the old Capital City Bombers identity, but Fireflies isn’t bad.

    Also nice to see glow-in-the-dark thread returning to MiLB after the loss of the Casper Ghosts.

    I think I’d slot the new Fireflies cap at #3 on the list of MiLB insect caps, behind Harrisburg’s mayfly alternates and Burlington’s bee.

    I like it too. I like that the logo isn’t too cartoony, and is also not menacing. The neon is growing on me as well, though I hated it on uniforms at first. I know it is trendy now, in all kinds of clothing. I wonder, did the team want to come up with something that would enable the use of a neon color scheme? Rather than picking a name first and then choosing colors later.

    Magnificent! My only objections are:
    a) I wish Charleston had beaten them to the punch.
    b) Around here, they’re more often called “lightning bugs.”

    “Not all that different.”

    Really? Other than a completely different helmet, new pants stripes, altered number coloring and the new shoulder caps and a totally modern vibe after a fairly traditional set… sure, not all that different.

    Come on.

    It’s still a red (although in most photos it looks more orange) helmet, black jersey (and white road jersey) and black pants. The fonts & numbers are basically the same.

    We can argue semantics, but this isn’t all that different from the 2014 (and earlier) unis. More “tweak” than radical overhaul. I noted the changes. If you want to say it’s a completely new uni with radical changes, ok.

    Add one more vote for “the helmet does look orange”. I have a craving for an orange Charm Pop (my favorite flavor) all of a sudden.

    Altogether, I like it. It even looks good considering the removal of the Northwestern stripe, something I think I’ve never said before.

    The Vancouver Grizzlies did a terrific job incorporating a tribal pattern into their original expansion team identity.
    The Aztecs have done a great job mimicking this approach.
    Of course the Spurs gave the Fiesta pattern a shot at this back in the mid-’90’s and had less success?

    A reader sent in a note saying that those are indeed the same pants the the Bucs wore last year.


    1. Installation of the Diamond Vision screen at Memorial Stadium prior to the 1985 season resulted in an immediate and sizable increase in the number of home runs hit there, effectively transforming it from a pitcher’s to a hitter’s park overnight. The screen blocked what had been a prevailing incoming wind from right field.

    2. UA has very little presence in the soccer world currently. Tottenham is the biggest profile team it outfits, by far. And Tottenham’s all of a mid-table team at this point.

    3. The SDSU helmet is gorgeous, though I think the flared center stripe could be narrower. Repeating the pattern on the side panel of the pants is nice enough, but doing so on the shoulders/sleeves as well is just a bit much to me. Less would be more, IMO.

    I would guess the reason no one says they’re “1/16th Aztec” is because, more likely than not, they’re 16/16ths Mexican.

    More like, due to generations of intermingling, all Mexicans consider themselves native, whether you describe it as “Indian” or “Aztec.” Indeed, the symbol of Mexican nationality is Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor.


    Contrast with the U.S. Imagine if, instead of Uncle Sam, we used Tecumseh, Black Hawk, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, or Seattle as the personification of what it means to be an American.

    Funny thing is, we came close to adopting Native American imagery as the visual representation of American-ness between the end of the Indian Wars and WWI. For a while there, especially in commerce and our currency, it became very common to see the concept of America depicted with Native American figures, dress, and art. WWI comes along, a burst of nativism (along with the spread of Jim Crow white supremacism) breaks out across the culture, and at about the same time we dropped the symbolic figures from our currency in favor of dead politicians.

    Santiago wore #9 for several years before switching to #09.

    Here’s are some pics:

    Here’s some back-story:
    “7. Benito Santiago:
    The best known of all the nines in Padres history, Santiago also wore two other numbers in his time with the team. He wore 10 as a September call-up in 1986 and famously switched to 09 in 1991 because it wasn’t obscured by the strap of his chest protector. He went on to play for eight other teams, wearing 09 with the Marlins and 9 again only with the Cubs.”

    While everyone debates the morality of using the Aztecs name, I’ll sit here and remain shocked that Nike afforded them a non-template uniform. Maybe my knowledge of college football is a little spotty, but I wasn’t aware SDSU was that on the map.

    Perhaps the pack sewed into QBs nameplates is related to the recent story of teams experimenting with helmet/glasses cameras?

    Regarding the comparison between the Tennessee and Bowling Green soccer uniforms, there appear to be quite a few differences separating the two.

    Evidently, Bowling Green utilized the available 12/13 Croatia template on Nike’s team website, which has a crew neck and checkered arms.

    Tennessee, interestingly enough, appears to be using the 14/15 Croatia template (solid sleeves, v-neck) with their unique shade of orange, neither of which are available on Nike’s team website to my knowledge.

    I point this out only because it highlights the depth of uniform customization afforded to higher valued schools in a college sport not usually known for its uniform flashiness. The only other example that comes to mind of a custom templated soccer jersey Army’s presumably now-defunct striped camo jersey.

    Re: SDSU redesign

    The Aztec calendar is a unique graphic element that looks really cool. Up close, the helmet is beautiful. Up close.

    That said, the designers really dropped the ball on this, IMHO. To have access to such a great piece of art that has so much potential for individual graphic design elements and have nothing for the viewer to focus on is a terrible waste. There’s no hero image with surrounding detail, it’s just all detail.

    Look at any of the photos of the player from the waist up and the red blocks are a mess. I doubt the people in the room with the uniformed players could even see what was going on visually until they were within three feet of them. What’s the point of invoking an ultra-cool graphic element if nobody can see it? It’s like if the Patriots redesigned their helmet to resemble the reverse of the $2 bill (signing of the Declaration of Independence). It might look awesome close up, but from more than six feet away it’s a blurry trainwreck. The whole thing smacks of being designed for fashion, not function.

    I agree. It’s another example of uniforms being designed not for the people in the stadium, but for those watching on television: the details will show up on a camera closeup.

    At least one commenter has already mentioned this, but Aztec imagery really resonates in the Mexican/Mexican-American communities. The “Atzlan” movement, which dates back to the Seventies, is built around the notion that everything from southern California to Texas is part of a nation within a nation, a nation that carries Aztec blood. Every taqueria/panaderia/tortilleria I’ve ever been in has featured Aztec imagery, most often some version of the painting of Popocatépetl the warrior prophet carrying the body of his true love, Iztaccíhuatl. These renderings vary in quality of execution, but they’re always around. Aztec pride is a big deal.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what “function” do the graphics on the outer shell of a football helmet serve, exactly? I mean, apart from fashion?

    For that matter, why would the Patriots design a helmet to commemorate an event that occurred at what, at the time of the event, was literally halfway across the “nation” and took 4-5 days travel to get to? That would be like the NY Yankees commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner.

    Speaking of which, the nearest analogue I can think of is the Navy unis from last year:
    Which while they included the hero image of which you speak, let’s be honest – said image looked like nothing so much as a 4 y/o’s rendering of a Mutant Ninja Turtle.

    Those weren’t Navy uniforms commemorating the 200th anniversary of the writing of “The Star Spangled Banner;” they were Maryland’s

    “For that matter, why would the Patriots design a helmet to commemorate an event that occurred at what, at the time of the event, was literally halfway across the “nation” and took 4-5 days travel to get to? That would be like the NY Yankees commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner.”

    Why would SDSU commemorate a people that lived in central Mexico?

    The function of helmet graphics (or lack of same) is to give the viewer the ability to quickly identify the team on the field. My beef is that from more than a couple arm lengths away, the graphic will be relatively invisible and it’ll look like a red helmet with a black stripe.

    The whole thing smacks of being designed for fashion, not function.

    And how does it detract from function? It’s still an effective (in terms of player safety, I presume) football uniform. By using the school fonts and colors of scarlet and black, it serves the function of identifying them as SDSU’s football team (as opposed to UCLA, Texas, or Princeton). It’s not much different than the detail that Under Armour adds to its teams’ uniforms that are meant to only be noticed from three feet away.

    Uniforms are now designed for the internet first. All the little slogans, microscopic details, etc. meant for close detailed photos like the ones today, and to provide content for the description for internet marketing. Everything looks great until it hits the field.

    It detracts from function in things like being able to identify the team from the stands or on TV. With the NFL, you can be flipping through the channels and even people who half-heartedly follow the sport are able to immediately identify the teams playing by a quick glance at the helmets. The graphics on SDSU’s helmet, even on HDTV, will be difficult to discern unless the camera is zoomed in.

    In regard to SDSU wearing scarlet and black, that’s hardly a unique color scheme in sports.

    “It’s not much different than the detail that Under Armour adds to its teams’ uniforms that are meant to only be noticed from three feet away.”

    What function does it serve being visible to a.) the guy wearing it, or b.) the guy tackling him? Seems like a waste of good art. It was a really good try, but in a functional sense, I think it’s a failure.

    You still need a zoomed in shot to really be able to see helmet logos. With the exception of a few really bold simple logos, you can’t really tell what’s on the side of a helmet from the standard pre-snap camera angle either. The distance and the glare tend to obscure those things. Besides, the score bug or the digital on-field graphics will tell you who’s playing pretty quickly. If you tune into a game today and can’t tell who’s playing within the first 20 seconds… you probably shouldn’t be watching sports to begin with.

    “If you tune into a game today and can’t tell who’s playing within the first 20 seconds… you probably shouldn’t be watching sports to begin with.”


    If you’re flipping thru the 90 bazillion ESPN/CBS/FOX etc. channels that carry college football nowadays (not all of which have the scorebug on or visible at all times), especially with the multiple unis many schools have, that’s a totally invalid statement. Still, probably QOTD material tho.

    But I think you’re missing the point being made. We shouldn’t need a scorebug or closeup to determine who’s playing, at least in most cases.

    So basically the designer was inspired by the Aztec calendar he saw everyday? Or maybe Mexico’s sccer national team jersey from the 90’s??
    I mean, if he lives in San Diego he probably has see that jersey a thousand times. Nice work though for the team and not overdoing it.


    Not much time, so quickly:

    SDSU – didn’t put much thought into the cultural (mis)appropriation of the name, logo. Have to think more on that. Either way, that is a BEAUTIFUL helmet.

    Single A Fire Flies – happy to see a club resist the urge to put a toothy, snarling critter on their gear. Well done!

    Purple for Spurs 3rd kit- Ironic? Is that a Uni-Watch/Paul comment? Because Spurs have worn purple in various alternate kits and as an accent for first kits for a good long time.

    Why didn’t Santiago just go with a neck/waist strapped chest protector if he was so worried about obscuring his number?


    I would assume that as catcher’s gear adapted and the type with the connection between the back of the neck and waist became more prevalent, catchers – including Santiago – preferred the newer models. It may also be a comfort issue.

    Relevant to the Memorial Stadium discussion, the Bowie Baysox also played there for one season, 1993. I recall that the team asked for fans to help pull the tarp onto the field during rain delays…


    While I certainly appreciate the Duck Hunt motif, the Ducks goalie mask raises some questions. Thematically, it’s curious, as the point of Duck Hunt is to shoot, and presumably kill, ducks. And visually, is the Rambo Duck hunting his fellow ducks? He’s holding the zapper. And we know you cannot shoot the dog.

    Still… Duck Hunt on an NHL goalie’s mask. What a time to be alive.

    The piece of art seems to be called “No More Duck Hunt.” Here’s what it says on the artist’s Instagram.

    No more Duckhunt…😬 The lastest chapter of John Gibson´s Anaheim Ducks masks is here… And for sure it is a new tribute to classic old school retro video games… Loaded with 100% pixels and 100% action!🐤👾 The name of the design is No More Duckhunt… and that is exactly what it is…! On one side is that dog we all remember🐶… chasing and catching ducks… He may look very happy… but not so much longer…😱 Watch out you dog… check out on the other side what is waiting for you… The Pixel Ducks friends is here, and it is Rambo Duck💣, ready to pay back!! He is holding his Zapper 2.0… and check it out… it is loaded with nuclear shots… Watch out doggy!😯🐶 The mask is loaded with details all over the mask, just as the storybook it is📚… And for sure all the DAVEART Trademark Super FX💎. And Maybe Rambo Duck shot himself as well with the Nuclear Zapper… because his mask is glowing in the dark…! DAVEART GLOW Tech FX 2.0💡 delivers again.. Thanks John, I love to be your personal mask artist and create and paint your masks 😃🎨 John and me have more stuff in the pipeline, be ready!

    The new Chicago Steel sweaters, I’m guessing their ownership has never heard the expression “less is more”.

    Is one of the players in the photo of the Tennessee NFL training camp fight wearing a gold(?) wristwatch(look above Phillip Supernaw)?

    Under Armor is just getting into the world of soccer. Tottenham, Colo-Colo, Cruz Azul, Sao Paulo, and Toluca FC are their teams right now.

    In general Under Armour has no real presence on this side of the Atlantic (despite being nice enough to spell “Armour” the way we like it). It’s not as if Spurs are their first foray into the UK market though – they’ve been outfitting the rather successful Welsh rugby team since 2008. I’ve always found it interesting how the Welsh rugby team have ever since been this rather lonely UA enclave here, especially considering how aggressively they’ve been expanding in the US in that same time span.

    Actually The Bowie Baysox (AA BAL Eastern League) used Memorial Stadium in 1993 due to complications with the construction of Prince Georges County Stadium in Bowie, MD, so the last baseball game at Memorial was in 1993. BTW – I went to a couple Baysox games a Memorial and it was way cool. I also went to a Stallions game in 1995 and the last Ravens game there (I even have an old VHS tape of the Ravens game floating around here somewhere…)

    Can we get your heads around the GPS tracker pockets on the back of jerseys please? This has been around for at least the last 5 years, if not longer, in Aussie Rules, Rugby Union and Rugby League.
    If you see a bump on the top back of the jersey like this:

    Then it is a GPS sports tracker that can be used to track performance in sports.
    If you want to know more about it here’s the website of a major player:

    The new design is too cluttered. The old uniforms were crisp and clean; these are just overly busy.

    They’re hardly the most egregious example of college football themed costume trend, but they are the latest. What happened to subtelty? Do you really need an Aztec motif (that’s going to be unidentifiable as such during live play anyway, even to TV viewers) splashed across half your uniform to identify as the Aztecs? The same goes for TCU and their lizard-skin unis, Army and their camouflage costumes, etc. If you have to beat the viewing public over the head with inelegant and ham-fisted reminders about who you are, you’re not doing it right. There’s a fine line between making a subtle nod to your nickname and tradition and descending into full blown self-parody. I’m still not sure which side of that line these particular duds fall on, but they’re perilously close to crossing it even in a best-case scenario.

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