[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).
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:
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?
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.
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 Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
“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