By Phil Hecken, with Clint Richardson
Today is Hallowe’en, and one of the cooler things about the holiday is the ability of colleges, if they so choose (and possess the uniforms), to engage in a little “color vs. color” — specifically black vs. orange — to celebrate the day. At least one set of teams, UTEP and Southern Miss (seen above) will do so. There are a bunch of matchups today which could feature a black clad team vs. an orange costumed one. Of course, UTEP & Southern Miss requested permission to go color vs. color — but obviously it’s pretty much a formality these days.
I often rail against all the “costumes” in the NCAA (and pros too), but if there is one day out of the year when costumes should be encouraged, it’s today!
A day shy of two weeks ago, my buddy and today’s co-collaborator Clint Richardson shot me an e-mail which stated, in part:
For my Digital Marketing class, we have to write a Buzzfeed article (woo…so excited…). My professor really wants to keep it Halloween themed, and I am not a big fan of the holiday. So, to keep it enjoyable for myself and in a field I understand, I was thinking of doing a top 5 Halloween uniforms or something along those lines. My only problem is I can think of three – The Packers Jack-o-lantern helmet, Texas A&M’s light changing helmets for this year, and Houston’s black and orange/red uniforms from a few years ago. Can you think of anything off the top of your head that would coincide with Halloween uniforms.
Immediately I mentioned to Clint I been planning to do a Uni Watch article along those lines — so why didn’t we just combine our ideas into one. I threw a couple thoughts his way which became the basis for his other article, and which I’ll begin with below — I came up with a few teams I thought should (or at least could) join in the black vs. orange theme which we’ll see from UTEP/Southern Miss today. So, I’ll begin with Clint’s portion and then add in a few combos at the end — and while I don’t know if any will be going this route (I know for a fact some are not), I’m hoping AD’s and schools will come to their senses and get into the Spirit of Hallowe’en.
By Clint Richardson
Halloween is the one time of year many people claim they can “be someone they are not.” We see this happen more and more lately in football, specifically at the collegiate ranks. Many of the recent alternate uniforms have been designed and worn for specific reasons, dates, and matchups. In the spirit of the holiday, let’s take a look at the most memorable uniforms that were worn on Halloween.
• Houston: In 2013, the Houston Cougars broke out special uniforms for their Halloween night game against South Florida. The jersey and pants were black, but featured panels of a red (nearly orange) and black digi-camo pattern. The helmets were the same orange-red tint with a black UH decal and black facemask. The Cougars ended up winning their Thursday night game by a score of 35-23. Word is that Houston will be wearing alternate uniforms again this Halloween. It’s not known if these will be a new design or if they’ll recycle their two year old uniforms.
• Tennessee: The traditionally orange and white Tennessee Volunteers surprised everyone in 2009 and ran out of the tunnel in new black jerseys, the first time they had done so since 1921. Then-head coach Lane Kiffin claimed that the new jerseys had an effect on the game, saying “I think it gave us some energy.” Tennessee defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks on Halloween night 31-13.
• Texas A&M: Adidas has been at the head of the current alternate uniform fad, supplying multiple new designs for a myriad of teams. This season, the Aggies of Texas A&M are planning to wear a new all-black uniform, what is being dubbed the “Aggie Nights” uniforms. The most interesting thing about these uniforms is the helmet design, which features light reflective technology that completely changes the appearance of the helmet decal when light strikes it. Funny enough, these “Aggie Nights” uniforms won’t be seeing any night, as their Halloween game against South Carolina has been scheduled for an 11am kickoff.
• Green Bay: Alternate uniforms aren’t unique to the college ranks. Back in 1994, the NFL was celebrating its 75th anniversary, and many teams got in the act to honor its uniform history. The Green Bay Packers chose 1937 as their designated season, and created a less-than-perfect authentic representation, as they made some warranted modifications to the leather-helmet era uniforms. Halloween night in 1994 featured Packers offensive tackle Ken Ruettgers, showing off his now-famous Jack-O-Lantern decaled helmet.
• Oregon State: Whether on purpose or pure coincidence, the Oregon State Beavers were all in to the Halloween spirit back in 2009, when they wore their black and orange uniform combination against UCLA. The Beavers defeated the Bruins by a 26-19 score.
As for uniforms that embody the Halloween spirit, here are some designs that include a lot of black and orange.
• Cincinnati Bengals: Until recently, when Nike redesigned a handful of teams, the uniforms worn by the Cincinnati Bengals were considered to be one of more unconventional designs worn in the NFL. The Bengals have circulated orange, black, and white jerseys since the 2004 season. For the first two seasons that they wore their orange tops, they sometimes paired it with black pants. We haven’t seen this combo worn since 2005, though.
• Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have been fond of mixing and matching their uniform elements ever since their redesign in 2011. Okie State has worn predominately black and orange with at least three different combinations, by my count. The 2011 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette saw the Cowboys go black-orange-orange. In the same season against Oklahoma and Texas, OSU wore a black-orange-black combination. The 2013 Kansas State ”“ Oklahoma State showdown featured the Cowboys in a black-black-orange combo.
• Oregon State: I’ll get a lot of slack from this, but the Oregon State rebranding in 2013 resulted in one of my favorite uniforms. Oregon State’s new Beaver logo is a favorite of mine and I know I’m in the minority here by saying I really like the striped facemasks. Surprisingly to me, the Beavers haven’t mixed black and orange into the same combination much since the redesign. From what I’ve been able to find, they’ve only done so once, going with their orange helmets and jerseys, with their black pants against Utah in 2014.
With all the alternate uniforms that we continue to see pop up, there’s a small number of them that are related to Halloween, granted this is the first time for October 31st to land on a Saturday since 2009, not too long before the current trend of special uniforms. But hey, let’s not give adidas any more bad ideas while we’re here.
Thanks, Clint! OK, below are a few schools playing today that SHOULD be donning the black & orange:
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) October 28, 2015
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) October 28, 2015
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) October 28, 2015
— Riles (@RSanderson_15) October 28, 2015
— Ian Thompson (@IThomps) October 28, 2015
— Matt Smale (@Msmale4461) October 28, 2015
There are probably other schools out there playing today that could do this. One pair we know are actually going to be playing a color vs. color game — Florida vs. Georgia — but they won’t be playing as black vs. orange. Though, in theory (although Georgia doesn’t have black pants), they could:
— Bo Childers (@cephus52) October 29, 2015
What do you think readers — with all the costumes and alternates out there — how about they actually make sure the ONE day in the year when costumes are not only OK but encouraged, the NCAA goes out there and obliges. Anyone else a good candidate for black vs. orange?
NBA Unveils Christmas Unis
Yesterday, the NBA unveiled the uniforms for the 10 teams playing on December 25th. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your perspective), these designs had all already been leaked, so it’s not like we should be surprised at what was unveiled. But — aside from the fact that no team* needs another new uniform — they are pretty nice (if all basically identically templated).
Here’s a look at all 10 teams’ uniforms (for any images, you can click to enlarge):
Not too bad, right? A slideshow will appear at the end of this, but let’s look at a couple closeups/details.
From the NBA:
Designed as part of the adidas NBA Season’s Greetings Collection, the uniforms continue the tradition of introducing new and unique elements each season. They incorporate primary team colors and cream tones, while player names and numbers are showcased in holiday-style script and detailed with woven rows of stitching
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of the backs of the jerseys, but we can probably assume the “holiday-style script” follows the pattern of the script name of the team on the front of the jersey. The names also appear to be deliciously chain-stitched:
Each team will be given cute little snowflake socks from Stance. Just like every player is shown wearing blue shoes, I’m not sure if all the players will wear those socks or blue shoes.
Also from the NBA:
A scarlet NBA seal is also displayed on the back of the jersey as a nod to holiday greeting cards. The socks, Stance’s contribution to the oncourt Christmas Day look, mirror the uniform’s design and feature classic holiday colors, winter-inspired imagery and pay homage to holiday sweaters.
For additional looks, here’s a slideshow:
If you can’t view the slideshow, click here to view the album.
As I said above, not bad right? Probably the best things about it are 1) NO SLEEVES! and 2) No player “nicknames” (although that may remain to be seen — but it seems like the player NOB will be as it appears on their current jerseys). I could do without the scarlet “NBA seal,” but I’m digging the socks. Hopefully everyone will wear those.
* OK, the Clippers should take this uniform and replace their current POS with it. But no other team needs a new uniform.
Now that you’ve “seen” them — what say you, dear readers?
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 will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko
This edition of Classic Football Scoreboards travels to the City of Brotherly Love and the oldest collegiate stadium still operating for football. I made to Franklin Field only once to watch an Eagles vs. Vikings contest. This was in 1970, the Eagles last season in Franklin Field before moving to the Vet. The stadium was a good place to watch a football game, but totally absent of all of the amenities fans expect today. I also recall wearing a sports coat and tie to the game – back in the day it was sort of the dress code for these events!
Football Home of: University of Pennsylvania (1895 – present), Philadelphia Eagles (1958-70), Philadelphia Bell (WFL) (1975), Army-Navy Game (1899-1938)
Opened: April 1895 for first running of Penn Relays
Franklin Field, located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, is the site of several notable football “firsts.” (highlighted below)
The Penn Quakers football team played on Franklin Field in every season since 1895 making it the oldest operating stadium for football games. The current stadium structure was constructed in the 1920s and at the time was the largest two-tiered stadium in the United States. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, with a stadium capacity close to 80,000, Penn led the nation in attendance for several years.
During its initial years the Franklin Field scoreboard was located on the west end Fieldhouse. Later, probably after the upper deck was added in 1925, scoreboards were added at the closed ends of the stadium along the upper deck. Today Franklin Field’s newest scoreboard is found in the same location.
The scoreboard illustration captures one of the Franklin Field “firsts” – Vince Lombardi’s only NFL playoff loss. In 1960 on the day after Christmas, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Packers 17-13 for the NFL Championship.
A Few Things to Know
The Franklin Field “firsts”
• The first college football scoreboard in 1895 (no photographic records found so far!)
• The first two-tiered stadium (1922)
• The first commercial football television broadcast in 1939 (Philco).
• Almost the first radio broadcast of a college football game in 1922, but that milestone is owned by KDKA (Pittsburgh) on October 8, 1921; West Virginia vs Pittsburgh.
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.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Got a pair this week from our friend Bruce Menard, who is once again busy with the Colorizations. And that’s a very good thing.
Click photos to enlarge.
Here’s a few of the latest:
Barnstorming Babe Ruth Keeps Warm In His Yankees Sweater
âš¾ 92 Years Ago Today – Oil City, Pennsylvania – October 27, 1923
Today In 1940 (October 26) âš¾ Detroit Tigers OF Hank Greenberg wins his 2nd AL MVP, becoming the first player to win the award at 2 different positions (Hank won as a first baseman in ”˜35). The photo shows Hank having his picture taken by a lovely lady at the 1940 World Series in Detroit.
That’s it for today. Great job B!
It’s that time of year again…
Yes, we get an extra hour of sleep tonight…but in the immortal words of the late, great Yogi…”It gets late early around here.”
Make sure you set your clocks back an hour tonight before you go to bed — there’s another early football game in London tomorrow.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Fans of Uni Watch (should) already know this, but when the Mets choose their uniforms, it’s the pitcher who decides what they wear (although that graphic is misleading in showing Jon Niese sporting camo — since that’s the only “set” uniform the Mets have: select Monday games are designated as “Military Mondays”). … “I noticed in 1970 two different Detroit Tiger pitchers wore #29,” writes Brent Ingram. “If they were part time players, it would make sense. But one was the ace of the staff, Mickey Lolich. Jerry Robertson and Lolich appeared in the same game twice. Has this happened before?” … This is great. … The Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, who are set to begin play in 2016, have a pair of new mascots. … Yesterday, in what I can only HOPE was a Hallowe’en gag, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio & his wife, Chirlene dressed up as “Mets” — I’m about 99% positive that Cespedes sleeve Bill is “wearing” is photoshopped, but there are just so many uni-things wrong with that photo. How many can you spot? GO! (h/t to a few people).
NFL News: Reactions to the NFL’s “color rush” announcement on late Thursday night have been mixed, but Clint Richardson decidedly has problems with it. … “(W)hen looking for more info on Color Rush (yester)day, I stumbled across this ABC News video from 2008 that interviews Ken Loh, the man who designed the Patriots “Flying Elvis” logo,” writes Tom Roddy. “Aside from some factual inaccuracies on Patriots ownership, at 2 points in the video, there are a whole bunch of uniform concepts for the 1993 Patriots rebrand spread out on the table behind Ken. Looks like they were toying with NBA/NHL color gradients too. Makes the Patriots ’95-’99 unit set seem all the more palatable.”
College/High School Football News: Good spot here: Joey Breeland noticed Florida Coach Steve Spurrier wearing Nike (in this video still) while the Florida Gators’ players are wearing Reebok uniforms. … Check out the beautiful throwback uniforms the Coast Guard Bears will be wearing today (from Jason Southard). More information here. … Jacksonville’s field will include the teams custom endzone wordmarks this year, for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (which will be color vs color). In comparison (thanks to Patrick Thomas). … Today, Villanova will wear special “Be The Match” stickers vs. Maine (from Thom D.). More on that here. … Great old photo of Sam Houston State College, from alumnus Arnold Lenoris Davis, Jr. … Do stripes on compression sleeves look good? Maybe not if they’re already ON the jersey — that’s Harlingen South at San Benito HS’ (from Susan Freeman). … Reader Michael McLaughlin thought we might like this story about some Washington teams dropping their logos because of pressure from the NFL. … Just remember, it’s still not November (yet). From Joshua Hanna.
NBA News: Looks like when the Warriors wear their “The City” (Hardwood Classics Nights), they’ll be changing the logo on their court to match (thanks, Paul). … Ever wonder how every NBA logo would look “Hallowe’en-ized”? Wonder no more. … Wizards promo items include a snow globe and a John Wall bobblehead (from TommyTheCPA). … The Houston Rockets broke out their gray alternates for the first time last night (via PDS). Can’t say I’m a fan.
Hockey News: Oilers’ goalie Anders Nilsson breaking in new retro-style pads for throwback jersey night tonight. … New white sweaters for Michigan Tech hockey, which they wore last night (h/t Patrick Thomas). … After a player scores three goals in a single game (aka a “hat trick”), it’s traditional for fans to toss hats & caps onto the ice. Someone at the Rangers game last night took things to the next level.
Soccer News: According to reader Mark Emge, this is either the best or worst soccer jersey ever. I’d say he’s right. Here’s some more on that special Oktoberfest kit. … With the conference semifinals set, here’s Conrad Burry‘s updated MLS Playoffs circle bracket. … “First time I’ve seen a shared soccer/football field indoors (arena-sized, that is),” says Jimmer Vilk.
College Hoops News: The Arkansas State Red Wolves have new white unis (thanks, Paul). … The popular “Birmingham” jerseys worn last season by UAB basketball players during home games won’t be worn for the 2015-16 season. … A brand new hall honoring Michigan State’s basketball history will be part of a $50M upgrade to Breslin Center (via Josh Sanchez). … Here’s a look at the Charlotte 49ers Men’s basketball uniforms for the upcoming season (from Joshua Edney).
Grab Bag: Butler Bulldogs Athletics and Nike have agreed to multi-year partnership extension (h/t Chris Dougherty). … I’m pretty sure we’ve seen this before (I know I have), but Chris Carden writes, “I’m attaching this video from Germany that someone posted on Facebook. I cannot and would not hazard trying to explain it, other than people did do a lot of drugs in the ’70s.” … Which college has the best logo design? … Welcome to Hallowe’en 2015. Fuck. That. Shit. Way to suck the fun out of a holiday. I mean, I feel bad that her kid has a peanut allergy, but ruining it for everyone else in the neighborhood isn’t the answer. What a sense of entitlement. … On the other hand, this is great (spotted on a NYC subway yesterday); thanks, Paul!
That’s going to do it for today — thanks to Clint, Gary and Bruce, and anyone who sent in for the ticker. Next weekend we’ll probably have the winner of the Design An Ambulance Contest. Enjoy all the football today (hopefully we’ll get a few black vs. orange games — we know we’re getting a couple of color vs. color regardless). And everyone enjoy your Hallowe’en! Catch you on the morrow. Till then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“This is Nike’s best ‘color rush’ since last years ‘color rush’ to figure out how to make a green eagles uniform.”
— John R.