By Phil Hecken, with Dennis Bolt
As many of you know, we introduced a new feature on Sundays this year — the tracking of the Power 5 conferences (well, mostly — we lost one of our trackers towards the end of the season). But Dennis Bolt (who tracked the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (Big XII) and Rex Henry (ACC and SEC) did yeoman work this year bringing us the uniform combinations of each of those conferences. We’ve still got a couple of games tomorrow, and then the Bowls, so the guys aren’t done yet, but I wanted to give all three of them a big shout out today for their efforts. Guys, take a bow.
Dennis Bolt not only tracked the PAC-12 all season long, but he also admirably took over the Duck Tracker, which has been a staple on this site for six or seven years. Even though the Ducks aren’t the ONLY team that goes with a different combo every week, they were the first, so there will always be a home for the Duck Tracker on this site. In fact, it was my call for a new Duck Tracker that actually led to the call for a tracking of the Power 5 conferences. Perhaps next year (after I find a new B1G tracker), we can expand that to more of the conferences as well.
Dennis wanted to do a breakdown of the entire PAC-12 before we hit bowl season, and that’s what you’re about to see — I had hoped he could do graphics for all of the tracking he did, but he was very busy this week, so he only got three completed — I went “old school” and found photos from the 2015 games played by PAC-12 teams for the remaining tracking (since I don’t have the talent, time or ability to do it graphically). Each of those is below.
So here then is Dennis with his review of the PAC-12 2015 uni season (click any image to enlarge)…
What’s In Your Closet?
By Dennis Bolt
While Oregon is known to pick a new combo EVERY week, much of the Pac-12 has adapted that closet-busting strategy as well. Ironically the California schools were the least fashion-forward!
Here’s a rundown of how many different combos each team has worn this season.
The max is 12 since there are twelve regular-season games (except Colorado had 13 due to Hawaii game) and I’m not counting the bowls since you already know that teams like Oregon, ASU and Arizona will come up with a new gown for the ball. I’m also not counting helmets that are the same color but just chromed like USC and UW.
Fashion mavens (how many logo variations can you have?):
Oregon: 12 (never repeated a helmet configuration and had six different colored hats)
Arizona State: 12 (five games with head-to-toe mono look, but no mono-gold!)
Colorado: 12 (four helmet colors was most except for UO)
Arizona: 11 (only repeat was “blueout”)
Utah: 10 (good use of the school colors without needed gray, silver, etc)
Oregon State: 10 (removed logo from helmet a few times)
Mix and match (a few pants, jerseys and hats add up quick):
Washington State: 8 (since gray is a school color, one of the few teams to wear it well)
Washington: 8 (used their 3 colors to good advantage)
Cal: 6 (only one helmet variation)
UCLA: 3 (four if you count the helmet sticker with the “bone frog”)
Stalwart traditionalists (home and road, what else do you need?):
USC: 2 (I’d vote for chrome red helmets all the time)
Stanford: 2 (no BFBS this year)
Thanks, Dennis! Interesting spread there — running the gamut from Oregon (who invented the whole different combo every game, and continues it to this day) to Stanford (who went with simply a “home” and “road” this year). Looks like more and more squads are trending Oregon’s way (like Arizona State), but a few like USC continue to remain fairly staid and classic (despite that flashy new helmet!). Even though UCLA didn’t bust out a ton of new combos, they may have climbed to the bottom of the “looks” department this season. Such a shame.
OK readers. What’s your take on the PAC-12? Do they have just the right amount of variety (some with many combos, a few with only two or three), are they too flashy (takng their cue from the Ducks) or do they need to step it up? Which school has the best uniforms? How would you rank them, top to bottom?
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 takes us to Moscow (not that one, the one in Idaho) and the campus of the University of Idaho for a retro look at the Vandals’s first on-campus football stadium.
Football Home of: University of Idaho (1937 – 1968)
Opened: September 25, 1937
For three decades, Neale Stadium (named for Mervin G. Neale the university’s president from 1930-37) was the home field for the Idaho Vandals football and track and field events.
The 25,000 seat stadium was an earthen horseshoe bowl, positioned in an unusual east-west configuration – a tough orientation for catching a pass during the late Fall afternoon. Construction began in October 1936. A year later the $50,000 (about $820,000 in 2015 dollars) facility was ready for the first game. At the time, Neale Stadium was surprisingly the second largest in the northwest.
Wooden bench grandstands provided the only seating along the sidelines, although photos show end zone bleachers were added at some later date. A white, wooden manual scoreboard was located at the west end at the top of the rim of the bowl. This image provides a broad view of the somewhat spartan stadium.
The scoreboard graphic recreates the first football game played at Neale Stadium. The Vandals upset the Oregon State Beavers 7-6. On the scoreboard you will see Oregon State is labeled OSC – in 1937 Oregon State Agricultural College was re-designated Oregon State College.
A Few Things to Know
• Idaho’s current football venue, Kibbie Dome, occupies the site of the former Neale Stadium.
• Scoreboards similar in design to Neale Stadium from this era can be seen at Washington State, (about 26 seconds into the video), Kezar Stadium, and Ohio Stadium. All are probably from the same (as yet) unidentified manufacturer.
• What’s a “Vandal”? The origin of Idaho’s team nickname, Vandals, is the fierce defense of the basketball team in the late 1900s – they reportedly”vandalized” their opponents. “Joe Vandal,” the on-field character mascot looks pretty tame. But this Vandal? Well, not so much.
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.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it, on Friday, Paul’s Friday Flashback on ESPN took a look at the team’s Padres history wearing brown from 1969 through 1990 (including a few unis that he bets you’ve forgotten about). Of course, the Padres unveiled three new unis/jerseys earlier this week (including a return to the brown!) so it’s particularly timely.
Great read, so be sure to check it out if you missed it!
Talkin’ Baseball with Sully
If you read the ticker yesterday, Paul included a Podcast I had done on Tuesday evening (just after the Padres released their new uniforms) — you probably missed it, and even if you didn’t you probably didn’t listen. That’s OK. The Padres are already old news now. But Sully (Paul Francis Sullivan) has been producing a brand new podcast “365 Days a year without missing a day since October 24, 2012” which is pretty impressive. I did a pair of them much earlier this year, but with the Padres introducing new unis, followed up by the Diamondbacks new costumes, he had me on as a guest both Tuesday (Pads) and yesterday, where we discussed the new D-Backs unis. If you’ve got some time, give a listen and let me know what you think.
I think you might be surprised at my take on the D-Backs (no, I certainly don’t love them, but they surprised me). Just click the link in the tweet to listen!
— Sully Baseball (@sullybaseball) December 5, 2015
And if you’re REALLY bored this morning before the football starts, here’s the Padres podcast (done earlier this week):
— Sully Baseball (@sullybaseball) December 3, 2015
And now a quick word from Paul: Want to get a Uni Watch membership card for someone this holiday season but don’t know which design to get for the lucky recipient? Here’s an easy solution: Purchase a gift membership. We’ll send you a voucher that you can give to your special person, who can then redeem it with me.
You can order a gift membership here. And as always, you of course you can order a custome designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Do those dark gray road uniforms the Diamondbacks introduced Thursday remind you of any other uniforms (Paul mentioned the 2004 Blue Jays never-worn graphite numbers)? “1st thought on D-Backs road grays: Nike’s 2001 U of Miami road prison-like uniforms that didn’t last long” (from Chris Bruno). … Hmmmm. Not sure if this is a screwup or a crossover alert. I’m going with screwup (nice grab by Jonathan Hubbs). … The newest (and probably richest) Red Sox, David Price, will wear number 24 (thanks to Mike Chamnernik). … These four caps won’t return in 2016. Read into that what you will (wish I could say more). … This is tremendous: As you may have heard, Zach Greinke just inked a new $200 million deal with the Diamondbacks — so here’s how he will look in all of their uni combos (h/t Fox Sports MLB).
NFL News: The Philadelphia Eagles will be wearing white jerseys and white pants this Sunday (thanks to Thom D.). … Do you remember way back in 1985 (was that really 30 years ago? damn) when Da Bears were making their Super Bowl run? And there were Bears helmets on statues? Well to celebrate that time, the Chicago Art Institute put helmets on statues again yesterday. … There’s a new book out, “12,” which is photojournalist and artist Robin Layton’s impressionist take on football fandom with 88 images documenting some of the most dedicated fans in the National Football League (thanks to Tommy Turner). … The Ravens will switch to natural grass at M&T Bank Stadium in 2016 (after 13 seasons). From Mike Chamernik, who adds, “It was funny when the Ravens would put out clods of real dirt and grass for Ray Lewis’s dance, so he didn’t have to tear up the fake stuff.” … Rant sports has ranked every team’s helmet from worst to first — with thanks to Michael Candelmo, who adds, “not that anybody supports violence, but doesn’t this ranking make you wanna punch someone or something?” I tweeted that article and well — the comments aren’t good. Maybe I should do a list instead. … A creepy statue of Matthew Stafford is for sale for $1,500 (from Mike C.).
College Football News: Check out this Tweet by Miami Hurricanes on Twitter, featuring Mark Richt (former Georgia coach, newly named Miami coach) in uniform. Submitter Eric Wright says, “Is it me or does his # look askew? Also weird to see Vinny and Bernie in #s that we don’t associate with their time at the U.” … Speaking of Coach Richt, here’s the jersey he was presented with yesterday as the 24th Head Coach of the Hurricanes (h/t Jason Lefkowitz). As was pointed out by several, only Adidas would give their new coach a jersey they don’t wear. … We already knew the ACC Championship game would be color vs. color, but the Clemson Tigers will be in mono orange with North Carolina sporting Carolina blue. This game SHOULD be the #1 GOOD game in the 5 & 1 (thanks to Eric Walters for those shots).
Hockey News: Jeebus…check out “Chuck Canuck”, the ‘forgotten Vancouver mascot from the ’70s. Eyes are kinda creepy,” says Wafflebored. … In follow up to ‘bored’s item, Adam H. notes, “This was in a display at the Hockey Hall of Fame last time I was there.” … Whoa — check this out: Jordin Tootoo punches the sticker numbers off of Brad Malone’s helmet (from Casey). … The Vancouver Giants unveiled their Ugly Christmas Sweater uniforms on Thursday ahead of Ugly Christmas Sweater Night on Friday, December 11th, when the G-Men will host the Victoria Royals at the Pacific Coliseum (from Brendan Batchelor). … Last evening the Reading Royals wore Star Wars sweaters (h/t Thom D.). Here’s a better look. … The Missouri Mavericks will wear awesome throwback sweaters modeled after the Kansas City Grayhounds of 1934. — And here’s what they’ll look like (h/t Casey Wieder for the tweet tip).
NBA News: Crossover alert! (also will be in the soccer section): Steph Curry sent Lionel Messi a signed Warriors jersey (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike, here are some rap album covers reconceptualized as NBA jerseys. … adidas has introduced something called the Aurora Borealis basketball shoe collection for NBA All-Star Weekend.
College Hoops News: “It was mentioned a few days ago on some Adidas football uniforms that everything on the uniform was very difficult to read except for (conveniently) the makers mark,” says Nick Doffing. “Same situation from the KU-Loyola game on Tuesday night. School name, numbers, and player names all extremely difficult to read from a distance, however the Under Armour logos on both the jersey and pants were conveniently the only bit of white on the entire uniform.” … STAY IN SCHOOL! Davidson will not retire Steph Curry’s jersey until he graduates (thanks to Mike Chamernik).
Soccer News: Crossover alert! (also above in the NBA section): Steph Curry sent Lionel Messi a signed Warriors jersey (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … The Boca Juniors have unveiled a new jersey (thanks to Tim Cross).
Grab Bag: The Durbin Sharks have a new rugby kit and the “design of the jerseys is culturally inspired and based on the five pillars of the Sharks brand: innovation, courage, passion, unity and perseverance.” … Here’s something you don’t see every day: Double Dutch uniforms! (thanks, Paul). … If you believe that jersey sales suffer when your team sucks, then that explains why Philly jerseys (in all sports) aren’t selling. It’s been especially bad for the Phillies (worst season in a long time) and the 76ers (who have new and beautiful unis this year), but also for the Eagles and Flyers. … Ted Cruz isn’t the only Prexy candidate with *gear* — The Donald wants in on that too (h/t James Gilbert).
And that’s all for this fine first Saturday in the final month of the calendar year. Everyone enjoy your day, the Conference Championships, hopefully some mild weather, and whatever it is you do on your Saturday. Thanks to Dennis and Gary, as well as Sully, and everyone who sent in for the ticker. Back tomorrow with likely a smaller (but still good) Sunday Morning Uni Watch.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Take away the stupid ‘snakeskin’ pattern and I think the primary home look would be a solid B+.”
— Chris Holder
“This is like saying, ‘Take away the smell and shit wouldn’t be so bad’.”
— Paul Lukas, in response