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Donald and the Ducks

I’ve always thought that Donald Trump’s obvious analog in the sports world was the New York Yankees. The overweening hubris masquerading as a commitment to excellence, the absurd insistence that anything less than 100%-gold-plated success is an abject failure, the garish flaunting of wealth, the undercurrent of jingoism — Trump and the Yanks were clearly cut from the same cloth. When George Steinbrenner died, I even thought (and kinda hoped) Trump would make a bid to purchase the team. They weren’t just made for each other; they deserved each other.

But that was when Trump was just a real estate magnate. Now that he’s an aspiring politician with a penchant for increasingly controversial statements, it’s become apparent to me that a different comparison is in order: Trump is to politics what the Oregon Ducks are to uniforms.


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And so on. I’d be the first to admit that there are limitations to this comparison (for example, Oregon’s visual thrust is clearly futuristic and forward-looking, while Trump’s appeal is almost entirely retrograde), but I think the overall parallel of two systems built upon the mechanism of outrageousness is still pretty striking.

I’m not interested in attacking or supporting Trump as a candidate, so please steer clear of any electioneering in today’s comments (that goes for all candidates, not just Trump). I’m only interested in how Trump relates to the sports world in general and Oregon’s uniforms in particular, so let’s please stick to that. Thanks.

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Reminder No. 1: Today’s the last day to get in on my “Let’s redesign the Maple Leafs” content. Full details here.

Reminder No. 2: In case you missed it on Sunday, longtime Uni Watch reader Jim Vilk is raffling off some very cool stuff from his personal collection. Full details here.

Reminder No. 3: The patches for those of you who collected all 12 Uni Watch T-shirt Club designs have arrived, and they look great. If you’re eligible for the prize but haven’t yet claimed it, you need to prove that you ordered all 12 shirts by either (a) taking a photo of the 12 shirts or (b) taking screen shots of your 12 order-confirmation emails from Teespring and putting the 12 shots into a folder. Then email the photo or the folder to, and be sure to include your mailing address so I know where to mail your patch.

Reminder No. 4: In case you missed it yesterday, the grommet project now has a name and its own website. Check it out here.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Yes, that’s me unwrapping my presents from Santa in 1969 — good memories. Now, Christmas is on Friday, so the items included in this week’s Collector’s Corner won’t make it underneath the tree in time for the big day, but it’s all cool stuff nonetheless. Here we go:

• We kick off with this 1970 Christmas greeting card from the Rayduhz. Peace on Earth, baby.

• Look at these team payroll checks from the early 1960s. From “The Cleveland Browns Football Company.”

• This vintage 1970s Pro Football Prediction Kit by “Biorhythm” states, “On any given day, this revolutionary new kit helps you predict this year’s professional football games before they’re played.” Take this to Vegas and you will clean up.

• Ever seen one of these? A 1970s “City Series” pennant for the White Sox and the Cubbies.

• This NBC Sports banner was supposedly hung in Foxboro during a 1970s Patriots game. (Bonus for PL: It has grommets!)

• Here’s a 1970s Minnesota North Stars copper plaque made by Acrometal.

• We’ve got a set of 1971 ABA Indiana Pacers Volpe thermal cups for you.

• This Cowboys ticket envelope was from the season I lived in Dallas. Notice the Griese-style Dungard facemask on the helmet — never seen that before on a Cowboys promo item. For the record, Dallas beat the Cards, 31-12, to finish the year at 11-3 on the way to their first Super Bowl win.

• Terrific cover art on this 1969 NFL Pro Bowl program cover.

• Speaking of the Pro Bowl, reader David Firestone sent along the listing for this game-used 2012 Pro Bowl coin-toss coin. (Or would that be pregame-used?)

• This 1970s Saints helmet pencil sharpener is MOC (that’s “mint on card,” kids.)

• From reader Leo Strawn Jr., this Chiquita Banana NFL sticker set and display poster contains a uni-related oddity: the Saints uniform shows the black helmet worn in the 1969 preseason.

• And since Christmas is just three days away, let’s work in a Rudolph reference, shall we? This Detroit Lions gumball helmet belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys, for obvious reasons.

Merry Christmas to all!

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Red Sox will retire Wade Boggs’s number. … New blue jerseys for Penn State baseball (from Rob Cooper). … Paul’s new grommet obsession has really taken the site by storm. I decided to take it up a level: Introducing Jacob deGrommet! Maybe Paul and Phil will like this image more.

NFL News: Check out what’s going on in the background of this video: Panthers CB Teddy Williams was struggling mightily to tie a tie. Maybe someone can give him and Matt Harvey a few tips. … Lions DE Devin Taylor wore a Christmas sweater suit to the Superdome last night. Is that a pattern of dinosaurs and handguns? (Thanks, Phil.) … Lions TE Eric Ebron wore Christmas-themed spikes before the game last night. … Ravens coach John Harbaugh talked about his team’s gold pants. The pants were planned all the way back last season, and “I think if we had been doing a little bit better, you might have seen them a little bit sooner,” Harbaugh said (from Phil). [Also: That piece says each NFL team is allowed to have up to three pants, which is news to me. Never heard of a limit on pants before. ”” PL] … Jon Solomonson saw a weird Super Bowl XXXVII jacket at Disney World. The emblem on the guy’s jacket looks nothing like the actual logo.

College Football News: Archie Manning picked out Ole Miss’s Sugar Bowl uniforms, which will be red jerseys, gray pants and baby blue helmets. Here’s another look (from Phil). … LSU will wear these cleats, gloves and jersey patches in the Texas Bowl (from Wesley Eustis). … NC State will wear this in the Belk Bowl. Note the wolf-themed cleats and gloves. … Duke will wear these helmets in the Pinstripe Bowl. … The Spirit of Detroit statue is wearing a Michigan State jersey in support of the Spartans, who heave reached the College Football Playoff. The statue has worn other jerseys before (from Jerry Kulig). ”¦ A new Adidas catalog shows what might be a new look for Miami (from Adam Apatoff).

Hockey News: Players in the Wild’s Stadium Series alumni game will wear these awesome North Stars jerseys (from Phil). … Speaking of the Wild (and the Stars, sorta), Minnesota wore white at home last night (from @rightside74).

Basketball News: Hawks G Dennis Schroder had a tooth knocked out during last night’s game against the Blazers. He simply picked it up and tucked it into his sock. … Pacers G George Hill dyed his hair gold during the offseason. Hill’s former coach, Gregg Popovich, noticed the new ’do last night. … Notre Dame wears some oddly tailored shorts. … The Hornets will reveal the name and logo of their new D-League team next Tuesday. … Inactive Bulls F Mike Dunleavy wore a Christmas sweater on the bench last night.

Soccer News: The Portuguese soccer club Uniao de Madeira is sponsored by Cristiano Ronaldo (from @mike3783). … “Soccer players are making their team socks into stirrups to wear the Trusox underneath,” says Sam Waninger. … Fans have until Dec. 31 to vote on the new Queens Park Rangers crest (from Chris Cruz). ”¦ Interesting national flag striping on these jerseys. “Not sure what charity/testimonial match that was from,” says Tim Cross.

Grab Bag: A physical therapist has been customizing casts to make them look like athletic shoes (from David Firestone). … A Washington DC-area man has been robbing gas stations while wearing an oddly distinctive baseball cap. His blue hat reads “Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, October 18, 2014 – Laurel Park” (from Tommy Turner). … On a good note involving Washington, a charity food drive made a Metro map out of canned goods (from William Yurasko). … Sports Taekwondo Australia is looking for a new logo. … New can design for Bud Light (from Jason Hillyer).

Comments (66)

    You do realize that Trump was an owner in the USFL (New Jersey Generals) don’t you? He was the primary target in the ESPN 30 for 30 “Who Killed the USFL”?

    Yes, I’m aware that he owned that team. But I’m not talking about what he owned as a businessman; I’m talking about what he represents as a cultural analog.

    I’m guessing those new Miami “uniforms” are just the under shirts they’ll be wearing under their hideous 2015 unis. Miami needs to wear the 1st installment that Adidas put out where it was just all white and said Miami on the chest. Clown show right now

    [Also: That piece says each NFL team is allowed to have up to three pants, which is news to me. Never heard of a limit on pants before. – PL]

    Might also still be wrong, unless the color rush uniforms are considered exempt for …reasons. Carolina now has silver, white, black, and blue.

    What would be kind of cool is if the Ravens never wore those gold pants again, not because they were particularly bad, but they would become some obscure piece of uni knowledge. 30 years from now, uni-watchers can be befuddled by the rare appearance on NFL films of the gold pants.

    The Saints once again welcomed the nation in, and dressed up for the occasion by wearing the NFL equivalent of track pants.

    No idea, whether the 3 pants limit is legit.

    But I can imagine that color rush uniforms would be exempt.

    The Panthers not only did wear their 4th different colored pant but it also was the 3rd time they wore their alternates.

    So, if you are allowed to wear your alternate jersey an additional time I would imagine you’re also allowed to wear additional pants.

    That NBC Sports banner supposedly hung in the 70s did not appear until fall 1980. The previous version of the NBC Sports banner which did not have the peacock logo was still in use going into 1980.

    “May have painted themselves into a corner because it’s hard to keep coming up with increasingly outrageous uniforms.”

    See: Lewis and Clarke helmets

    The NHL should go back to having the home teams in white. I have fond memories of seeing the Canadiens, Flames, Kings, North Stars, etc in their road jerseys when they played in Hartford.

    Many teams prefer to wear their colored uniforms — the Canadiens, Capitals, Maple Leafs, etc. On those occasions when a team wants to wear white at home, the NHL is very amenable (they merely make sure it’s not inconvenient for the visiting team to have to pack both sets of sweaters, socks, and helmets).

    As to not seeing the visiting team’s dark uniforms — that’s what highlight shows and the NHL app are for.

    White on the road came about with the proliferation of third-jerseys. Since many teams had dark-colored thirds, they would have to bring two sets of gear on the road. Hence the preference for dark at home, and the need for only one set of whites on the road.

    An advantage of having hockey teams wear white at home is franchises will put a bit more thought into what would be a dull, smocklike sweater. Since NHL teams know the whites won’t be worn in front of their fans, they coast with their design; all you get is the home jersey with the color vacuumed off. The exceptions include Detroit, the Rangers, Carolina, Dallas, Montreal; any team where the design differs beyond just dark and light.

    The Hartford Whalers green jersey is still one of the nicest jerseys all time. Something similar should be strongly considered for a Carolina Hurricanes re-design.

    Anyone else think the red sox retiring Boggs’ number rings a little bit hollow? Feels like a pretty empty gesture when all of these nobodies have worn it since:
    Wes Chamberlain
    Alejandro Pena
    Lee Tinsley
    Aaron Sele
    Orlando Merced
    Chris Snopek
    Rob Stanifer
    Sean Berry
    Lou Merloni
    Freddy Sanchez
    Ramiro Mendoza
    Scott Podsednik

    Do teams normally wait until players popularize historic numbers before retiring them?

    I don’t think the players succeeding another player should be of any importance as to when their predecessor’s number is retired.

    Does anyone know the reason why the saints black pants have no side stripe. The ravens don’t either. It just doesn’t look right. It’s like they are wearing yoga pants

    Not sure what you mean when you ask “why” it doesn’t have a stripe. Why does any uniform element look the way it looks? It doesn’t have a stripe because they decided to go without a stripe.

    I agree that it looks like shit.

    The Saints did have a large gold stripe on those black pants circa 2003, when Mike Ditka was the head coach, and Ricky Williams was the standout RB.

    If you’ll recall, The NHL had a similar problem about twenty years ago. Black pants look ordinary and interchangeable; and (sadly) it’s a look that comes into fashion periodically. If people didn’t like it, teams wouldn’t wear it.

    It’s because football guys or “jocks” decide what the design should be. Black is still cool to them, so they choose it; but considering the aesthetics of stripes – not so much.

    Soccer players will cut socks into sleeves or stirrups so they can control the thickness of comfort of the sock that goes into the shoe. The brands all have different sock thickness or tightness and they don’t always match up with players preferences. Obviously the fit of the shoe is crucial and with the new synthetic materials being used to make shoes the socks are the best way to make the shoe fight right.

    In the photo from today’s ticker, Mesut Ozil is wearing Trusox under his team-issued Pumas.

    Check this article about Trusox and what players have to go through to wear them.


    many pro footballers arn’t just making stirrups out of there socks,

    a lot of them ( at least when i worked at Umbro ) will cut the whole bottom off the sock, wear the low style trainer / sock tru sock they like, then as they are required to were long socks, wear the top of the sock on there shins and tape it down aound there foot and smaller sock, creating quite a mess.

    We had one team run out of there yearly allocation of socks in 3 months.



    As linked last month from the ticker, this article explains a lot about what footballers are doing in order to wear Trusox.


    The cutouts and stirups are there so a club’s sponsor (Puma, Adidas, etc.) are showing. But the tell-tale dots at the achilles are evidence that tons of EPL players are wearing Trusox.

    Megan Rapinoe was wearing them during the women’s World Cup last summer, too. Very easy to spot those dots.

    Great article. I wonder what would happen if TruSox did get bought by one of the large sportswear companies. Would the buyer keep the trademark dots to maintain the visual continuity that people know and incorporate it into full length team socks, or would they simply use the patents to add the technology to their own products and do away with the signature TruSox look?

    just to disagree with you on one point ( unless i’m reading it wrong )

    but the manufactures logo is always mid calf. meaning no matter what butchering the sock has it will always be on the sock regardless. at least the english football league ( and i assume others ) make long socks compulsory to were, to cover there compulsory shin pads, sponsors logo or not.

    also players were doing this before true socks, they say in the article in 2012 7 players in the PL had them i heard about this weird sock thing in 2010 in my old job.

    Is that a new Adidas football jersey template NC State is using? I see no signs of the tire marks. Also, the jersey appears to have actual sleeves.

    It does look like a new jersey. Here’s a pic from this season link

    Different cut of the same jersey. NC State seems to have the texture knit in the same color as the rest of the jersey as opposed to a slightly different shade of the body color like the other teams.

    Another great Collector’s Corner.

    I forgot how Biorythms was a thing back in the 70’s. Only time I recall it being somewhat credible was when someone predicted a big Raider victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl XI based on the theory.

    Whenever I really screw something up I say, “Gee, I guess my biorhythms are down.”

    The young youngsters have no idea what I’m talking about. That makes me smile.

    The comparison of the current-day Trump to the Oregon Ducks is spot on.

    But the comparison of the earlier Trump to the Yankees fails. While the Yankees definitely represent a kind of arrogance, they have never been garish or vulgar in the way that Trump has always exemplified. The Yankees’ are haughty; their aesthetic is dignified and steely. The equivalent in the culture would be Gilded Age moguls such as Vanderbilt or Rockefeller. (Indeed, a comment that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s was that “rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel”.)

    If the pre-politics Trump were to be compared to any team, I’d say that that team would be the Dallas Cowboys.

    Part of the Yankees’ hauteur is the size of the stage on which they play: a city with the scope and aspirations of New York deserves a team with lofty ambitions. Anything less would be interpreted as squandering the Big Apple’s generous resources.

    You hit it on the head with the Cowboys’ crassness. From the comment that “God likes to watch his favorite team” to the supplanting of traditional cheerleaders with a squad of hot chicks, it summarizes the image Dallas’ detractors have always had of them. Of course, the Cowboys’ fans have always considered it “value added”.

    Great points both of you.

    To which I’d add. Trump is very much like the Cowboys in that because of the value of the franchise, they’re “Winning” (at least in comparison to the value of every other NFL club), despite the fact that they’ve won exactly three playoff games since 1996, and never made it past the second round.

    Trump may have gotten high ratings for his tv show and leads in some polls (his definition of “winning”), but when it comes down to the actual election…aight, won’t go further because … reasons.

    Suffice it to say, the ‘boys & Trump are perfectly analogous.

    The equivalent in the culture would be Gilded Age moguls such as Vanderbilt or Rockefeller. (Indeed, a comment that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s was that “rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel”.)

    You’re referring to the pre-Steinbrenner Yankees.

    The Stein and post-Stein Yanks, exemplified not only by Steinbrenner but by boorish executives like Randy Levine, are precisely Trumpian.

    I’m not a New Yorker, so I experience the Yankees, as a phenomenon, from afar. But I also view the Yankees through a lens of white-hot, bitterly passionate hatred borne of watching Don freakin Mattingly win Gold Glove after Gold Glove with his bat because the sports media at the time couldn’t be bothered to give a single shit about any player whose home games were played beyond the Five Burroughs. If there is one guy in America who ought to be sympathetic to calling the Yankees, as an organization or a cultural phenomenon, vulgar, I should be that guy. Yet I don’t buy it.

    (Side note: Yes, I am calling Donald Trump vulgar, or more specifically a vulgarian. This is an aesthetic judgement, nothing more. I have voted for at least two politicians whom I regard, aesthetically, to be vulgarians, and I would heartily defend those votes and the politicians in question.)

    Anyway, A-Rod. A-Rod is the contemporary embodiment of vulgarity in baseball. While it’s true that the Steinbrennerian top brass enthusiastically embraced A-Rod, the organization as a whole, from the clubhouse to team management below the C-suite, never seemeed to cotton to A-Rod. Certainly, Yankees fans never embraced A-Rod, and they rejected him precisely because of his vulgarity and its contrast with the values and conduct they regard as essential to Yankee-ness. Compare the disdain with which the Yankees and their fans seemed to hold A-Rod with the uncritical embrace the Giants and their fans showed for the even more vulgar Barry Bonds. Frankly, I see more of the vulgar in the Wilpon-era Mets than in the Steinbrenner-era Yankees, despite my somewhat affection for the Mets and my virulent loathing for the Yankees.

    Whereas the Cowboys comparison speaks to me. Whoever the NFL equivalent of A-Rod is, I have no doubt that Jerry Jones would sign him in a heartbeat, and would regard his attention-getting, polarizing vulgarity as a reason in favor of the signing. And I further have no doubt that the rest of the Cowboys organization would agree with enthusiasm. And I further have no doubt that Cowboys fans generally would embrace the player and his vulgarity, and would regard any backlash against our hypothetical vulgar player in the media or among NFL fans generally as a validation for their embrace of the player and the Cowboys. That, not the Yankees even at their Steinbrenneriest, would be analogous to the relationship between Mr. Trump and a great many of his supporters so far this primary season.

    Wait — you are doubting Mattingly’s defensive superiority? Mattingly was by far the best fielder at his position in his league. The only first baseman who was a little better was in the National League: Keith Hernandez.

    Mattingly at his best was definitely someone to watch in the field. Was he, year-in, year-out, the best fielding firstbaseman in the American League for ten full seasons right up until a couple of months before he retired? Not even close. But more to the point, if a guy spends 20% of his games at DH during the twilight season of his career and still wins a Gold Glove, you can be sure he didn’t earn that award with his fielding prowess.

    But I’m not really going to try to defend the rationality of my searing hatred of the Yankees. One does not root for or against a sports team for reasons.

    “if a guy spends 20% of his games at DH during the twilight season of his career and still wins a Gold Glove, you can be sure he didn’t earn that award with his fielding prowess.”


    Yeah, cuz that’s never happened before. coughpalmierocough

    Don’t hate the playa (and trust me, I’m no fan of Mattingly), but his winning of the GG isn’t HIS fault. Blame the voters (managers & coaches).


    For all its faults, give professional wrestling its due: Myth-making is treated as Job One. Football seems to have the easiest time adopting the good-guy/bad-guy storylines to its franchises. Oakland Raiders = outlaw pride, Chicago Bears = lunchpail heroes of the common man, Miami Dolphins = sunkissed glamor, Dallas Cowboys = preening vanity cases; every team has an identity that can be boiled down to a bumper sticker, and can almost pre-destine who their fans will be. At times, teams of other sports make an impression, such as the Philadelphia Flyers or the Los Angeles Lakers, but anthropomorphizing football teams is nearly effortless.

    Please accept this as a humble attempt at constructive criticism. It is disappointing to see any whisper of politics creep into fun places like uni-watch. I understand the framing and context of the topic, but it nevertheless does take a bit of a veiled swipe at one candidate. There are likely some Trump supporters among the readers, or some Oregon fans for that matter.…Not to mention that there are certain places one should be able to visit each day without seeing Donald Trump.

    Best holiday wishes to all.

    Not to mention that there are certain places one should be able to visit each day without seeing Donald Trump.

    In other words, you criticize Uni Watch for taking a what you characterize as a “veiled swipe at Trump” and then conclude by taking your own veiled swipe at Trump.


    I was simply making a cultural connection, a connection linked by the mechanism of outrageousness. It is not a “swipe” at either Trump or at Oregon to say that they both leverage outrageousness to significant effect. It is also not a compliment. Rather, it is a fairly straightforward objective assessment — one that Trump fans and Oregon fans would likely agree with. I find the parallel interesting. If you don’t, well, diff’rent strokes and all that.

    I thought you actually did a pretty nice job of talking about Trump, the personality and avoiding the politics all at the same time.

    Ditto. Oregon fans should be pissed about the comparison.

    Kidding aside, most of the language used seems to be fairly neutral-I’ve definitely seen far worse assessments of his campaign on Facebook and in various left-leaning blogs.

    Related to the last point, I’ve noticed there’s been a little less discussion/news about whatever the latest outrageous thing he’s said is. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’s taking a break from saying outrageous things so that the next outrageous thing he says is a shocker and rallying cry yet again.

    To come full circle, it makes me wonder if/when Nike (er, Oregon) will decide to rein in the options a little bit, and maybe just go with 100,000 possible combinations instead of the usual million for a couple years, then hit us with some sort of OLED-infused uni elements that never look the same twice. Infinite combos!

    Minnesota “alumni” ASG uni are sweet. That said…

    I’ve always had a soft spot for throwback-style “leather” coloured gloves, but the North Stars never wore them. Had coloured gloves all along, and everybody was wearing team coloured gloves in 81 when Minny added a black stripe.

    I suppose they don’t have to be beholden to any particular design, and they do look great, so no worries in the big picture.


    I noticed that too but the brown gloves look so good it’s ok by me. Especially since they’re wearing the later jersey with the black added anyway.

    I noticed that while that North Stars jersey in its time had white numbers with a yellow drop shadow that was tied together with black thread, these ones simply have three-color numbers. Meh. Guess it’s ok because it’s its own thing (not an attempt to reproduce in error), as long as it’s uniform on the ice.

    I equate Trump and sports this way: both have a tendency towards the “win at any costs” mentality, where you can say or do anything and its OK as long as you win. Ends justify the means etc. Reminded of this recently here in Vancouver with the Alex Burrows issues with crossing the line with absolutely unacceptable trash talk.

    I don’t agree with this lack of decency and it has turned me off a lot of pro sports. Which is why I tend to live in a bubble of fiction/idealized history. At least when it comes to sports. I hope.

    Paul, you said today is the last day for the Leafs redesign contest, but the contest page says the deadline is tomorrow(?)

    By extension we can say that the Ducks went from college football doormats in traditional uniforms to the BCS championship game in outrageous uniforms. But so far they have been only runner up. But the 2016 season championship is goal for Donald and the Ducks. Who will win?

    Not sure if this is intended to be permanent, but we may be able to add Mike Leake to the short list of single-digit-number-wearing pitchers…


    I wonder what percentage of baseball players are superstitious or at least very adamant about wearing a particular number. Leake wore #44 w/ the Reds for 5.7 seasons, then #13 upon joining the Giants at the trade deadline (Willie McCovey was the last to wear #44). Both those numbers are currently worn by other Cardinals (closer Trevor Rosenthal and 3B Matt Carpenter, respectively), so I wonder, if it is permanent, why he went with #8.

    You had it until the very end. Trump is futuristic and forward-looking, just like the Ducks. I can’t remember one time where he talked about returning things to the way they used to be.

    The Rangers wore white at home tonight against Anaheim… what I found more curious is that Anaheim wore their thirds.

    Why might that be?

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