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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Click to enlarge

The most uni-notable moment in yesterday’s NFL action probably came during the Panthers/Seahawks game, when Fox decided to project NASCAR firesuits onto its studio talent (no, they weren’t actually wearing them). Our resident motor sports expert, David Firestone, provides the breakdown of who was wearing whose suit with which sponsor, from left to right:

Curt Menefee: Dale Eanrhardt Jr., Nationwide
Terry Bradshaw: Joey Logano, Shell/Pennzoil
Howie Long: Jimmie Johnson, Lowes
Michael Strahan: Kevin Harvick, Budweiser
Jimmy Johnson: Kyle Busch, M&M’s

“Why they didn’t have Jimmy Johnson wearing Jimmie Johnson, I don’t know,” says David.

A few other notes from yesterday:

• We know different teams have differing approaches to how they handle striping and other graphics that cross the cut-out panel on a SpeedFlex helmet. But it looks like the Steelers took two different approaches with two different helmets.

• Look in the top-left quadrant of this shot and you can see a fan wearing a Panthers/Seahawks Frankenjersey.

• Missed opportunity for an infinite regression, as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warmed up in a T-shirt featuring a cartoon version of himself wearing a T-shirt.

Meanwhile, longtime reader Conrad Burry is doing one of his signature circular playoff brackets for the NFL postseason. Here’s how it looks after the conclusion of yesterday’s action (click to enlarge):

(My thanks to @CaneMiami, @JThrock45, Chris Hilf. and Aaron McHargue for their contributions.)

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Reminder No. 1: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. Full details here.

Reminder No. 2: In case you missed it last week, all of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s 2015 designs are available from now through the middle of next week at our Second Chance Shop. Further details here.

• • • • •

Membership update: A few more designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Eric Sahnow’s Minnesota Gophers treatment, shown at right). We have a few slots left in the current batch before it gets sent to the printer, so if you sign up now, you’ll likely get your card very quickly.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Click to have mind totally blown

PermaRec update: The latest letter from the Hoge Brush Company files was typed on one of the most spectacular example of mid-century letterhead design I’ve ever seen. Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

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Gromm•It update: In Friday’s comments, longtime reader Denver Gregg listed a bunch of foods that he wanted to see grommeted, including “grommi bears” — a brilliant suggestion, and one that I quickly acted upon. Lots of photos over on Gromm•It.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: We’ve seen lots of NFL players wearing basketball uniforms lately, but how about this: Cal Ripken Jr. in an Orioles basketball uni (from David Holland). ”¦ The River City Rascals — that’s an independent minor league team in Missouri — is encouraging disappointed and/or disgruntled St. Louis Rams fans to participate in an exchange. If fans bring in a Rams jersey or T-shirt, they’ll get a Rascals T-shirt and two tickets to a 2016 home game. The Rams gear apparel will then be donated to local people in need (from Chris Fanelli). ”¦ Matt Shephardson attended a Cubs fanfest event and came away with a big haul of uni-related stuff. “I snagged several things that have meaning to my family or to me, such as a pair of Jeff Smardzija’s old pants and several caps that were worn by players (or issued to them, but never worn, like the camo-brimmed Addison Russell G.I. Joke cap),” he says. “What I was surprised but absolutely delighted — while also somewhat saddened — to see was stirrups in both standard blue and the throwback navy and white. I was happy to see that they were issued and available for anyone to wear, but my sadness was in how few people actually used them. This is the first time in my memory that the Cubs have included stirrups as part of the uniform livery, and I was more than happy to snag a couple pairs for $5, which is less than I paid earlier this year for stirrups for myself!”

NFL News: What if the center stripe on a football helmet looked like a Coke bottle? (From Jon Solomonson.) ”¦ According to the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database, the Rams had white outlining on their uni numbers during the 1973 preseason. Here’s a rare photo of that (from Mike Colvin). ”¦ Hmmm, how many NFL mascots — or mascots in any sport, for that matter — wear unnumbered jerseys? ”¦ Michael Irvin apparently wears socks with a picture of himself on them (from Jerry Nitzh).

Hockey News: Hmmm, a Columbus Blue Jackets bowling jacket? Sure, why not (from John Muir). ”¦ I think we’ve seen this before, but once more won’t hurt: the 1980 Canadiens had a softball team (from Leo Strawn Jr.). ”¦ The Bridgeport Sound Tigers went G.I. Joke last night (from Stan Capp). ”¦ Martin Hick’s daughter, Clara Jane, recently turned three years old, so he made one of his signature hockey jersey cakes for her. “Since she was turning three, it was technically a Bob Gassoff jersey,” says Marty. “I wanted to put blood stains on it, but Holly [Marty’s wife] and Clara put the kibosh on that.”

Soccer News: The dark pink stripe on Juventus’s sleeves conveniently aligns with the pink stripe on their jersey advertisement (as noted by Tim Cross). ”¦ New third kit for Flamengo. ”¦ New kit for Nagoya Grampus.

Grab Bag: “For the 50th anniversary of Funny Car competition, the NHRA is running a contest to decide the 20 best cars of all time, and they ran a really cool graphic showing the evolution of the design of funny cars,” says David Firestone.

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Special man, special day: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day we honor the greatest American this country has ever produced. As incredible as MLK’s life was, here’s something even more incredible: When he was assassinated in 1968, he was only 39. Dude was just getting started. (Or to put it another way, when MLK was my age, he’d been dead for 12 years, which really puts one’s own life in perspective.) Whether you have the day off today or are working, take a minute or two to consider the man and his achievements. I’m sorry to say that I doubt we’ll ever see his like again.

46 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Ran Isaacs | January 18, 2016 at 8:22 am |

    The beautiful thing about those firesuits are the faux logos used on them. Tremendous amount of design going into making them tonally the same, but totally unique. Kudos to that, and, to not using the real thing and pummeling us with more advertisements.

  • BurghFan | January 18, 2016 at 8:25 am |

    Proofreading: “Whether you have day off today”

    • Paul Lukas | January 18, 2016 at 9:56 am |

      Fixed.

  • Laurence Holland | January 18, 2016 at 8:28 am |

    Two quick responses:

    – Do we think the different helmet striping strategies are a result of one being for a player with a single-digit number (on top of the stripe), and the other being for a player with a double-digit number (on either side of the stripe)? Seems like there might be legibility considerations at play.

    – I’m really skeptical of ticker item about Juventus’ away strip. I think it’s far more likely that the broad pink and white chest stripe is just part of the shirt design, and the black Jeep logo sits on top of it. The logo on their home jersey, for instance, is just the Jeep wordmark in the black box. If that’s the case, there’s no mystery as to why the sleeve stripes align with the chest stripe. Maybe Ockham’s razor is useful here.

    • Laurence Holland | January 18, 2016 at 8:30 am |

      Edit – First bullet is about the Steelers’ helmet striping strategy from the main item. Oops!

    • Anthony Verna | January 18, 2016 at 10:18 am |

      I agree with you about Juve, because the Jeep logo on the other shirts don’t have any pink stripes.

    • The Jeff | January 18, 2016 at 11:57 am |

      — Do we think the different helmet striping strategies are a result of one being for a player with a single-digit number (on top of the stripe), and the other being for a player with a double-digit number (on either side of the stripe)? Seems like there might be legibility considerations at play.

      It’s probably just different EQ people with their own preferences on how they want to do it. If it was a legibility issue, then they wouldn’t split the 2-digit number either.

  • walter | January 18, 2016 at 8:44 am |

    Not sure if this has been addressed on this site already, but here goes: Is there any explanation why the football talent behind the CBS desk has oddly large flag lapel pins when the other networks seem to have moved on?

    • The Jeff | January 18, 2016 at 11:54 am |

      Obviously, the other networks must hate America.

  • Greg | January 18, 2016 at 9:02 am |

    They weren’t wearing the firesuits, but they managed to get them reflecting on the desk glass? That’s straight up SORCERY!

  • DarenL | January 18, 2016 at 9:15 am |

    Paul – the Gridiron Uniform Database is misspelled as ‘Girdiron’.

    • Paul Lukas | January 18, 2016 at 9:57 am |

      Fixed.

  • jack | January 18, 2016 at 9:33 am |

    The Ripken bball uni was way ahead of it’s time with a Miller Lite advertising patch on the right thigh.

  • Rich | January 18, 2016 at 9:46 am |

    “The most uni-notable moment in yesterday’s NFL action probably came during the Panthers/Seahawks game, when Fox decided to project NASCAR firesuits onto its studio talent (no, they weren’t actually wearing them)”

    I would argue that this and all other network cross-promotion is just as bad as logo creep and ad douchebaggery. It’s essentially a promo or commercial running at a time when football fans have tuned in to see FOOTBALL content. Not NASCAR content, not baseball content, not UFC content, FOOTBALL!! Run your promos during a break in game action or during commercial time. I don’t want to watch NASCAR content when I’m watching football; otherwise, I’d be watching NASCAR somewhere else at this time.

    • Paul Lukas | January 18, 2016 at 10:04 am |

      It’s essentially a promo or commercial running at a time when football fans have tuned in to see FOOTBALL content.

      I dunno. I’m not nuts about these things, but wouldn’t your critique also apply to *any* commercial? How is a Ford truck commercial any “better” or more acceptable than the NASCAR promo?

      TV networks have always used sports games to promote their other programming. How many times have we heard CBS reminding us that ’60 Minutes’ will be coming on after the game? Remember when ‘Ally McBeal’ star Calista Flockhart attended the World Series so Fox could point her out in the crowd and remind people to watch her show? I’m not crazy about any of this, but I don’t see how it’s any different than all the other advertising that runs during a game.

      • JTH | January 18, 2016 at 10:40 am |

        Agreed. Also, these segments are essentially promos for Fox’s coverage of the NFL anyway. So it was a promo within a promo.

        And this is fairly clever, if you ask me.

      • Tom | January 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm |

        Paul, Rich specifically offered as an option to run the NASCAR promos during commercial breaks as you state. It wouldn’t be the same because commercial breaks are not the sports content. What he is opposing it being required to look at a NASCAR commercial at the same he has tuned in to hear football commentary. His point is well taken.

        It’s closer to the practice of watching a show or sports event and seeing the network impose an add for a future program on graphics in the lower portion of the screen. But, at least you can choose not look at that ad as you’re watching the program you are intending to view.

        In the case in point, what are you to do, look away from the screen while the people to whom you are trying to listen are being used as human advertising boards? That makes the show a radio program – one you can’t look at, only listen to.

        What they did is worse than logo creep because it is all encompassing and so intrusive. What would your reaction be if FOX had each of their commentators wearing big NASCAR patches on their suits? What FOX did was have each of their commentators wearing NASCAR patches AS their suits.

        It’s the network’s right to do it. We just don’t have to like it or condone it or not recognize it for the intrusive act it is. I think I read next week, they’ll be wearing DraftKings suits.

      • KC | January 19, 2016 at 10:10 am |

        Coming up next: “Two Broke Girls”

  • Dumb Guy | January 18, 2016 at 10:02 am |

    The Coke helmet also has the Coca-Cola “swoosh” in the facemask.

  • Anthony Verna | January 18, 2016 at 10:13 am |
  • Eltee of DC | January 18, 2016 at 10:23 am |

    “A high school in Yakima, Wash., was poaching the Patriots’ logo story….from October of last year… contest itself ended in December.

    Up to the minute Uni-news, up to the minute thats all the news”.

    • Paul Lukas | January 18, 2016 at 10:28 am |

      Thanks for the catch. A reader sent that in yesterday, and I missed the dateline on the story. Now removed from Ticker.

    • Eltee of DC | January 18, 2016 at 10:28 am |

      by the way, last line was a parody of a sign off that an LA local talking news head used for decades. A one Mr. George Putnam (slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun or as Donald Trump would call him – a flaming liberal with bad social intentions.

      There are only a handful of Uni-watchers that would find any humor in this and this one’s for you Mr. KO.

      oh, and happy MLK day too.

  • Rex (acctracker) | January 18, 2016 at 10:56 am |

    Hey Conrad, nice brackets. Have you thought about doing each team’s color by the jersey they wore?

  • Kevin Zdancewicz | January 18, 2016 at 11:03 am |

    Proofreading: Our resident motor sprots expert

    • Paul Lukas | January 18, 2016 at 11:14 am |

      Thanks. Fixed.

  • GTV | January 18, 2016 at 11:08 am |

    Great point about MLK. Every man dies, not every man really lives. He made his days on this planet count for something. None of us are guaranteed the next breath.

  • nat2 | January 18, 2016 at 11:55 am |

    Surprised not to see any commentary on the brand-censorship on Howie Long’s suit. Lowe’s -> “Lyle’s”. Now that I look at it, it looks like all of the brands are switched. Nationwide -> Worldwide, etc. Lowe’s seems to be the most obvious one to me, however.

    • Mangler | January 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm |

      [Spuds] “McKenzie” -> Budweiser on Michael Strahan’s suit.

  • jcn7vc | January 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm |

    Interesting comment about the Panthers’ mascot. He has the paw print in front, but the back is double-zero.

    I know off the top of my head that the Nuggets’ mascot Rocky doesn’t have a number (because he only wears warm-ups) and the Avalanche mascot Bernie has a paw print instead of a number.

  • Mike Engle | January 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm |

    Unnumbered mascot jerseys: what do you mean by unnumbered? Youppi’s “number” is an exclamation point, which isn’t a number, but ! appears everywhere a number would be.
    Weirdly, when Youppi rooted for the Expos in their last days, his home pinstriped jersey had a ! on the back, except it was red on blue, not blue on red like the Expos’ numbers of that era. Furthermore, every Expo player had a front number on the players’ left side under the script, but Youppi didn’t.

  • Jim | January 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm |

    Anyone have any details of the new Minnesota Twins alternate red jersey? All I know is that they are getting one, and they will not be dropping the gold accent.

  • Fred K | January 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm |

    Can anyone comfirm if Miller Lite is sponsoring those Cal Ripken Jr. Basketball shorts? It appears to vaguely make out “Lite” with the traditional label as well…awesome photo!!!

  • Dumb Guy | January 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm |

    “Missed opportunity for an infinite regression, as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warmed up in a T-shirt featuring a cartoon version of himself wearing a T-shirt.”

    He didn’t miss the opportunity to include the UA logos though.

  • Chuck | January 18, 2016 at 3:44 pm |

    Do the Carolina Panthers usually wear white at home? I am hoping the Cardinals do not wear the blood clot look next Sunday.

    • Neeko | January 18, 2016 at 5:21 pm |

      Playoffs

  • 1vox | January 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm |

    If that Habs photo was on UW at an earlier time, perhaps it came from an article with more info, but the one I found it on said it was a baseball team, not softball. Hockey players are tough; I can’t imagine them shying away from baseball and playing slow pitch softball just because they might get a tooth knocked out or something!

    Also notable that the Rocket played on that team but was absent from that pic. He was 58 at the time.

    http://dennis-kane.com/the-1980-81-gang-that-didnt-quite-shoot-straight/

    • JTH | January 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm |

      I can’t imagine them shying away from baseball and playing slow pitch softball just because they might get a tooth knocked out or something!

      What the hell are you talking about?

      • Phil Hecken | January 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm |

        “What the hell are you talking about?”

        ~~~

        The ticker says “the 1980 Canadiens had a softball team (from Leo Strawn Jr.).”

        I believe Leo is debating the fact that they’re being called a softball team…as they are hockey players, he likely feels they would be playing full on baseball, rather than slow pitch. The assumption being they’re playing softball due to fear of injury.

        Or something. I really don’t fucking know.

  • Max F | January 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm |

    The Cavs’ Moondog wears a jersey with a crescent-paw-thingy instead of a number

  • Stevenstat | January 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm |

    Paul, was “when MLK was my age, he’d been dead for 12 years, which really puts one’s own life in perspective” an homage to the great satirist Tom Lehrer? “It is a sobering thought…that when Mozart was my age he had been dead for two years.”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QEsdfX-Lek&t=0m52s

  • David Firestone | January 18, 2016 at 5:26 pm |

    I Disagree with the assertion that the broadcast team didn’t wear the jackets. Aside from the fact that the jackets are clearly reflecting in the glass on the table, too many details are right. The shoulder epaulets are correct for Alpine Stars, the television logos on the sleeves are in the correct position, and, granted many of the logos are photoshopped, which makes more sense, taking a picture with the guys wearing the jackets and adjusting the sponsor logos, which wouldn’t take too much time, or doing the whole thing from scratch, which takes 10 times as long?

  • -DW | January 18, 2016 at 6:12 pm |

    Just being really honest, and I don’t know why, but the whole Gromm.It thing creeps me out.

    That being said, Happy MLK Day everybody!