[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken with Will Hamar
We continue today with our coverage of the sports of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I’m pleased to introduce today’s correspondent, Will “The Ham” Hamar, who will bring you a look at the uniforms of Olympic cycling. The Ham actually deserves some kind of medal himself, as he literally completed this article in a hospital bed having broken his ankle! That’s dedication.
At this point I’ll just turn the rest of this section over to the Ham. You can click on the photos below to enlarge, and Hamm has ranked these on a scale of 0 to 5
By Will Hamar
Hello my UW family! I just wanted to preface this with a personal point: I don’t watch cycling. So all of my opinions on the uniforms here-in are just that, opinions.
Also as a sidenote, I wrote this while waiting to hear if I need surgery on my ankle, so please send good vibes my way! Let’s get started!!
Nothing to be surprised here as all of Australia’s uniforms across all sports follow the same template. I personally hate neon, but if you’re gonna do it, this is how it’s done. Teal and yellow coincide nicely. 4/5 from me on this.
As I stated earlier, I’m not familiar with cycling so I find myself asking, why baby blue? However as an accent color, it works. I also love the fact that in prominently displays the flag on the chest and sleeves, so you don’t have to guess what team this is (we will get to that soon) I give this a 5/5.
On to the home team! In all honesty, these things are fairly ugly. Past iterations have used the blue from the flag as an accent, but these severely lack any originality and don’t jump out at me. 2/5 from me.
Well, it just looks like they thought to themselves, “Why not rip off the Expos?” Because that’s pretty much exactly what they did. Black would have been a suitable choice but for whatever reason they went with blue. Still, I’ve seen worse 3/5.
These things are gorgeous. I love how the colors meld together, and it’s just overall pleasing to the eye. The swirl is an odd touch I feel, but I can’t complain too much. 4/5.
What you see us what you get, as the Czech had a very simple kit this year. Not to say that’s a bad thing, sometimes simplicity works. And this time it did. 5/5.
If there was a medal for looking good, Denmark would have taken the gold. Love the color scheme, love the general look, just love the uniform, ‘nough said. 5/5.
Something about this just rubs me the wrong way, but I cannot seem to put my finger on it. I think it might be just too much of one color I feel, when your flag has 3 colors, you should try to implement them. France didn’t even try other than the flag across the chest. 2/5.
When simplicity backfires. At a quick glance, I could not tell you what country they represent, and in a fast moving sport like cycling, this works against you. (Now I see why Belgium went with Blue) This is barebones, and I feel unoriginal. 1/5.
Extremely plain and simple, but effective. Not a whole lot to say here, but big shout out to Chris Froome, who (at least as far as I saw) was the only one with a custom logo on his bike (which is fucking awesome btw). 3/5.
I really wish they would’ve thrown a curveball and went with Orange kits, but alas, they went with the tried and true green. They get knocked for using Navy as an accent Instead of the previously mentioned orange. 3/5.
This is the only one where I really don’t mind the white. This works in their favor as they’re easy to spot, and the design elements work well together, minus 1 point for the gradient effect. 3/5.
Not a lot to say here, just more white. And it’s kind of a lazy design. Extra point for that cool sash design, however. 3/5.
I really love how this kit flows. I like the colors. And apparantly Santa approves as well. So who am I to argue? 5/5.
Probably some of the most eye pleasing kits during the entire Olympics. Never understood why they love Orange so much, but the design make it look like a waving flag, which is really cool. 5/5.
Considering the alternative (which is mono red with a giant blue cross), these are passable, but dull as all hell. 2/5.
Simple yet effective seems to be the name of the game. Bonus points for adding the bird alternate logo on the chest. 5/5.
I really like these, I do, but the blue shorts make it so my eyes notice that first. I guess it’s better than not being noticeable at all, but I just don’t feel it was the most effective. Probably some story as to why they went with blue shorts, but I couldn’t be bothered searching for it. As is, 3/5.
Just imagine a bomb pop with Russia across the chest, and that’s exactly what this kit is. 1/5.
Oh dear lord. This is the definition of NFNS (Neon for neon sake) I actually think I may have suffered retinal damage from staring at these atrocities. 0/5.
I actually really like how these look. Although I prefer the other look they’ve used in the past. Still, I love the look of these. 4/5.
Ba da ba da ba, I’m not loving it. 2/5.
I feel BP missed a big opportunity in not sponsoring this team. All jokes aside, these aren’t too shabby, and are definitely better than some of the previously mentioned teams (I’m looking at you, Russia.) 2.5/5.
The Neutral country went with a neutral look. They’re neither flashy or gaudy, neither cool nor lame. Fitting. It’s almost poetic. The Neutral country gets a neutral score of 2.5/5.
I adore these kits. Just once again I don’t see why they went with blue on the shorts, when red for green would’ve sufficed just fine. Still, not as bad as they could have been. Italy is a 4/5.
Something tells me the reason Britain’s look was so plain, was because we rolled out with these. I feel they’re too close to the union Jack with that center stripe. These are ugly as hell to boot. 0/5.
Thanks, Ham! And thanks for completing the cycling with a broken ankle! Heal up quick, and here’s hoping you don’t need surgery.
Interesting reviews there — readers — what do you think and would you rate these differently? I know this — that USA kit top? In the words of Jimmer Vilk, “I’d wear that!” ‘murica!
Grand Rapids Griffins Contest Design Update
OK folks. All the entries have been received (there were 86[!] in total). That’s far too many to showcase and vote upon at once, so after consultation with Marissa Malson of the Griffins, here’s how we’re going to go about revealing and voting upon all of the entries.
Over the course of four days, beginning tomorrow and ending next week, we’ll reveal approximately 22 of the entries each day, in alphabetical order, in groups of 11 (or 10). You’ll have the opportunity to vote on every jersey submitted in each group. You can vote on any, some, none or all, but you’ll only be permitted to vote one time, so you’ll have to choose wisely. The top 3 (three) vote-getters each day (we’ll close the voting off after each day) will advance to the “finals” — so there will actually be 12 (twelve) finalists instead of the original 10. We’ve decided this is the most fair way to run the voting in light of the tremendous number of entries we’ve received.
The tentative schedule for the reveals is this: Tomorrow (Wednesday, August 17): The first 22 (alphabetically) submissions. This will be the lede. Thursday, August 18: Set 2; Monday, August 22: Set 3; Tuesday August 23: Final Set. Sets 2-4 should be sub-ledes. Shortly after all four sets have been voted upon, we’ll announce the 12 finalists and send those lucky entrants submissions to the Griffins who’ll pick a winner(s). The winner should be announced during the week of August 29th.
OK? OK! Everyone come on back tomorrow to see the first set of submissions and get ready to vote on your favorites!
By Brinke Guthrie
Leading off this week with a 1970s Chicago Bears soap and towel set. Still sealed in the box. And notice the helmet depictions on the backside…my favorite version of helmet artwork from back then, the same ones you see on these NFL school folders. Now the rest of the week:
• Orange Products, Chatham N.J. I know that address just like 176 Johnson St, Brooklyn. Johnson was the home of Tudor football games for many years- that’s where you’d send off to order more electric football teams. You already have the Colts in blue- gotta have the white! Now, Orange is where they made the great mini sport football, baseball, and hockey kits of the 1960s/1970s.
• Never seen one from hockey like this one — you get two nets and twelve sticks, with “full color insignias for all twelve NHL teams.”
• Speaking of Tudor, here’s a 1970s Super Bowl electric football game, and it says “Total Team Control” on the front. Oh, who were they kidding? All the players ended up in one corner of the end zone all at once. Turn it on, it starts vibrating/buzzing really loud, and they all do semi-circles around each other ’til they crashed into the corner. Don’t know if baseball worked the same way. And here’s a Tudor hoops game from the 1950s!
• All aboard this 1970s MLB Lionel model train car complete with team logos.
• The late, great Apex provided this distinctive peach logo and design for this (Atlanta) Super Bowl XXVIII polo shirt.
• From Leo Strawn, here’s a 1970s California Golden Seals skate bottle opener.
• Here’s a Dolphins glass from Dan Marino’s Fine Food & Spirits. Surprised the league let him use the logo- or shhhh, maybe they just didn’t know.
• This 1970s Rawlings baseball jacket has the company brand rather than any MLB team.
• Don’t you like the simple look of these NFL helmets and facemasks? Of course you do, and while the auction shows eight separate helmets, this one is just for the Vikings bumper sticker from Hallmark Cards.
• What is this 1970s Jovan cologne-sponsored NY Jets jacket made of? Plastic? Vinyl? Bet that would be comfortable in a nice warm humid summer evening shower.
• You know how hi-tech football cleats of today are. Check out state of the art for the middle 1960s before Puma and Adidas crept in from overseas. You wore Riddell, or you went barefoot. I never realized that white trim on the sides had the laces looped through it, so you’d tighten them for more mid-foot support.
• And look how lo-tech these are. Here’s a B&W print ad from the early 1970s for the adidas “Americana” shoe, which was the official shoe for the ABA. Had a pair of these red white and blue beauties in 1972 and loved ’em to death, but the white mesh was tough to keep clean (unless you just wore them on the court.) Wait, did I say lo-tech?
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: According to Ross Yoshida, on Friday, Kike Hernandez became the first Dodger to wear striped socks since 1937 (from Ryan Denton). … The Tulsa Drillers will wear animal jerseys for a Zoo Night on Saturday (from OT Sports). … Also from OT Sports: Breast Cancer Awareness jerseys this Saturday for the Birmingham Barons.
NFL News: 49ers QB Jeff Driskel tailored his jerseys so that his sleeve stripes wrap all the way around. The Niners are known for their truncated stripes (from Justin Brown). … Titans LB Avery Williamson will wear custom American flag cleats for 9-11. The league office may fine Williamson if he wears the cleats during the game (from Brinke). … DirecTV’s interface still shows the old Dolphins logo. The team switched logos for the 2013 season (from @NY_Raider, via Phil). … Jordan Mayblum found a Ravens hat with a little-known late 1990s alternate logo (thanks to @_drewski for pointing that out). … Dick Butkus wore a bedazzled uniform for something called the Second Annual Super Comedy Bowl in 1971 (from Gene Sanny).
College Football News: In training camp, Syracuse has been wearing matte navy blue helmets, worn once each of the last two years, and orange pants, which were worn between 2009 and 2012. “A truly bizarre combo, indeed, and one that they’ve yet to bring out onto the field,” writes Perry Matthew Dornbush. … Auburn’s SEC patch has evolved since its 1998 debut, from a pennant-shaped design to the current circle (from Clint Richardson). … New pylons for Florida (from @DaveDoop, via Phil).
Olympics News: Here’s a thorough power rankings of Olympic men’s volleyball uniforms (from Rob St. Claire). … As we know, Nike has an exclusive deal with USA Track and Field, and the company has a bunch of rules regarding how its logos are shown, and how competitors logos are shown. Middle distance runner Emma Coburn sidestepped Rule 40 by draping her New Balance shoes around her neck after winning a bronze medal (from @arrpeeoh, via Phil). … Carmelo Anthony watched a graffiti artist create Melo mural the other day in Brazil.
Hockey News: The Regina Pats of the WHL will wear Toronto Blue Jays-themed jerseys in January. More info here (from Nelson Hackewich, via Phil). … The Rochester Red Wings will wear USA sweaters for Relive the Miracle Night on Friday. Mike Eruzione will be on hand (from Phil).
Grab Bag: Oregon introduced Trail Blazers license plates. We compiled a bunch of pro sports license plates last summer. … Here’s an updated MLS uni tracker through 23 weeks (from Kyle Burkholder). … Cyclist Tony Martin changed teams, going from Etixx ”“ Quick-Step to Katusha. According to Martin: “Team Katusha showed last year that it was a winning team and, honestly, I really like the Katusha jersey” (from Bernie Langer). … Air Force wrestling has sharktooth headgear. Yesterday we noted that Air Force unveiled new helmets inspired by the WWII-era P-40 fighter planes (from Phil). … NASCAR racer Ryan Blaney will drive a Virginia Tech car this weekend. Clint Richardson notes that it uses VT’s new typeface on the logos and car number.
And that’s it for today. Thanks to The Ham for his cycling review, Brinke for the Collectors Corner, and Mike for handling the Ticker.
Get ready to come back tomorrow for the first set of reveals and voting on the Griffins Jersey Contest…and until that time,
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I don’t like to get into politics at all but when I realize the annoying geico cavemen had a sitcom, I want to pray for our nation.”
— Walter P.