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Premier League Kit Review 2016-17

[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.]

PL 550

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

As we kick off (pun intended) my final week handling the weekdays, I’m pleased to bring back to gentlemen who’ve basically handled all the soccer on Uni Watch for 2016 — CJ Fleck and Kyle Evans — and who are here today to bring us their reviews of the 2016-17 EPL (English Premier League) kits. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get started. You can click the pics below to enlarge.

Premier League Kits
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Thanks Phil! We’re happy to check back in again and we really hope everyone has enjoyed our soccer uniform rundowns and ratings that have appeared here in the last six months. This time, we’re taking a look at all of the English Premier League kits for this season, which kicked off during the final weekend of the Olympics. The first noteworthy visual change is that the league itself dropped the sponsorship from the name and changed their league logo and font, with the before and after shown below. As in the past, teams will wear the league logo on one of their jersey sleeves during league games. This can be seen in some of the uniform pictures and a missing league logo simply means the picture came from a preseason friendly rather than a league game.




Arsenal2 Arsenal3

Kyle: The Gunners have 3 kits – their classic red and white home but with a darker red center vertical stripe, a yellow and navy away with a collar, and a black and neon third. I’m not sure I understand the darker red stripe, and although Arsenal traditionally wear yellow/blue in their away, I’m not a fan of the design/template around the armpit area. And why does neon continue to appear on soccer uniforms? (Unfortunately, it gets worse.) Rating: 3 stars home, 2 stars away, 2 stars third

CJ: The dark red looks like a sweat stain in a very specific place. The blue and yellow kit is modern, but not too bad. As for the third, “neon” and “garish” may as well be synonymous. Good/good/stupid.




Bournemouth2 Bournemouth3

Kyle: Bournemouth have a new version of their traditional red and black vertical stripe home, a blue and light blue horizontal stripe away, and a (yup) neon third. I like how the striping pattern is identical on the blue jersey and socks, and why is neon used as the primary color of any jersey? (Unfortunately, it still gets worse.) Rating: 4 stars home, 4 stars away, 1 star third

CJ: Stripes, beautiful stripes! The hoops on the blue are a little too subtle for my tastes, but definitely a nice move. But of course we must finish with more eye gouging neon. Good/good/stupid.





Kyle: Burnley have home and away versions utilizing their claret and blue, and the only differences other than swapping the colors is the end of sleeve stripe and the collar appearing on the home jersey. I like those colors, but I’m not sure about the shorts options being white and black, which looks particularly disconnected on the away. Rating: 4 stars home, 3 stars away

CJ: I’ve stated a love of collars before and I’ll repeat it here. Not a fan of anything over two solid pieces as I’ve also stated before. Mark these begrudgingly good/good.




Chelsea2 Chelsea3

Kyle: The Blues have an all-blue home and an all-white third which are effectively color swapped (minus end of sleeve stripes) and a black away with gray horizontal stripes and neon elements. Can’t go wrong with the simple home and third, but even as a Chelsea supporter, I can’t support that away kit. Rating: 5 stars home, 2 stars away, 5 stars third

CJ: Simplicity and elegance from one of the top clubs. Except that black away that reminds me of tire treads, which is appropriate given the sponsor. Good/stupid/good.



Crystal Palace


Kyle: Crystal Palace have a home jersey that can be described as blue with wide red sides and sleeves or red with a large blue center stripe and a yellow away with a red and blue sash. I like that the home design is different and I think it works here and I really like the team colors sash, but not the overwhelming amount of yellow. Rating: 4 stars home, 2 stars away

CJ: Contrary to Kyle I am a fan of the away. Love the sash design as well as the somewhat muted color choice of yellow; it works well with the red and blue. Oh, and the home is great too. Good/Good.




Everton2 Everton3

Kyle: The Toffees have a blue and white home but with a touch of yellow added to the sleeves, shorts, and socks, an all-black with some orange away, and a yellow and blue third. I really like the yellow as a minor accent color, but not as the primary color, and Everton’s away happens to be effectively exactly the same as Hull City’s and in their colors. Rating: 5 stars home, 2 stars away, 2 stars third

CJ: Some teams retain their elegance while also making minor mistakes. Everton’s addition of yellow accents is a prime example of this. I’d also say the black away is fine, if only they didn’t go with orange. The third…at least it isn’t neon? Good/good/good.



Hull City


Kyle: The Tigers have wide orange and black vertical stripes on their home jersey, and an all-black away with orange elements. Call me a traditionalist, but I like when teams actually use their team colors in both their home and away kits. Rating: 4 stars home, 3 stars away

CJ: Points off on the home for the odd Y shaped collar design, but I agree with Kyle on keeping color schemes. Good/good.



Leicester City

Leicester2 Leicester3

Kyle: The stunning league champions from last season, Leicester City return with an all-blue home, an all-red with a subtle gradient from lighter to darker red away, and an-all white with blue pinstripes third that unlike the home and away, does not feature a collar. The gradient is unnecessary, but otherwise, this is a clean uniform set. Rating: 5 stars home, 3 stars away, 5 stars third

CJ: More collars! And pinstripes as well! Count me in. Red is an admittedly odd choice, but the execution could be much worse. Good/good/good.




Liverpool2 Liverpool3

Kyle: Liverpool have an all-red home, an all-black away with red side stripes, and an all-neon (yup!) third with a gray shoulder/sleeve stripe. I actually kind of like the red stripes and how they stand out against the black, and why is that third allowed to exist? Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away, 0 stars third

CJ: Beautiful home, mildly interesting away, and a borderline crime of a third. They look like a training top. Good/good/stupid.



Manchester City


Kyle: The only Premier League team outfitted by Nike, Manchester City has a pair of jerseys each using the template seen on many of the national teams over the summer, with the home using a darker blue on the sleeves and the away using maroon on the sleeves to complement the black jersey and yellow elements. No more complaints about the template from me, my biggest problem here is with the color combination on the away. Rating: 4 stars home, 2 stars away (and a preemptive 0 stars for their leaked third which features an orange to purple gradient)

CJ: Not a terrible use of the template on the home, but the away color scheme looks terrible to me. Good/stupid/assuming stupid.



Manchester United

ManUnited2 ManUnited3

Kyle: The Red Devils have three different Adidas designs – a home red/darker red divided by small hexagons, a blue away incorporating a “heathered t-shirt” look, and a white third with small black to gray hexagons used as a shoulder/sleeve stripe. All of the kits are unique, but at the same time seem to go together as well. The only thing I would change is the color of the blue shorts to match the jersey/socks, but otherwise well done. Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away, 5 stars third

CJ: Adidas has artfully crafted some new ideas without going over the top. I especially enjoy the heathered look, though not with the red. Good all around.





Kyle: Newly promoted Boro have a red home jersey with a wide white and thin blue diagonal stripe on the bottom portion and a light blue and navy blue away including a gradient chevron which matches the template of the current Houston Dynamo away jersey. I don’t like that lower stripe, particularly with the white shorts and I find it interesting that an EPL and MLS team have effectively the same uniform. Nice color combinations though. Rating: 3 stars home, 4 stars away

CJ: Odd and unique without being ridiculous; Boro should be proud. A little underwhelmed by the away, but I’ll take it. Good/good.





Kyle: Southampton are newly outfitted by Under Armour and have a home kit featuring a white panel for logos and an identical red and white striping pattern on the jersey, side of shorts, and socks along with a black and gray away kit. I absolutely love the home striping and the use of black and will even forgive that white panel as a result, but there’s nothing to forgive on the away. Black and gray? Rating: 5 stars home, 2 stars away

CJ: I’m not sure I can forgive the white panel and the striped piping. The whole home seems like everybody in the meeting got to contribute a design element. Plus, the white panel seems designed to highlight the UA logo. I don’t think I have to address the away. Stupid/stupid.



Stoke City


Kyle: Stoke have a newer version of their classic red and white vertical stripes with a collar as well as an all-sky blue away without a collar. Nothing wrong with the home, but I’m left wanting something else or something more for the away. Rating: 5 stars home, 3 stars away

CJ: An elegant home with a boring away. You could have had collars on both, Stoke! Good/good.




Sunderland2 Sunderland3

Kyle: Sunderland have a red and white vertical stripe home with gold accents, a white with blue gradient sash away, and a pink and purple (!) horizontal striped third. Love the home, wondering why the sash is a gradient rather than a solid color, and umm their third is…different? I still think Liverpool’s third is worse, but let’s just say this color combination doesn’t exactly work. Rating: 5 stars home, 3 stars away, 1 star third

CJ: A simple home, an understated yet problematic away, and an ungodly abomination of a third. It all started so well and went downhill so quickly. Good/good/stupid.



Swansea City


Kyle: Swansea have an all-white home and a turquoise to navy gradient away. I’m left wanting some use of black on the home jersey and if a jersey has to be gradient, there’s a lot worse than this one. Rating: 4 stars home, 3 stars away

CJ: Enough with the gradients! Also, ditch the black socks. Good/stupid.



Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham2 Tottenham3

Kyle: Spurs have a white home with navy shoulders and gold accents, an all-navy away with gold sleeve stripes, and a mustard third with navy pinstripes. Kudos to sticking to a color scheme throughout the uniforms which many teams can’t say, but that navy shoulder design on the home jersey is off-putting to me. Of the three, the away is easily my favorite – clean design and solid color combination. Rating: 3 stars home, 5 stars away, 2 stars third

CJ: I have to second Kyle on the home’s shoulder element. As well, the away keeps the advertising in the color scheme, something more teams should consider. The third is solid; I like the pinstripes. Good/good/good.





Kyle: Watford have a yellow/black/yellow home kit with a red side stripe on the jersey, and an all-white away with black sleeves. They’re also the only team in the league in which each jersey option features a collar. I love the use of team colors and the red stripe on the home, and I guess their new uniform supplier played it safe with the away? Rating: 5 stars home, 3 stars away

CJ: You know the collar love is coming from me at this point. I enjoy the simplicity of the home, but cannot stand the away’s sock choice. I don’t understand this trend, and I don’t like it. Good/good.



West Bromwich Albion


Kyle: West Brom have a white and navy vertical stripe home which also includes light blue trim, and an all-navy away with light blue pinstripes and trim. Again, I tend to like the continuity of colors between the uniforms and call me a fan of this set and the light blue pinstripes. Rating: 5 stars home, 5 stars away

CJ: Love the home, but pinstripes can’t save the away. That’s a neon color and you know it, West Brom. You’re not fooling me. Good/stupid.



West Ham United


Kyle: West Ham have a new stadium (the renovated Olympic Stadium from London 2012) and a new version of their claret and sky blue home as well as a white away with sky blue shorts. Love the home and again, the use of team colors in each kit. Rating: 5 stars home, 4 stars away

CJ: Can’t argue with what Kyle said. Good/good.


Sweet stuff! Thanks, guys!!!

Well readers (especially you soccer/EPL guys & gals — and I know you’re out there) — what do you think?

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The Wonderful Story of the Millard North Tape Job

A short while ago, I received a note from reader Patrick Homa, who noticed I had retweeted this:

(That also appeared in the ticker for that day or the next day).

In his initial note, Patrick wrote:

Hi Phil,

My name is Patrick Homa and I have been a daily Uni Watch reader for almost 4 years. First off, you, Paul, and the rest of the Uni Watch team do an outstanding job keeping those of us who “Get It” up to speed.

I wanted to reach out because today, I saw you retweeted Millard North HS’s updated football helmet with the unique blue tape job running around the helmet. I attended Millard North in Omaha, Nebraska from 2007-2011 and played football there, and I wanted to contact you to see if you would have any interest in posting anything about the story and tradition behind the tape job. To my knowledge, we were/still are the only team out there with this helmet style, and it has achieved a level of reverence amongst the coaches, team, and school. Here’s the story:

In the late ’90s, (1997 I believe), Millard North (MN) was in a game in which they were losing by a few touchdowns. Since the 80s, we have run an old-school wingbone option offense, which always makes our quarterback the most important player on the team. In the ’97 game, our QB had one of his top chinstrap buckles break after taking a hit to the region. So he could still play, he taped up his helmet like you see now to hold the chinstrap in place. Legend has it that MN came back to win the game, and ever since, we tape up our helmets every season. The tape is like a badge of honor: only the varsity players are allowed to do it (sorry freshmen and JV teams), and we never tape our helmets until the first game – kind of like how the Cowboys “earn” the Star on the side of their helmets. Most players not remove the tape if we are on a winning streak and will add 2-3 layers each week – the band can get really thick by the end of the season if we are particularly good that year! Millard North is the most successful football program in Nebraska in terms of wins and state titles, and our head coach has been there since the early 80s. It is a very special and unique tradition, and something I thought would be interesting to use on the site, or at the very least, give you something entertaining to read about!

Sorry to send such a long email, but I hope you enjoyed reading about it. I can certainly go into more detail if you would like. Keep up the great work at Uni Watch! Although I am an alum of TCU and have a contradictory opinion of the color purple to you and Paul, I can assure you that your site has provided a source of great interest and enjoyment for me.

Thank you and have a great day!

Patrick Homa

Intrigued, I asked if Patrick would like to follow up — and after a few back and forths (and since he attended, I asked him for a couple photos/recollections of himself!), he obliged. What follows is wonderful. Here’s his story (click any photo below to enlarge):

+ + + + + + + + + + +

Omaha, Nebraska’s Millard North High School has always taken a no-frills, simple approach to its football uniforms: solid blue home uniform, white away uniform, and silver pants. However, when fans shift their view to the helmets, they see one of the most unique helmet designs in the country.


With the Mustangs being the school mascot, many wonder why there isn’t any sort of logo on the helmet. The story behind the helmet tape is largely unknown, but it has become a distinguishing symbol of the Mustangs throughout Nebraska. I attended Millard North from 2007-2011 and played for the football team and am one of the few who is familiar with the mystique of “The Tape”.

The Tape has taken on a sort of legendary status amongst the football team over the years. In the ’80s and early ’90s, the school had a blue version of the SMU Mustang logo on its helmets.


The Tape made its first appearance in the late ’90s, (1996 I believe). Millard North was in a game in which they were losing by a few touchdowns. We have had the same head coach since the early ’80s, and he has always run an old-school wingbone option offense, which makes the quarterback the most important player on the team. In the ’96 game, the quarterback took a hit to the side of his helmet and one of his top chinstrap buckles broke. To stay in the game, he taped up his helmet to hold the chinstrap in place. Legend has it that MN came back to win the game, and ever since, we tape up our helmets every season.

The Tape has become a badge of honor: only the varsity players are allowed to do it (sorry freshmen and JV teams), and we never tape our helmets until the first game – similar to how the Dallas Cowboys “earn” the Star on the side of their helmets in training camp. Most players not remove the tape if we are on a winning streak and will add 2-3 layers each week – the band gets quite thick by the end of the season if we are particularly good that year! Players frequently use their tape to write messages, quotes, tributes to injured players, etc.


4 (This one is me - offering tribute to my Aunt who survived breast cancer)
(This one is me – offering tribute to my Aunt who survived breast cancer)

In recent seasons, the team has altered the tape color to show support for causes. Last season, the team used pink tape to support a teacher who is a breast cancer survivor.


This season, the team will be sporting blue tape in support to Nebraskan Lane Graves, the toddler tragically killed at Disney World this summer, and his family.


Millard North is the most successful football program in Nebraska in terms of wins, playoff appearances, and state titles. Tradition is a vital part of the program and The Tape is the most special and unique. The feeling you get taping up your helmet for the first time is one that you will never forget.

7 (Me, back when I had some athletic ability!)

(Me, back when I had some athletic ability!)

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Thanks so much for sharing the story, Patrick!

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Brinke’s Question of the Week

Yeah, I know.

This is usually Mike Chamernik‘s territory — but after begging Mike for two QOTW’s over the past month (and knowing he’s come up with some fantastic ones), our own Brinke Guthrie asked if I was interested in having a Question of the Week from him.

Well, of course. I love the QOTW — maybe I’ll do them occasionally when I return to the weekends, but for now…we’ll see what Brinke has to say. Here’s Brinke:


When you move, who do you then pull for? Does your allegiance to your former teams get packed in the U-Haul along with your team tees and jerseys, or do you do a loyalty reboot when you pull in to your new home?

After all, as Jerry Seinfeld famously put it, “we’re just rooting for the clothes.”

For example, growing up in Louisville, once I discovered the Reds and Bengals, that was it. We moved to Dallas, and I didn’t give those teams a second thought, — I had the Cowboys and the new Rangers. Went to Sanger Harris department store and got this jersey. Whoops, only one year in Dallas, and back to the midwest, and Cincinnati — so I signed up with the Reds and Bengals again. I stayed a Cowboys fan, but the Rangers faded. Can’t say what happened to my Cowboys/Rangers stuff back then, but I do recall one of the first things I bought upon arriving in Cincinnati was one of these Bengals jackets.


Great question, Brinke. Normally I “play” along with the QOTW, but since I’ve never really moved anywhere that wasn’t close to where I was born (I’ve *moved* a bunch of times, including my four years to upstate New York for college — but it was either there or to some other place on Long Island). The only *loyalty* I may have even had a chance to build from upstate was maybe the Buffalo Bills (they always had the Sunday game on NBC then), but that wasn’t going to happen. But what about you guys (and gals) who have moved? What did you do?

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T-Shirt Club launch: Hi, folks. Paul here, with our latest Uni Watch T-Shirt Club design.

Before I get to it, some news: We are no longer doing these shirts via Teespring. This isn’t due to any specific problems or issues with Teespring (although I did have some concerns about a few aspects of working with them), but rather because my creative partner on the T-Shirt Club project, Bryan Molloy, no longer works at Teespring. He now works for a company called Represent, which operates almost exactly like Teespring does. From your standpoint, the customer experience should be virtually identical.

Now then: Our latest shirt is devoted to soccer. Here’s the design (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):

We’re offering this design in four different shirt colors — maroon, black, dark green, and heather grey:

The shirt is available here. As of now, the sales listing shows that the shirt is available until Sept. 10, but that will be changed to Sept. 7 or 8. That’s still a bit longer than our usual one-week period — I want to build in some extra time because of the Labor Day weekend, and also because traffic here on the site is a bit lower during my August break. Basically, I just want to make sure everyone has a chance to see and order the shirt.

While we’re at it, this is a good time to mention something that’s been on my mind: Reader Nathan Stewart recently suggested that there should really be a Uni Watch baseball cap. It’s true that we’ve never had one (unless you count this), and I agree that it would be a fun thing to offer. But what would the design be? I don’t think a “UW” logo would work, because that’s too closely associated with the University of Washington.

So I’ve decided to hold a design contest to create a Uni Watch baseball cap. The contest will be held soon — probably next month. The winning designer will receive $100 and a free cap, and the winning design will be put into production and offered for sale. Speaking of which: There are lots of companies out there that make ballcaps, and I have no idea which ones are better than others. Ideally, I’d like to find a company that operates like Teespring and Represent (i.e., the company will offer a fixed-time-period campaign, manufacture the proper number of caps based on the number of orders, and handle all the shipping). If anyone has a specific recommendation, I’m all ears.

More on that later. Meanwhile, one more time, the soccer shirt is available here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News:  The Blue Jays wore red on Sunday for Canada Baseball Day (from  Phil). …  Whoever made this Facebook ad is a little confused (from  Tony Crespo). … The Atlanta Braves appeared as the Boston Red Caps on Google different points over the weekend (from  Douglas Ford). … The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRaiders wore “Pierogiesjerseys on Friday. Their opponent, the Rochester Red Wings, wore a mix of NOB and NNOB (from  Michael Slesinski).

NFL News:  Did the Raiders add a black outline to their numbers this year? Sure looks like it (from  Ramon Meza). … 49ers fans are burning their Colin Kaepernick jerseys after he failed to acknowledge the National Anthem on Friday. … The NFL has new official coins for the coin toss. Here’s what they looked like last year (from  David Firestone). …  The Broncos’ C.J. Anderson suffered a huge jersey tear this weekend (from  Matt Barnett).

College Football News:  New uniforms for Houston, via a read who did not provide his name. … According to  Zach Mallory, Oregon will wear six different pairs of pants this season. …  For those interested, here’s the logo guidebook for Colorado State University (from  Douglas Ford). … Davenport University played their first football game this weekend, sporting a black and red look (from  Joe Holloman). … This is what the Big XII would look like if the team’s bands played football (from Nathan Gruber).

Hockey News:  The owners of the NHL’s new Las Vegas hockey franchise have filed for trademarks for Desert Knights, Golden Knights and Silver Knights. Each nickname was filed with location name “Las Vegas” and “Vegas” (from Ted Arnold). …  Great piece about  a Blues prototype jersey that never made the ice, and its journey through the years (from  Tom Donnelly). … Looks like Germany’s Thomas Greiss will be using fauxback goalie pads for the World Cup of Hockey (from  John Muir). … Cory Schneider of the US will be wearing flag-themed pads (from  Mike Engle). … In 1966, a thief made off with 50 jerseys from the Red Wings locker room. A team official said the damages were $1,000 ”” just $20 a jersey (from  JW).

Soccer News:  Here’s more on Arsenal’s 2016-17 kits (from   Trev). …  New kits for VMI (from  Scott Wood). … Thanks to Google Translate, we know that Chivas will wear special uniforms for their 110th anniversary (from  Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag:  Ralph Lauren unveiled the American team uniforms for the Ryder Cup yesterday (from  Phil). …  Parish Parcel, a Louisiana food subscription service, is selling these T-shirts (with an awesome logo) in support of communities devastated by recent floods. They’ll donate 100 percent of the sales to relief organizations (from Daniel Fontenot). … Sorry Paul, but there was a ton of purple at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday in memory of Prince (from  Booted Newswoman). … Looks like Texas high school football is buying into the whole Color Rash thing (from  DJMFF).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks to Kyle & CJ for that in depth EPL (p)review, Patrick for the wonderful helmet tape piece, Brinke for the QOTW (hope Mike’s not mad!) and Alex for the ticker! Phew. Oh, and make sure to check out the new UW t-shirt offering!

Tomorrow, be sure to tune back in to Uni Watch — as Paul will have the HUGE GIANT MASSIVE NCAA Football rundown over on the Mothership, and we’ll be previewing it here! It’s my second mostest favorite ESPN column by Paul each year (trailing only the MLB Preview). Can’t wait for that!

And Wednesday, I’ll be announcing the winners (yes, there are TWO) of the Griffins Alternate Jersey Design contest, among other great stuff. It may be the doldrums of summer, but there’s big stuff this final week of August right here on Uni Watch. Till tomorrow…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The Dodgers are still having problems with striped socks. I can understand, the last time they wore striped hosiery was when God turned on the lights.”
— Tornaitbird

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Comments (80)

    I guess if you have small children, and they will be in the area for years, it may be a good idea for them to root for the home team. Then again, I never understood the concept of why a older child should start rooting for new teams just because of a move. Much less, anyone older.

    And if you’re an adult, it’s likely a portion of your tax money is already helping the home sports teams. And I always enjoy my original teams taking down the “home” team.

    If you grew up in St. Louis, went to Mizzou in 1985, and then moved to KC?
    You would not root for the Royals.

    Those band uniforms as football jerseys are “if the football team wore jerseys with those designs” NOT “if the band played football”. As a former band member myself I know nobody wants to see that.

    I don’t know about that; those of us that were in the band in high school put together some pickup football games that probably looked a little more like rugby. In fact, the school’s head coach made it a point to his players that they were NOT to play pickup with us.

    I grew up a Phillies fan in NE PA and then moved to Dayton, OH, for grad school. I figured I’d only be there temporarily so I continued cheering for the Phils. Then I moved to Toledo and now near Akron, where I am surrounded by Tribe fans. Nine years in Ohio isn’t so temporary. I do occasionally cheer for the Indians because it’s socially acceptable, the Jake is less than an hour from home, and easier when they’re winning; however, I think my continued loyalty to the Phillies, despite not seeing them on national TV, is easier because they are in a different league.

    Chivas wore the jersey on Saturday. Funny thing, his Clásico rivals (América) are celebrating their 100th anniversary (october) so Chivas decided to use their historical kit to join the celebration. Only problem is that América played with their regular kit instead of doing a throwback game.

    Kyle and CJ
    Great work as always. On a side note, I’ve noticed that the Nike template has a stripe on the side that has probably gone unnoticed but which now is kind-of-copied by Adidas with the 3 stripe design being moved from the shoulders to the side.
    This Nike stripe has been appearing for the past 2 years (post World Cup) and in almost every Nike branded team (Barcelona, Man City, Atlético, UNAM, América, Portugal, USA, etc) even in jerseys which don’t require a break in color

    I’m pretty sure Arsenal’s second shirt is yellow and /gray/, and the third is /navy/ and neon. (The away kit would be massively improved if it were blue instead of gray, IMO.)

    Every other year their away kit will be blue. It has become a thing of managing between yellow and blue

    Here’s hoping the Nebraska High School Athletic Association (or however it exists)doesn’t find a problem with tape, personalized tape, colored tape, or whatever tape on a football helmet.

    Nice story about Millard North’s tape but a correction: Millard North is not the most successful school in Nebraska state football history. Omaha Creighton Prep and Lincoln Southeast both have nine titles to Millard North’s five and there are Class B, C, and Eight-Man teams that have more as well.

    Yes I’m pedantic. :-)

    when i was young, we moved from OH to NC. i kept my teams, i was a kid and i rooted for the teams my dad rooted for. when the Browns moved to Baltimore, i started to pull for the Panthers, since ’95 was their first year and last season for the Browns. Once the Browns came back, so did my fandom for them.

    Did you guys even look at the Arsenal kits before writing this? The away kit, which is a throwback to the away kits from 2005-06, are yellow and grey. And the 3rd kit is a very dark navy, not black- a similar shade of blue to the 2000 3rd kit.

    As much as I dislike neon colors, the 3rd kit looks great in person. For some reason it just works.

    I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I’ve been curious about the tradition/protocol with European soccer kits. The idea that the “away kit” or “change kit” didn’t have to be in team colors was somewhat surprising. I actually kind of like it, but I’m not sure that’s something that American audiences would take to. For example, if the Lakers suddenly said their away uniforms were going to be green and blue.

    I understand there’s a bit of tradition even in the difference (Arsenal with the yellow/blue, for example), but I’m wondering how this would play in say the NBA/NFL/MLB. Closest I can think of is that the Detroit Tigers don’t wear orange at home, but it’s on the roads.

    Its a fairly new trend. Teams used to have a white and a color kit. Sometimes instead of white it was light color.
    Now you see many with the away kit being color and the case you are referring is more for 3rd kits where teams push sales with these kind of jerseys.

    Does Jonathan Villar always wear Earl Campbell sized thigh pads when playing? I noticed them yesterday when he hit the homer in the Bucco game. Tried to get a good still of it but the video does a better job at showing them.

    The “helmet tape” tradition used by the high school is goofy looking but I guess is at least a unique and quirky look.

    However, players really shouldn’t be allowed to write messages on it, no matter how well-intended. It takes away from the concept of a “uniform”.

    I grew up in Iowa, which is pretty much a no-man’s-land for professional teams to root for, but cable TV came with WGN which meant the Cubs were the closest thing to a home team for me. That lasted as I moved around the Midwest. But then I moved to the DC area right around the same time the Nationals relocated here, so I started following them. For one thing it is easier, since the local media covers the local team more, and it felt like we were both starting out here together.

    Haven’t the Cubs AAA team played in Iowa since… ever? I remember when MLB would have a labor interruption, we would get televised AAA games, including Iowa.

    Sure, the I-Cubs were there in central Iowa, and I was usually living on the eastern part of the state where the Cedar Rapids A? level team was (either the Reds or Kernels depending on who they are affiliated with). But minor league ball just isn’t quite the same as the majors, particularly when it comes to media coverage.

    No mention of West Ham’s all navy third retro-inspired kit, with the umbro and jersey sponsor/advertiser in matching navy?


    I was born, raised and lived in Los Angeles County and my teams were the Dodgers and Lakers. I didn’t get in to football until high school and to this day prefer college ball over the pros, perhaps that was because the Raiders and Rams moved away in 1995 as I was getting into football. I moved to Charlotte, NC over 5 years ago and decided to adopt/pull for the local team. I don’t claim to be a die hard fan however, I root for them to do well and win. I had 29 years of Dodger Blue and Lakers purple and gold in me. I pull for them no matter where I live even though I hardy ever see them and sometimes when I do the game starts at 10pm for me.


    I was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Northern West Virginia, and then moved back to Los Angeles/Orange County as a 9 year old. I now live and work in Portland, after going to college in Corvallis, Oregon. This somewhat reflects my sports teams, I’m a die-hard Lakers fan (even though I now live/work two miles from the Moda Center in Portland), a Steelers fan, a Timbers (MLS) fan, and if I had to follow baseball/hockey it would be the Angels and the Penguins, but I’m nowhere near consistent enough with those sports.

    QOTW: My family and I moved from the Chicago suburbs to just outside of Atlanta when I was in the 7th grade. Rather than starting to support any of the Atlanta area sports teams, my entire family and I continued our support of our various Chicago sports teams.

    In regards to the Kaepernick “controversy,” I find it fascinating to see the lengths that people are going to in order to preserve faux patriotism and jingoism while refusing to recognize the place of the First Amendment in our society.

    I find it hilarious in the football helmet story that the term “legend has it” is used to refer to something that happened in 1996.

    Agreed. The “legend has it” remark in the helmet tape story is my favorite part of Uni Watch today.

    QOTW: In 1995 I went away to college in Rochester, NY, after growing up in Western PA and rooting for all the Pittsburgh teams. After college I settled in Rochester and still live here today. I never once even considered abandoning my allegiance to the Black and Gold, but I’ve also adopted the minor league teams based here in Rochester (the baseball Red Wings and hockey Americans), as well as the teams from my alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology. Growing up I was a fan of Penn State football, and remain so today. Quite convenient as RIT has not fielded a football team since 1977!

    PS: Phil, whereabouts in upstate NY did you go to college?

    “Phil, whereabouts in upstate NY did you go to college?”


    Clinton, NY (home of Hamilton College)

    I’m don’t know much about soccer, but it just seems bizarre to me that the away uniforms are different colors from the home colors.

    It’s a cultural thing, teams wear their home uniform (kits) wherever possible (*). The change kits are an afterthought, something that is meant to provide contrast.
    Chelsea wear blue shirts & short & white socks. When they’re playing at Manchester United’s home ground they know the Red Devils will wear red shirts, white shorts & black socks. There is plenty of contrast there and each team can wear their colours.
    Most teams have a traditional change kit that might not have something to do with their usual colours (Arsenal typically wear yellow shirts & blue shorts despite these not being their home colours).

    I’m relatively new to American sports, find it far more confusing when Denver Broncos wear a white jersey & navy pants in Seattle. Surely an orange jersey and white pants makes far more sense against all navy?
    Never mind when certain teams in hot parts of the country (e.g. Carolina Panthers) chose to wear white at home during warmer months of the season. White isn’t one of their colours!

    (* a worrying exception is when a team has a new away kit they want to sell. Example, Arsenal wearing their third kit (navy,navy, fluro/neon yellow away to Watford (yellow, black, yellow) last Saturday)

    “White isn’t one of their colours”

    White is kind of implicitly one of every team’s colors in American sports. The only team I think of it being the base color for in the NFL is the Miami Dolphins (although an argument might be made for the Dallas Cowboys)

    I’m something of a cumulative homer. First place my family lived with pro sports teams was Philly, but we were there only briefly. So while I was a huge Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and Fever fan. But I was only 8 when we moved to Minneapolis, so I dropped my Philly teams and became a huge fan of the Twins, Vikes, and North Stars. I then went to college, and spent most of my adult life in, Washington DC, but during college I also drifted away from sports other than baseball and soccer. So I was pretty much a Twins and DC United fan. I’ve been a huge Nats fan since they came to Washington, and it helped that they’re in the NL, so I sort of had a team in each league to root for. In interleague series, I rooted for whoever needed the win more. Then I got back into hockey during lean years for both the Wild and the Caps, and since I really don’t like to be a bandwagon fan, their mutual badness made it easy for me to be a dual-city fan in the NHL as well as in MLB.

    Now that I’m in Wisconsin, I’ve thrown myself into rooting for the Brewers, unless they’re playing the Nats, and if I were at all into basketball I’d definitely root for the Bucks. But long childhood antipathy means that I just can’t bring myself to root for the Packers. So now I’m a Twins, Nats, Brewers, Wild, Caps, and Minn U fan. Trying to cheer for the home team feels a bit like a minor civic duty to me, along the lines of getting to know your neighbors or shoveling your sidewalk.

    If I had kids, I would totally do as my dad did and make ours a home-team household. I didn’t even know until I was an adult that my dad was a huge Yankees and Cardinals fan, since those were the teams he could hear on the radio in 1940s Iowa. (I knew he knew a lot about those teams, and admired their great players of his youth, but not that he still regarded himself as a fan.) For my sake, dad always threw himself into rooting for the home teams with me, whether that was the Phillies or the Twins, and even if that meant cheering against his own favorite team in the 1987 World Series. If a child decides to root for another team, that’s fine, but parents raising their children to root for a distant team against their own community’s standard bearers irritates me. It’s on the spectrum with cult indoctrination, and anyway the family lives where it lives because that’s what the parents chose, so if sports allegiance were really so important to pass down to the next generation, the parents should have chosen to live where that team is the home side.

    I was born in 1966, and until 1979 I lived in Iowa.
    The way (at the time at least) NFL broadcasts worked was the Vikings and Chiefs were basically the ‘local’ teams.
    I was a huge Vikings fan as a child.
    Wasn’t into hockey or basketball at the time at all, so I never had ‘favorite’ teams back then.
    I vaguely liked baseball, and I can’t remember any other reason than the Reds being my team other than at the time they were the best team. But my heart wasn’t really into baseball.

    Then in 1979 I moved to northern California. The Vikings remained and still remain my favorite football team, although I consider the 49ers my #2 favorite (despite Jed York seeming to actively want people off the bandwagon).
    Another thing that happened around the time I moved to California was meeting a friend who was into baseball just as much as football, and because of him, I became a Giants fan, of which I also remain today.
    While I watch and enjoy basketball, and consider the Warriors my favorite, the passion I feel for the sport isn’t close to football or baseball (or even soccer nowadays).
    Hockey… since the strike where they lost a season, I frankly just don’t care about it. I was kinda into the Sharks before the strike.


    It’s inconceivable that anyone who grew up in Pittsburgh could ever root for a ta other than the Steelers. It’s what unites the Pittsburgh diaspora no matter where we are. It’s been passed on to the next generation as my NYC raised boys are all Steeler fans. (We did cheer the Giants Superbowl victories, however…) I remain a Pirates fan tho when we moved here I became a Yankee partial season ticket holder. (Probably because they wee on the other some of the 1960 game that shaped the way I see the world..) Pens hockey. 10 years in Oklahoma left me a Sooner college football fan and basketball, I’ve migrated to the Nets. But Steelers (and Pirates) run deepest….

    my NYC raised boys are all Steeler fans. (We did cheer the Giants Superbowl victories, however…)

    My NYC-raised Packer fan kids did, too. It’s good to appreciate the home team even if it isn’t “our” team.

    I grew up in New England and moved to Pittsburgh several years ago. I can’t fathom ditching the Sox/Bruins/Patriots/Celtics for the Pirates/Penguins/Steelers. The most I can do is wish the Pirates well.

    Maybe switching allegiances makes more sense as a child.

    I was an army brat until I was 12. We never lived anywhere longer than a year or two in a row. Pops was a lifer and when he pulled the pin after 20, he went into masonry construction
    and we moved every 6 months. We would end up in Missouri several times in between jobs. Listened to Royals and started following them in ’73. We would be in PA, NY, NC, NV, DE and KC was always buried in any sportspage. I grew up with the heartbreak of the ’70’s and saw the promise land in 1985. Moved to Pacific Northwest in 1979. Followed Mariners as a courtesy. Still had KC roots,but when 2 sons came along in 87 and 89, it was all Mariners. Royals 2014 and 2015 seasons brought back great memories. Kind of of like the first girl you kissed. She might be a stunner today,but you have love the one that your kids grew up with.

    Hey guys, just got back from a couple weeks in France without regular internet access – have we talked about the fact that Gannett has link? Huge loss for all historical researchers interested in the city, including Uni Watchers.

    Love the EPL review, but I feel compelled to note that many soccer clubs do not think of their kits as home or away, but rather primary and change. Teams such as Swansea (my team) will wear their white primary kit as much as possible, and rarely change except perhaps when they play Spurs or some other all-white-kit team. Same with many other teams — Chelsea will probably wear blue in away matches unless their opponent is also blue i.e. Leicester. Third kits are usually reserved for use in European competitions such as Champions League or Europa League.

    Yeah, it really is a different approach.

    I like it on the whole, because it allows teams to play with current hot colors and trends like BFBS without having to trash their visual history. Introduce as many neon alternates as you want, but leave the classic colors alone.

    Except… By Premier League rule, each team has to wear their change kit at least eight times during the 38-match regular season (so, eight of their 19 away matches, as one presumes a team will always wear the primary kit at home).

    After all, as Jerry Seinfeld famously put it, “we’re just rooting for the clothes.”

    That’s a clever line, but I’ve never thought it’s quite right. When I follow a team, I’m not cheer for the clothes (even as a Uni Watcher), but for the city.

    I can’t support a team in a city to which I don’t have a connection. I grew up in New York and Milwaukee, and all of my strongest loyalties are related to the Cream City. I can’t support any football team besides Green Bay, and the Brewers will always hold my heart.

    I tried to get into MLS a while back, but just couldn’t because New York didn’t have a team. Now NYCFC has changed all that, and it’s the team I’m most passionate about.

    My kids are being raised on the Packers, but other than having an appreciation for the Brewers are either Mets or Yankees through and through. Those are their hometown baseball clubs, and will always be their first loves.

    Nope. They, like much of MLS, thought that the suburbs were the future. They made it clear early on that they were a suburban club – they didn’t hold their events in the city, they sent out their interns with swag to bars in Jersey.

    Which is why MLS was later so desperate to get a team in NYC.

    I must be feeling grumpy today, but I have to say I’m not a fan of the soccer kit design on the T-shirt. I understand that it uses UniWatch’s color palette, but I would have gone with white shorts instead of burgundy and maybe green and yellow hoops on the socks.

    Grew up in Kansas as an A’s fan.Just when the club was on the cusp of greatness (they were forever bad), Charlie O. moved them to Oakland. The notion of the Royals sprouted soon afterward and after a year’s hiatus actually were on the field.

    I moved in the early ’80s to SE Iowa were there is a 50-50 split between Cubs and Cardinals. The AL wasn’t even acknowledged in coffee talk.

    I tried out the Cubs. That didn’t feel right. Whitey Hezog took over the Cards, so I gave them a shot. That REALLY didn’t feel right. So I quietly returned to the Royals.

    Switching teams really is like switching mothers, right? Can’t do it.

    The 85 Series sealed it. I was a Royal for life. Particularly since Don Deckinger lives in Iowa! That meant some fallow years.

    Fortunately, KC put its single A team where I live as it signed Hosmer, Moustakas, Perez,Dyson, Herrera and the rest of the core. They all played here. Fans saw their potential and a Royals wave has been generated.—- at least while KC is on this run.

    Me? I’m Blue forever. (Unless I’m K-State purple — another story. I think I have the first purple amnesty cards!)

    I have nothing against neon kits, but I will agree that Sunderland’s third kit is beyond words.

    I would like to know why the EPL has so much claret and blue! It’s an odd combination here in the states. But Burnley, West Ham, and also the relegated Aston Villa wear it.

    Great feature! Will you also do this with La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, etc?

    I’m glad claret and blue hasn’t caught on in US sports. IMO that is one ugly color combination.

    Aston Villa were one of the most popular teams as professional soccer/football was starting in England, teams probably imitated them.

    West Ham started in navy blue, from memory they beat Aston Villa in a game and won their jerseys. Jerseys were expensive for an amateur team 120 years ago, so they wore them.

    I still root for the closest thing to a home town team, the St Louis Cardinals [about a 2 1/2- 3 hour drive from my birthplace of Paducah Ky area]. The Cardinals were my father’s ‘home team’ when he was growing up in East Texas, long before they had any MLB teams there. Now in central NC, I have no close MLB team, but I do root for the nearest, the Orioles, as my distant-2nd favorite team, but I liked them somewhat as a kid too [no connection to their having moved from St Louis–that happened the year I was born]. I tried being a Nationals “sympathizer” when they first came to DC, but I just can’t stand them now.

    I am a perfect candidate for the QotW. Thanks Brinke! I am originally from Nebraska, my parents are from Chicago, and we moved to Atlanta when I was 12. I have since lived in Auburn (AL), Chicago, Washington (DC), Denver, Seattle, and now Dallas. So I have rooted for a number of teams over the years. If you don’t mind reading through a small novella, feel free to peruse my various sports team fandom development below.



    Since I am originally from Omaha, I was born a NEBRASKA fan. From infancy, Nebraskans are taught to appreciate the Fullback, love the awarding of the Blackshirts, applaud the opponent, truly welcome visitors to demonstrate sportsmanship… and above all, pull for the almighty CORNHUSKERS. As such, the Big Red will always be “my team” for college football. Part of me still longs for the days of the Big 8 and our rivalry game against Oklahoma… but alas, we are in the Big Ten now, so now I have found new disdain for teams I could have cared less about when I was younger.

    We moved to Atlanta when I was 12, so I pulled for a number of the local teams (Georgia and Georgia Tech), but the Huskers remained my team. I especially enjoyed listening on Saturday afternoons to Larry Munson; but for whatever reason, never really adopted the Bulldogs. I went to numerous stadiums in the south and came to appreciate the zany SEC atmosphere. Indeed, after my undergrad degree, I attended grad school at AUBURN, and went to every home game during my time there. Thus, the Tigers became a second team for me… which also means I can never like Bama ;)


    Given my Nebraska roots, there are no professional sports teams in the state. As others who are from, or grew up in, states with no or only one or two pro sports teams, it has always fascinated me to hear how they become a fan of professional teams.

    My experience is somewhat different in that I have continued to move as my career progresses. And I have several friends from 4-pro sport cities that question my loyalty. My friends in Boston or Chicago or Detroit or DC or even Atlanta cannot understand why I am all over the map. Then I get into the explanations you see here, and they just shake their heads.

    C’est la vie.



    During my elementary school days in Omaha, I pulled for a number of NFL teams when I was younger — primarily based on football cards and my grandfather’s influence.

    I went to school near a drug store and would buy wax packs a couple of times a week — flipping through the colorful array of NFL teams (and uniforms, of course). I liked the Oilers, Cowboys, and Rams for a while in the mid- to late-70’s. I also followed the Jets for a time because my dad brought me back an NYJ sweatshirt from a business trip to NYC.

    For whatever reason, I stuck with the Oilers for quite a while (beginning in about 1978), until they moved to Nashville and became the Titans. (I never lived in Houston, so I had no reason to be loyal to the town and adopt the Texans.)

    Several of my friends in Omaha were Chiefs fans or Vikings fans (sort of the nearest teams to us), but I was contrarian and went with the Broncos during the Tom Jackson and Randy Gradishar Orange Crush days. So I have followed the BRONCOS since about 1977.

    Many Nebraskans were also Packers fans, as they can relate to the small market support structure. However, my parents are from Chicago, so I would often spend much of my early childhood summers in Chicagoland. My grandfather was a BEARS fan, so he influenced me there. I have followed da BEARS since about 1979.

    We moved to Atlanta in 1981, and I followed the Falcons, but never really became a fan. I found it more interesting that I was the “outsider” from Nebraska and supported the BEARS and BRONCOS. That said, as I lived in Atlanta for 15 years, I attended numerous Falcons games at the old Fulton-County Stadium and the Georgia Dome.

    When I moved to Chicago after grad school, da BEARS were a natural fit. I eventually moved to DC and lived there for 10 years; but I never really picked up the ‘Skins. I moved to Denver, and of course the BRONCOS were a natural fit. My wife is from Dallas, but also likes the BRONCOS, so that became our “family team.”

    Then we moved to Seattle just as the Seahawks started playing well again. We rooted for them, but stuck with the BRONCOS. Then we moved to Dallas. Her family is all Cowboys fans, but I find no particular sentiment for them, other than a respect for Tom Landry back in the day.

    Thus, my teams have primarily solidified into two: the BRONCOS and BEARS, in that order.



    As a kid in Nebraska, we had the Omaha Royals (now the “Storm Chasers”) — AAA affiliate for Kansas City; but I probably attended more College World Series games at Rosenblatt Stadium than I did Royals games. Most in Omaha and the rest of Nebraska are Royals fans though.

    My dad was not really a sports fan, so when he read the newspaper, he would always hand me the Sports section. I learned to comb through the box scores of MLB, when there were no articles on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Yankees and Dodgers were good in the late 70’s, so I followed them, as well as the Red Sox; and I also especially enjoyed watching the Orioles and Pirates box scores they played in the World Series (1979 I think).

    I mentioned above that I spent my summers in Chicagoland. As I would wait for my grandpa to walk the tracks home from his blue collar job, I would sit and watch the CUBS games on WGN (when they did not play night games, since they did not have any lights). My dad was a moderate CUBS fan, but never really influenced me. My grandfather was from the South Side, so was a huge WHITE SOX fan. He took my to my first MLB game at Old Comiskey Park. Unlike most Chicagoans, I actually root for both the CUBS and WHITE SOX because I came to love baseball watching both teams.

    (I also played Little League Baseball and junior high and high school baseball from age 9 through 18. I have heard from a number of individuals over the years that they often root for teams that their LLB team shared. Though I played for the “Dodgers,” “Rangers,” “Astros,” and “Orioles” over the years, that never really influence me.)

    We moved to Atlanta as I entered my formative teenage years. I watched the BRAVES daily on our local WTBS Channel 17. During the years we first lived there, Joe Torre took the BRAVES to the playoffs, and I was hooked. I endured the awful 80’s years, and was there at the beginning of the amazing 14 straight Division Titles run that began in the 90’s. I attended the Game 7 NLCS when Sid Bream scored with 2 outs in the 9th to push the Braves into the World Series; and I bought 20-game packages for three years during the special Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz years. By the end of my 15 years in Atlanta, I had attended around 200 games at Fulton-County Stadium.

    I also watched baseball religiously — doing the box scores for hundreds of games in my scorebooks. We finally got Cable TV in the late 80’s, so I watched a lot of WHITE SOX and CUBS games on WGN. I watched the games of the week on NBC, FOX, and ESPN, as well and most of the NLCS/ALCS/WS games over the years. I followed other MLB teams, too, and eventually followed and pulled for: the Cardinals, Astros, Yankees, Royals, Red Sox, Rockies, and Orioles.

    Then I went to grad school at Auburn and moved to Chicago. I picked up where I left off with the WHITE SOX and CUBS — primarily attending dozens of WHITE SOX games in homage to my grandfather… and also because the tickets were cheap and easy to come by ;) I lived two blocks from Wrigley Field, so I also made it to dozens of CUBS games as well. With more money in my pockets I also visited friends around the country and went to many more stadiums, but still stayed with the BRAVES, WHITE SOX, and CUBS.

    After Chicago, I moved to DC — where the only MLB team at the time was the nearby Orioles. I went to many O’s games at beautiful Camden Yards and renewed my quasi-fandom from 1979. Then the Expos moved to DC and the Nationals began to play at RFK Stadium. I could not pull for them, given they were in the same division as the BRAVES; but definitely made it over for many of their games — particularly against Atlanta.

    We moved to Denver and I adopted the Rockies as an add-on team; and I did the same with the Mariners when we moved to Seattle. And now that we live in Dallas, I have attended quite a few games at The Ballpark in Arlington.

    Anyway, all that to say, that with the moving around and following a number of teams, “my team” is truly the BRAVES. However, I also root hard for the WHITE SOX and CUBS. My friends still give me crap for pulling for more than one team; but at least I come by it honestly.


    I grew up in LA in the 80’s. Raiders, Dodgers, Lakers, Kings for me especially after 1988. In 1994 Raiders left town (and Rams left the OC), so I latched onto the Bears because of my Chicagoan cousin.

    1995 I went to college and settled in San Diego after college. I kept my teams but maybe that would have been different if I had still been a child.

    Makes sense that I can make my son a Lakers and Kings fan but I think he should learn to root for his hometown Padres. I’m not sure what to do about football. My dream would be the SD Raiders and I could jump back in with them again. But if SD gets left out in the cold with no team, I have no idea what I will do. Makes no sense to make him a Bears fan since my cousins don’t even live there anymore. My fear is that my in-laws will turn him towards their hometown 49ers.

    I endorse a lot of what arrScott said. I’m also a bit of a cumulative homer, and I think kids should root for their home team, not their parents’ home team.

    I grew up in Central Ohio rooting for the Reds, the Browns, and Ohio State. There was little NBA or NHL on TV in the mid-60s, so I didn’t get into either, although Cincinnati had an NBA team. When the Bengals joined the AFL as an expansion team I shifted my main NFL loyalty to them, although since the Browns were in a different league I could root for both. After the merger I stuck with the Bengals, although I had no dislike for the Browns and still considered myself a fan.

    Moved to St. Louis for undergrad, fell in love with the city, and became a Cardinals fan, both baseball and football. Still liked my old teams but was more into the new ones. Went to Austin for grad school, ended up staying for 10 years, but never felt like a Texan and never had more than the mildest affinity for any of the state’s teams. Kept my baseball Cardinals fandom, especially easy since KMOX came in loud and clear at night. Stopped caring much about the Reds, especially after (1) my dad died and (2) Marge Schott turned them into a laughingstock. In football, when the Cardinals left for Arizona I reverted to the Bengals. Lived for 8 years in northern Utah, never really got interested in the Jazz or the NBA, although several of my friends there were huge fans.

    Since the late 90s I’ve lived near Denver and now am a big fan of the Rockies. Got into soccer about 10 years ago, and have partial season tickets for the Rapids. No longer can stomach the NFL or football in general. So now my teams are the Rockies, the baseball Cardinals, and the Rapids. And I’ve become a casual fan of the Nuggets and Avs. Still root for Ohio State although I barely follow college sports.

    I guess I can see it both ways. If you’re going to commit to living in a certain area it’s the most natural thing in the world to start rooting for its teams — it’s part of civic identity, so if you’re going to be part of the place, that goes with the package. But I can also see sticking with the old teams — silly as it sounds, it’s an emotional decision, it’s not something you can make yourself do. You love who you love.

    Great story about the prototype Blues jerseys! I’m glad they changed though, those don’t look so hot with the note looking especially weak.

    So that makes two of the six 67-68 expansion teams that had a prototype jersey prior to the season that included a wordmark, but the jersey was redesigned without a wordmark for the start of the season (Oakland Seals being the other team)


    My recent batting average for corrections has been putrid, but if I read what I think I read: The first year Penguins’ sweaters had only the wordmark, running diagonally, a la the Rangers. And on this site, I’m pretty sure Paul ran a photo of a putative Los Angeles sweater which had “Los Angeles Kings” on the front (and little “L.A.” crests on the shoulders) before the Kings settled on the fancy crown insignia for their initial campaign. At least the Flyers and North Stars never tinkered with words on the uniform before hitting the ice, to my knowledge.

    I grew up in the DC area. Haven’t lived there since ’88. The Redskins are definitely my NFL team to this day.

    The Caps and Bullets are my hockey and hoops teams though I really am not into those sports.

    The Cubs are my MLB team because my Dad was from Chicago and rooted for them, and DC had just lost the Senators as I was coming of rooting/caring age. And they are a NL team.

    I’ve pulled for the home teams in other cities I’ve lived in to a degree. But not like i still do/have for my DC teams.

    As far as rooting for teams, I feel that your place of birth plays a role, but more so where you are when you attain ” sports conscience” is also a factor. The local team represents you. There are exceptions of course, like if your parents are ardent fans of where they came from. But once you are aware, you take that with you. Maybe you can follow both in some cases. Like a person moving from Cleveland to Phoenix. Those teams don’t play each other much. But LA to San Francisco? I don’t see how it’s possible if you were ever a true fan.I like to use the Olympics as an example. If you moved to France, do you root for France over the USA? You can pull for France against Spain sure.

    Born and raised in the Indianapolis metro area so with no MLB team, they TRY to spoon feed you the Reds. I hated that. I became an A’s fan simply because it was the first baseball cap I had given to me. I grew up rooting for the A’s -and- the Raiders. In fact I was a serious Raiders fan. I had one of those vinyl totes with the wood bottom in it and the helmet on the side. I used it as my school bookbag from 1980-1985. When the Colts came to town in 1984, I wasn’t jumping on quickly. Yeah, civic pride wanted them to do good (even though they stunk) but my heart was still with the Raiders, I mean they were 1 season out from a Superbowl 18 win over the Redskins and I was 10. Ten year olds like to back winners/front runners… I would say the Colts have taken over as my TOP team, but it took 3 to 4 years for it to happen. I think getting Eric Dickerson was the benchmark I look at. He was a superstar and we had never had a superstar. The funny thing is, as for basketball I didn’t even know the Pacers existed until the mid-80’s LOL. Really, it was all IU vs. Purdue in the area. In the late 1970’s I had an over-sized WHA Indianapolis Racers coloring book, so I knew of them even before the Pacers!

    I think I end up being more of a fan/non-fan of the local broadcasters. When living in the LA area, I was much closer to the Angels but listened more to the Dodgers broadcasts because of Vin Scully.

    Where I live now, I could listen to the Yankees broadcasts, but I find I don’t like the broadcasters, so I’d rather watch on TV where I have the choice between Yankees and Mets, and I find myself watching the Mets because I enjoy their broadcasters more.

    I secretly root against the teams of my friends, family and exes. I’m a sports schaudenfreuder at it’s finest/worst.

    I know the feeling. I have a former boss who was a huge Braves fan, and I find myself gleeful when they lose.

    Nike, Ford and the Dallas Cowboys partner up to “advance” high school football in the Texas Metroplex, complete with new unis for an entire school district.



    I’ve had one major move. I was born in Regina, SK and moved to Vancouver, BC 16 years ago. From a smaller city to a larger one.

    Once I am a fan of a team – it is 4 life – regardless of when I love fell in love with them.

    My allegiance follows me where I go. I will never abandon my infatuation with the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders from my hometown in favour of the BC Lions, though it causes me great grief here at times. Same with the major junior hockey team.

    However, Vancouver has sports teams Regina did not. So as a result, I have become a fan of those teams in my new city as I have grown as an adult.

    I was always a big hockey fan before but did not have a team that was mine. Saskatchewan just produces the NHL players but does not have a team. The Canucks have become my team as a result of living in the community. It is a forever thing with them now, even if I were to move somewhere else. Same with the Whitecaps MLS team.

    However, though I stated I would never ditch a team once I became a fan, there is an exception. I will never give a care in the world about the NBA Grizzlies again. We are divorced. They left town on me in an ugly manner. Considering the uniforms are much different now, I kind of forget they used to be the team I liked.

    Regardless of other sports, I am always a fan and like many teams, but there has to be more real commitment there for me. I cannot be a pretender. If I have not lived in the community at some time and been a supporter, I really have no skin in the game to substantiate that I am a true fan of that team.

    Bill Simmons broke this down years ago on Page 2. Basically, you root for the team in your teenage years home town unless the team moves. If there is no team in your home town, you are a free agent, but once you pick, you are with that team.

    I would link to the Page 2 article, but for some reason ESPN won’t let the link stand (weird, almost like ESPN doesn’t like BS anymore…). But here is another look at it:


    QOTD: When I was 15 my family moved from NY to middle-of-nowhere NC. I kept rooting for my NY (Mets, Jets, Knicks) teams in the 3 major sports. However I did adopt the Hornets & Panthers (who were announced as a franchise 2 months after I moved) as my #2 teams and still pull for them both to this day unless they’re playing my #1.For college teams I’ve been a diehard Nebraska football fan since the early 80’s and a UNC basketball fan since about 91.

    Basically I think your original team is the one you should show loyalty to.

    I grew up in DC and my first team sport allegiance has always been the Skins. I wasn’t much of a baseball fan when I was young, but I was supremely upset when the Senators moved to Texas. I latched on to the Yankees because my brothers were Yankees fans (we had lived in NY before moving to DC). Never cared one way or another about basketball or hockey.

    I went to college in Baltimore during the early 80s and absolutely hated the Orioles during their 83 World Series season, partly because of my allegiance to the Yankees and partly because I was so tired of hearing the incessant ads for “tonight, let it be Lowenstein.” Never would’ve occurred to me to be a Colts fan because I considered them inferior to the Skins in every way, although I was there when Elway rejected them and when Irsay moved them in the middle of the night, so I felt a little bad about all of that.

    I moved to LA 20 years ago and initially rejected all LA teams. Hated the Lakers, mostly because of Kobe. I went to a few Angels games to see the Yankees and started to warm to the team, partly because of Tim Salmon but more because of Darin Erstad. Yeah, I can’t really explain that. I picked up on rooting for the Clippers because they were not the Lakers. I got into the Ducks the year they won the Stanley Cup because I was dating somebody who had been a long-time fan. I came around to root for the Kings, but only in second position to the Caps. Now I’m a big Nationals fan, but I’ll root for the Dodgers, especially against the Giants. I picked up on the Dodgers because so many of my friends are fans, and I have crazy respect for Adrian Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw.

    So I’ve come around on the Orioles after all these years, in spite of Peter Angelos. I’ll root for the Angels unless they’re playing the O’s or the Yankees, although I’m much less passionate about the Yanks than I used to be. I like the Ducks and the Kings, as long as they don’t impact the Capitals. I’ve long opposed professional football in LA, so I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about the Rams, but the Skins are still my team.

    I can’t warm up to the Bruins or the Trojans, and I will never, ever, ever root for the Lakers.

    QOTW –

    I grew up in Dayton, OH with parents from Cincinnati, and my Dad has always been a die-hard Reds fan, something he passed on to my brother and I. I also naturally gravitated to the Bengals, but never adopted Ohio State. I’ve always been a little proud for some reason to be an Ohio native who loves my home state but never rooted for the Buckeyes. Since there were no local NHL or NBA teams when I was growing up (the Blue Jackets didn’t come until later and the Cavs were too far away to feel like “my team”, plus they were terrible), I inexplicably gravitated to Chicago for those two sports, declaring the Bulls my NBA team (still are if I’m forced to choose, but I don’t follow them at all really) and the Blackhawks my NHL team. When I finally went to college, I took a more serious interest in NCAA Football and rooted for my Bowling Green Falcons.

    Five and a half years ago, I moved to Knoxville, TN to join my now wife. She being a Tennessee alumnae, I adopted the local team as a secondary favorite in NCAA football, but apart from that, I can’t imagine replacing my other teams. I’ll generally pull for the Titans, Predators, etc. to do well as long as it doesn’t hurt my primary teams, but they don’t feel like “my team” either. Maybe it’s that I lived 25 years in Ohio before moving, or maybe it’s that by the time I moved, with internet and cable packages, it was easier to follow non-local teams. Either way, at this point, I don’t see my allegiances changing just because I happen to live somewhere else. As for the future, when children do happen, I’ll do my best to pass my love of the Reds onto them, but they are free to root for whatever team feels like belongs to their sense of home.

    Does the site seem extra sluggish lately? Only website my computer really struggles with.

    Late QOTW answer: The three major teams I root for actually fit in three different categories. My dad came to the US from Cuba a year after Castro took over, settled in NY after a couple of years in Miami, and idolized Mickey Mantle. The Yankees/baseball quickly became close to his religion, and has been mine as well since I was toddler almost. I could move thousands of miles away, and would never change my allegiance. Football, as I’ve told on here before, my dad was a big fan of the sport but didn’t have a rooting interest so I got to choose my own team and circa 1994 I chose the Patriots (I adored then, and still adore the early Flying Elvis unit with the stripes and huge logos) plus Drew Bledsoe was my childhood football here. I die hard rooted for the pats through good and bad (mostly good since 2001 obviously) and have never questioned staying a fan even while living in NYC. The only fandom I had that see what developed geographically was for the Islanders. I was always a casual hockey fan, and the Isles were the local team I really likedt (I hate the Rangers and like the Devils somewhat). When I started school at Stony Brook University in September 06 I watched a lot of Isldaners hockey and slowly developed into a huge fan.

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