The Culmination of a UW-aided DIY

Ambulance finished 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken, with Daniel Secord

You fine folks may remember that almost exactly a year ago Paul and I were approached by reader Daniel Secord, who approached us with a proposition: would either of us be interested in running a “design an ambulance” contest? I decided to run with it.

What happened first was an announcement of the contest, in which Dan posted photos of an ambulance he and his pals had purchased, and wanted to ‘soup up’ to take to Detroit Lions games for tailgating purposes. For full details and background, please read that article.

After announcing the contest, we had a follow up article in which the proposed designs were shown and Dan selected from among those to design his ambulance.

Dan has now finished the project, and wanted to share the entire DIY with us, from start to finish.

I’ll turn the rest of this portion of today’s post over to Dan who’ll take you through the entire design process. You can click on any of the photos below to enlarge (so as not to completely overload the page, I’ll run most of them as thumbs).

Here’s Dan…


Just as a reminder, my friends and I bought an ambulance from a hospital to fix up and turn into a Tailgate mobile. It looked like this the day we got it.

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+ + +

The first thing we had to do was to take all of the decals off. We did this with fingernails, heat guns, and a large eraser wheel strapped to the end of a drill. After we were done it looked like this…

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This is where the real work started. The next step was to sand it so it could be prepped for paint. This took 3 weekends and over 20 pieces of sand paper. I don’t have any pictures of the process but this is what it looked like after one side was sanded…


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After sanding came the most tedious part. Taping in preperation of paint. After 4 rolls of tape, a few Sunday edition news papers and the help of my mother in law we had the following…

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Now time to paint. I read a convincing article that said I could paint a car with a spray can of rustoleum. (I should have trusted my gut) The first coat down made the Ambulance look more like a tin can than a silver vehicle.

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After doing a bit more research, I found that I was using the wrong color silver to paint if I wanted the finish to look similar to how car looks. (At this point I should have cut my loses) I then bought the recommended paint and put around 30 cans on the Ambulance. The pictures don’t do how horrible it looked any justice.

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+ + +

I broke down and bought 300 dollars in automotive paint and a paint sprayer. It was the best move I could have made.

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After a weekend work bee my friends and I completed the vinyl striping and the interior with no problems. (Well except for the snake that showed up.)

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Now that it was time for decals we had a few smaller ones made with vinyl. I couldn’t find anything large enough for some areas so we decided to get a projector to stencil the outline and hand paint the rest.

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+ + +

The ambulance is suppose to resemble a helmet. The players number is “Since 57” because the Lions haven’t won a championship since 1957. The logo came out nice and I skipped most of the black outline because I prefer the Lions logo without it. The only thing I think I would change is the color blue on the hand painted areas. It doesn’t match 100% to the vinyl decals. I had a blast with this project and there are more things to come. I will keep everyone posted.

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Attached is one last picture of the ambulance when we went to tailgate in Indianapolis and a finished picture of the Lions logo.




Great project, Dan! Thanks for sharing the results (a year in the making!) with the readership. Looks great.

OK readers? Whaddya think? Anyone else out there have any ideas for a uni-related DIY they’re interested in having the readership participate in?

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MLB Post Season

MLB Playoff Uni Tracking

A few years back, reader Alex Rocklein tracked the MLB Playoffs by uniform — you guys may recall this. Here’s what his 2010 Uni Tracking looked like.

Well, after a couple year hiatus, Alex is back, with some new tracking (which will run the next couple weekends, until the World Series is complete).

Here’s Alex to describe this year’s endeavor, and then I’ll have a couple of his tracking graphics (click either image to enlarge). [Please note this was sent to me before last night’s ALCS game between the Indians and Blue Jays took place.]


Did this a few years back and wanted to pass along the 2016 version. 2 attachments: Wild Card/Division Series only and a full overview of what the tracker will look like when completed.

All AL games thus far have featured at least 1 softball top and only 1 NL game has. Hats off (with the New Era logo) to the Nats for sticking with their home and road primaries.

I won’t be able to update this until next weekend.


2016 WC DS Tracker

+ + + + + + + + + +

2016 Full Tracker

+ + + + + + + + + +

Thanks, Alex. Look forward to running the updated uni tracking until the World Series is over!

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College Football Uni Watch
Some looks, via Twitter, at what you’ll (probably) see on the NCAA Gridiron Today






























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UW Friday Flashback UW’s Friday Flashback

With the New Era logo now appearing on MLB caps, my latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN looks at the history of maker’s marks on pro sports uniforms (including the surprisingly large variety of NFL examples that appeared from 1990 through 2000, which you can see here).

In case you’re wondering, those logos are (left to right, top row to bottom): Russell Athletic, MacGregor, Starter, Apex, Logo Athletic, Adidas, Puma, Wilson, and Wilson Staff. Nike and Champion also appeared during the ’90s. Teams were still cutting their own deals, so it was a free-for-all out there.

Check out the Friday Flashback here.


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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: “Long sleeved jerseys,” writes In God’s Country, “why don’t we see those anymore when the weather turns cold in Oct and Nov?” Good question! … Hey, remember when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series? Of course not, because you’d need to be like 120 years old for that — but they did win back-to-back Series’ in 1907 and 1908 — that’s the 1908 squad (thanks to Bruce Menard). … Alanna Rizzo, beat reporter for the Dodgers, tweeted this after LA clinched their tix to the NLCS: “HUGE props to our hotel for extremely tight turnaround, laundering my champagne/beer soaked clothes before we fly to Chicago! @RitzCarlton.” From Allen who asks, “No dodger logo? Fell off during laundry service?” … Jimmer Vilk plans to turn this blank red ‘helmet’ into a vintage Twins helmet. … With the NLCS and ALCS teams now set, Conrad Burry has updated his playoff bracket. … Good uni-tidbit from Paul who notes 28 of the 30 MLB teams use a conventional flat decal for their batting helmet logos. The other two teams are facing off in the NLCS. … Today is the 30th anniversary of the Mets amazing 16-inning triumph in Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS, so “Naturally, we are releasing a new fully animated short that tells the story of the pennant celebration that almost destroyed the world,” says Christopher Isenberg. “Best Last Plane Ride Ever” stars the voices of Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Lenny Dykstra, and Kevin Mitchell, and features the illustration and animation of James Blagden. … Check out the awesome jerseys found in a time capsule, from Phil Rerat. … There’s a Cleveland Indians mural being painted in Cleveland Public Square — avid eyed Robert Hayes thinks the unfinished image in the top right hand side is going to become a “Caveman” uni. … Is Tim Tebow’s foray into baseball just a stunt designed to sell books and merch? Not according to Tim Tebow. … Last night was the first game of the ALCS, so of course both teams wore softball tops (h/t Tom Gelehrter). … Last night Francisco Lindor of the Indians had some interesting shoes and awful sanis (h/t Paul).

NFL News: Reader Daniel Wiles found these semi-vintage NFL team pennants at a local antique shops on Thursday. He adds, “The whole set wasn’t there, but at least the L.A. Rams one is relevant again.” … Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who’s been in the news quite a bit for his footwear choices (some of which he was fined for, others he was told to remove), will now pay tribute to Jose Fernandez and Kimbo Slice on his next pair. … Here’s an anachronistic shirt: T.HC says, “look closely at the logo on this guy’ shirt. ’94 NFL75 logo with post-2008 shield.”

College/other Football News: So, you thought the Alabama Crimson Tide might get a uniform “update”? Not so fast, my friend. Coach Nick Saban is “not quite ready” for that. … Speaking of ‘bama, Curtis Herd would love to see Tennessee and Alabama go color-vs-color again, but apparently Saban has “said no” to that idea in the past. … Tweeter Brett Baker “Fell into a Google images wormhole & found this beauty. AFA great Beau Morgan’s nameplate hanging by a thread looking like a cape.” … What happens when you combine military AND breast cancer tributes (plus a spray-painted helmet logo it looks like)? Yeah, it’s not good (from Ryan Rudman).

Hockey News: On Thursday night, Justin Williams of the Caps was missing his helmet numbers in the Caps’ opening game vs. Penguins (from MIKE!). … Check out this Minnesota North Stars concept for a 50th Anniversary logo (from DoublesAtWildXtra). … While of interest is this color vs. color game in Helsinki Thursday, check out the ref’s jerseys! (from Gary Abbott). … Here’s a look at the program for the Hamilton Steelhawks Senior A home opener, which is today (from Ross Taylor). … Here’s a look at the brand new Utah Grizz jerseys, which were worn during last evening’s home opener (from Brian Prutch). … Expecting to see the St. Louis Blues Winter Classic jersey leaked? Don’t. according to this, they won’t be unveiled until November and may have some powder blue (h/t Ethan May via Paul). … The Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL will wear Harambe warmup jerseys. … Here’s a look at the Ed Snyder patch the Flyers will wear this year (from Claude Girboo). … The Calgary Flames have released their home jersey schedule (from Kenny Saidah).

NBA/ABA News: Whoa — check this out: The Pacers wore blank mismatched uniforms for a 1967 ABA preseason game vs. the Pipers (from our own Mike Chamernik). … A New NBA ad shows an artistic depiction of every team’s 2015-16 record (from Mike Chamernik) — and here’s the full set. … Anthony Davis was asked to name his favorite uniforms other than the New Orleans Pelicans and favorite road arena. Davis responded with the Golden State Warriors for both. … Per Cleveland Cavs head honcho Dan Gilbert (h/t John Sabol), the Cavs will be making some changes to their court before they debut it.

College Hoops News: Here’s something we don’t see everyday: new court chairs for Johns Hopkins (from Patrick Meyer). … This autographed basketball (from @nikebasketball) is using an old version of interlocking ‘NC’ logo (h/t James Gilbert). … Also from James, here’s an exclusive look inside the newly rebooted locker room complex featuring @Jumpman23 shoe wall w/ every Air Jordan ever. And here’s even more on that. And still more (all these from James). … New Hoops unis for Boston College (from Seth Andrew).

Grab Bag: Radford University (a co-educational, business, liberal arts, and sciences public university located in Radford, Virginia), has a new logo/identity (from Jaylen Clark). … We’ve featured this type of thing before on there (“Football as Football”), but here’s another look at soccer kit logos on American football helmets (from Josh Hinton). … “At a store in Kent, OH. In with the Kent State souvenirs they have Kansas State pennants,” says Jimmer Vilk, who adds, “Oops.” … “The University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics will be ArmouRED throughout the 2016 season.” … Just a reminder that Pinktober is everywhere: the Univeristy of Louisville Drumline sported the pink affects yesterday (via James Gilbert).

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And that’s it for today. Big thanks to Dan for sharing his ambulance DIY, and Alex for the MLB uni tracking!

Back tomorrow with the full Sunday Morning Uni Watch cast and crew, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I don’t blame you for liking Chief Wahoo. For the record, the first time I saw him, I was thirteen years old and I responded warmly to his toothy smile. First impressions will shape your opinion for the rest of your life. What seems to go unsaid during these (often heated) discussions is the bonds between us and our favorite teams are usually formed in childhood when we see things without guile. Folks wanting to do away with disparaging mascots are appealing to our sense of guilt and shame, and can seem cruelly meddlesome when they attempt to tamper with something we keep in our hearts. It’s no mystery why sports symbols and mascots make such enduring tattoos; these are loyalties we’ll probably keep forever.”

— Walter Helfer

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18 comments to The Culmination of a UW-aided DIY

  • dofojbro | October 15, 2016 at 9:14 am |

    Major props to Dan Secord for having the contest for his DIY and sharing the results. Double props for trying to use regular rustoleum as well. The final result kicks ass and double all your points for leaving black off the Lionhead! (I hate that black outline as well)

    Grading the uniforms proposed for NCAAF

    Ole miss = (A+) the baby blue helmet should be used full time

    New Mexico Lobos = (C -) your helmet looks like red and green for xmas but your shirt and pants remind me of the blue and red Richard petty wore.

    MTSU = (B+) the chrome and blue looks great but pink is PLAYED OUT — even if it is just the chinstrap

    Mount Union = (D+) love the matte finish with the silver face mask but the word raiders by itself is lame and the font is crap

    Georgetown = (C) didn’t know you had a football team and you kind of look like penn state but with a crappier helmet

    Aub & UF grad patches = (Incomplete) these seem as cruddy as those “My son/daughter got honor roll at Shytstick Elementary” bumper stickers. Memo to NCAA/SEC: we don’t care if these animals even go to class — we just want to watch them play football. Would half of them even be admitted to college if they couldn’t play football?

    LSU = (A+) purple jersey with white helmet = greatness!

    Illinois = (A) it is decent for the Illini

    Wake Forest = (B) I like the Unis but all I can think of when I see the WF is this
    put the demon deacon on the helmet or something

    UCF = (B) the white with chrome is decent and probably helps stay cool in the hot fla sun..whatever.

    Ariz State = Decent but too many patches

    Utah = ( C ) confession time – I don’t care for red and black to begin with so this set had little chance out the gate. The best thing I can say about it is you look like Northern Illinois and your socks are truly awful.

    Boise State = ( D+) you chumps are as guilty as Oregon for bringing all the insane helmet changes to the forefront. Pick a uniform and stick with it, please.

    MTSU = I graded you earlier when I just saw your helmet but now that I see you are dressing like the Detroit Lions I want to partner with Dan Secord and DIY an ambulance for you!

    Oklahoma = (B) lose that crummy NIKELACE. We hate it in the NFL so why would we approve of it trashing your usually classic look?

    NCSU = (B) I liked your look better last week against ND in the hurricane. White Helmet > Red Helmet

    YSU = (D+) I don’t like cartoonish oversized logos and either make it white to match the facemask or make facemask grey/silver to match the Y. Since it is the silver anniversary look you are striving for, I believe the latter would have been the best choice.

    ISU = (A+) classic look but TUCK THAT SHIRT IN
    Sam Houston = (F)…. 1 you spelled BearCats wrong and 2 I threw up in my mouth when I saw all that orange. Looks worse than the NFL Denver color rash look from Thursday’s game. At least Denver’s helmet was great.

    Indiana = (B+) I don’t like words on pants so the script Indiana kept you from an A

    Mizzou = (incomplete) I am not watching a frikking video. Post a pic next time

    UNLV = (C ) your helmet needs a stripe of some kind

    A-State = (D +) are you a D3 school? You dress like it

    Texas State = (F) you get failed for copying of aTm’s uniform. Plagiarizing is bad but plagiarizing in your own state is criminal.

    Colorado = (A+) classic look! Katie Hneida would look HOT in those!

    Vandy = (F) if you don’t have your gold helmet in play then fail you shall!

    Pitt = (B+) you would have gotten an A for the Pitt script except I saw it in the proper blue last week against GT. Anything short of that classic blue and yellow is a downgrade

    UNC = (A) keeping it simple is cool sometimes

    SDSU = (F) no scary bunny rabbits, please

    • WalterP | October 15, 2016 at 1:22 pm |

      Nice analysis. Please come back tomorrow for 5+1.

  • Kyle | October 15, 2016 at 9:38 am |

    I love the ambulance. You’re a true gridiron hero.

    • Jon Rose | October 15, 2016 at 11:49 am |

      *in the manner of the Bud Light commercials*
      Here’s to you, mister football ambulance painter man!

    • Paul Lee | October 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm |

      “The logo came out nice and I skipped most of the black outline because I prefer the Lions logo without it.”


  • Lee Wilds | October 15, 2016 at 9:52 am |

    Daniel Secord, great job on the ambulance (and this is coming from a long time Packer fan). I love the “Code Honolulu Blue” slogan!!!

  • Special K | October 15, 2016 at 10:52 am |

    So the Blue Jays have written their blue jerseys for every game so far in the playoffs. The fact that they did it even when Cleveland was also wearing blue tells me they just might wear them for every game. On the other hand, they finally had their first loss, so maybe that will be a reason for them to change.

    • Special K | October 15, 2016 at 10:53 am |

      *worn their blue jerseys, obviously.

    • Jon Rose | October 15, 2016 at 11:29 am |

      There oughtta be a rule against both teams wearing softball tops. Especially when they’re just different shades of the same color.

  • 1vox | October 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm |

    Re: 1967 preseason ABA photo

    I’m pretty sure both teams are wearing blank jerseys. If you only have one with printing, you’re going to give it to your star, which for the Pipers was Connie Hawkins.

    If you look in the photo with the dark blank jersey, that player’s shorts are the shorts worn by the Pipers that season (seen also on Hawkins in these photos). The shorts worn by the Pacers players in both images have no striping.

  • Ryan M | October 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm |

    That MLB postseason graphic shows just how slanderous the junior circuit is. Including last night’s game (not depicted; Indians in navy and Jays in royal), the home team has worn a white jersey in just 3 of 9 games. In the NL, the Cubs are the only team to have worn a softball top, period, and they were punished for it by the baseball gods with their only loss.

  • Jon Rose | October 15, 2016 at 5:09 pm |

    Is it just me, or is Wahoo smaller on the caps than he’s been in the past?

  • James | October 15, 2016 at 5:37 pm |

    Has anyone brought up the DANGER label on the white LSU helmet? I was pretty sure it was unique when I saw it, but watching games today reminded me to look it up.

    It seems most (all?) helmets are using a WARNING label and I can’t recall seeing a DANGER label on a helmet before.

    Precautionary statements ( are codified in the US. Basically, DANGER: misuse WILL result in death; WARNING: misuse MIGHT result in death; CAUTION: misuse might result in injury.

  • Dan T. | October 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm |

    FYI, the Uniwatch map of the USA features a University of North Carolina logo no longer in use.

  • Gusto4044 | October 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm |

    The Minnesota North Stars didn’t come close to existing for 50 years, so it’s weird to see someone playing revisionist history with a concept logo or shirt.

    • Rob S | October 15, 2016 at 11:47 pm |

      Actually, I was playing around with the idea myself recently, and came up with a jersey for the current team that acknowledged the complete history of the club.

  • Rob S | October 16, 2016 at 12:06 am |

    I thought the Lions ambulance was looking good… until I saw that black splotch. Oh, wait, that’s the William Clay Ford memorial patch. Ugh.

  • Janet B | October 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm |

    Great job Daniel, love your ambulance.