By Phil Hecken
The Oregon State Beavers introduced a new, GFGS (Gray For Gray’s Sake) helmet yesterday, which they will wear today against Washington State — and normally, I’d be hypercritical of such gimmickry. However, there’s a whole story-and-a-half behind this one, and it’s a very interesting one.
I’ll get to the story in a sec, but first, let’s take a look at the helmet (for all images below, you can click to enlarge):
It’s pretty much just a gray helmet (of course, it’s called “battleship gray” — insert eyeroll), with a gray beaver logo (outlined in black), and orange eyes. The cage is also black — basically their current white helmet & logo without any center striping and different color mask/logo. The front bumper says “1942” and the rear bumper has the slogan “Men of Roses.”
They’ll pair the new helmet with the current black jersey and black pants (kudos to Nike/OSU for not creating an entirely new costume), and you’ll notice the jersey has a patch on the upper left chest:
Of course, there’s the obligatory hype video accompanying all this:
All pretty standard stuff for colleges these days. But there is actually a story behind this and it’s pretty neat. You see, the OSU Beavers (they were actually OSC — Oregon State College at the time) played in the 1942 (following the 1941 season) Rose Bowl and defeated Duke. Normally, the Rose Bowl, as you know, is played in Pasadena, California — but since the game was scheduled mere weeks following the December 7th, 1941 “Date That Will Live In Infamy” attack on Pearl Harbor, the game was almost not played at all. All large public events on the West Coast were cancelled (as was the Rose Bowl), but Duke offered to host the game in Durham, North Carolina that January.
Back then teams didn’t travel by airplane, so it took the team a couple days to traverse the country, under a fear of war and attacks on the mainland, and got to the game as two touchdown underdogs. They’d wind up never trailing and beating Duke 20-16 to win the Rose Bowl.
The helmet and uniform patch being worn today honor that squad.
That video better explains the 1942 Rose Bowl than any of the hype videos — and features some amazing color movies of Oregon State’s orange jerseys. It also gives some terrific historical perspective of how the 1942 game came about. It’s that squad that’s being honored today. I recommend watching that video.
But that’s not all — the page on which that video is found also contains a story about Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese-American who was ON the 1941 team but wasn’t permitted to travel with the team to Duke. Why?
That problem was Jack’s Japanese heritage. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government prohibited anyone with Japanese ancestry from traveling more than 35 miles from home.
As his teammates boarded their train for Durham, North Carolina, and pulled away, Yoshihara stood on the platform and waved. His time with the team was done.
That’s a fascinating backstory as well, and I wholeheartedly recommend reading it (in the link above). It reminds us of a dark time in US history when civil liberties were severely restricted following the US entry into World War II, and those of Japanese Americans particularly so.
Back to the patch:
It commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Rose Bowl and features a Beavers mascot throwing a football. Oregon State coaches will also wear the patch on their shirts during the game. While not a “historical” patch per se, it definitely captures the “feel” of something worn during the 1940s. And it’s a lot nicer than creating a new uniform to “celebrate” the 75th anniversary. I’m just surprised the Beavers aren’t wearing orange jerseys (as they did during their march to the 1942 Rose Bowl and as seen in the video above).
I like it — and while there’s probably no need even for the GFGS helmet, it’s a nice way to honor the squad who (literally) took a long path to make it to the Rose Bowl — a game which almost didn’t happen.
I’ll skip the generic rundown of the multitude of unis being worn today, but there are a few things of interest:
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (UGA vs. UF) — as in the past couple years, it looks like this one will again be color vs. color. Since Georgia is the designated home team (and will presumably wear red), the Gators will wear blue jerseys:
Tomorrow should be fun ðŸ˜€ðŸŠðŸˆ pic.twitter.com/5yryZQnFnV
— Eddy Pineiro (@eddypineiro1) October 28, 2016
It’s always one of the best looking matchups of the year, and who doesn’t love this color vs. color matchup?
Gray Ghost unis return for the Illini, which they’ve worn the past two seasons, but this year they are introducing a new helmet:
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) October 27, 2016
The new and improved Grey Ghost Unis pic.twitter.com/MLvMDdjlwX
— Illinois Football EQ (@ILLequipment) October 26, 2016
Hallowe’en is Monday, but expect a few teams to break out some Hallowe’en themed unis today. That includes this “Black Bird” costume for UTSA:
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) October 26, 2016
I’m sure there’ll be some more new unis and surprises today, and Terry will have all those tomorrow in our SMUW report.
“Leo’s World” is a new, semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends, featuring some excellent uni-related finds from Leo Strawn, Jr.. Each installment will feature a new, unique or just very cool collection of related uniform observations and research. You can click most of the images below to enlarge. — PH
We’ll start today with an anecdote from Leo, then onto the quiz:
No matter what happens from here, I will forever be the 302nd person in the history of the world to have purchased a Chipotle burger!
Tasty Made opened Thursday in Lancaster, Ohio. If you want my review, I’ll do a little Pulp Fiction for you:
“A cheeseburger? Hamburger and cheese? It costs $4? I’d like to know what a $4 cheeseburger tastes like…Goddamn! That’s a pretty fuckin’ good cheeseburger. I don’t know if it’s worth $4, but it’s pretty fuckin’ good.”
And now for something completely different…
Players Politicians in Unfamiliar Uniforms, v 5.0
By Leo Strawn, Jr.
For the upcoming election cycle, I thought it would be fun to have a political edition of Familiar Players in Unfamiliar Uniforms.
You know the drill. Ready? No Googling…
This politician never played professional sports, but gets kudos from me for his political views and for having worn this great Astros uniform at annual Congressional baseball games.
Here’s another politician who never played pro sports, but had his number retired at his college Alma Mater (though it has since been un-retired) and did play in one game against the Chicago Bears.
This former U.S. Senator played pro hoops in Italy before donning this NY uniform.
This former U.S. Supreme Court Justice is shown here in his college uniform (because it’s so cool!) but also went on to play for two NFL teams.
This man served in both chambers of Congress and pitched a perfect game in MLB.
This man played in NFL, CFL and AFL before a embarking on a lengthy and distinguished political career.
Extra point if you know which of these sought the office of U.S. President with two different political parties.
How did you do on the political edition?
Till next time”¦
Great one today (And the only one so far I knew all the answers to — but then again, this is like the perfect collision of my two worlds). Great stuff as always.
Tracking the Mountaineers
As you fine readers know, every Sunday (as we have for many years), we host the “Duck Tracker” which has been the work of several readers, and is currently being run & maintained by Dennis Bolt, who is also my Pac-12 Tracker. Today, I’m pleased to introduce another uniform tracking project, also undertaken by one of my trackers — in this case Ethan Dimitroff, who tracks the SEC this year — for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
It’s now up and running, and Ethan notes, “It’s modest but it’s a start. It’s based off of Dennis’ Duck Tracker. It’s not 100% I’m limited on the resources but I’ve gone all the way back to 1965.”
You can check it out here.
I asked Ethan to give us a brief description of his undertaking:
The website is a simple format. The main feed features each week’s uniform worn by the Mountaineers, along with a few uniform related posts. In addition there’s a football & basketball uniform archive. I started tracking during the 2013 season after coming across the Gridiron Uniform Database, which was amazing! My research for this project mainly consisted of just watching the games every week and watching YouTube videos of old games. I have to give thanks to the other trackers on uni-watch for helping me set up the website.
Sweet — and great job Ethan. Everyone be sure to give it a look-see, and I will include a link to the site every Sunday under Ethan’s SEC tracking section.
T-Shirt Club Update
Paul here. In case you missed it on Friday, the fifth of our six 2016 designs is finally ready to go. It’s our football shirt — check it out (click to enlarge):
Not bad, right? I can already hear a bunch of you complaining that the various stripe patterns don’t match, but that doesn’t bother me. Big thanks to my creative partner, Bryan Molloy, for his hard work on this one.
This shirt comes in three color options — grey, black, and green — and is available here until Nov. 10. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: (And the embedded link is cool too): The jersey in the thumbnail image is for Cody Anderson, who was left off the @Indians World Series roster (from Derek Brownlee). … The Lynchburg Hillcats, a Cleveland affiliate, have new logos (from Andrew Jenkins). … If you’re looking for ugly x-mas sweater ideas with a baseball theme, check out this Wild Thing sweater (h/t Robert Hayes). … You know there are two teams in Chicago, right? “Not all of Chicago is rooting for the #Cubs. Significant % of people here hate them,” says Mike Chamernik. … What do you do if you’re a Cubs fan from Baton Rouge and you love LSU’s colors. That’s an easy one (h/t Robert Hayes). … Here’s a nice Cleveland Indians World Series press pin (from Robert Hayes again). … “The Fire Frogs name and logos were announced Wednesday evening, during an unveiling gala at the Osceola Heritage Club. It had been one of six finalists in a ‘Name the Team’ contest, ultimately triumphing over Dragonflies, Mud Kickers, Rodeo Clowns, Sorcerers and Toucans,” says Jason Hillyer. “Part of me wishes ‘Rodeo Clowns’ would have won.”
NFL News: Here’s a “good comparison of how the old Titans jerseys compare to the new Nike versions from 2 fans in attendance (Thursday) nite,” says Eric Wright. “You can see how the shoulder yoke is much smaller w/ the Nike jerseys than what it was with the original designs (see Mariota vs. George/McNair). I have to be honest, as a Titans fan, I think I prefer the Nike version.” … Paul had a great lede yesterday about which teams “cut” the helmet tape on their Riddell SpeedFlex helmets (if you missed that, click here), and notes that the Dallas Cowboys don’t cut the striping. But, notes Fantasy Icon, the ‘boys did cut the tape prior to the season. … Looks like the Browns will be wearing their orange alternate jerseys this weekend (with end zones to match). And if we’re to believe this Madden sim, they’ll have white pants and brown socks. … Ben Roethlisberger asked Tom Brady for his jersey to hang in his office (thanks, Brinke). … After breaking out their black unis last week, the Eagles will be back in their midnight green tops tomorrow. … “I was scrolling through a list of the greatest NFL QBs of all time and came across this photo of Bart Starr with an inverted G on his helmet,” says Judy A. “Never seen this before but thought it might be of interest. The picture is #12 in the slideshow.” [I’m guessing that’s NOT an inverted “G” but simply a flipped or reversed negative. I flipped it and voila; still, poor quality control there. — PH]
College/High School Football News: Here’s a look at some Tennessee Volunteer alternate uni concepts (created by sometime UW contributor and UT uni guy Chad Fields). … This is interesting. The Holt Arena (Idaho State), has its goalposts hanging from the ceiling. Submitter Austin Hanson asks if there is any other college football team that does this. Perhaps (not) shockingly, Idaho’s other indoor arena, the Kibble Dome, has them as well (several folks tweeted that at me). … The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is today, and the Gators have worn some specialty unis just for the occasion in prior editions of the matchup. … Based on this video, Mizzou confirms they’ll be wearing the Nike Vapor Untouchable template next season (from Clint Richardson). … The RED GRANGE Bowl: “Long time reader, first time writer. I just saw this bowl game design and had to share,” says Joshua Linville (welcome aboard!). He adds, “Don’t know if junior college bowl games make patches, but this design deserves one.” … Stay classy, Greenfield-McClain HS (from Trevor Wilson Patton). And just in case that tweet got removed, a screenshot for posterity.
Hockey News: Tweeter Nick Gratton is not sure if this is an official logo, but check out the Alfredsson retirement logo from the Senators Friday morning. … The Chicago Blackhawks, in a display of city unity, changed their dress code to allow players to wear Cubs jerseys. … Our pal Wafflebored has a new blog post: a deeper look at a handmade ’70s goalie jersey board game. … Is this our first look at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships logo asks J Marrs. … RPI will be wearing Uncle Sam-crested jerseys (from Casey McHugh). … TreDecal, the company “famous” for making football thigh pads, is expanding into hockey now. … Cleveland Monsters (Columbus Blue Jackets minor league affiliate) player Nick Moutrey had his NOB butchered on last night’s jerseys (h/t Nick Hanson). Fortunately, they got that fixed with a quick patch job (also from Nick). … The Tuscon Roadrunners wore white for their inaugural home game. As god intended (from Adam Vitcavage).
NBA/College Hoops News: Here’s a good, up-close look at the Sacramento Kings 2016/17 Opening Night Patch, which notes this is their inaugural season at the Golden 1 Center (from jbremseth). … And here’s another (from Mike Chamernik). … Interesting “stolen” logo here: A “local auto repair shop in VA using @celtics logo. No basketball on this one and cane is replaced by wrench,” says SteveB Creations. … The Philadelphia 76ers on Friday issued an apology to singer Sevyn Streeter, saying they should have allowed her to perform the national anthem Wednesday night (thanks Paul). … The New Orleans Pelicans are honoring Louisiana high school basketball programs with a dedicated display area in the Smoothie King (ugh) Arena (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Here’s yet another appearance of the least well kept secret logo in history. Submitter Benjamn Hayden says. “Interesting their social media team would show such a close up of their mysterious logo.” … The Denver Nuggets will break out their rainbow skyline jerseys tonight. … There are new graphics in the Alabama Men’s Hoops player’s lounge (from Griffin Smith).
Soccer News: Check out the awesome retro jerseys some of the Arsenal players are wearing in the linked article. There are three kit tops there, one of which is beautifully bereft of any jersey ads. … With the Conference Semifinals now set in the 2016 #MLSCupPlayoffs, here’s Conrad Burry’s updated pitch bracket. … Tweeter Yung Jeff Gordon was waiting in line for a Clinton rally in Orlando, and “the accent placement on this PelÃ© shirt bothers me greatly.”
Grab Bag: For those of you who follow Women’s Lax, you know the game is much more genteel than the Men’s game, and most players wear only eye protection. Now, Cascade Lax has developed a helmet/goggles, “the first integrated system to meet newly approved ASTM standards for women’s lacrosse headgear and goggles,” (from Tomas Cleary). … Here’s a sweatshirt showing the evolution of the Bucky mascot/logo over the years.
And that’s it for today. I’m counting down the days until this awfulness is all over, and unfortunately, working pretty much everyday through Election Day. But soon, curling will start and (hopefully) all will be right with the world again. I’ll be back with the SMUW crew tomorrow, but until that time…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The block-lettering Indians unis are only my second-favorite Tribe uniforms. Bring back the Caveman era unis and I’d be even happier. They could even stick Chief Wahoo’s feather on the C for added continuity and I’d be fine with that.”
— R. Scott Rogers