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The OSU Throwing Back A Century

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By Phil Hecken

While we’ve known about this throwback since this past summer, earlier this week The Ohio State University unveiled their 1916/17 fauxback uniform which they will we wearing today against Nebraska. As you can see from the splash, OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett had some fun mimicking the pose struck by Chic Harley (who was actually listed as a half back, but the rules and strategy back then were much different than today’s game), the star of that 1916 team. Besides the obvious 100th year anniversary, there is another reason the team is throwing back (fauxing back, really) — that season, the Buckeyes went undefeated, and claimed their first conference title.

Photos from back then are scarce, but we do have the photo of Harley and this graphic as a visual reference point for the unis the Buckeyes will roll out today (you can click any enlarges below to enlarge):



As you can see, the jersey had the friction strips common in the day, and those were gray, with the base of the jersey being scarlet. The sleeves, almost a vestigial element on today’s jerseys, were full length. The pants appear to be tan, which would be typical of the canvas pants of the day. So, basing the uniform on this, clearly the best OSU can do is a fauxback. The pants that will be worn today will be gray and not tan — so points off for historical accuracy, but the gray pants will look much better, thus pleasing my OCD.

So, let’s take a look at the uni:


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For all intents and purposes, it’s a decent facsimile of the original. Given the constraints of modern uniform design, there’s not much more the team could do to make it look any better (obviously they’re not going to wear long sleeves — though it would be cool if players who go with undershirts have ones with faux friction strips), and I’m glad the team didn’t go with the tan pants look. It’s just not aesthetically pleasing (when accurate) and it looks downright stupid when historically incorrect. As far as the mimicking of the strips — it’s hard to pull off, even when teams have the best of intentions.

The full uniform will have some cool red socks with gray stripes:



You’ll note the helmet is solid gray — but it’s not perfectly smooth. The team has added a rough texture to it (not sure why — if players wore helmets back then, they were leather and while likely rough, I don’t quite get the decision):



I wasn’t a fan of that when the Washington Huskies did it, and not a fan of this.

Overall, I like the uni and I’m looking forward to seeing it in action. If you want to see some really high-resolution images, and be subjected to Nike’s marketing-speak, feel free to click here

. . . . .

Speaking of Nike, this is another one-off the team will wear — they’ve been given a “special” uniform every year since 2009 (and two for their playoff run two years ago), and of all those, I think this is one of their better efforts. Here’s what they wore from 2009 through 2015



The first year of the “Pro Combat” series — this one was actually worn on the road for THE game against UM. It featured a white helmet and the uni number on the side. These were supposedly based on the 1954 unis.



These were probably my favorite of all the alternate unis — these were 1942 throwbacks, featuring a wonderful font (which is similar to the font that UCLA sported a couple seasons ago. Blank scarlet helmet over scarlet jersey and gray pants.



These were supposedly based on the 1961 unis, and I’m not really a big fan. I based a column on them back in 2011. They wore those against Wisconsin — the first time they’d broken out an alt against any team but UM.



These were technically not throwbacks (although they did evoke a sense of unis from years past), but rather a “modern” take on the uniform, as envisioned by Nike. These had giant helmet strips (which nicely matched the stripes on the sleeve caps), and also had a chrome helmet stripe and black cage. I was not a huge fan of these.



Like the year before, this was another ‘modern’ take on the OSUni. They wore the same helmet as the year before, and featured a similar sleeve cap as the year before. Instead of gray britches, though, the team wore a white set. These looked clean, but they didn’t necessarily look like OSU.

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For the first year of the playoffs, conveniently for Nike, all four teams wore their uniforms and they created new uniforms for all four teams (OSU, Oregon, Alabama and Florida State). OSU and UO met in the National Championship game, and although Oregon was the higher seed (and could have worn a “dark” uniform), somehow Nike, er…the teams decided Oregon would wear white/gray and OSU got to wear scarlet. The unis were 1968-inspired unis.



Black for Blacks Sake. Enough said.

. . . . .

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Well there you have it. From the photos, I kinda like the 2016 one hundred year anniversary fauxback. Or is it really a throwback to Jimmer Vilk’s 2016 Hallowe’en costume?

Nah, let’s go with Chic Harley’s 1916 squad.

I’ll need to see how it looks on the field to render a final decision, but so far, so good. What say you guys?

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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.

After a few weeks of MLB playoffs, including the World Series, we’re now at our final graphics package.

Alex has a few quick notes:

* 9 uniforms went 0-1 and only one had a perfect record (Indians 1-0 in home threads).

* AL wore alternate solid color jerseys for 25 games whereas the NL (or, the Cubs) wore them in 5 games.

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2016 MLB WS

World Series

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2016 MLB Records

Record By Uniform

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2016 MLB Final Full

Full Playoffs

Thanks, Alex. Great job throughout the playoffs. Let’s do this again next year!

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College Football Uni Watch
Some looks, via Twitter, at what you’ll (probably) see on the NCAA Gridiron Today. Some won’t be till next week.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Wanna feel old? The Baltimore Orioles will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary Season at Camden Yards in 2017, and they will have this commemorative logo on their jerseys and also the game baseballs (from Jim Misudek). And here’s a close up and shot of the logo on a game ball (from Andrew Cosentino). That logo will go on the players’ right sleeve during the season. … Want to own a copy of some ‘history’? Garrett McGrath says this black “Renegades Baseball” crewneck sweatshirt is just like Steve Bartman wore on that cold night in Wrigley Field! It’s been nearly 13 years since that incident. … Chicago dyed its river blue for the Cubs, which can cause some problems for boaters (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike, according to HuffPo, the Indians phantom title apparel will be destroyed. … Thinking ahead to Tuesday, perhaps, here’s a “Clinton 45” jersey spotted at a Tim Kaine rally (from Dave Doop). … Our own Joe Ringham (5 & 1 guy) asks whether this World Series Championship patch for the Cubs will be on their uniforms next season. … Ummm — did we miss something here (from Derek Brownlee). And a screen grab just in case. … But does it come with a free bowl of soup? MLB umpire Joe West (greeting Bill Murray @ World Series Game 7) is buying Al Czervik’s yacht from “Caddyshack” (thanks to Jimmer Vilk). … Acording to Wayne Muller, the New Orleans Zephyrs are set to become the Night Owls.

NFL News: Detroit Lions Tight End Eric Ebron will be wearing special cleats “To Honor My Grandfather & Father. Grandfather Served In 3 Wars And Returned Home.” (h/t Barsotta). … John Sabol seems to think the color rash unis seem to make the Buccaneers “digital” numbers pop more with the right light angle more so than their regular unis. … As most of you know, the Stillers have finished wearing their “bumblebee” throwbacks, so will the “batman” unis be next? Here’s some information on that possibility (h/t Mike Slavonic). Here’s some more on that possibility. … The NFL Hall of Fame won’t give a jacket or a ring to Kenny Stabler (from Brinke). … Here’s a pretty interesting article on how many star wide receivers can’t or won’t wear numbers 80 and 81 anymore (from Nick Curley). … Check out Melvin Ingram’s cleats for Sunday. All of his 2016 Chargers teammates names inscribed who are on the IR (thanks to Mike Chamernik).

College Football News: This is pretty cool: a look at the cover of The Daily Reveille, the LSU campus newspaper, in advance of today’s LSU/Alabama Crimson Tide matchup (from Benji King). … Here’s a look at the Buckeye helmet with 27 stickers that Cam Johnston will present to Sam Foltz’ family at tomorrow night’s Nebraska–Ohio State game (thanks to Christy). … “We’re all familiar with Jim Harbaugh’s famous khakis. And, while he updated from Walmart brand to Jordan brand, the style hasn’t changed,” writes Noah Brink. “However, the ‘uniform’ was different this week. Rather than the typical cut he wears, he was wearing pants that were khaki color, but more of a ‘jeans’ cut for the Michigan state game — and a bit darker, too.” … Here’s a conversation with the Arizona State University Sun Devils’ equipment manager about their “Desert Chrome” uniforms (which they wore last weekend). … Do you want see to what some football teams’ ‘blackout jerseys’ could look like? Of course, you do don’t but if you did you can see here.

Hockey News: Whoa — check out these Space Jam-inspired sweaters that the Mississippi RiverKings will wear and auction off after the game (from OTS Sports). … Check out these ketchup & mustard sweaters for Ferris State (from Patrick Thomas). … Thursday’s “whoopsie” leak of the St. Louis Blues Winter Classic sweater leads to … a RickRoll. … Last evening the Alaska Nanooks wore a helmet sticker in honor of gunned down Fairbanks Police officer Sgt. Allen Brandt (from Joshua Dryer).

NBA News: According to this tweet, it appears the New York Knicks have changed their X-mas day unis from orange to blue (via Danilo Chaj). The Knicks are playing the Celtics at 12 noon. … Whoops (and I think we’ve had this, or a similar item before): Tony Snell’s “2” is still flipped. Serif should be on top, like Jabari’s jersey (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … A couple people have pointed this out, but the Warriors 70th Anniversary patch seems to have disappeared from their unis (that from Michael Marconi). … Check out this clever play on the current election and Seattle folks wanting their Supersonics back (from Jimmy Wong)! … Looks like we have our first glimpse of a Sixers uniform with a Nike logo (from Conrad Burry). Here’s another look (from Josh). After those were revealed yesterday, I spoke to Paul who spoke to a source within the Sixers organization that while those photos are indeed legit, they DO NOT represent what the 2017 uniform will look like and were merely developmental designs. The final product is expected to look different (not sure if that means the uni itself will be different, or if the swoosh will be smaller or if it will be something else entirely — just don’t expect the 2017 uni to look like this). … Yesterday the “Windy City Bulls,” the NBA Development League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, unveiled the design of their official home and away team uniforms for the organization’s inaugural season. There’s some more on that here. … The Orlando Magic will debut their new “Stars” uniform today (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … The Lakers wore their 80s throwbacks last night (from Hit The Glass).

College Hoops News: Very cool: Jake Sharpless writes, “Since you liked the football piece we put together a few months back, I wanted to share the newest one we did for college basketball. This time, I took the time to put together an analysis oneach of the 351 rosters plotting all 5000+ players into Google Maps.” He continues, “You can see a larger interactive version of the gif here that allows for zooming, filtering, and sorting. Here is a link to the post and one to just the interactive map to see how each school stacks up.” … Here’s a nice gallery of Dayton Flyers unis throughout the years (from Detroit Don). … The Dayton Flyers will be wearing a “5” on their uniforms to honor Steve McElvene, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 20 (from John Bedell). Here’s a bit more on that. … Georgia State debuted their new white uniforms last evening (from Chris W.).

Soccer News: FIFA will open disciplinary proceedings over Ireland’s use of logo to commemorate 100th anniversary of Easter Rising earlier this year (via Shawn Hairston). … Bayern Munich will actually wear a kit made from litter. The Bundesliga side’s strip for Saturday’s game against Hoffenheim will be made from recycled plastic found in the ocean. … The internet is going wild over Drake dancing in a Mexican soccer jersey.

Grab Bag: Couple odds & sods from Leo Strawn, Jr.: ” Just a reminder…I (sort of) predicted the Cubs WS win on UW on October 2 in this ticker item: The AFL Grand Final (Aussie rules football’s Super Bowl) was played Thursday night and it was a beautiful colour-on-colour match, with Western Bulldogs in blue and Sydney Swans in red. Cubs fans take note: The Dogs pulled away in the last few minutes of a close game to break a 62-year premiership (championship) drought in their first Grand Final appearance since 1961.” (Emphasis Leo’s). Also from Leo, “Australian rules football club North Melbourne Kangaroos recently issued a rather menacing teaser regarding their new logo. (That release date is in Australian; it says Nov. 4, not April 11.) The official logo did not disappoint. Much better than what they had been using, IMHO.” … “I was in PHX and I saw this 70s ‘throwback airplane from United,” writes JohnMark Fisher. “According to this article it’s been this way since 2011. I think it looks great and its name, ‘Friend Ship’ is rather clever. I’m also quite certain that they only made one of these based on the fact that the ID is still the same (N475UA – kind of hard to tell from the pictures).”

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And that’s all for today. Sorry there isn’t more, but until this election is over, I’m running on fumes. I’m actually working a portion of today, and won’t be on the boards much. Please play nicely.

Thanks to Alex for the final MLB Uni Playoff Tracker. I’ll catch you guys tomorrow with the SMUW crew.

Until then, follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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Comments (37)

    The Orioles are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Camden Yards next year. Their 25th season in OPACY was this year.

    Previously, according to Twitter, the New Orleans Zephyrs were set to become the Po’ Boys.


    This article shows the candidates in consideration for the new nickname:


    I’m curious about the Stabler thing… I’m sure other deceased players have made it into the Hall, did any of them get rings or jackets? Are they being assholes, or is this just the normal way it goes?

    This article is more informative:


    “Update (5:20 p.m.): A Hall of Fame spokesman sent a long statement, mostly filled with background, that did include near the end their reason for not giving the Stabler family a ring and jacket. Emphasis added is mine.

    Additionally, every living Hall of Fame member receives a Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and a Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence to wear as symbols of his personal Hall of Fame achievement. The Hall of Fame has never presented either of these two personal items posthumously. The Hall of Fame does present to the family of a posthumously elected Hall of Famer, the Gold Hall of Fame Crest that is featured on the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. This is done during Enshrinement Week at the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Dinner when the other Class members are presented their Gold Jackets.”

    Well at least the Zephyrs aren’t becoming the Nite Owls. Still, after Jacksonville, it’s been a terrible week for classic minor league team names. At this rate, the Durham Bulls will rename themselves the Stogie Butts by the end of the month.

    We don’t know that yet. My impression is that the team will highlight each of the nickname choices on Twitter until the winning entry is announced on the 15th.

    Zephyrs was a 1983 rebrand of the Denver Bears, so it ain’t all that “classic”. They can do some cute stuff with NONOs and there’s still hope for a whimsical, as opposed to ferocious, logo.

    South Carolina going with Garnet jerseys, black helmet & pants vs Missouri. This is a new combination for the Gamecocks: link

    Doing this from (very very frazzled these days) memory, so I won’t argue what’s now a moot point, but I’m pretty sure the only way they would have been considered the “home” team was for some funny business to have taken place. They were the #4 seed and considered the “road” team (and wore white jerseys) against #1 Alabama, who they beat. Oregon was the #2 seed and defeated FSU (#3). Unless some “reseeding” took place, a #2 vs. a #4 would mean the #2 seed should, for all intents and purposes, be the the “home” team. But if Oregon (for whom Nike had created a white/gray uni, with the full expectation they’d be playing #1 Alabama) were the higher seed, they’d *normally* wear a dark (black? gray? lightning? green apple?) uni. Probably not wanting to repeat an outfit, they opted (no doubt with Nike’s blessing/encouragement) to wear the white jersey, thereby allowing the new scarlet top for tOSU.

    It’s a moot point anyway, but I’m about 99.9% positive tOSU wasn’t the “home” team for that game.

    I just did.

    Where does it say OSU was the designated home team? It’s a neutral site game and OSU is the lower seed. Not sure how you can say they were designated the “home” team.

    But either way, it’s a moot point. They wore scarlet. But that wasn’t decided until after the first two playoff games were played, and I remember (this, vividly) how Nike got Oregon to decide to go with the white uni they were expecting the team to wear against Alabama (but because OSU upset ‘bama, there was talk UO would wear a new dark uni, or come up with a new combo). All of a sudden, UO went with their pre-planned white/gray combo allowing THE to wear scarlet.

    There’s always a designated home team. In football, the designated away team calls the coin toss. In that particular game, Oregon called the toss. Also, in American sports, the home team is listed second in a boxscore.

    In American sports, the higher seed is the “designated” home team.

    Whatever, I’m done arguing with you. If you say they were the “home” team, then they were the home team. But by all rights UO would/should have been. The only reason they were designated the “home” team (if indeed they were) was because of the costumes Nike created.

    So… WHY were OSU the home team? College football doesn’t have anything equivalent to the NFL in terms of alternating conference advantages or anything, so… for what reason was the #4 seed given “home” status over the #2 seed? Were they re-seeded after beating Alabama? Did the teams just agree to it? What’s the deal, yo?

    That Camden Yards patch is the worst patch since the Domino’s Citi Field patch. Because if there’s one feature that’s totally unique to CY, it’s bricks, apparently.

    I think it’s funny that the Washington State helmets are called “liquid steel”.(Eye roll) Actual liquid steel would be bright orange or yellow. More like room temperature steel. But go Cougars!

    OK, what’s this whole thing about spelling Halloween with an apostrophe? It’s annoying as hell

    Hallowe’en is a contraction of [All] Hallow[s] Eve[ning]. (Kind of like Cap’n is a contraction of Captain…)

    Lakers should consider bringing back the 1980s throwback as their regular uniform. Though they are not much different than their present unis, overall the different details of the 1980s uniform look better and it is a classic.

    Phil, Nice job today on the Ohio State 1916 uni/alts. Much of what you said I agree with. I prefer throwbacks over alts. These I do like because Chic was so important to Buckeye history.

    I was hoping they would be more accurate but that would include tan pants and brown helmet. As you said it would not have looked as good though. I am still not 100% sure the friction strips were gray. At first I thought so then I went with brown and recently thinking gray. But who knows.

    You make good points about the fauxbacks they have worn over the years. My favorite was the 1942 ones. They were closest to original.Plus I love that font style.

    Disappointed in the 1954 effort. Not even close to being accurate. The 1961 version was not accurate but tired somewhat. I kind of liked the look because of the color combo of scarlet and gray.

    I was against the black unis since that is so overdone. But admit they looked good. Maybe some day OSU can do all grays. The wide stripe alt look I dont care for and glad they have not worn those recently.

    Keep up the good work.

    I suppose the big question for the Cubs is if they’ll be sporting gold embellished uniforms at the beginning of the 2017 season.

    The helmet texture is inspired by cannon balls. Which comes from the “Music and Cannon Fire” quote that is found on the back neck label.

    A special game woven label bearing the inscription “music and cannon fire” on the inside collar is pays homage to Harley’s running style, “a cross between music and cannon fire, and it brought your heart up under your ears.”

    I feel like the style of Harbaugh’s khakis has changed. Didn’t he used use to qear pleats?

    If a pitcher for the New Orleans Night Owls throws a no-hitter, it would be a…

    NO NO no-no

    …and, I’ll leave now

    Ohio State has one of the best looking uniforms in CFB, and should forget all these lame looking alternate or retro uniforms. Most of the retro uniforms that college or NFL use that go back to the leather helmet days just don’t work.

    The New York Times was planning a Norman Rockwell-esque illustration of the Cubs in the (almost certain) event of their World Series loss. Wonderful Cub road uni details: link

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