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A Small Way to Fight Back

On Tuesday, while writing about the news that the Under Armour logo will begin appearing on MLB jersey chests in 2020, I said, “How can we avoid [the insidious influence of advertisers] in a realm like sports, where advertising is everywhere, from TV commercials to stadium naming rights? I’ll have more to say about that ”” and will be presenting you with a small defense mechanism ”” in a few days.”

Today is that day.

So: Back in May I wrote about a Trail Blazers fan who was annoyed that the Rose Garden had been renamed as the Rose Garden, so he devised a Chrome extension that automatically changed the new corporate name back to the old name. At the time, I wrote:

Imagine if we had additional extensions for all the other corporate-named venues out there ”” how awesome would that be?

I’m not a software engineer, so I don’t know anything about how to develop a Chrome extension, or how to make it available for people to install. But I bet some of you folks know something about that.

About two weeks later I got a note from a software-savvy reader named Patrick Nance, who said he’d be willing to take a crack at it. Even better, he was interested in having the extension handle more than just stadium and arena names. “In my mind,” he wrote, “a fully featured product would have bowl game name support.”

“I like the way you think,” I wrote back. “Go for it.”

A month passed, and then another, and eventually I forgot about the whole thing. But Patrick recently got back in touch with some good news: The Chrome extension is now ready for download and installation — and he’s come up with a Firefox version as well. (Sorry, no Safari or IE.)

As you can see from those links, the extension is called Naming Wrongs (the same name that No Mas and I used for our line of “I’m Calling It…” T-shirts a few years back). Here are some notes:

1.  Unlike the program devised by the Trail Blazers fan, Naming Wrongs does not apply to the entire web. For now, it only affects ESPN, SI, Yahoo Sports, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, Sporting News, USA Today’s For the Win, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, and SB Nation (only the sbnation.com domain for now, not the individual sub-sites, but Patrick is working on that), along with the league sites for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and NCAA.

I initially asked Patrick to have the extension apply to Uni Watch as well. I figured if we were going to subject other sports sites to our scrutiny, we should also include Uni Watch. But Patrick pointed out that Uni Watch sometimes intentionally refers to corporate venue or bowl game names in order to make a point, and that the extension would make that impossible. So Uni Watch is not under the extension’s umbrella, at least for now.

2. The extension automatically changes the names of many MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL stadiums and arenas to their pre-corporatized versions, as follows:

Stadiums
Sports Authority Field at Mile High → Mile High Stadium
Jones AT&T Stadium → Jones Stadium
BB&T Field → Groves Stadium
FirstEnergy Stadium → Cleveland Browns Stadium
Mercedes-Benz Superdome → Superdome
Qualcomm Stadium → Jack Murphy Stadium
AT&T Stadium → Cowboys Stadium
O.co Coliseum → Oakland Coliseum
Hard Rock Stadium → Joe Robbie Stadium
New Era Field → Rich Stadium
Progressive Field → Jacobs Field
Guaranteed Rate Field → Comiskey Park
US Cellular Field → Comiskey Park
UFCU Disch-Falk Field → Disch-Falk Field
Globe Life Park → The Ballpark in Arlington
Rogers Centre/Center → SkyDome

Arenas
Rose Garden → Rose Garden
BMO Harris Bradley Center → Bradley Center
Oracle Arena → Oakland Coliseum Arena
Quicken Loans Arena → Gund Arena
Smoothie King Center → New Orleans Arena
Amalie Arena → The Ice Palace
Bridgestone Arena → Nashville Arena
Gila River Arena → Glendale Arena
PNC Arena → Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena
Scotiabank Saddledome → Olympic Saddledome
SAP Center → San Jose Arena
SAP Center at San Jose → San Jose Arena
Scottrade Center → Kiel Center

“There are some major grey areas with some of these places,” says Patrick. “For instance, the Seahawks currently play at CenturyLink Field, formerly Qwest Field — but for the first two years of its existence, it was called Seahawks Stadium. I’ve lived in Seattle for more than eight years now and I’ve never once heard anybody say Seahawks Stadium. In fact, I more often hear people still call it Qwest, despite CenturyLink having been the name for several years now. I’ll be interested to hear what the community has to say on cases like that.”

3.  The extension also automatically changes the names of many college football bowl games, as follows:

Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl → Celebration Bowl
Gildan New Mexico Bowl → New Mexico Bowl
Las Vegas Bowl presented by Geico → Las Vegas Bowl
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl → Camellia Bowl
AutoNation Cure Bowl → Cure Bowl
R\+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl → New Orleans Bowl
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl → Poinsettia Bowl
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl → Humanitarian Bowl
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl → Bahamas Bowl
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl → Armed Forces Bowl
Dollar General Bowl → Mobile Alabama Bowl
Quick Lane Bowl → Motor City Bowl
Camping World Independence Bowl → Independence Bowl
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl → Heart of Dallas Bowl
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman → Military Bowl
National Funding Holiday Bowl → Holiday Bowl
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl → Cactus Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl → Pinstripe Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl → Tangerine Bowl
Foster Farms Bowl → San Francisco Bowl
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl → Texas Bowl
Belk Bowl → Queen City Bowl
Valero Alamo Bowl → Alamo Bowl
AutoZone Liberty Bowl → Liberty Bowl
Hyundai Sun Bowl → Sun Bowl
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl → Music City Bowl
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl → Arizona Bowl
Capital One Orange Bowl → Orange Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl → Citrus Bowl
TaxSlayer Bowl → Gator Bowl
Outback Bowl → Hall of Fame Bowl
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic → Cotton Bowl
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual → Rose Bowl
Allstate Sugar Bowl → Sugar Bowl
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl → Peach Bowl
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl → Fiesta Bowl
BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl → Fiesta Bowl
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl → Las Vegas Bowl

“Admittedly, I swung a pretty big hammer on the bowl games,” says Patrick. “For example, I changed the Outback Bowl to the Hall of Fame Bowl, despite the game being much more widely known, at this point, as Outback. Maybe I’ll dial that back if I get enough feedback.”

To get an idea of how effective the extension is, check out this page — first without the extension and then after installing it. Night and day!

Is a browser extension going to solve all our problems? Of course not. But it’s a small way to fight back against — and liberate oneself from — the relentless incursion of corporate culture into every nook and cranny of our lives. It’s also a good way to reclaim the older, pre-corporatized venue and bowl game names — and with them, I’d like to think, a measure of sanity.

The extension works well, won’t mess up any other aspects of your browser, and is free. Go on — try it.

And now, allow me to anticipate some of your reactions by slipping into FAQ mode:

This is stupid. Naming rights deals for sports venues and bowl games don’t bother me.

No problemo! We know this browser extension won’t be for everyone. If it doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to ignore it.

I understand what you’re getting at with this project, but I think you’re overreacting. Naming rights deals aren’t evil — they’re just business.

“It’s just business” is often an accurate explanation for why something has taken place, but it is rarely a sufficient justification for why that thing has taken place. I don’t want to get bogged down in that distinction here, but I’ve provided a more detailed exploration of that topic on this page.

I think what you’re doing is wrong. Those companies paid a lot of money to have their names attached to those buildings and games, and you’re making it all worthless.

Before I respond to that, let me ask you a few questions: When you watch TV, do you pay close attention to every commercial, or do you get up and go to the bathroom? When you DVR something and watch it later, do you watch the commercials, or do you fast-forward past them? When you’re watching a web video, do you watch the entire pre-roll commercial, or do you click the “Skip Ad” button? When an ad pops up across a web page, do you thoughtfully consider it, or do you click the “X” in the top-right corner? When you’re reading a magazine, do you look at every ad, or do you just turn the page and go to the next article? When you’re driving on the highway, do you closely scrutinize every billboard, or do just drive past most of them without even noticing them? After all, those advertisers all paid a lot of money for those ads. By not engaging with the ads, you’re making those expenditures worthless.

I trust you get my point. Just because advertisers have paid a certain price in order to get our attention does not mean they’re automatically entitled to that attention. Our attention is not property that can be purchased and owned. It’s ours to give or withhold as we see fit. This browser extension is a small way of withholding that attention from a very small subset of the advertised world.

You obviously just hate capitalism. What’s up with that?

Oh, come on! For the past 20 years I’ve sustained myself by making and selling things (articles, media projects, T-shirts, membership cards, etc.), which means I’ve led a more capitalistic life than most people. But I think of capitalism as a mechanism or a tool, not a religion. And like all tools, it should make our lives easier and better. When it runs amok (or, as I like to say, when it succeeds too well), it can and should be reined in. Maybe you don’t think the explosion of corporate-named sports venues and bowl games qualifies as “running amok,” but I do. I see it as a symptom of something I’ve mentioned before: our disturbing transition from a market economy to a market society.

You’re such a hypocrite. You claim to hate advertising, but your website is littered with ads!

Actually, I’ve never once — literally not one single time — claimed to hate advertising. What I have said many, many times, and will continue to say when the situation calls for it, is that I’m opposed to advertising spreading into places where it doesn’t belong. Selling the name of something is insipid — it’s part of our culture’s descent into Idiocracy. Moreover, sports venues and bowl games have lots and lots of revenue streams. They don’t need to sell their identities to get by. This website, by contrast, gives away its content for free. Its only way to raise revenue, at least for now, is by selling advertising space. If you think those two situations are equivalent, and that I’m therefore a hypocrite, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. But I respectfully disagree.

That said, however, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with Uni Watch’s role in the world of internet advertising. For that matter, I’m getting more and more uncomfortable with the standard model of web content delivery, which has been a disaster for the industry I work in and is problematic in several other ways. I hope to have more to say about that in a month or two, but for now let’s just say I’m exploring some new options.

Meanwhile: If you have feedback to offer about the browser extension — suggestions on names that should or shouldn’t be changed, additional websites that should be covered, that sort of thing — feel free to get in touch here. (Please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address. It is a new address that’s been created specifically for this project, so Patrick and I can both access it. Please use this address, not the Uni Watch address, for giving feedback on this project. Thanks.)

• • • • •

Friday Flashback: My latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN takes a look back at NFL throwbacks that have been worn in the past but are currently off-limits due to the one-shell rule (like the Steelers’ 1962 throwback, shown above). Check it out here.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Thursday-night NFL report: Last night’s NFL game featured the mono-red Chiefs vs. the mono-white Raiders. Of course, we’ve seen the Chiefs in blood-clot mode before (last night marked the third different sock design they’ve worn while going mono-red), so I’m more interested in talking about the Raiders.

As you can see above, Oakland went with black-outlined silver numbers. There’s precedent for that in their uniform history, but it’s not as simple as you might think. Here’s the deal:

• In 1963 and ’64, the Raiders’ white jerseys had silver numbers with very thick black outlining (click first photo to enlarge):

That outlining seems almost comically heavy, right? That design, with the thick outline, was reprised as a throwback in 2009 (click to enlarge):

The Raiders dabbled with silver numbers again in 1970, but this time the black outline was thinner (click to enlarge):

They revived this number style for a throwback set in 1994, but that uniform was actually a mash-up, because they used the 1963 helmet logo (with the light background on the shield) and the 1970 number style:

The 1970 version of the numbers — the one with the thinner outline — is the one they used last night:

It doesn’t look bad in that photo, but I actually found the numbers a bit hard to make out on TV. If the Raiders ever try silver numbers again, maybe they can find a happy medium between the thick and thin outlining.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Ho-ho-ho: One of our most cherished December rituals here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of baseball uni-patterned holiday cookies from longtime reader Elena Elms. This year she went with a Negro Leagues theme (a suggestion from her friend and fellow Uni Watch reader/contributor Tom Arnel). The teams are, clockwise from top left, the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Pittsburgh Crawfords, New York Cubans, Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, St. Louis Stars, Atlanta Black Crackers, Milwaukee Bears, Homestead Grays, and Baltimore Elite Giants.

I especially like Elena’s execution of the Elite Giants design. A very nice script and bi-colored placket piping:

I’m happy to report that the cookies are, as usual, as delicious as they are attractive. Thanks so much, Elena — you’re the best.

• • • • •

LAST CALL for the last 2016 shirt: Today’s the final day to get the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s last design of 2016. The design is a mash-up of uniform elements from all of our previous 2016 shirts (click to enlarge):

It comes in four color options — our usual grey, black, green, plus a new “military green” (that’s what the manufacturer calls it, although I’d just call it light olive) — and is also available with either short or long sleeves.

If you’ve ordered all five of this year’s previous shirts and also get this one, you’ll be eligible for our year-end “Collect ’Em All” prize, which will be a patch based on the jock tag design used on this year’s shirts. To qualify, please send me proof that you’ve bought all six shirts. The proof can either be (a) a photo showing all the shirts or (b) screen shots of the “Thank you for your order” emails you received from Teespring and Represent.

Once again, the new shirt can be ordered here. Thanks for your consideration.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: UT-Arlington’s new softball unis look like something out of 1982, with racing stripes and elastic waistbands. … Clemson has switched its cap from New Era to Nike. … A friend of Marty Hick’s decorates his Christmas tree with baseball caps — with the Hollywood Stars on top, of course.

NFL News: Washington DL A.J. Francis says he chose No. 69 “for exactly the reason you think.” Classy (thanks, Mike). … Raiders WR Michael Crabtree suffered a torn helmet decal last night. We’ll keep seeing more of this as the weather gets colder (from @RNs_Funhouse).

College Football News: Tomorrow’s Army/Navy game will reportedly be the first game in NCAA history to use a football with colored laces (from cDubya242). … Another example of our move from a market economy to a market society: New Oregon coach Willie Taggart says he’s going to restore the “Oregon brand.” … Air Force will revive its “shark head” design for the Arizona Bowl (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: The NHL says it has no plans to reconsider the Vegas Golden Knights’ team name or logo, despite the team’s trademark application rejection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The league and team are apparently proceeding under the assumption that the matter will eventually be resolved in their favor. … Check this out: Former Maple Leafs great Borje Salming in a Leafs softball uni (from Brian Wulff). … Ugly sweater jerseys for the Des Moines Buccaneers (from Robbie George). … The Sharks are giving away SF Giants-themed “Sharks” jerseys Saturday (from Jared Buccola). … More ugly sweater jerseys, this time for the Vancouver Giants (from Patrick Johnston). … New retro-themed Winter Classic pads, complete with waffleboard blocker, for Blackhawks G Scott Darling (from Marc-Louis Paprzyca).

NBA News: “A few months ago the internet blew up over a guy who dressed up in full Michael Jordan garb (uniform, shoes and accessories) to play pickup hoops,” says our own Mike Chamernik. “MJ recently gave the guy a call and sent him a letter.” … More trademark follies: You know how Jäegermeister’s logo features a deer’s head? They just filed papers opposing the Bucks’ trademark (from Anthony Verna). … The Raptors used their Toronto Huskies uniforms and court design last night (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: Maryland freshman Kevin Huerter is the inspiration for a new logo for his alma mater, Shenendehowa High School East. … Wayne State’s men’s and women’s teams will both be wearing a patch with Collin Rose’s badge number for the rest of the season. Rose is the Wayne State police officer who was recently killed (from Chris Zadorozny). … The Buffalo women’s team wore gold shoelaces for pediatric cancer last night.

Soccer News: If I’m understanding this properly, it appears that the French Football Federation has inked a new deal with Nike (from @Ry_Votro).

Grab Bag: Yesterday’s Grab Bag included an item about a shop in Jerusalem that sells American sports T-shirts with the team names in Hebrew. In a related item, Matt Mosca was recently in Mexico, where he visited a boutique that had pro sports team ponchos. … Pantone says the hot color of 2017 will be a lime-ish shade of green. … The Washington Valor — that’s an arena football team — will release their 2017 uniforms tomorrow. … New jersey for the Super Rugby team Lions, out of Johannesburg. “Significant upgrade over last year,” says Eric Bangeman. … John Cena is hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow, so the show WWE-ized its logo. … A Maryland man has been ordered to pay half a million dollars for his role in a counterfeit jersey operation. … Latest fad in Japan: a wearable blanket that looks like a school uniform.

149 comments to A Small Way to Fight Back

  • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 8:03 am |

    The Raiders also used the thin outlines on their 1994 throwback jerseys.

    The white pants made the whole thing look terrible anyway. They should have used silver stripes with black trim and sorta mimicked the numbers instead of just the single black stripe. Would’ve been nice if the offense had bothered to show up, too.

    • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 8:37 am |

      Here’s an example from 1994. Of course, they were the Los Angeles Raiders at the time. I do recall Keith Olbermann complaining on SportsCenter, “I can’t see the numbers!” when they reviewed the throwbacks.

      • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 8:41 am |

        Interestingly, that throwback was inaccurate, because it mixed the 1963 helmet logo (with the light-background shield) with the 1970 number style.

        I’ll add all of this to the text.

        • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 8:50 am |

          I actually like that version of the logo a little better than the solid black shield.

          In any case, the white pants just aren’t right for the Raiders, and they should definitely have a thicker outline when using silver numerals on their white jerseys.

        • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:03 am |

          I prefer that version of the logo as well.

        • Graf Zeppelin | December 9, 2016 at 9:31 am |

          I think, IIRC, there was an inconsistency with the 1994 throwback decal vs. the actual 1963 decal and the 2009 throwback decal.

          The 1994 throwback decal had a white background, whereas the 2009 throwback decal had a silver background. The latter appears to be historically correct.

          Personally, I rather like the thick-outlined silver numerals from 1963. It certainly makes them easier for stadium fans and broadcasters to see.

        • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 9:39 am |

          As a stand-alone logo, I’d agree… but on a silver helmet, not so much. Imagine if the dolphin on Miami’s previous logo wore a blue helmet instead of a white one – it might not look bad, but it’d be wrong.

  • DenverGregg | December 9, 2016 at 8:09 am |

    White pants on the Raiders just looks completely wrong, and I say that as someone who has had intense dislike for that team since the sixties.

    I also found their numbers indistinct in longer shots. A thicker border would have helped, or a font with higher contrast in shapes (eg like the Bears use).

    • walter | December 9, 2016 at 9:12 am |

      Last night’s game looked great, but I can understand Raider loyalists’ frustration. Me, I would have been happy to see a silver stripe on the pants with black outlines.

      • Adam N. | December 9, 2016 at 10:31 am |

        The Raiders should have worn Black or Silver.

    • Predominantly Orange | December 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm |

      I suspect you are a Bronco fan (and automatically despise Raiders of course). Me too, but I have to give the Raiders credit for a decent uniform look. The all white was a huge mistake, and all silver would have been the better choice. The Color Rash is supposed to be color on color anyway. It’s not Color Rash for one team and White Rash for the other.

  • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 8:13 am |

    Patrick – great job on the chrome extension.

    Could I suggest some arena and stadium nicknames?

    For example, in Philly, Lincoln Financial Field has always been referred to as ‘The Linc’. I’m sure there are many other regional nicknames for buildings that originated with a corporate name, but were never in the local vocabulary.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 8:24 am |

      Speaking only for myself, not for Patrick, I’m a bit uneasy about using nicknames. Most of the content that the browser extension will affect is news content — game recaps and such. Not sure nicknames would fit the tone of such content, especially on first reference. Also, something like “the Linc” is still a reference to Lincoln Financial, which means it’s still advertising.

      This will ultimately be Patrick’s call — it’s his extension, not mine — but I think using nicknames would create more problems than it would solve.

      • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm |

        Thanks for the feedback and suggestion, Scott! For this particular topic, I echo Paul’s sentiments and, candidly, I just didn’t really know what to do with stadiums that have only ever had corporate names. For the moment, I’m going to let the “Lincoln Financial Field” moniker be.

        In one of my emails with Paul, I mentioned that, at some point, I’d have to decide whether the goal of the project was specifically to “de-corporatize” these names (in which case, I’d almost be more inclined to rename “Lincoln Financial Field” to something like “Philadelphia Eagles Stadium”) or more to give the names back to the fans (in which case, “The Linc” seems a bit more appropriate). I didn’t have a good answer at the time but it’s definitely valuable to see that someone else’s instinct is to go the nickname route.

        • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm |

          Regarding Patrick’s point: I just had a similar back/forth on Facebook with Chris Creamer, who said he’d prefer an extension that uses the names the fans actually use, to which I responded that some of the names that fans use are corporate/advertising names. My goal here (again, I can’t speak for Patrick) is not to create a vernacular project; it’s to create an anti-advertising project. When those two things overlap, so much the better — I’m pro-vernacular! But when the vernacular furthers the corporate/advertising agenda, I’m gonna oppose it.

        • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm |

          Patrick – if anything, it might be interesting to go down that route to see what other cities do with their names. Maybe for an alternative version for future extensions?

          I will continue to disagree with Paul on the notion that this pushes the corporate agenda.

    • Hank-SJ | December 9, 2016 at 8:36 am |

      Same thing with Wells Fargo Center in Philly. This is the 4th corporate name it has had since it was built though I’ve read where it was called “Spectrum II” while under construction.

      • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm |

        This is actually fascinating to me. This building has never officially had a non-corporate name and has, on three occasions, changed to a different corporate name (it looks like the existing corporate entity kept getting acquired by the new one). I wonder how the media are going to write about where the 76ers and Flyers played once this building is razed and replaced.

        • BurghFan | December 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm |

          I always liked the less-explicitly corporate “FU Center” for that building.

  • Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 8:21 am |

    Changing New Era Field back to Rich Stadium still leaves a corporate sponsor’s name on the stadium. The in between period with Ralph Wilson’s name on the stadium is the only time there weren’t paid naming rights. Can we pass word along to update the extension?

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 8:26 am |

      You’re totally right, and that one’s on me — changing New Era to Rich was part of a list of suggestions I made to Patrick during our back-and-forths. Should be Ralph Wilson, and I’ll ask Patrick to make that change.

      • 716 Scott | December 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm |

        I’ve always heard that while it was “Ralph Wilson Stadium” it was still corporate sponsored because Ralph Wilson’s business holdings were incorporated using that name, thus giving him a business expense to himself to write off. I have zero proof other than local hearsay but it’s interesting to consider. Either way he named the stadium after himself which seems a bit braggadocios.

    • Mike Wissman | December 9, 2016 at 8:44 am |

      I was typing the same thing–glad I refreshed my screen first and saw you beat me to it!

      • Adam JK | December 9, 2016 at 9:38 am |

        I came here to say the same thing – good catch Jeff!

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm |

      Thanks, Jeff! This will be fixed in the next version, to be published a little later today.

  • Eddie | December 9, 2016 at 8:25 am |

    Oo that is a good point for Parick, also Citizens Bank Park is sometimes referred to as The Bank.
    I wonder if chicago refer’s to the white sox ballpark more as “The Cell” now,

    Out of what you listed, I do look at billboard’s (well when it’s a new one) and when I read magazines too, I especially love coming across an old magazine and seeing old ad’s.

    Anyways, I would sayanything advertsing/naming rights isn’t a bad thing, if kept under control, especially when the name is easy to say.
    But “San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl” is beyond absurd, as is Guaranteed Rate Field.

    What I hate most is when they change the “Arena” part of the name, like the Skydome became the Rogers Centre, what!? No it should be the Rogers Skydome. Centre sounds like a Hockey Arena.

    • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 8:36 am |

      Exactly, and I completely disagree that it’s associated with the corporate sponsor. It’s another way for the fans to reject the sponsor’s name.

      One Bowl I’d like to correct – the Queen City Bowl was just the working name, it was never actually called that during an actual game. Might not be appropriate. But, I understand keeping it in there if you want.

        • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 8:44 am |

          Why didn’t you put that in your above reponse to Jeff when he corrected you on Rich Stadium?

        • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 8:46 am |

          Because I just wanted to pick on you, obviously.

          ;)

          (Maybe what we really need is a browser extension that changes “sponsor” to “advertiser” — and “rebrand/rebrnading” to “redesign,” while we’re at it.)

      • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm |

        Yeah, the Queen City Bowl was one of the fringier recipients of my admittedly big hammer. For that particular game, “Meineke Car Care Bowl” is the bowl name I’m most familiar with, despite how obviously silly and characterless (and, nowadays, outdated) that name is. I think I’m going to stick with Queen City Bowl, though.

        This is inconsistent with some of the thoughts I’ve posted about stadium names but, nevertheless, I feel pretty comfortable about insisting on a bowl name that was never officially used, particularly for this game, where the name has been routinely changed, first from Continental Tire Bowl to Meineke Car Care Bowl and then to its current Belk Bowl name. The reason I’m willing to skirt hypocrisy here is that I’ve learned (as a result of this project) that every bowl game has to give a name to the NCAA by which it can officially be certified. In this case, Queen City Bowl was that name.

        Put another way, if Belk–the current advertiser–were to let their naming rights lease lapse and the owners of the bowl game weren’t able to find any other takers (unlikely, maybe, but bear with me), my guess is that the bowl game would then be called by it’s NCAA-certified moniker, which is Queen City Bowl. To me, that reveals that this event’s intrinsic name is, in fact, the Queen City Bowl and is why I’m comfortable including it in the Naming Wrongs list, despite the game never having been played under the Queen City Bowl name.

        My thoughts on a vast amount of the gray area in the Naming Wrongs universe are pretty raw and I could totally end up changing my mind. In this particular case, though–and probably in most of the other similar bowl game cases–I don’t think people are going to be any more confused by seeing “Queen City Bowl” than they would be by seeing “Belk Bowl”. To be sure, I don’t necessarily think that about changing “Outback Bowl” to “Hall of Fame Bowl”; I think that actually does increase net-confusion.

    • Will S | December 9, 2016 at 8:23 pm |

      “Centre sounds like a Hockey Arena.”

      Centre doesn’t sound like hockey to me.
      Gardens or Arena are likely the two names I most associate most with hockey.

      When referencing a building the first thing “Centre” evokes in me is shopping; which in today’s sporting world is all too appropriate.

  • Hank-SJ | December 9, 2016 at 8:32 am |

    Raiders with silver numbers and pants is a great look.

    And speaking of Oakland, the O.co Coliseum reverted back to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in April of this year when ****stock opted out of the final year of their deal.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 8:34 am |

      I know. But I occasionally still see O.co. Can’t hurt to include it.

    • JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo | December 9, 2016 at 11:23 am |

      You’re telling me that a corporate advertiser opted *not* to be associated with a stadium notable for its sewers overflowing?

  • Chris | December 9, 2016 at 8:46 am |

    Love the anticipated FAQ section & your answers. So funny.

    • Lee | December 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm |

      I particularly liked when he posed a question, and in the reply he asked to ask a bunch of questions.

      Well done.

      Lee

  • Special K | December 9, 2016 at 8:51 am |

    Wrigley Field –> Weeghman Park
    (Just kidding…)

    • Another Josh | December 9, 2016 at 10:07 am |

      Darn, I wasn’t quick enough to suggest this one.

    • Johnny | December 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm |

      I know that after the Cardinals were sold to Anheuser-Busch, they wanted to change Sportsman’s Park to Budweiser Stadium. The commissioner said no, so the owner “named” it after himself…and came out with Busch beer right after that.

  • John B | December 9, 2016 at 9:04 am |

    “The Washington Valor – that’s an arena football team – will released their 2017 uniforms tomorrow”

    will release…

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:37 am |

      Fixed.

  • Omar Jalife | December 9, 2016 at 9:15 am |

    Does anyone know if extensions can be downloaded in company laptops? I know it depends on the company, but haven’t found anything

    • arrScott | December 9, 2016 at 10:31 am |

      You’d have to ask your company’s IT folks whether any given extension is permitted. Better yet, don’t ask, because the answer is usually “no” if you ask permission in a corporate IT environment. Beyond the question of your company’s policies, in general, yes, you should be able to download the extension. Unless your company’s IT folks have modified either your network or your machine to block either the relevant download URL or the ability to install downloaded software.

      • Omar Jalife | December 9, 2016 at 10:42 am |

        Thanks Scott

    • BvK1126 | December 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm |

      If you work for one of the companies that will have its corporate stadium name filtered out by the browser extension, my guess would be no. ;-)

  • Andrew Harrington | December 9, 2016 at 9:15 am |

    Small typo in the first paragraph of the “hypocrite” FAQ:

    “…bowl games have lots of lots of revenue streams.”

    lots of lots > lots *and* lots?

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:38 am |

      Fixed.

  • Andrew Harrington | December 9, 2016 at 9:18 am |

    Is there a plan for stadia that have had a corporate name their entire existence, e.g., instead of Bankers Life Fieldhouse or Lucas Oil Stadium, calling it “the Fieldhouse/Stadium in Downtown Indianapolis?” Or are those just left corporate?

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:38 am |

      I don’t see an easy or obvious solution to those, unfortunately. If someone else does, I’m open to suggestions.

    • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 9:40 am |

      Seems like “(Team Name) Stadium/Field/Arena” would be the simplest solution.

      • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:52 am |

        Yeah, but that would be imposing a name that never actually existed. I’m uneasy with that — feels more like changing the fabric of reality, instead of just restoring an earlier/better version of reality.

        I realize that may seem like a distinction without a difference, and maybe it is. Just explaining how it feels to me. In any case, final call is Patrick’s, not mine.

    • Graf Zeppelin | December 9, 2016 at 9:41 am |

      I was wondering about that too. I was looking for Citi Field before I noticed that the list was limited to “pre-corporatized” names, which Citi Field never had.

      That said, “Citi Field” is not the worst corporate name imaginable for a ballpark in any city, let alone in New York; say it out loud it sounds just like “City Field.” So I’m sort of OK with it. I’m also OK with some of the perks I get as a cardmember, and with the idea — even if it’s not entirely true — that Citi’s name sponsorship makes my ticket $10 cheaper and helped us re-sign Cespedes.

      But, for instance, would it make sense to call Citi Field “Shea Stadium”? As much as I loved (and wish I had bought before they sold out) the “I’m Calling It Shea” T-shirts, Citi Field is not Shea Stadium and never was Shea Stadium.

      I was thinking also that by the same token one could call Great American Ball Park — another not-terrible-at-all corporate name — “Riverfront,” call PNC Park “Three Rivers,” and so forth, which would make just as much — or as little — sense.

      And I’m still at a loss as to how in the world the naming rights to the new Meadowlands football stadium were not sold to either JetBlue or Green Giant.

      But what would one call, for instance, the Barclays Center?

      • dofojbro | December 9, 2016 at 12:52 pm |

        i agree.

        I am hoping the extension will change “suntrust ballpark” in Atlanta to “Fulton County Stadium”

    • Omar Jalife | December 9, 2016 at 10:26 am |

      The Vegas Golden Knights arena will be a perfect example.
      You can probably make the extension call it something like “the Field where the Mets play”, “the Center home of the Nets”, things like that

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm |

      For now, I’m reluctant to automatically change a name to something that it’s never been called (even though, I admit, I’ve sort of done that with a couple of the bowl games). I do see the appeal in renaming Lucas Oil Stadium to simply “Indianapolis Colts Stadium” (until they’re able to think of a better name) but, as Paul says, it feels like it’s trying to paint a new reality rather than letting a reality that existed take precedence.

      Going a little further with the idea of a genericized name, let’s say Lucas Oil Stadium finishes out its lease, never having been known as anything else, and, in 2043 (or whenever), the Colts build a new stadium called “Dow AgroSciences Field”. If we decide that that name should also be genericized, we then encounter an issue where we have to distinguish between *which* “Indianapolis Colts Stadium” we’re talking about.

      Something that may provide guidance is how defunct stadiums that sold their naming rights are written about in the media afterwards. For instance, my guess is that the names “3Com Park” and “Monster Park” are never again going to be used in writing about “Candlestick Park” (unless, you know, a specific point about corporate naming rights is trying to be made), even when describing, say, a 49ers game that happened in those respective eras. Obviously, Candlestick is not a perfect example, but I think it illustrates my thought. Specifically: right now, it doesn’t feel like the media will ever have another name for Lucas Oil Stadium, which, for better or worse, means that that *is* its name.

    • Michael Bochum | December 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm |

      I was wondering the same thing. The new Cowboys Stadium has never gone by that name. The same with the United Center in Chicago. Even though it stands for United Center, a lot of Blackhawks/Bulls fans like myself simply call it the UC, or the Madhouse (on Madison). I know a few people that call it New Chicago Stadium.

      • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm |

        That’s not right about Cowboys Stadium. It was known as Cowboys Stadium for several years after it opened; Jerry Jones said that he wasn’t opposed to selling the naming rights but that he was waiting on the right deal. It was very much “Cowboys Stadium” from its opening in 2009 up through the 2013 season.

  • martyB | December 9, 2016 at 9:23 am |

    Naming Wrongs is so right. Already installed, well done gang!
    Is there an official Naming Wrongs suggestion location, or is this it?
    For now, can I suggest we get rid of an upcoming Naming Wrong, the future Braves home known to the suits as Suntrust Park?

    Personally, I’m okay with Turner Field since I find it innocuous and referential to an owner most Braves fans are proud to have had.

    I’m curious if others would prefer Atlanta Stadium (the original name for the old ballpark), or Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (when Ted bought it), or Fulton County Stadium (what most people called it).

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:39 am |

      Is there an official Naming Wrongs suggestion location, or is this it?

      As noted toward the end of today’s lede, we’ve set up an email address specifically for Naming Wrongs feedback: namingwrongsfeedback@gmail.com

      • martyB | December 9, 2016 at 10:02 am |

        Bah, sorry about that – I was too excited!

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm |

      Thanks for the kind words, Marty! This is definitely (and predictably) the issue of the day and I’ve written thoughts in a couple of other threads. For now, though, I agree with Paul that it seems strange to rename a stadium like SunTrust Park to something else that it’s never been known as. I can definitely imagine a future version of the extension that will allow a user to arbitrarily right his or her perceived naming wrongs but, at the moment, my only goal is to restore names that have been sold away.

  • Sean | December 9, 2016 at 9:23 am |

    Re: Cena/SNL – they got it partly right. Many people probably recall the scratch style logo which was in use for a number of years, but WWE switched to a more streamlined/non-angled version in 2014. (The streamlined version was originally created for the WWE Network.) Strangely, the red underline in the SNL logo is consistent with the current logo. Also, while there are black variants, the logo is generally rendered in white.

    Old and current logosLogopedia entry

  • BurghFan | December 9, 2016 at 9:30 am |

    Proofreading:
    “maybe they can find happy medium”
    “our own Mike Chamerink”
    “They just filed a papers”

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:40 am |

      Fixed.

  • Mangler | December 9, 2016 at 9:34 am |

    The stadium naming issue reminds me of a radio commercial I once heard featuring Mike and Mike. One guy (Greeny or Golic, I can’t remember which) mentioned looking forward to watching football at the new stadium in the Meadowlands. The other guy corrected him, saying it’s MetLife Stadium.

  • Keith | December 9, 2016 at 9:43 am |

    M&T Bank stadium was once referred to as Ravens Stadium (even occasionally Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards).

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:56 am |

      Thanks, Keith — missed that one!

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm |

      Thanks, Keith! That’ll be fixed in the next version of the extension, which should be published later today.

  • Dumb Guy | December 9, 2016 at 9:44 am |

    “Air Force will revive its “shark head” design for the Arizona Bowl”

    I guess I never thought of that design (whether on a helmet or a P-40) as a shark. I reckon it is though. I never really thought about *what* it actually was. Just teeth and eyes.

    Always a shark now. It can’t be un-sharked.

  • Dave | December 9, 2016 at 9:56 am |

    I like the idea of the Chrome extension but ultimately it strikes me as the sort of thing that’s only going to make those of us who object to corporate names feel better and won’t have any impact on the trend itself. (It’s not as if the team or the company is going to know how many people are blocking the corporate name on their own devices.)

    I have long held that what is needed to stop this trend is for a major media outlet to refuse to use the corporate names. The grounds for this would be as follows: 1) We (media entity) do sell advertising but we do not provide it for free; 2) we do not sell ad space within our stories/content, it goes alongside or is otherwise separate in some discernable way; 3) using corporate names violates both #1 and #2.

    The entire justification for corporate naming as a business expense is based on the name equating to “bonus” advertising when media outlets and fans use the corporate name for the building. (It’s not “free” advertising, at least from the company’s perspective, because they are paying someone for it, but they’re not paying media and they’re certainly not paying the fans.) If that benefit of the corporate name goes away, then the companies won’t spend the money.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 10:00 am |

      I like the idea of the Chrome extension but ultimately it strikes me as the sort of thing that’s only going to make those of us who object to corporate names feel better and won’t have any impact on the trend itself.

      1) I agree that there’s a difference between a palliative treatment and a cure, but don’t dismiss the value of palliatives. If I (or you) don’t have to look at these names while reading sports stories on the web, that strikes me as a major improvement in my (or your) life. It may not solve the large societal problem, but at least it lowers my (or your) blood pressure.

      2) Spread the word. Share today’s post on social media, get people talking about it. That’s how change happens, or at least starts to happen. Push back. Discuss. Persuade. Yes, it’s an uphill fight, but what other choice is there?

  • Mike Engle | December 9, 2016 at 9:58 am |

    Man, that black and white photo of Raider #33 is awesome. I happen to really like the thick black outline for the silver numbers on the white jerseys. That’s how and why I think it works so well. I don’t think it needs to get thinned out, and I especially think last night’s one-off is “so close yet so far.” Kind of like how a banana flavored popsicle tastes close enough to a truly frozen banana to remind me of my favorite dessert flavor, but different enough to know it’s not quite there.

    Quick related question: What are the accepted terms for when numbers have a bottom layer that is off to the side but connected, like the Miami Dolphins at the end of Dan Marino’s career, and then when the bottom layer is not connected, like the Mets’ extraneous black accents?

    Whatever the term is for a “connected shadow” is, the way Richard Seymour’s jersey hangs makes it kind of look like that, and that could be another way to render the silver numbers with enough of a black border to work on the white jerseys, if you insist that the old super-thick borders are too much. Can somebody photoshop that?

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 10:01 am |

      If the shadow is not connected, it’s a drop shadow; if it’s connected, it’s a block shadow.

    • Graf Zeppelin | December 9, 2016 at 10:02 am |

      What are the accepted terms for when numbers have a bottom layer that is off to the side but connected, like the Miami Dolphins at the end of Dan Marino’s career

      Block-shadow.

      …and then when the bottom layer is not connected, like the Mets’ extraneous black accents?

      Drop-shadow.

      • Mike Engle | December 9, 2016 at 10:09 am |

        Thanks a lot! I was having a brain cramp and couldn’t think of how to effectively Google that.
        OK then, I’d like to order a photoshop mockup: Oakland Raiders’ jerseys from yesterday but adding a black block shadow to the numbers, normal silver pants, and normal black on top and white on the bottom hosiery.

  • Martina | December 9, 2016 at 10:02 am |

    Kind of funny that the Raptors did the Huskies thing against the Timberwolves. IIRC one reason they did not name the team Huskies in the first place was the thought that it would be difficult to distinguish themselves, logo-wise, from the TWolves.

    • Mullet B Miler | December 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm |

      No conflict with this particular throwback, as there is no Huskies logo or even wordmark. Just ‘Toronto’. Might as well be a Leafs basketball jersey (their corporate cousins & co-tenants at the arena).

  • Rich P | December 9, 2016 at 10:14 am |

    I love this from the FAQ

    “Just because advertisers have paid a certain price in order to get our attention does not mean they’re automatically entitled to that attention. Our attention is not property that can be purchased and owned”

    • arrScott | December 9, 2016 at 10:46 am |

      Alternately, one could argue that one’s attention is a property that is owned and can be sold, but it is owned by oneself. Did O.co pay me money for my attention? No. Therefore if I want to install a plugin that changes O.co to Oakland, that’s fine. I’m not denying O.co anything it paid for, I’m upholding my right to control and sell my attention, which belongs to me. Point being, one can sustain a powerful argument against commercial overreach even from within the ethical standards of hyper-materialist capitalism.

      The Naming Wrongs extension reminds me of my favorite Chrome extension, Texas Bible, which replaces “you” with “y’all” on popular Bible text sites in instances where the original Hebrew or Greek is plural. It comes with alternatives, too, so you can have it use “yinz” or “you lot” instead of “y’all.”

      The only thing is, I personally lost the battle with corporate stadium names years ago. Not that I gave in or anything, but I honestly can’t keep straight what most sports arena names are anymore if the name has changed since the late 1980s, so I usually gloss over stadium names and rely on the context of what teams are identified in a story to tell where it takes place. Replacing Rogers Center with SkyDome wouldn’t actually make much difference for me, personally, since I tend to skip over stadium names when they appear in sentences anyway.

  • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 10:15 am |

    Today’s ESPN piece, about throwbacks that have been rendered off-limits by the NFL’s one-shell rule, is up:
    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18238831/uni-watch-friday-flashback-nfl-helmet-shell-game

    • Graf Zeppelin | December 9, 2016 at 10:36 am |

      Great piece. Respectfully disagree on the Falcons’ original look, which I think is probably the best no-longer-usable throwback uni — maybe because it’s so many orders of magnitude better than what they’re wearing now, with the Broncos’ mid-’60s design a close second in that category.

      I still think I’m the only person who actually liked the NY Titans throwbacks. Although if the NFL decides to lift this rule, I think enough time has passed now for the 1978-89 uniforms to make a “throwback comeback.”

      • Patrick | December 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm |

        Couldn’t agree more about the Falcons. Best throwbacks in the NFL (and should absolutely be promoted to full time use). That red helmet is perfection.

    • Mike Engle | December 9, 2016 at 10:37 am |

      Fantastic piece, Paul. Can’t help but think (and I know you happen to agree) that the rule is also blocking the Jacksonville Jaguars from going to the Mark Brunell look. I know the Jaguars are a young team, but holy cow that look feels like an eternity ago! (Probably because of the no-gold uniform with the swoopy lines that came after, and now the joke two-tone helmet.)
      Must be an unusually special barrel, but I think that old look has *already* aged to maturation and is ready for bottling and retail.

      • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 10:52 am |

        The Jags should just ditch that ugly-ass helmet and go back to this already. Their uniform set would be vastly improved (well, except for their Color Rash unis – there’s no saving that mustard turdburger) if they brought back the color-shifting black/teal shells.

        One thing about the Jets – when they wore throwbacks in 1993 and 1994 (the former celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl III win), they actually didn’t change helmets. They just slapped the old logo stickers on the green helmets and added a white center stripe. So, it would actually be amusing (to me, at least) to see them attempt a 1980s throwback, but with the 80s JETS wordmark in green on a plain white shell.

        • Graf Zeppelin | December 9, 2016 at 11:06 am |

          To be more precise, the 1993 throwback helmets were stripeless, whereas the 1994 throwback helmets had two white stripes. And the logo decals were given a white outline, which they didn’t have from 1965-77.

          The Bills did the same thing in ’94, using their current red helmets with a decal of the “standing buffalo” logo in white.

          I’ve never read or heard an explanation of why the Jets (or the Bills, or the Cowboys) didn’t go all the way to white helmets in ’94, especially when several other teams (Chargers, Broncos, Patriots, Oilers, Falcons) did take that extra step for the NFL-75 promotion. The ’93 game was the NFL’s very-first use of a throwback uniform, and the Jets did it on their own without the NFL’s help, so it probably didn’t seem worth it at that time to obtain and prepare a whole new set of helmets just for one game.

    • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 10:40 am |

      I’d be really surprised if the NFL doesn’t wake up and ditch the one-shell bullshit (and the limited alternate uniform rules) before 2020. I just can’t see the NFL playing it’s 100th season and NOT doing as many throwback games as possible.

      • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 10:55 am |

        I still firmly believe that if they stopped grandfathering in discontinued helmet models, then this wouldn’t be an issue anymore.

        • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 11:00 am |

          Yeah, that’s the real issue… and that entire concept is stupid. They claim to care about safety, but they allow “grandfathered” safety equipment? WTF, yo? It’s one thing for a high school to need to reuse gear, but this is the multi-billion dollar NFL here. All the players should have a shiny brand new helmet for every game, shouldn’t they? I refuse to believe that a helmet that’s been beaten up for multiple games is safer than a brand new one.

      • KT | December 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm |

        The NFL’s 100th season will actually be the 2019 season.

        • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm |

          I totally knew that… regardless, my point stands.

  • WFY | December 9, 2016 at 10:32 am |

    FedEx Field -> Jack Kent Cooke Stadium

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 10:44 am |

      Oooh, missed that one. Thanks, William!

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm |

      Thanks, William! This will be fixed in the next version, which should be published later today.

  • Boots Day | December 9, 2016 at 10:38 am |

    Sports Authority Field at Mile High is not the same thing as Mile High Stadium. The original Mile High Stadium was torn down to make room for the new stadium, which was first named Invesco Field at Mile High when it opened in 2001. But it’s always had a corporate name.

    • BvK1126 | December 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm |

      It’s true that the Broncos’ current stadium has always had a corporate corporate name. However, now that the two corporate advertisers who paid to have their name on the stadium have both gone bankrupt, there’s a groundswell of support among fans to go back to “Mile High Stadium” as a naming option. The Broncos bought the stadium naming rights back from Sports Authority during bankruptcy proceedings, so a simpler, team-specific stadium name isn’t necessarily out of the realm of possibility.

      • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm |

        As I recall, one of the Denver newspapers (back when Denver had two newspapers) essentially boycotted the Invesco name when the stadium opened, just calling it Mile High. But they eventually relented.

  • jd | December 9, 2016 at 10:40 am |

    throwbacks rendered difficult, not impossible.

  • Matt | December 9, 2016 at 11:06 am |

    Paul, thank you for including my lowly D2 alma mater of Wayne State in today’s UniWatch. It’s about time the Tartars (erm…Warriors) get some love outside of Detroit!

  • Mance | December 9, 2016 at 11:08 am |

    I know Paul hates this talk, but I thought it was interesting that when the color rush jerseys were released the Raiders jerseys were rendered in the Nike vapor template and last night they wore them in the Elite template. Maybe they are so traditional that they didn’t want the collar on the vapor jerseys. They also did not have the silver NFL chip that also was exclusive to the color rush jerseys rendered in the vapor template.

  • Jon Rose | December 9, 2016 at 11:11 am |

    The way to fight back is to not do business with the entities that pay for naming rights. They do it because they believe it’s a worthwhile return on their investment. Don’t buy what they’re selling. Vote with your wallet.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 11:26 am |

      Boycotting is always a good form of activism. But it’s not the only option — you can boycott *and* install the browser extension.

  • Brett | December 9, 2016 at 11:23 am |

    Paul – another throwback lost due to the one-shell rule: mid-2000s and early 2010s Reebok Minnesota Vikings throwbacks.

    Here is what the usual helmet looked like:
    http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Baltimore+Ravens+v+Minnesota+Vikings+MCG8PTOIRdbl.jpg

    And here is the throwback:
    http://cdn1.bloguin.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2012/11/ad0-vikings-throwback-uniforms.jpg

    Interestingly enough, the team used to wear the throwback during training camp as well:
    http://cache4.asset-cache.net/xr/82095878.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=3&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA548A6C07F5ABE3B7FAB7121123ECB2AFAB3FA89ADA4A446F22E

    Cheers!

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 11:28 am |

      Yeah, but they could wear that throwback uni with their current shells if they wanted to. It wouldn’t be 100% accurate, but it’d be close enough.

  • mike 2 | December 9, 2016 at 11:30 am |

    Ottawa’s arena (the Canadian Tire Centre) was called The Palladium when it first opened. For about a month.

    Vancouver’s arena (Rogers Arena) was called Canada Hockey Place for a few weeks in 2010 because of Olympic naming rules. Close enough in my books.

    Was the White Sox stadium ever called Comiskey Park? I thought it was New Comiskey Park when it opened.

    Frankly I’d be OK with substituting the names for old stadiums in for the corporate names of their replacements, even if its not accurate. I’d be ok with reading about Maple Leaf Gardens, the Montreal Forum, Boston Garden, Shea Stadium and Tiger Stadium all day.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 11:34 am |

      When compiling the list of venues for Patrick, I decided not to include pre-corporate names that were in use for less than one season. A judgment call, for sure, but it’s hard to justify going back to a name that was used for only, like, 10 minutes. Or at least that’s my take.

    • Jon Rose | December 9, 2016 at 11:43 am |

      While it was known colloquially as New Comiskey, the official name was Comiskey Park, same as its predecessor. Like Yankee Stadium.

  • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 11:31 am |

    The Grand Rapids Griffins are doing what they’re referring to as 1980s fauxbacks tonight. The jerseys look like this.

    Personally, I think that logo has more of a 1960s abstract aesthetic than 1980s. And shoulder stripes like that were more 1970s.

    • arrScott | December 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm |

      Did Paul coin the word “fauxback”? That’s my recollection, and if so, kind of neat to see a team use the word to describe their own historical-fiction uniform. The normalization of uni watching continues apace!

      • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 4:46 pm |

        I’m pretty sure I did *not* come up with “fauxback.” Don’t recall who did. Wish it had been me!

        • arrScott | December 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm |

          Appears to have been coined by commenters on this August 2008 entry, in response to a comment by Tom Farley:

          http://www.uni-watch.com/2008/08/23/wta-tour-our-glue-is-fine-thanks/

          Both commenters Big Booty Lover and Jeff P proposed “fauxback” more or less simultaneously. A few months later, in this February 2009 entry, Phil used the term “fauxback” in a lead article (including an interview with Paul), describing a throwback with erroneous details, rather than a wholly imagined false uniform in the style of a throwback:

          http://www.uni-watch.com/2009/02/21/say-it-isnt-faux/

          So even if not coined by Paul, the term seems to have originated with Uni Watch, and was popularized from here. So still cool to see it used elsewhere as a common term that a professional team assumes its fans will understand.

        • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:39 pm |

          Oh, for sure — *definitely* started with Uni Watch. Just not by me!

  • Wafflebored | December 9, 2016 at 11:46 am |

    The Pats and Bucs really need to switch to white helmets full time so they can do their throwbacks. For the Bucs, it would probably be an improvement over their pewter lids. The Pats would probably need to rework their uniforms to make it look right.

  • Will Shoken | December 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm |

    In case anyone ordered the StripeRite Crew Socks II from American Trench, I just found out from them that they finally received the socks yesterday from the manufacturer (after many delays) and they will be shipping out the orders to customers today.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm |

      The mill dicked us over. They took several bigger clients and skipped them ahead of us in line. As a small client, we had no leverage, no clout. Grrrr.

  • Drew | December 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm |

    That SNL graphic done in WWE-style further illustrates how terrible the new WWE logo really is.

  • Tom | December 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm |

    Here’s one thing I’ve understood about the criticism of Progressive Field. The park was originally called Jacobs Field because the Jacobs brothers, who were in the for-profit business as much as Progressive Insurance, paid for the naming rights to the ballpark. I’ve never really seen the difference.

    The same goes for Gund Arena – the Gund brothers paid to have their name on the building, so while they were not technically a corporation, they were in the for-profit business model as much as anyone else.

    • kooblydoobly | December 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm |

      great point, Tom and I have always thought Ted Turner should have called the his MLB team the “Turner 9” since he owned them and also because i find “braves” to be lame.

      heck, here is the chicago bears naming history:
      Decatur Staleys (1919—1920)
      Chicago Staleys (1921)
      Chicago Bears (1922—present)

      anyone who proclaims to “want to be authentic and go back to the original” must accept the Staleys, right? It is far more unique than “Bears”.

    • Mike Engle | December 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm |

      Not to mention, Augustus Busch invented Busch beer as an after-the-fact product placement because he couldn’t call the Cardinals’ stadium Budweiser Stadium.
      There’s always the shade of gray that proves that nothing is simply black and white, but that should never keep someone from trying to sketch the most faithful picture.

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm |

      Honestly, I was unaware of who the “Jacobs” in “Jacobs Park” actually was (nor the “Gund” in “Gund Arena”, although I was completely unaware of that arena name), so this is pretty interesting to learn about. I guess, officially, and despite owning their respective teams, the Jacobs brothers and Gordon Gund had to purchase the naming rights from the Cleveland stadium authority (or whatever they called it)? Do I understand that correctly?

    • BurghFan | December 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm |

      Here’s a quick test: if the first thing the venue name brings to mind is a business, it’s the sort of advertising we’re talking about. If it evokes the team owner, or the neighborhood, or the city, etc., it’s OK, even if you can ultimately stretch it to some kind of commercial intent.

  • dofojbro | December 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm |

    Patrick Nance,

    can you write some code that Comcast can download and change sports I watch to the uniform I prefer?

    then I can watch the world series without softball top!

    I can watch the Atlanta Hawks in their Dominique era unis!

    I can watch the Patriots in the sweet 70s red and white!

    etc etc

    good work on the extension

    • Rob S | December 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm |

      Oh, good lord, how many NHL teams could be fixed with something like that! No more Ottawa Senators Edge template! No more Bettman Piping on the Predators, Sabres, or Flames! No more Vegas gold for Pittsburgh– oh, wait, they fixed that one already.

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm |

      Oh, don’t I wish. Thanks for the kind words!

  • Mullet B Miler | December 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm |

    Re: photo of Toronto Maple Leafs’ Salming playing baseball –
    There is actually a local baseball team of the same name that plays in a provincial league called Intercounty Baseball League.
    Several former MLB players have played in the league over the years – including brothers Rich & Rob Butler, who played for both the Blue Jays & Maple Leafs!
    Could have been some cross-promotional thing at the time, with Salming taking batting practice or something (team predates his years as an NHL Leaf).

  • David | December 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm |

    I like the way the Red Sox occasionally plant stories in the press about what saints they are for not selling naming rights for Fenway. As if the historic name doesn’t have a ton of value for them, or the reverse scheme they’ve pulled by naming their own corporation after the park. I’d almost like an extension to change the name of Fenway Sports Group to Henry-Werner Consolidated Price Increases, Inc.

    • Jon Rose | December 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm |

      I remember reading somewhere that “Fenway Park” was actually a corporate name. That the owner of the team at that time had a realty company called “Fenway Real Estate” or something similar, and the park was named to promote that business.

      • David | December 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm |

        Sort of. There was/is a parkland known as the Fens, and the area became known as The Fenway, and the guy named his real estate company after the neighborhood. Then he named the ballpark after “the neighborhood”, as well.

  • Dan T. | December 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm |

    While I, too, would prefer to live in a sporting world without corporate names on stadiums and arenas, the whole browser extension thing seems a little goofy and best, childish at worst.

    Essentially you’re saying that the truth is so traumatic to you that you need to install a computer program that censors news stories in order to replace them with fantasy versions that are more to your liking. It’s the same mentality that drives people to get their news strictly from partisan networks or sites where they can be confident that they’ll only be told what they want to hear. And then we wonder why Americans are so divided on nearly every issue.

    At the very least, the corporate stadium issue is a textbook example of a “First World Problem”. If this is the kind of thing that bothers you, you have a very nice life indeed.

    • The Jeff | December 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm |

      If you’re on the internet at all, it’s probably a “first world problem” so… whatever.

    • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm |

      “Censor” is a fighting word, Dan.

      I am not the government. I do not have the power to censor anything. I do, however, have the ability, at least a little bit, to define the limits of how far corporate advertisers can go in their attempts to capture my attention. This extension is part of that.

      Your argument reduces to “If you don’t like reality, tough shit.” The underlying premise of that argument is that no critique of anything is ever worthwhile, because, well, it’s reality, so tough shit. I respectfully disagree.

      As for first world problems, you’re spending your afternoon on a website devoted to uniform design. Have a nice day.

      • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm |

        Also, Dan: Do you happen to use one of those goofy, childish, truth-canceling, trauma-suppressing, fantasy-perpetuating, national-divide-accentuating ad censors blockers on your browser?

        Just wondering.

        • Dan T. | December 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm |

          1. Ok, my “first world problem” quip was a cheap shot. I take that back.

          2. “Censor” in this context is a verb. Defined basically as “to suppress or delete information that is considered objectionable”. It doesn’t necessarily require the government to do it. Now, in the case of the Chrome extension we’re talking about, it’s strictly self-censorship, which tends to lead to the dreaded “echo-chamber” phenomenon were people only expose themselves to viewpoints they find comforting.

          3. Sure, I use an ad-blocker. Don’t see the relevance. What you’re promoting is a tool that changes fact to fantasy in news stories. What’s next, an extension that changes all references to President Trump to President Clinton to help us forget the last election?

        • Paul Lukas | December 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm |

          Our tool is an ad-blocker, just like ad-blocker you use. It targets a very specific type of ad. If you think that’s a “fantasy,” that’s your prerogative.

          I think corporate names are rooted in a much deeper fantasy — the fantasy that advertising can and should inhabit every aspect of the public sphere, and that it’s acceptable for every aspect of our public sphere to be bought, sold, privatized, and corporatized. The Superdome is the Superdome — that’s reality. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is the fantasy.

          Your Clinton/Trump suggestion is a straw man. We’re not rewriting history; we’re restoring pre-corporate history. Note that we’re not changing the names of venues that have never had a pre-corporate name. Citi Field is still Citi Field — that’s the only identity it’s ever had (unfortunately). If you scroll back thru today’s comments, you’ll find that people suggested that we change the names of such venues, and that I specifically rejected that notion. I’m not looking to create something that has never existed; I’m looking to restore something to its original pre-corporate state. If you choose to call that “fantasy,” again, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • Brent | December 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm |

    I love this for the bowls. Remember when you knew where a Bowl was simply by the name?

    Hey, you could also make the armed forces bowl revert back to the Fort Worth bowl. That’s what it was for the first year or two. But Im not real concerned with these lesser bowls though.

    • Patrick Nance | December 9, 2016 at 7:19 pm |

      I’d totally forgotten that the Armed Forces Bowl was originally the Fort Worth Bowl. This is the only bowl that immediately comes to mind as having had two reasonable (by my very nebulous and arbitrary definition of the word “reasonable”, of course) names. I’ll have to think a little bit more on this particular case but my first instinct–especially given its connotation with Army–is to leave it as “Armed Forces Bowl” but I could get with the idea of doing “Fort Worth / Armed Forces Bowl” instead. I’d love to hear more thoughts.

  • DW95MVP | December 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm |

    http://deadspin.com/johnny-hekker-is-the-punter-every-punter-wants-to-be-1789931094

    An explanation on the Aussie style vertical ball drop for punters.

  • Mike Chamernik | December 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm |

    That’s a very cool extension. Good work.

    Not to make it too convoluted, but I had an idea for renaming stadiums that had corporate titles for their entire lives. Just turn it into the generalized version of whatever product or service is being promoted. Paul kinda did the same thing with renaming college bowl games a few years ago.

    So Minute Maid Park becomes Orange Juice Company Park. Little Caesers Arena becomes Pizza Chain Arena. Staples Center – Office Store Center. And so on.

    • walter | December 9, 2016 at 4:11 pm |

      The worst offender had been the rink the Florida Panthers played in, which was briefly called the National Car Rental Center. As in: Pick-up and Drop-off!

      • Jon Rose | December 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm |

        Wasn’t Pikup Andrpov the name of the Car Talk Russian chauffeur?

  • Gus | December 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm |

    The Chiefs wore the same red top, white bottom socks that they have worn in the past with the all-red look. Look at #99 in the picture above or photos of Alex Smith from the game. However, since it was a color rush game, a lot of players looked to have taken advantage and had as much red on their socks as possible. This was the first time the Chiefs have worn red sleeves with this uniform though.

  • Chris | December 9, 2016 at 4:11 pm |

    I saw some nice looking Hebrew baseball hats when I was in Cooperstown earlier this year. The hats are available online:

    http://www.mickeysplace.com/Hats-Hebrew-c-3_62.html

  • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm |

    Honda Center was called Anaheim Arena during construction, and I think there was about a week when it was just called The Pond of Anaheim or some such thing, while they were waiting for the Arrowhead deal to be announced. Either of those names would work–personally, I’d prefer it to translate to simply “The Pond”, although that straddles the line between de-corporatization and vernacularization.

  • Paul Lee | December 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm |

    While I know it’s a Lays-sponsored bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl actually sounded like it made some sense.

  • Dan T. | December 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm |

    Speaking of corporate names, I’m not too sure if many of you outside the NC region are aware of this but Charlotte’s arena, at first the Charlotte Bobcats Arena and then later the Time Warner Cable Arena is now know as the Spectrum Center of all things.

    It actually sounds pretty cool (and a throwback to the old Philly arena, obviously), and while it’s supposed to promote some kind of company I have no idea what it is.

    • Scott | December 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm |

      Spectrum is the new branding for Time Warner Cable products after its merging with somebody or other. My cable is from TWC, and they won’t shut up about it.

  • David | December 9, 2016 at 11:20 pm |

    Hey Paul, I’m having trouble getting the email address to provide feedback about the chrome extension. Can you either reply with the email address, or pass word along to Patrick that I’d like Reddit to be included as one of the extension’s affected websites? Thanks!

  • Predominantly Orange | December 12, 2016 at 12:37 pm |

    Regarding Chiefs-Raiders. Isn’t the point of the Color Rush (Rash) to go color on color? Raiders in all white was a big downgrade. I kind of respect the Chiefs for never wearing anything dramatically different for the uniform they have always worn since moving from Dallas. So the all red uniforms they already have was perfect.

    The Raiders in all white was a dud. A far better move would have been to introduce a silver jersey that is just an inverse of the silver and black on their black jersey. Then you’d have all red vs. all silver head to calf anyway.

    Introducing black pants for black over black would be a good combo for a home Oakland Color Rash game.

  • NickBob | December 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm |

    The Seattle Center Coliseum, currently labeled Key Arena, should be included on this list, with special attention paid to the fact that the agreement lapsed several years back and the city continues to give them the value without charge by not changing the name back. Also, too, the NBA team in OKC should be known as the Plunder, but baby steps.