Some Thoughts About Mary Tyler Moore’s Vikings Jersey

Mary Tyler Moore died yesterday. For those of us who grew up watching her eponymous sitcom, which was set in Minneapolis, one indelible image of her will always be the bit in the opening credits where she’s washing her car while wearing a what appears to be a Vikings jersey with No. 10 — Fran Tarkenton’s number.

The scene goes by really fast. It lasts only two seconds, or maybe just a second and a half. To see what I mean, click on the video below — I’ve configured it to start five seconds before the car-washing scene:

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, right? But that scene nonetheless had a big impact on people, in part because licensed retail jerseys were somewhere between rare and non-existent back in the 1970s. So the sight of Moore wearing a Vikings jersey — or at least something that signified as a Vikings jersey — was pretty cool. It apparently had a big effect on my longtime pal/colleague Jim Caple, who wrote the following in 2003:

I was a huge Vikings fan back then [in the 1970s] and desperately wanted a Minnesota jersey, but the only one I ever saw that wasn’t worn by an actual Viking was the Fran Tarkenton jersey Mary Tyler Moore donned while washing her car during her show’s opening credits. I wanted that Tarkenton jersey so badly that if Mary had ripped it off her body and handed it to me personally, I would have been too busy slipping it over my skinny body to even bother looking at her naked chest.

True, she must have gotten the jersey from somewhere and, had I lived in the Twin Cities, I might (and I stress the word “might”) have been able to find one, too. But I didn’t. I lived 1,500 miles from Minnesota and there was nowhere for me to buy that Tarkenton jersey. … [B]ack then, if you didn’t live in the city where the team played, you simply were out of luck when it came to buying any gear with a team logo.

The car-washing scene wasn’t part of the original opening sequence when the show debuted in 1970, incidentally (nor would it have made sense then, because Tarkenton was playing for the Giants at the time), but it was added in 1973 and remained through the show’s conclusion in 1977. It’s clearly not a legit Vikings jersey — no sleeve stripes, no TV numbers. But purple and No. 10 with a Minnesota backdrop still communicated the message loud and clear.

One thing that’s apparent from that brief video snippet is that the jersey does have an NOB. It’s impossible to make out what it is (believe me, I’ve tried), although it looks like it might not be “Tarkenton”:

Update: Reader Ken Gelman has provided a behind-the-scenes video that shows the car-washing sequence being filmed, and there’s a clear shot of the NOB. Here, I’ll let you see for yourself:

(I’m told that the video isn’t jumping to the right spot for some people. If that includes you, the NOB is “Vikings.”)

The Vikings weren’t the only Minnesota team whose jersey Moore wore. She once threw out the first pitch at a Twins game while wearing the team’s jersey — and, of course, then threw her cap in the air. Nicely done. RIP.

(My thanks to Willard Kovacs for the Twins jersey shot.)

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Chargers-redesign contest results: Very recent history notwithstanding, it’s entirely possible to successfully merge a lightning bolt and the letters “LA.” Take the design shown above, for example — it was created by reader Chip Harris. It’s one of many uniform and logo designs that are showcased in my latest ESPN column, which has the results of our “redesign the Chargers” challenge. Link coming later today. Sorry, was just informed by my editor that this has been pushed back to next week. Dang.

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Celtics/GE update: In case you stopped by the site before 10:45am Eastern yesterday (or didn’t stop by at all), we now know how the GE advertising patch will look on the Celtics’ home and road uniforms. Here you go — and if you click on these, you’ll get really big versions (all pics from @KyleClauss):

The most interesting thing is that the GE logo is rendered in the Celtics’ team color, instead of GE’s signature blue. Still looks awful, though.

Based on some of the response to yesterday’s news, a short FAQ session might be useful. So:

Why don’t those jerseys have the Nike logo?

Because Nike doesn’t take over the NBA’s uniform contract until next season.

Yeah, but the GE patch won’t be there until next season either, and they had no trouble showing that.

They can show the GE logo without violating someone else’s contractual rights. As of now, Adidas is still the NBA’s outfitter. Teams can’t show the Nike logo on their uniforms, even at a press conference, until Nike takes over.

But here’s something interesting that reader BHayd spotted: The Adidas jock tag was apparently removed from the jersey at yesterday’s press conference. Check it out (click to enlarge):

So while they can’t add the Nike logo just yet, they’re not exactly giving Adidas a big good-bye hug either.

They didn’t show the GE patch on either of the Celtics’ two alternate jerseys. Does that mean those won’t be used next season?

I have no idea. But it’s worth remembering that we’ve only seen the Blue Diamond Almonds ad on the Kings’ home jersey. I’m fairly certain this doesn’t mean that the Kings are scrapping the rest of their uniform program.

Could Adidas or Under Armour try to troll Nike by signing a deal to be an NBA team’s uniform advertiser?

No. Certain companies are not permitted to advertise on NBA uniforms. Alcohol and tobacco brands, for example, are not allowed. I’m sure competing lifestyle brands are also blacklisted. And even if they weren’t, why would a team want to piss off its new uniform supplier by inking a deal with one of the supplier’s competitors? Things don’t work that way.

Could the Yankees try to troll Boston by signing up to be the Celtics’ uniform advertiser?

You’re really overthinking this. Or maybe underthinking.

So now I have to buy a jersey with a stupid GE patch?

Actually, you don’t have to buy any jersey at all, with or without a patch, ever. But if you insist on purchasing an overpriced polyester tank top, most of the ones available next season will not have the ad patches. The teams will have the option to sell ad-inclusive versions as well if they want, but the ad-free versions will be available for all teams.

I hate these ads! Isn’t there anything we can do to stop them?

No, unfortunately.

Don’t you think having the patch in team colors makes it less objectionable?

Not to me, no. It’s still an advertising patch, and advertising patches don’t belong on a team uniform. As for this one, could it be worse (like if it wasn’t rendered in team colors)? Sure. It could also be a whole lot better. For example, it could not exist at all, which is really the only acceptable solution.

Soccer and rugby already have uniform ads. What’s the big deal?

Sorry, we’re not gonna go through that again.

I don’t understand all the fuss. These teams and companies are in business to make money. How can you object to that?

Here, read this.

Okay, I think that covers it, at least until the next NBA team announces its jersey advertiser and we have to do the whole thing over again.

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Alliteration Situation: Brewers Bullpen Buggy
By Mike Chamernik

Each week the Brewers post a “Warehouse Wednesday” video, in which they go through their archives and show off some of their old stuff. Yesterday they gave us a look at their super-cool bullpen buggy. It was used back in the 1970s (note the Barrelman-era hat logo, which even predates the classic “mb” ball-in-glove mark) and is brought out these days for promotional events. As was noted in the video, the cart doesn’t have a motor anymore, so it needs to be pushed wherever it goes.

As neat as the buggy is, the Brewers once had something even better: During the mid-1990s, the team’s bullpen vehicle was a Harley-Davidson (the company is headquartered in Milwaukee) with a sidecar for the pitcher to sit in. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any photos or videos of the motorcycle or sidecar. Does anyone have anything?

If you want to learn more about bullpen buggies, motorcycles, and so on, Paul wrote a good ESPN story about them in 2007, and ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick recently explored the question of whether they should be brought back.

(Thanks to Nicole Haase for the heads-up.)

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Louisville Bats will wear special jerseys and give out these hats for Muhammad Ali Appreciation Night on June 3. Ali was from Louisville and the night is exactly one year after his death (from several readers). … The Chiba Lotte Marines revealed a new uniform yesterday that features a snakeskin-like pattern on the pants and cap brim. … Mariners P Felix Hernandez had a 2000 Yankees World Series ring stolen from his house last November. It’s a mystery as to how he got the ring. … A total eclipse will occur this year on Aug. 21. The Lexington County Blowfish will wear an eclipse-themed jersey that day (from Jeff Suntala). … The Mariners have a dual M’s and Marlins Ichiro bobblehead night planned this year (they play Miami at home in April). “Notice correct colors and even correct hosiery lengths!” says David Sperino. … Missouri State will have four hats and six uniform combinations this season (from @stlcards109901). … Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the home of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers, will have a 20th-season logo (from Alex Freedman). … This piece of trivia is a few years old but still appears to be true: No player on the Nationals, Astros, Indians, or Red Sox ever had the last name Washington, Houston, Cleveland, or Boston, respectively (from reader Coinside). … With all the gun violence in Chicago, President Trump is threatening to “send in the Feds.” Hey, they’ve been gone for 100 years (from Charles Dettmann). … The Nationals will not introduce FDR as a racing president (from Tommy Turner). … The Asheville Tourists will wear tie-dye and become the Hippies for one night in June. The name is the result of a lost bet with the Greenville Drive, a rival Class-A team. … The Hartford Yard Goats are planning a Hartford Whalers weekend this summer.

Football News: Ravens FB Kyle Juszczyk’s Pro Bowl shirt has a misspelled NOB, as Mark Johnson notes. Consider this a mini-Question of the Week: What was the worst way your name was ever misspelled? Mine is a tie between “Sharminick” and “Chirmiak.” … The name, logo, and uniforms were announced and revealed for the Baltimore Brigade, the newest Arena League team (from several readers). … A writer for a political publication says that the NFL should embrace nostalgia, including throwback uniforms, to make the Pro Bowl better (from Anil Adyanthaya). … The U-18 USA national team unveiled new uniforms (from Sean Vanderbrook).

Hockey News: The Ducks wore Angels-themed warm-ups last night. … The promotional hat from Tuesday night’s Penguins game has four stars in the 50th anniversary emblem, not four Stanley Cups like the official logo (from F.J. Skupnik). … Speaking of the Pens, jerseys in their team shop have the Centennial Patch in the wrong place. It should be below the sleeve numbers (from Daniel Levy). … Tris Wykes found a shot of the Hartford Whalers practicing in short-sleeve jerseys, or maybe just T-shirts.

NBA News: The Hornets wore teal at home last night against the Warriors, who wore white on the road, and the Mavericks wore their navy alternates at home against the Knicks, who wore white on the road. … The Kings and Cavs went color vs. color in Cleveland. After winning the game, the Kings had a little fun with the Cavs’ logo. … The Spurs will give fans hats in Texas, Texas State, and UTSA colors during a few upcoming college spirit nights. … Depending on how you read it, Celtics coach Brad Stevens either skirted a question on the team’s new GE jersey ads, or he gave a subtle dig (from Brian Schmidtke). … Although the GE ad won’t appear on Boston’s uniforms until next season, a new GE ad has just been added to the team’s backboard post (from Zachary Loesl). … Also from Zachary: “Wednesday was Australia Day for the Bucks, so the team celebrated by giving away Matthew Dellavedova bobbleheads, and Dellavedova himself wore  sneakers in Australia’s national colors.” … And one more from Zachary: The Trail Blazers honored their 1977 championship team and coach Terry Stotts wore a retro outfit for the occasion.

College Hoops News: Arizona State wore throwbacks last night (from Cole Streeper). … Providence wore fauxbacks last night. … Michigan will wear pink Jordans tonight for Coaches vs. Cancer week (from Megan Brown). … The North Carolina men’s team was informally known as the White Phantoms from the 1920s through around 1951. Newspapermen gave the team the name due to its white uniforms (from James Gilbert).

Soccer News: Arsenal’s trainer had tape over the Champions League logo on his med bag during a Premier League game the other day (from @MrSack4).

Grab Bag: New logo for the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The redesign includes a specific color scheme (PDF) for each school (from Vaughn Johnson). … Lacoste unveiled the uniforms for the U.S. and International teams for the 2017 Presidents Cup (from Phil). … Tiger Woods signed with TaylorMade and will play the company’s metal woods, irons and wedges (from Brinke). … New spacesuit for NASA. Additinal info here (from Kyle Martinek and Brinke). … President Trump is very strict about his staff’s attire. … The Japanese outdoor apparel company Montbell supplied an Osaka shrine with branded white robes (from reader Greg).

130 comments to Some Thoughts About Mary Tyler Moore’s Vikings Jersey

  • DRR | January 26, 2017 at 8:00 am |

    It looks to me that the NOB for the jersey starts with V, so I am going to guess it says Vikings. Just a guess, though.

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 8:10 am |

      That mystery has now been solved! Scroll back up to the main entry, where I’ve just added a new bit of info.

      • Special K | January 26, 2017 at 9:17 am |

        The video isn’t jumping to the correct place on my phone. Can you tell us what the NOB says, or at least what time spot in the video has the information, so I don’t have to watch a 20 minute long video to find out the answer?

        • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 9:18 am |

          It says “Vikings.”

        • Special K | January 26, 2017 at 10:33 am |

          Thanks, Paul.

      • Pesky | January 26, 2017 at 9:35 am |

        Paul – I have a theory that Mary Tyler Moore is wearing the Vikings jersey backwards.
        Going to 20:20-20:24 of the Gelman video, MTM walks so that both the front and back of the jersey are visable.
        The VIKINGS name, while probably not on a nameplate, seems to “ride” a little low to be normally placed there.
        And the numbers are higher in the front than the back during that video sequence.

        I would argue that for whatever reason (trademark, copy write, not being paid to advertise, not to be distracting) the jersey was worn backwards.

        • Will Shoken | January 26, 2017 at 11:23 am |

          No, I disagree, Mary Tyler Moore did not wear it backwards.

        • TedC53 | January 26, 2017 at 9:18 pm |

          I think that’s a Sears jersey like the ones I coveted in the 70s backwards.

  • Bruce | January 26, 2017 at 8:08 am |

    “Felix Hernandez had a 2000 Yankees World Series ring stolen from his house” – Fun story, but I’m pretty sure that ring is a cheap replica (diamonds & gold look very fake), they’re all over eBay:

  • Jon | January 26, 2017 at 8:17 am |

    Someone made a Blue Jackets/Cleveland Barons crossover.

    • John H. | January 26, 2017 at 11:05 am |

      Very nice but the white jersey is a little too similar to the Winnipeg Jets third jersey.

  • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 8:17 am |

    QOTW (bad name spelling).

    My first name is Jon.

    Here is a typical transaction between me and let’s say some clerk somewhere…

    Clerk: “Ok Sir, your name please?”

    Me: “First name is Jon; J- O- N.”

    Clerk: (writes down J- O- H- N)

    Me: (it’s happened so many times I don’t give a sh!t anymore)

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 8:19 am |

      I have the same thing with my surname. I always spell it out for people and make special emphasis on the “k,” but they still write “Lucas.”

      This often causes problems when I have to spell out my email address for someone and the resulting email gets messed up.

      • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 9:23 am |

        Also, nobody gets the name of my website and ESPN column right. Instead of “Uni Watch,” they write Uniwatch, uniwatch, UniWatch, Uni-Watch, Uni-watch, or uni-watch.


        • Mike Chamernik | January 26, 2017 at 10:28 am |

          I’m old school, I still call it uniwatchblog

        • Andrew Holt | January 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm |

          A really good friend of mine thought my last name was Hold for 2 years.

    • Jordan | January 26, 2017 at 10:26 am |

      Jordan Wiley was once butchered as Goordon Willey

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 10:53 am |

      I feel your pain, brother. Happens to me all the time. And don’t even get me started on “Jonathan”.

    • Omar Jalife | January 26, 2017 at 11:35 am |

      Jalife is pretty difficult for everyone both here in Mexico and in the US. In Mexico I’ve seen it spelled Halife, Halife, Jalif, Galife and many other ways. Back when I worked at a factory, the operators used to calle me Jelipe because they said they came from rural towns and couldn’t say my name correctly.
      In the US, it’s difficult as it sounds HA-LEE-FE so I just tell people is Ja-life

    • Paul Lee | January 26, 2017 at 1:05 pm |

      Jon Voight the actor? No, the orthodontist.

    • Mark Kelley | January 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm |

      Story of my life – people will read “KELLEY” off of something, and copy it down as “KELLY”. Most don’t even notice what they’ve done unless I point it out – so I’ve kind of given up. Did get me out of a speeding ticket once, though – court let me out on a technicality.

      • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm |

        Not a technicality. If the law says the ticket has to correctly identify you, that’s not a technicality — that’s THE LAW!

    • Jon V | January 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm |

      Same here with the Jon spelling scenario. I guess it could be worse. My name could be Jon Lukas. Or is it John Lucas to all of you who really aren’t paying attention to this reply?

  • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 8:20 am |

    RIP MTM. I am of the age that I loved her On The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore show.

    My only two impersonations are of Laura Petrie and Mary Richards. They go a little something like this…

    Laura Petrie: “Oh, Rob.”

    Mary Richards” “Mr. Grant.”

    • Winter | January 26, 2017 at 9:38 am |

      MTM definitely catches the attention on the Dick Van Dyke show.

  • Dan T. | January 26, 2017 at 8:21 am |

    Paul, while you say there’s “nothing we can do” about the NBA ads, I don’t think that’s entirely true. If fans were to organize and stop attending games or watching them on TV until the ads were gone, they’d be gone pretty quickly. Or even without organizing, if enough fans individually stopped following the league, things would chance.

    Of course, this isn’t going to happen. Probably because while I’d guess most fans will not like the ads, they won’t detract from their enjoyment of the games enough to stop watching. Eventually, fans will just kind of get used to them. Then, the NBA will make the ads larger, and so forth and so on, fans will complain a little and then just get used to whatever the new paradigm is.

    • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 8:27 am |

      What about a march on Washington. Seems to be the thing these days.

    • arrScott | January 26, 2017 at 9:43 am |

      I’m going to continue my personal practice of not watching NBA games and not buying NBA merchandise, only from now on I’m going to say it’s a boycott against overproliferating advertising rather than an expression of uninterest for a sport I find unwatchably boring with mainly ugly uniforms to boot.

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 11:00 am |

      Also, you can not do business with the companies that purchase uniform ads.

      • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 11:10 am |

        Yes, you can boycott the advertisers as well.

        But will any of that happen in any meaningful way, and will it have any effect on the uni-advertising program?

        No, it won’t.

        • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 11:30 am |

          Maybe not. But it makes me happy to know they’re not getting any of my money.

        • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 11:40 am |

          Oh, for sure. Boycotting is often the ethical (or just satisfying) thing to do, even if it won’t change the big picture. Vegans won’t get the rest of the world to stop eating animal products, but it’s good that they stick to their principles.

          But the point of this thread was whether there’s anything that can be done to roll back the NBA uniform ads. And the answer to that is still no, unfortunately. Can’t get that toothpaste back in the tube.

          What we *can* do is try to make sure that the other leagues keep the toothpaste right where it is.

    • reb | January 27, 2017 at 12:56 pm |

      I bought a final few MLB hats before the hideous New Era logo goes on them, and I can’t imagine ever buying one with the logo.

  • Rex (acctracker) | January 26, 2017 at 8:33 am |

    One more question:

    Will the next round of uni-watch shirts have ads on them?

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 8:35 am |

      Yes, and the ads will say, “Uni Watch is two words, both capped, with a space in between, and no hyphen.”

      • Tony Crespo | January 26, 2017 at 8:47 am |

        followed by..don’t put that on there dummy…

      • Rex (acctracker) | January 26, 2017 at 8:47 am |

        Touche, Paul

      • Lou | January 26, 2017 at 9:44 am |

        To be fair, people likely put the hyphen because it is in the URL.

  • Tony Crespo | January 26, 2017 at 8:42 am |

    if you continue watching the behind the scenes video on the making of her show’s intro at the 20:49 it looks like two guys wearing the same shirt/jersey but with the number 89(i think)

    • Will Shoken | January 26, 2017 at 11:16 am |

      Those two guys are MTM producer David Davis (wearing number 88) and MTM Director/Show Creator Jim Brooks (wearing number 49). Jim Brooks went on to direct and produce movies, winning four Oscars.

  • Jaime | January 26, 2017 at 8:46 am |

    Mini-Question of The Week

    My name is Jaime. Which is spanish for Jamie. It’s very easy to get the spelling wrong, so I don’t mind making an effort to make sure it gets spelled correctly. What gets to me is when I verbally spell out my name for someone and they still write it wrong. I will also pull out my driver’s license so they can see it, but they still get it wrong. This has happened on official college paperwork, employment information, and medical records, so it can really foul things up for me.

    • Phil P | January 26, 2017 at 9:04 am |

      I have an easily misspelled last name, it’s actually a common portuguese name (and portuguese uses -eira in a lot of surnames), and despite always spelling my name extremely slowly (in fact, I never pronounce it, I just start spelling), people mix up the letters all the time. I think people are generally poor listeners and don’t focus

  • Benjamin | January 26, 2017 at 8:56 am |

    My surname is Page. There is no “i”. Yet, most people spell it with an “i”, even when I spell it for them.

    • arrScott | January 26, 2017 at 9:49 am |

      Having a common English, as in from actual England, surname, misspelling was never a problem for me, at least not in America. (In Holland, a different story.) Then I moved to Wisconsin, where the most popular man in the state has the same surname but spells it with the rarer, more Germanic way. So now, my last name is always misspelled unless I pronounce it “Rogers without a D.”

      My wife kept her last name when we married, so it’s much more common for me to receive mail addressed to Mr. Moravec than it is to have my own name misspelled. Except by Wisconsinites, who always seem to put a D in there. Thanks, Aaron.

  • RickAZ | January 26, 2017 at 9:04 am |

    Love the tribute to Mary Tyler Moore. Surprising that jerseys were so hard to come by back then, when you consider how this is such big business now. Curious to know the history of how this changed? Going from the 50s and 60s when men would wear their suits and ties, to now when half the stadium is wearing team jerseys.

    • arrScott | January 26, 2017 at 9:54 am |

      My dad worked in broadcasting in Minnesota for a station that carried most sports games at the time, and he would often bring home souvenirs and whatnot from the Twins, Vikings, North Stars, and Gophers, stuff that’s common today but wasn’t widely available at retail back then. So MTM’s Vikes jersey seemed normal to me as part of her character’s persona as a local TV reporter. Wearing a jersey like that at the time signified some level of personal connection to the team, like being a relative of a coach or working for a company that did business with the team.

    • DJ | January 26, 2017 at 1:32 pm |

      Someone with a better sense of the history of fashion might explain this better than me, but… apparently, men’s fashion (suits, overcoats, ties) is broadly descended from military uniforms. These days, in addition to fashion becoming a bit more unisex, it takes its cues from athletic or work wear (t-shirts, jeans, shoes, yoga pants).

      As I said, that’s a really broad, and probably less-than-complete or accurate explanation. But it does tend to explain part of why today’s fashion is a bit less formal than that of 50-60 years ago.

      • RickAZ | January 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm |

        I remember as a kid going on a plane and wearing a suit. Now I’m lucky if the big, sweaty, hairy guy next to me has on more than a tank top and shorts.

  • SWells | January 26, 2017 at 9:10 am |

    That behind-the-scenes clip of MTM car wash shows how cute a professional she was. “I’ve never washed a car.” But, quickly and professionally got down to business.
    Watching the DvD show (re-runs of course), she was my first celebrity crush and I loved the MTM show.


  • Special K | January 26, 2017 at 9:20 am |

    My first name is Kelby, which is a pretty rare name. I’ve been called Colby, Toby (which is my brother’s name), Kelly, Kelsey, Keldy, Kelty, and Kirby.

  • Marcus | January 26, 2017 at 9:25 am |

    I only watched a very few eps of MTM on Nick at Nite, but the intro and the theme song really stands out to me. I know all the words to this day, and the scenes too. I guess since I am fascinated with the 70’s-ness of it.

  • walter | January 26, 2017 at 9:30 am |

    My surname is Helfer. It’s been rendered as Hefner, Hefler, Heifer, Hilford, and Helf. I don’t bother giving it when ordering things over the phone; I use my first name.

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 11:08 am |

      Any relation to Tricia?

      • Paul Lee | January 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm |

        Cylons are among us.

      • walter | January 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm |

        I wish! Then I could ask her how many ways *her* name had been mangled.

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 11:19 am |

      You’d be surprised how often people have issues with “Rose”. Jeez, it’s not like my name is Shlabotnik.

      I always use “Rockefeller” when ordering over the phone. I couldn’t even tell you why.

      • DenverGregg | January 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm |

        I’ve got a super uncommon last name that is routinely butchered. I’ll usually just use my first name, but sometimes will use Bukowski – especially at the deli.

  • walter | January 26, 2017 at 9:38 am |

    The Trail Blazers honored their 1977 championship team and coach Terry Stotts wore a retro outfit for the occasion.

    I was expecting throwback uniforms.

    • mild bill | January 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm |

      It was exactly what I expected. Somewhere Dr. Jack Ramsay is smiling.

      Is that Warren Buffett on the far left of the picture?

  • Matt Shepardson | January 26, 2017 at 9:45 am |

    QOTW: My last name is most often misspelled, so often that I don’t even say it when giving my info; I just spell it and in a way that doesn’t pause at the “D”. Otherwise, people assume my last name is Shepard. It’s most often misspelled Shephardson, which I’ve never understood, seeing as Shepherd the word is spelled with an “E”.

    That said, the worst ever has been my local phone-in takeaway place. I’ve been Michael Richardson, “Met Scbrbsn”, and “ask name when get her”.

    • Eltee of DC | January 26, 2017 at 10:42 am |


      Mispronouncing peoples names is the coin of the realm in the upper echelons of Dee Cee firmament. Part of the DC pecking order. You know you are not “impotent” when they (I mean everyone not just upwardly mobile civil servants) don’t even bother to spell, pronounce your name properly.

      When my last name is mispronounced I usually just nod and say “Why yes, yes it is”.

      However there is a proper way to mispronounce someones name – so that everyone (or no one) is insulted or in on the joke, need proof?

      Learn from the master around the 2:00 minute mark in this clip.

  • Marc-Louis Paprzyca | January 26, 2017 at 10:08 am |

    I don’t even give people the opportunity to misspell my last name anymore. When someone asks for it, I quickly respond, “I’ll spell it for you.”

    I have a question that I can’t believe I’ve never thought of before.
    Who makes the uniform color/design decision for NBA teams from game to game?

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 10:17 am |

      Who makes the uniform color/design decision for NBA teams from game to game?

      The starting pitcher, duh.

      Seriously: I don’t know. Like you, I’m surprised I’ve never thought to ask about that before. Hmmmmm….

  • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 10:35 am |

    Update: Chargers-redesign results have been pushed back to next week. Sorry! Out of my control.

    • Rob S | January 26, 2017 at 11:28 am |

      Man, I was looking forward to seeing how my submission did. Guess I’ll have to wait some more.

  • Clarybird | January 26, 2017 at 10:40 am |

    T.S.M.N.W.A. (The Spelled My Name Wrong Again) by Loudon Wainwright III.

  • Dave Mac | January 26, 2017 at 10:42 am |

    What seemed interesting about that Mary Tyler Moore clip is that it appears to be filmed exclusively for use in the theme song. Most shows historically have used clips from previous episodes of the show as a compilation for the theme song. It’s interesting that they would use all original shots. Any examples of this being done before?

    • Lee | January 26, 2017 at 11:17 am |

      Jeez, now you got me thinking…

      I know that most of the shots for Streets of San Francisco were done especially for the opening (although I am not sure about the shots of the actors that are included).



      • Dave Mac | January 26, 2017 at 12:36 pm |

        It seems like there are occasionally a few shots done specifically for the opening theme song. But to create an entire montage for it? That seems like it would be rare. It would be even rarer for it to occur several seasons into the show.

        • DJ | January 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm |

          If memory serves, the scene at the end of the clip (Mary hugging Lou, Murray, and Ted) was taken from an episode. The rest of the scenes, yes, they were filmed just for the opening.

    • Tim | January 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm |

      To me the most intriguing part is MTM saying “How do you wash a car”?

  • Chris Weber | January 26, 2017 at 10:46 am |

    Good morning. Question for you regarding the ad patches on jerseys in the NBA: Who was the person within the league who came up with the idea to sell the space on the uniforms in the first place? Has that person’s name and position ever been publicized? Does anyone know who created this mess? Shame on that person. Seriously.

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 10:51 am |

      I don’t know that you can attribute the idea to a single person. The practice of selling ad space on sports uniforms goes back generations at various levels of sports, from the highest levels of international soccer to the lowest levels of youth sports. So the concept has always been “in the air,” so to speak. It’s not as though someone in the NBA offices dreamed it up on their own.

      That said, the point person for the NBA’s initiative has always been Adam Silver, going back to the days before he became commissioner. I do not know that he’s the first one who brought it up within the NBA offices (I doubt we’ll ever know who that person was), but Silver has always been the idea’s biggest and most public advocate.

      And yes, shame on him.

      • Chris Weber | January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am |

        Silver clearly never grew up watching our Big 4 team sports with the respect for the uniforms that they deserve. He probably grew up a soccer fan. (Excuse me while I tap into my inner Walt Kowalski.) Thanks for the info. -C.

        • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 11:36 am |

          I don’t know if any of that is true.

          Silver, like all of today’s commissioners, is less of a commissioner in the old-fashioned sense and more of a CEO. He’s not interested in what the sport means from a cultural standpoint (or any other standpoint) except to the extent that it impacts the P&L numbers. His only priority is growth, endless growth, by any means necessary.

          Endless growth, of course, is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme, but that’s more of an issue with late-phase capitalism in general than with the NBA in particular.

      • HtG | January 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm |

        David Stern fought hard to keep uniforms free of ads and maker mark. Silver was always in favor of both.

  • Tony Crespo | January 26, 2017 at 10:47 am |

    QOTD: people usually want to put a B in my last name so i just grown accustomed to spelling it out.

    C. R. E. S. P as in Paul. O

    • Tim | January 26, 2017 at 3:36 pm |

      My High School was C-R-E-S-P-I…

  • Matt Lieberson | January 26, 2017 at 10:48 am |

    Paul (and other readers), curious what you think: if the jersey ads lead to reduced commercial time within the game, and therefore better flow for the games, would the jersey ads be a net positive? I ask this understanding that the best scenario is no jersey ads AND reduced commercial time.

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 10:55 am |

      if the jersey ads lead to reduced commercial time within the game, and therefore better flow for the games, would the jersey ads be a net positive?

      There is no indication that NBA uniform advertising is linked in any way to the amount of commercials in a game broadcast (nor has the league ever claimed that such a linkage exists), so this question is moot.

      But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it’s not moot. What you’re really asking is whether the ends justify the means. Which is another way of asking, “Is it OK to do something really shitty if it happens to have a positive side effect?” And the answer is that the really shitty thing you’re doing is still really shitty. Dirty money is still dirty money, no matter what you spend it on.

    • Chris Weber | January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am |


    • Mike Chamernik | January 26, 2017 at 11:30 am |

      Other than late in games, commercial breaks aren’t too much of an issue for me when watching the NBA. Uni ads wouldn’t be an even trade-off.

      I didn’t want U.S. pro sports to cross that threshold. Philosophically, the gap between no ads and the small patches that are coming next year is much wider than the gap between small patches and full blown European hockey

      • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 11:37 am |

        Philosophically, the gap between no ads and the small patches that are coming next year is much wider than the gap between small patches and full blown European hockey.

        Exactly, Mike. It’s like the old bit about the $1,000 hooker vs. the $20 hooker. “We’ve already established exactly what kind of woman you are. Now we’re just haggling about price.”

  • Lee | January 26, 2017 at 11:06 am |

    Great lede today Paul!

    I too was a big Vikings fan in the 70’s, and Fran Tarkenton was my favorite player to boot.
    So I loved the snippet in the MTMS opening.

    I always think of that as being the first time I recall seeing a non-athlete wear a team jersey (even though I knew at the time it wasn’t “official”). I don’t know if that was true of course (probably not), it is the earliest instance that I specifically recall.


  • Lee | January 26, 2017 at 11:10 am |

    My last name is Stokes.
    Many times I have had someone spell it or call it out as “Strokes”.
    As a junior high-er, being called Strokes wasn’t cool or fun.


    • Deric | January 27, 2017 at 2:29 am |

      Fellow Stokes here and I feel your pain. I also have the double whammy of my first name spelling. It’s Deric. Everyone wants to either spell it Derek or throw two Rs and a K on the end. I usually end up just saying it’s just Eric with a D

  • mike 2 | January 26, 2017 at 11:15 am |

    I have a polish surname that’s about as bad as Juszczyk’s.

    Its a special treat when you run into someone Polish and you say your name and they spell it right and say “oh, just like it sounds”.

    On a related note – I love that Marc Rzepczynski’s nickname is “Scrabble”. Baseball doesn’t have good nicknames anymore and that one is perfect.

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 11:39 am |

      “Wojohowicz. Ya spell it like it sounds!”

      • mike 2 | January 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm |

        It sounds like Wojciehowicz

  • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 11:16 am |

    My surname is Solomonson. It’s Swedish. Like Anderson, Nelson, Peterson, Carlson, …

    When I spell it for people it is:

    S O L O M O N S O N

    If they try to repeat it back to me in any other rhythm, I can hardly keep it straight myself!

    • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 11:29 am |

      That should read:

      S-O (pause) L-O (pause) M-O-N (pause) S-O-N

    • DenverGregg | January 26, 2017 at 2:04 pm |

      Just for that I’d say it
      S-O (pause) L-O (pause) M-O (pause) N-S-O (pause) N

      • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 2:22 pm |

        have you ever seen someone marching out of step, and trying to get back IN step? That’s what that was like for me!!


  • John H. | January 26, 2017 at 11:17 am |

    The Vikings often wore plain purple jerseys with no striping from 1968 to 1974.

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 11:23 am |

      Yeah, but (a) as noted in today’s entry, the car-wash scene wasn’t added to the opening sequence until 1973, and (b) even the stripe-less sleeves had TV numbers, which the MTM jersey didn’t have.

      • John H. | January 26, 2017 at 11:35 am |

        I was only pointing out that the lack of stripes was not inaccurate for a 1973 jersey.

  • John H. | January 26, 2017 at 11:19 am |

    My last name is Horn. I often get an “e” added to the end. Insert punchline here…

  • Cort McMurray | January 26, 2017 at 12:21 pm |

    My name is Cort. I have been called Curt, Court, Courtney, Kirk, Curry, Colby, Colt, Kerry, Carl, Karl, Conrad, and Horton. I don’t understand that last one, but it’s happened.

    And one of the only things I have ever liked about the NFL is Mary Tyler Moore in that Vikings jersey. And Jill St. John in the 49ers jersey on “McMillian and Wife.”

    Jerseys are a solid fashion look.

    • BurghFan | January 26, 2017 at 6:15 pm |

      As someone mentioned below, Susan Saint James, not Jill St. John.

  • Andre LaPlume | January 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm |

    It’s the NEW ENGLAND WHALERS in the photo from 1974 (as noted in the caption). During their WHA days, their logo was a “W” with a harpoon and their colors were forest green and gold. They became the Hartford Whalers and changed their uniforms and logo in 1979 upon their admission to the NHL.

  • JFinDC | January 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm |

    Thanks for the MTM clip. As a Viking fan at the time growing up in Rochester, NY, I tried never to miss the MTM opening, simply to see the car washing scene. Back then, the only way we could get NFL jerseys was through Sears or Penney’s and you had to order through their Christmas catalog. The year my brother, who was a Packer fan, and I got our jerseys was either 1970 or 1971 and the numbers on the jerseys was random…I think my Vikings jersey had number 42 on the front and the back and my brother’s Pack jersey had number 21, and of course, NNOB. The team names were not stenciled on the front, and the sleeve striping was sewn on as a block. Both had a vinyl-like NFL shield ironed on the sleeve, which started to fall apart after a couple of washings. How far we’ve come today, I guess, where NFL jerseys, with any number and name, are very easy to get. Thanks again for the MTM clip.

  • Kevin Zdancewicz | January 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm |

    My brother and I played high school baseball together and for the conference playoffs, they announced hitters as they came up to bat. I don’t recall exactly how they pronounced my surname when I came up to bat, other than it was not correct.

    But the best part is when my brother came up, they pronounced it completely differently as Zalazinski.

    I admit, my surname can look like a tough one to pronounce, but where did the “l” and “ski” come from?

    • Justin C Cliburn | January 26, 2017 at 3:14 pm |

      I have a boring English surname (Cliburn), and even my name has been butchered with a “-ski” on the end. My father received unsolicited junk mail addressed to “Robert Cliburnski.”

  • Tom V. | January 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm |

    Coming from someone with three words in my last name (with two of them capitalized) I’ve seen many many variations of wrong spellings. In elementary school so much of our mail showed up misspelled I even started adding letters to our last name and spelling it different until I was nudged to go back to spelling it the right way. One of the worst offenders I find though, is when you are filling in a form where one letter goes in each box, and your credit card, bank statement, etc comes back misspelled, is there anything simpler than spelling a name from such a form? It’s all right there in boxes with spaces, etc.

    Anyway, what this whole name thing has taught me is to spell peoples names right. So much of our correspondence comes from folks with email signatures or a simple way to look up how their name is actually spelled, there is no excuse for getting it wrong. /rantoff

  • Jack | January 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm |

    So when the Orlando Magic sell the space on their jersey are they going to have mouse ears, a script “D” or a silhouette of Cinderella’s Castle?

  • Robert A. McIntyre | January 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm |

    Glad to see Missouri State baseball did not forget the digital camouflage pattern jersey. Uggh.

  • Paul Lee | January 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm |

    A girl at Wendy’s spelled my name PUAL. It was on the receipt.

    • Paul Lukas | January 26, 2017 at 1:10 pm |

      Confession: I’ve occasionally signed off an email with “Pual” and then realized it just as I was hitting “Send.” Typos happen!

      • Justin C Cliburn | January 26, 2017 at 3:15 pm |

        Time to add the “Undo Send” feature on Gmail. It’s saved me more than a few times.

      • arrScott | January 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm |

        “Pual” is just the phonetic spelling of the name as it’s pronounced in Philadelphia and parts of Long Island. I lived in Philly for a few years as a kid; my best friend’s name was spelled “Paul” but everybody pronounced it, “Pu-aall.”

  • Dumb Guy | January 26, 2017 at 1:31 pm |

    My wife’s name is Frances. With an E… like in Hers.

    Not an I… like in His.

    She’s tired of caring too.

    When the Lotto people hand over that zillion dollar check, THEN I will demand my name be spelled right!

  • Brent | January 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm |

    VERY timely question of the week. My name is Brent. 5 letters. Usually get Brian or Brett. Have gotten Fred and Bert. Just now, as I sit here eating Wendy’s, I look down to see BRANENT. Just 2 weeks ago same girl calls me Rent. Like my mom looked at her first born child one cold December day and named me after a monthly expense.

    I was also infatuated with the MTM Viking jersey but also the 49er jersey worn by the lady on McMillan and Wife.

    • Jon Rose | January 26, 2017 at 2:57 pm |

      Susan Saint James. Now you’re talking.

  • Matt S | January 26, 2017 at 2:57 pm |

    Pardon me if this has been discussed on the site already, but I didn’t know we were getting new ST/BP hats in MLB this year.

    • Mike Chamernik | January 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm |

      Makes sense. Lids is selling last year’s stock at a step discount. I got a Rays and Braves cap for $10 each.

  • Justin C Cliburn | January 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm |

    My surname is pretty simple: Cliburn. But it’s relatively rare and it seems a lot of people look at the name and immediately associate it with a similar name they’ve seen in the past. As a result, I get a lot of variations on my name both in print and verbally. I’ve seen my name spelled Clayburn, Clayborne, Claybourne, Claborn, Clabourne, Cleburne, Cleburn, Clyburn, Clyburne, Clyborn, Clybourne, Kilburn, Kilborn, Kilborne, and Kilbourne, but the least logical misspelling was when my father received junk mail addressed to “Robert Cliburnski.”

    • Special K | January 26, 2017 at 6:18 pm |

      Wow, that’s a lot of variations!

  • Lance Smith | January 26, 2017 at 3:44 pm |

    If you skip to almost the end of the Moore on Sunday clip, you can see that the two “joggers” are also wearing Vikings jerseys. (They’re actually from the production team.) So they had to have at least three jerseys.

    Dave Moore was a big fan of outdoor baseball and there were some who wanted to name the new Twins stadium after him.

    It’s sad to see the Dayton’s store (where she throws her hat) because it was announced that the Macy’s, which took over Dayton’s/Marshall Field’s, would be closing this year.

  • Joe Hilseberg | January 26, 2017 at 4:11 pm |

    If the NBA is going to have ad patches, they should at least be high quality. These die-subbed patches are awful. The white one still has the cut line visible. The border should be way smaller.

  • Mike Chamernik | January 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm |

    Good responses, everyone. I like that we all have had similar experiences, whether your name is “Jon” or “Zdancewicz.”

    Sometimes I have to be careful that I don’t screw up my own name. I go by “Mike” 99 percent of the time, so when I have to write “Michael” I have to make sure I put A-E-L.

  • Chris Sciria | January 26, 2017 at 5:23 pm |

    So is the Vikings jersey one of the 1970s Rawlings youth jerseys sold in the Sears Christmas catalog? Those had the team name on the front. She could had worn it backwards so you couldn’t see Vikings.

  • Special K | January 26, 2017 at 6:27 pm |

    Not that this is definitive, because it could have been from a different year, but the Vikings jersey in this catalog page has stripes on the sleeves, unlike the Mary Tyler Moore jersey.

  • Memphis Bill | January 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm |

    Is it possible MTM was so ahead of the curve she was wearing a throwback!?!

    Major props, mary!

  • Chip Powell | January 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm |

    Must be something about Vikings jerseys. In the show Baa Baa Black Sheep, Dirk Blocker’s character was often seen wearing a Vikings jersey (can’t find a color photo, but it was purple and gold watching the show) What made it even more odd was the fact that the show was set during World War II, when the jersey looks 60’s or 70’s.

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | January 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm |

    I sometimes get referred to as “Fernando” in places online, even when my name is written elsewhere on the same page.

    Regarding Mary Tyler Moore’s Vikings jersey: while it was unusual for anyone to wear team apparel in 1974, this was not the only example on TV in that period. Mary may have been the only one wearing a jersey, but Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple frequently wore a Met cap and sometimes wore a Yankee cap.

    But here’s a much earlier example. A full decade before that, in 1964, the great comic actor Joe Besser (who is best known as Stinky on The Abbott and Costello Show, and who also was a very good post-Shemp member of the The Three Stooges) appeared on an episode of The Joey Bishop Show wearing a Brooklyn Dodger cap. In 1964 there weren’t too many people anywhere wearing caps with the logos of teams, much less the former logo of a team that had moved.

    • Robert A. McIntyre | January 27, 2017 at 1:05 pm |

      Joe Besser, great comic actor? I must respectfully disagree.

  • Kevin Brown | January 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm |

    The goalie in the New England Whalers photo looks like he’s wearing a Mylec street hockey mask. Sure it’s not a pick up game

  • Attila Szendrodi | January 26, 2017 at 11:02 pm |

    I’m a little late to the party and a lot of people have been talking about misspellings of common names. Look at my name. LOOK AT IT!

  • Kyle Schroeck | January 27, 2017 at 6:44 am |

    So my last name is said Shrek, like the movie.

    8th grade basketball, my name was misspelled in a tournament program.

    Starting point guard for the Knights, number 10…
    Lyle Sheosk.