[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation and will return to the site on March 9. Today’s content is by assistant editor Mike Chamernik.]
By Mike Chamernik
As expected, the Los Angeles Rams revealed dark blue helmets with white horns for the upcoming season. Fans get to vote on which facemask color they prefer, white or blue.
Along with a Color Rush game last season, the Rams last wore white-horned helmets from 1964 through 1972, during the era of the Fearsome Foursome. Both back then and in the Color Rush game, the Rams had gray facemasks.
On Tuesday, the Rams announced that they were changing their pant design. The team said that the full uniform set will be unveiled today, but that a complete redesign with new uniforms won’t come until 2019. Paul had much more information on this in yesterday’s post.
#Rams Uni Update: The white horns are back!
Our primary helmets will have white horns in 2017. pic.twitter.com/hkQZr6b7ff
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 1, 2017
While I think gray facemasks look the best, I would pick blue facemasks over the white ones. It’s tough to base an opinion off that one promotional image, but the white pops a little too much and draws attention away from the horns. Plus, the Rams wore blue facemasks in the past.
It’s interesting to me that the Rams chose the white-and-blue color scheme over the blue-and-yellow. The blue and white is nice and simple but could be a little drab. The yellow gives a burst of energy, which is something this Rams franchise could use right now.
T-shirt reminder: Today is the next-to-last day to order our latest T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom. Check it out (click to enlarge):
The design takes inspiration from the old Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field, which read, “Hit Sign, Win Suit.” Please note that we’re using the shirt fabric color to fill in the dark portions of the design — the outfielder’s cap, sleeves, stirrups, and shoes, and also the dark part of the sign behind him. We think it looks best on Teespring’s dark navy shirt, which is the version shown above. But you can also order the shirt in black (yes, go ahead and make all your BFBS jokes), in which case the design will look like this:
There’s also an American Apparel short-sleeved version and a long-sleeved version, both of which come in a slightly lighter shade of navy. You’ll be able to see all of this on the ordering page. Just make sure you choose the shirt and color you like best.
The shirt is available here through tomorrow, March 3. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
Mike’s Question of the Week
Last summer, I went to a White Sox game with a friend and we did what we always do: We purchased upper deck tickets for $7 each and snuck down to the lower level. Normally we don’t have any problems, but that day, maybe within 45 seconds of sitting down, an usher approached us, checked our tickets, and booted us back to our seats in the nose bleeds. Oh well, at least we didn’t get kicked out entirely.
What’s the farthest you’ve been able to go with sneaking around at a sporting event? What’s the best seat you’ve worked your way down to? Were you ever able to get into the clubhouse, locker room, or media room? Ever crash the gate and get in for free? Have you gotten into a stadium or arena after closing and just wander around? Ever swipe a souvenir to remember your escapades? Share your stories in the comment section. If you did something serious, try not to incriminate yourself.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The Angels have two guys who wear No. 97 on their Spring Training roster. Both of them were on the basepaths at the same time during Tuesday’s game (from Chris Flinn). … Joba Chamberlain wore a retro Brewers pinstripe robe at camp the other day. It’s unclear if the robe was customized for him: Chamberlain wears No. 62, and the robe had 52 on it. Another hefty pitcher once wore No. 52 with Milwaukee, however (from Tyler Kepner). … The Braves and Yankees went navy-vs.-navy yesterday (from T.K. Smith). … Braves outfielder Rufino Linares had “Cobra” written on his spikes during the early 1980s (from Pro Football Journal). … North Carolina wore powder blue uniforms yesterday (from Jason Collins). … New uniforms for Wisconsin Lutheran (from Alex Raver).
College Football News: Here’s a newspaper clipping from when Notre Dame adopted gold helmets (from Mark Aubrey). … “I work at a New Jersey elementary school,” says a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. “One of my coworkers had a fellow teacher create a Notre Dame poster for his bulletin board. The teacher specifically asked the artist to put the Under Armour logo on various parts of the Irish character logo. When I saw this happening, I said ‘The mascot doesn’t wear an Under Armour logo.’ Sadly, his reply was ‘I own stock in Under Armor so it’s good advertising.’ Sigh. Logo creep has invaded our schools.”
Hockey News: Newly acquired center Steve Ott will wear No. 92 for the Canadiens. Ott has worn 9 and 29 throughout his career, but Montreal retired those numbers for Maurice Richard and Ken Dryden. … The Toledo Walleye will wear pink on Saturday. … Matt Brown thinks new Kings goalie Ben Bishop is wearing the pads he used to wear with the Lightning, only with the blue lines blacked out with some sort of marker.
Basketball News: Check it out: A Marcin Gortat action figure (from Ryan Keberly). … Another new Big3 team, named Tri-State, has been announced. Aside from the Ghost Ballers, every team in the league has a “three”-themed name. … Even Rockets coaches sported fantastic red-and-yellow striped socks in the 1978-79 team photo (from Super 70s Sports via Al Kreit). … A bill was introduced in the House this week to commission a commemorative coin for the 60th anniversary of the Basketball Hall of Fame (from Dane Drutis). … Christoph Niemann, an illustrator and graphic designer, sketched the Mavericks logo in one of his books (from Terence Kearns).
College Hoops News: Illinois and Michigan State went orange-vs.-green last night (from Andrew Cosentino). … A player on VCU wore his shorts backwards last night (from Michael Geddes). … Incarnate Word has inconsistent NOB styles (from Corey Patterson).
Soccer News: New kits and uniform advertiser for the Charlotte Independence of the USL. … Mikey Traynor ranked the new MLS jerseys for this season. Toronto FC got the top spot.
Grab Bag: Here’s the story behind the design of Quebec’s famous maple syrup cans (from Matthew Walthert). … Georgia is allowing private property owners to remove “no trespassing” signs and instead paint trees and fence posts purple. Purple is the preferred color for trespassing warnings because it shows well in the outdoors and can be identified by people who are color blind (from David Kendrick). … A 7-year-old Canadian bowler was disqualified from a recent tournament for not wearing black slacks (from Tommy Turner).
It’s not saying much, but at Browns games I have routinely gone down to the first row behind the end zone. No one seems to care. The only place you can’t sneak is the club seats, as they scan every ticket in and out.
I know what you mean, this past season I got in 3 times without a ticket, just walked right in.
I thought the blue and white helmets looked awful last season is there a chance that 2019 simply sees the gold removed from the jerseys in a full transition to blue and white? I really do hope that they move to the royal blue and yellow uniform of the Dickerson ere in 2019 – a truly beautiful look.
I agree 100%. The Blue & Gold 1980’s Ram unis were strikingly gorgeous. I especially loved the solid gold numbers sans trim, on the blue jerseys. They should go back to those.
I did that at Cavs games – not so easy now though!
The only reason that I can think of for the Rams eschewing the yellow is that they won their one Super Bowl while in St. Louis wearing those uniforms and perhaps they want a complete break from the St. Louis era.
I’m thinking it has something to do with the Chargers also having navy and white as primary colors. The new stadium will only have to be decorated with one color combination, and it’ll be easier for the grounds crew to change from a Rams home game to a Chargers home game, and vice versa.
But the Chargers also use yellow as one of their colors, so why would that reasoning preclude the Rams from using yellow?
I think the Rams want to separate themselves from the Chargers actually. It seems there’s a decent chance the Chargers rename and rebrand themselves, but they likely can’t for a couple years. I think the Rams are doing what they can within the NFL rules to make themselves look different from the Chargers. But I think Lou’s point of wanting to break from the St. Louis era has a lot of era.
Other note, its so odd that the team is allowed to change the helmet decals and the pants, but not the jerseys at all. The NFL has odd rules.
Not so odd. Retail channels aren’t filled with helmets and pants the way they are with jerseys.
The HELMET is on almost every bit of apparel
The teams sell. This decision was made a few years ago. The Bolts being in LA for a yr or whatever had no input on the color change.
The only good decision this organization has made in years! Now CAN Snead! As guilty as J Fish was!!!
It seems likely to me that the reason would have something to do with the fact that it’s the jerseys that sell at retail, not helmets and pants.
Removing yellow from your color scheme wouldn’t necessarily do that. The Chargers’ color scheme still does include light blue, which the Rams never have. Maybe the LA Chargers should switch back to the AFL light-blue on a permanent basis?
What do you base this on?
“It seems there’s a decent chance the Chargers rename and rebrand themselves”.
Couple rumors floating around saying they are looking to rebrand in a couple years
I don’t know why the Rams would consider that their problem. And even if they did I don’t see the logic there considering yellow is in fact also a Chargers team color.
Not a fan of the navy and white color scheme for the Rams. While there at it, why don’t they just broadcast their games in black & white TV – very boring. Definitely should have gone back to the royal/yellow combination of the Dickerson era – that really popped!!!
I think hey will go to the blue and yellow in 2019. It is just a transition period – might as well have fun with blue and white while you can.
They’re also playing in the Coliseum, which is where they wore the blue and white combination originally, so there’s some historical context there.
Still, I’d prefer to see the Rams go back to royal and cheddar in 2019, and for the Chargers to keep powder and navy for themselves.
Personally, I think the Rams are well aware that most fans probably have blue and yellow merch. Switching to blue and white allows them to continue fleecing the faithful under the guise of “history and tradition”.
In the ’90s, Houston had a professional indoor soccer team called the Hotshots. Nosebleed tickets were cheap ($5, if I recall), and the games were usually sparsely attended, so we’d get the cheap-o tickets and not even pretend to go to our actual seats; we’d just walk right down to the front row and sit there like we owned the joint.
Side story: a Hotshots player had a second gig as a high school soccer referee, so whenever he was assigned to one of my games, I’d always talk to him about the Hotshots before kickoff. I never got called for ANYTHING.
Sounds like what people do in Tampa at the Rays games
Went to a Lousiville City FC game in 2015, one of the more attended games. Bought the cheap $15 no-sitting room tix but went to the front row, next to the visiting dugout (the game was played at Louisville Slugger Field). No one said anything…
Before Denver got the Rockies, I used to do the same thing at the AAA Denver Zephyrs games. Buy the cheapest ticket and waltz right down to about 10 rows behind home plate. No one really cared. They were probably just happy someone showed up.
A friend who had tickets and I went to the make up for this game:
For the make up, since the crowd was going to be small because it was an unannounced day game, we went down to right behind the Mariner’s dugout.
I went to the same game and did the same thing! I remember marveling at how tall Randy Johnson was up close.
Coincidentally, that “lights-out” game is part of one of my favorite urban legends, one where Cal Ripken beat up Kevin Costner: link
I first started getting into sports when the Rams were the defending SB champs, so all the newest books and magazines about football had these big, beautiful photos of the Rams-Titans SB, with the Rams wearing the blue and yellow. I’m from Cincinnati area, so I was used to a lot of black and orange being on tv, but hadn’t seen anything like those Rams unis. So vibrant and colorful! White is ok, but man, it’s a shame they won’t have that yellow that pops so well in the SoCal sun!
…so, black slacks matter?
I work at a company that owns naming rights to one of the “big four leagues” team’s stadiums, which happens to be right across the street. So during fire drills, we all go over to the stadium since there’s no big outdoor parking lot that would let us go and stand for 15 minutes. It was during the off-season, so I and a couple other guys figured we were already in the stadium, so we walked all the way down to the first row as close as we could get to the field and hung out there and watched the grounds crew work until it was time to go. It was weird to see the place totally empty. But really cool.
Did the grounds crew happen to be wearing “red” in the “Great” country we live in as “Americans”?
“It’s interesting to me that the Rams chose the white-and-blue color scheme over the blue-and-yellow.”
I don’t like the fact that the Rams are essentially choosing a nine-year period of colors over the rest of their history that features either yellow or old gold. I wished they would go with royal blue and yellow. The NFL should have forced the Chargers to go back to powder blue as part of the stipulations to move to LA, the Rams could have gone to royal blue and yellow and the problem would have been solved.
One side note about that history – the Fearsome Foursome may have been impressive, but the team didn’t really win much in that era, only appearing in two playoff games. Contrast the classic royal and cheddar, which saw them make a long string of playoff appearances when they first switched that culminated in a Super Bowl appearance in what was as close to a home game as anyone had gotten in the Super Bowl to that point (played in the Rose Bowl against the Steelers). They were also playoff perennials in the 80s, and only really had a downturn in the early 90s, which combined with the economic downturn, led to their leaving in the first place.
How stupid are the Rams unis gonna look next year with only gold on jerseys? This team just can’t get it right. Should have waited until they can break out total new unis instead of this half ass shit show.
Exactly. Imagine how unmatched the new pants and helmets will look with the dark jersey. The dark jersey has a lot of gold in it.
Yes. But to mitigate that, aren’t the Rams making like the Cowboys and going white at home and deferring with white for every other home team’s colored jersey?
Yes – that is correct. We likely will not see the blue jersey much. I suppose we may see it as common as we would see the Cowboys in dark jerseys. It is still 2 seasons until the uniform redesign in 2019.
“half ass shit show.”
Rams mode of operation since Carroll Rosenbloom drowned.
That Altoona Curve rally cap was actually introduced way back in 2011: link
Really interesting that this has been reported as “new” on CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports, and here within the last 2 days.
It even got mentioned in the ticker here back then: link
It was even in the 4/6/11 Uni Watch ticker: “Alan Saunders reports that the Altoona Curve have introduced what may be the world’s first link.”
…like Keith said.
I’ll remove it from the Ticker.
Re: Ben Bishop’s pads – The equipment staff more than likely used a product like Pad Wrap (link) or PadSkinz (link). These products allow a goalie to change the color of their pads without buying new ones. You can buy sheets and cut to shape, or they offer kits based on specific pad model and size.
Update – They used PadSkinz according to this post on Instagram link
Rams should take the best of both words Navy and Gold, albeit a little close to the Chargers
Not navy; the royal blue looks infinitely better, in my eyes.
“Purple is the preferred color for trespassing warnings because it shows well in the outdoors and can be identified by people who are color blind.”
I’m color blind and I can tell you this is not true. Paul might be jealous – I can’t see purple. It just registers as a shade of blue to me. There’s isn’t just one kind of color blindness.
The article named a couple of other factors, such as purple not being used by logging, surveying or emergency services. I see what you mean though, Georgia is an “armed response” state and being purple-blind would be a heck of a defense if you were still alive afterwards.
Re: North Carolina’s “powder blue” baseball uniforms:
They’re not powder blue. It’s both officially and casually known as Carolina Blue.
Athletic Gold, Yellow, yada yada yada.
only to the “good” people of North Carolina….
In 2002 a group of us were in Montreal for a technical conference, and we decided to take in an Expos games (they were playing the Braves). We decided to buy tickets at the stadium. Walking to the stadium from the train, we encountered ticket scalpers, but with a twist–as we neared the stadium, the prices got LOWER. We finally bought our tickets for $3 or $4 apiece from one guy. We looked at the tickets and said “These are way out toward the outfield.” His reply? “What do you care? Sit where you want!” And he was right. We selected (fabulous 70s-style swiveling molded fiberglass) seats right behind third base, maybe 15 rows up, and no one bothered us all night long. The place was so empty that only the first-level concessions were open. At one point I mistakenly walked out into the second-level concourse; everything was closed and most of the lights were turned off. It was like “Carnival of Souls” up there. Incidentally, the Expos won that game, a bright spot in their death spiral.
Went to a AAA Charlotte Knights playoff game a few years ago, back when they played at the old stadium in South Carolina. Bought my usual upper deck seats down the third base line and started to climb the stairs when an usher stopped me and said I could take any unoccupied seat in the first 10 rows behind home plate. The game as being televised and they didn’t want it to be quite so obvious that the paid attendance that night was about 700. These days, you often can’t get a seat at the new uptown stadium.
I bet you can get seats for postseason games, though. Even Minor League teams that draw well during the season will have scant fans for a playoff series.
A 7-year-old Canadian bowler was disqualified from a recent tournament for not wearing black slacks (from Tommy Turner).
There’s a specific level of Hell for officials of youth leagues. The glee they must get from disqualifying children is unspeakable.
The thing that stuck out to me in that story is that he was wearing black jeans – is the dress code so specific about the type of pants? Aren’t black jeans black pants? Ridiculous whatever they say.
Given the rams are eliminating gold I find it strange that their colour rush is yellow I thought that was going to be the first step back to blue and yellow
Small update to today’s lede: The Rams will unveil their full 2017 uniform set today, not tomorrow.
Back in the day we used to be let into Yankee Stadium by the press gate. My friends dad had a connection. He called in advance and we got in. He gave us a pass but no seat. We got to know a few ushers in the lower deck on the third base side. And we would tip them.
They would find us a seat and it was always a good one. Most of the time we had to move a few times but by the 4th inning we were set. Only 2 of us at a time. This was from 1962-1968 pretty much.
When I moved to DC I went to Memorial Stadium for the first time. I bought a cheap seat and started to approach ushers and offer them a tip for a seat. Nobody bit. I finally turned to one and said..”how do you make any money?”
Very different living in Maryland compared to NJ/NYC
Phish concert @ MSG in 97 went from last row in the 400’s to about 25 rows away from the stage on the floor.
My brother Stephen and I were working in radio in 2001 and were recipients of the station’s Main Reserve box seats by the right field foul pole quite often. However for Game 3 against the D-Backs (FDirst in Yankee Stadium) we were literally in line with then President Bush for his famous post 9/11 first pitch, mauybe 15 rows from the field. Someone bumped us before the game started so we moved down two sections and sat several rows in FRONT of Steve Buschemi and his son. It was a good game
From 2006-2013, I had Marlins season tickets (a 20-game weekend pack). For about 88% of all those games, I never sat in my assigned seats. I made sure to buy the cheapest package (usually came out to about $12.00/game) and then kept moving around to those sections that never had ushers. Best places to sit at the old stadium was by the visitors bullpen. My son and I would routinely strike up conversations with the opposing pitchers and coaches. We would work our way to those low seats by home plate by the time the game was over. Once they moved to the new stadium, we would wind up in the front row along the LF foul line and then keep going until we would be behind the dugouts. Baseball is probably the best sport to move around for the best seat.
Recently, a buddy and I got into Jackie Robinson Park in Daytona to walk around and absorb the history. On March 17, 1946, Jackie Robinson played his first professional game there as a member of the Montreal Royals (the Dodgers AAA affiliate) against the Dodgers. Most of the park is unchanged and it is a gem of baseball history.
ok..another few here.
My friend and I got into the Jets locker room once. Long long story. Joe Namath spotted us and we thought he would kick us out. But he gave us a tour, introduced us to other players and was so kind to us. It was incredible.
After a Jets-Oakland game at Shea in I think 1965 we were exiting
on the field. You could do that back then. I looked down and there was home plate. It was kind of dug up and attached to a huge block of wood. I just bent down, picked it up and walked out with it. A couple of cops made a joke bout “stealing home”.
It’s hanging on my brothers wall now.
Like I said before, I hope in 2019 the Rams switch to ROYAL blue and not navy. I don’t think the Chargers had anything to do with the colors, since this was planned before the Chargers had committed to LA. I love the royal and white look, which I remember as a kid, and I hope they wear white at home like they did back in the Fearsome Foursome/Roman Gabriel days.
It will interesting if the seats in the new stadium are navy or royal.
Attended a Twins game with a party bus once. In the 4th inning the girl I was sitting next to got a call from her dad inviting us down to seats behind the Twins dugout – his last words on the phone were rule #1 to crashing – “Act like you belong there.”
As we made our way down the stairs the usher stepped out to check our tickets and her dad actually put his arm in front of the usher/held him aside and motioned us forward while saying “they’re with us”.
We enjoyed the rest of an extra innings victory from the 4th row! Never did find out how the original two guys got passed the usher. . .
Snuck into Game 6 of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium with my sister after finding out the guy we tried scalping tickets from was using photocopied print at home tickets.
Stood behind the bleachers and watched the Yanks clinch at home.
Is it just me or does the white facemask never look good? White helmets with white facemasks are an exception. Otherwise it’s just very jarring to look at.
Loved the old Vikings helmet with the white facemask. IMO looks MUCH better than the purple mask.
I disagree. The Vikings with a white mask looks very weird & bad to me. Worse than the (dumb/pointless) black they do now.
Bring back the purple masks!
Gray > Any Color > White
I think aesthetically, blue looks better, but competitively, perhaps white offers a slight edge since it reflects more light into a defensive players’ eyes? I’m not sure if there’s any truth to that other than anecdotal, but just a thought that popped into my head.
When I lived in St. Louis in the 70s I used to buy $2 tickets to Cardinals games that allowed you to sit anywhere in the top 5 rows of the upper deck. Needless to say, I never saw the upper deck, usually watched from the concourse for a couple of innings and then picked out a nice unoccupied seat behind first base for the rest of the game.
And once 2 friends and I — okay, one of them was my wife — snuck into Ohio Stadium one midnight and were well into a performance of Script Ohio at midfield before being caught and politely asked to leave. Authorities believe alcohol was involved.
Back in the early 2000’s, when the Minnesota Twins were terrible, we’d make the 4 hour drive down from Bemidji State University on Wednesdays, it was Dollar Dome Dog night and Student ID night, so we’d get an upper deck ticket in left field for 3 dollars. At the Metrodome, the only ATM machines were on the lower concourse, so we would tell the security folks that we had to use the ATM machine, and they’d let us down, then we’d sit front row pretty much wherever we wanted. We didn’t want to screw up our system, so we usually sat in left field (which is still my favorite spot to sit for a game, probably due to this strategy).
Gas was cheap, tickets and food were cheaper, we even got lucky one night and gave some people a ride to their vehicle in the back of my pickup and the one guy gave us 40 bucks, then his buddy came around and gave us 50 more (they were hammered). That trip alone paid for about our next three games!
Year 2000 gas prices, gone but not forgotten
In 2007, I was on a date in downtown Denver. After dinner, my date and I were just walking by Coors Field when I suggested we see if we can get in for the game which had started about 20 minutes before. It was late in the season and everyone had given up on it. This includes the ticket managers and ushers. We approached the window and the nice woman said, “here are some tickets for free since the game has already started.” She went on to say that we could sit wherever we wanted since no one would care. It turns out that this was true. We sat in row 1 behind the visitors dugout and there was hardly a soul in attendance. As fate would have it, the Rox would go on to win that game and it was the first win in the streak that led them all the way to the World Series. Its a good memory… although the relationship didn’t. Haha
When I lived near Boston and went to a number of games at Fenway Park we always tried to move down to better seats, as did many people. The ushers did not mind so long as everyone was low key and moved back if the real ticket holders returned. More than once I watched most of a game from the front row over the dugout–after the ticket holders left early in the game.
The ushers in Baltimore were much more strict, and even during a mid-week, mid-season game they checked tickets–even if there were huge blocks of open seats.
As a kid we used to play inside Memorial Stadium after school. Some of those stories made it to a Uni Watch piece a few years ago:
John, I read your Memorial Stadium stories and they brought back great memories. Although we did not live near the stadium, my brothers and I went to so many Oriole games that we considered the stadium to be our second home. We had a friend whose father had a connection with the Orioles and frequently we would attend games for free. We would stop into the Orioles’ offices and get passes and sit in the mezzanine level. And that was during the Orioles’ glory years in the 70s. It was a blast. I also remember how strict the ushers were at the stadium. I frequently would get thrown out of a box seat I had sneaked into. Those were the days!
Interesting … I went to a lot of games at Memorial Stadium when I was in junior high and high school. I would buy General Admission seats, and after the third inning, move down to a box seat. Sometimes I was by myself, sometimes with friends, but the ushers never told nor asked us to leave. Honestly, the users at Memorial Stadium were the best I’ve ever dealt with.
I don’t remember reading that piece when it was first published – great piece! What an amazing experience to be able to file away in the ole memory bank and reflect on and share.
Growing up in Atlanta in the 70’s meant a lot of bad baseball…we would get sets in the orange and red sections waaaay upstairs for $2. The ushers would walk around in the bottom of the second / top of the third and invite everyone down into the dark blue seats at field level. A few times the crowd was so sparse, that we were escorted to the picnic section between the dugout and the bullpen. The funny part is – we would have no intention of going to the game that day, but Skip Caray would sarcastically invite all down to join the hundreds there to see the game. We would not leave for the ballpark until the National Anthem was being played.
I was migrating from upper deck to field level in Atlanta in the early ’90s.
I miss different color seats for different seating levels.
2015 Star Wars Night at Turner Field. I had bought the special ticket to get the bobblehead. My buddy Rob had as well. His daughter wore a costume. The special tickets allowed up to participate in the pre-game parade around the warning track with those dressed as Star Wars characters. Just something different to do. We headed over to the assembly area. We were early, so we walked down the ramp to the front of the line. But there was no line. We kept walking and no one stopped us. We walked under the stadium onto the field in the right field corner, where we watched batting practice. Players tossed us balls. Eventually the rest of the parade-goers joined us. As we talked around the warning track I quickly realized what all the fans in the stands were thing: nerds! Recap here: link
In 2012 the Mets ran a special for the 50th anniversary of the time – namely, at one game you could pay the entry box price in 1962 and get tickets – although they were in the upper deck. I went with my kids early to catch BP – we sat in some fine seats a couple rows back on the first base side. Usually they kick you out for the folks who actually have those tickets, but it was during the local schools spring break. As you may guess we weren’t kicked out – we stayed and enjoyed great seats at the 1962 prices. LGM!
That Under Armor/Notre Dame note makes me really mad for some reason. It’s the underlying current of greed that bothers me.
Hey, America: Some things are more important than money. I know that seems like a foreign concept to some folks, but cow-towing to stock price over all else is one of the more substantial roots of a lot of our problems right now.
Braves Linares’s stirrups are on backwards
Most Rams fans still in LA would have to identify with the beautiful blue and gold days of the 70s-90s. Going back to the ‘roots’ days of the blue and white of ’64-’72 just seems to cute, too much of a stretch back to an era a lot of fans were’t alive for or were too young to remember. Classic yes, a bit boring – yes. I agree with a comment above, perhaps they’re afraid of conjuring up connections to the 1999 St. Louis Rams?
As for wandering around stadiums and sporting events and “gatecrashing” stories, I recommend a book by George Haggis – “In With the Band” Not the cleanest writing, but if all his stories are true – what a life! An entertaining read for sure, nonetheless.
I had RF grandstand seats at Fenway about 8 or 9 years ago for a game that got rained out and made up the next day. Since a lot of people had to work that next afternoon, we found ourselves four rows behind the plate.
As I’ve enjoyed reading these stories of uni-watchers sneaking down to closer seats at baseball games, it made me wonder: Am I the only one out there who not only enjoys, but prefers, a good upper deck seat for a baseball game? (Or even a football game.) I like sitting up high and looking down on the entire field, taking in all the action. I feel like I’m more a part of the ballpark when I’m at a higher elevation.
My favorite seats are always the last row of the upper deck, directly behind the plate. I’ll take sitting away from other fans over being close to the action any day. Of course, in the clip joint that calls itself Yankee Stadium, these seats sell out while the good seats go unfilled
It depends. After my experience sneaking down to field level, my favorite seats are low and behind the plate – as close to the action as possible. But I would take the front row of the upper deck behind home plate over lower level outfield seats.
For football, I do like to be a little higher so I am looking down on the players instead of “through” them – its much easier to watch the play develop that way.
For baseball I like to sit up high and in the outfield. Preferably in fair territory, but more importantly, in the shade. Indoor soccer is another sport I enjoy from a distance.
Basketball is another story. I can sit in the upper deck with no problem but I grew to love sitting along the baseline near the bench. Before I worked at the Richfield Coliseum I was a regular at the Stepien era games. I had earned $100, which went a long way in the early 80s, especially when Stepien cut ticket prices in half. I went to about 30 games, buying the $2.50 upper deck tickets. After the first quarter my brother’s usher friends would motion for me to come down to the floor. One time I didn’t even have to buy a ticket. My brother’s security friend saw me outside, opened a door and said, “Get in here.”
As far as sneaking into an arena, when I drove to Pittsburgh to apply for the Pirate Parrot job (they had open interviews when the original Parrot got in trouble), I had some free time afterwards and drove to the Civic Arena. I walked around it, saw an open door and walked in. The Penguins were practicing, so I watched for several minutes before sneaking back out.
Many that attend ThunderWolves games at Fort William Gardens prefer the standing room along the top.
A co-worker who does this originally did it because he was a bigger guy and the chairs were uncomfortable for him – think he still does it even after the weight loss; not sure of all the reasons for the others who do it.
Of course this is a smaller arena than the pro rinks and you still can get a good view at the top.
Like I said yesterday, the more blue and white the Rams push for the next two years, the more obvious it seems that they’re bringing back the royal blue and yellow for the new stadium’s opening in 2019.
Not exactly the same as buying cheap seats and moving down, but during the late 70s through the 80s, the Blue Jays played at Excretio- er, Exhibition Stadium, which took its name from the fact that it was located on the Canadian National Exhibition grounds (think of the CNE, or Ex, as a state fair and mini-world’s fair in one). Admission to the Ex was $10 or $12 per person, but tickets to the game were $4 or $5; if you bought a ticket to the game, they couldn’t make you pay admission to the Ex, but had to admit you to get to the game. It was worth it to buy the ticket to the game, even if you never went.
And tomorrow LA Rams fans get to vote on the color of the Aglet on their shoe laces. zzzzzzzzzz.
It’s one thing to have a protracted uniform launch for something bold and new, but to go retro minimalist, it seems contradictory. i.e. a Minimalist look is saying we don’t want to make a big deal about our unis.
This may not count since it’s Spring Training and it’s more relaxed (or at least it used to be), but a friend and I were wandering around the Brewers complex hours before a game in 1995 that we had tickets for. We noticed that the gate was open and we just walked right in. No one stopped us, or even seemed to care. We stumbled onto the start of a B game, including a young Prince Fielder, and sat in the first row behind home plate. There was almost no chatter; it was a bit eerie, but fun to watch. We just stayed inside the gate until the real game. If we had known we could have done this, we wouldn’t have bought tickets to the game.
Are you sure it wasn’t 2005 when you went to a Brewers ST game? Prince Fielder was 11 years old in 1995…
I remember seeing a 12 year old Prince Fielder jacking moon shots in BP at Yankee Stadium in ’96.
Prince would’ve been young – 10 years old
A few weeks ago, the San Jose Sharks were in town and decided to have their morning skate at the rink that I play open hockey at. The rink’s website didn’t have anything on their open hockey page about open hockey being cancelled so I walked in like normal and went straight to the locker room with my gear. It was toward the end of their practice and there were still some players out on the ice but I just figured it was a travel team that booked the ice for the morning and thought nothing else of it. When I went in the locker room, there were still members of the equipment staff grabbing bags of gear, they said hi but gave me the biggest smiles and were laughing quietly with each other. I didn’t realize it was the NHL Sharks until later when I remembered that’s who the Flyers were playing that night. On a uni related note (and also why I didn’t put two and two together), they still use their old logo on all of their practice gear, hence why I thought it might’ve been a travel team. Somehow professional players seem to gravitate toward me, I once rode an elevator with Pat Sharp also
2 good sneaking stories. 1) After Super Bowl LI, my dad and I snuck down and ended up in the front row right by the trophy celebration. 2) I was on the court for my college’s men’s hoops senior day.
Coach didn’t see you sneak in off the end of the bench, eh?
Back in the Tim Salmon/Garrett Anderson/Darin Erstad days of the Anaheim Angels, before they won the World Series, it used to be easy to upgrade seats for their games. I routinely would buy nosebleed or outfield seats and then sneak down to a better vantage point. It was even easier if you got to the stadium in time for batting practice. At least once I was able to move down to a row or two behind the visitor dugout.
I went to an Angels game last year but was with a friend who was a little more of a stickler for the rules, so we didn’t try to swap seats. I’m not sure if it’s still as easy as it used to be.
When I was 12 or 13 I convinced an usher at the College World Series in Omaha that I was the brother of an Arkansas Razorback player who invited me on the field to play catch. It worked for about five tosses before they removed me from the field.
The balls on this kid!
I always sneak down at Reds games after a few innings. Sometimes I get the boot, often I don’t. If I do I’ll just jump to the opposite baseline and try again.
Was heading back to Cincy from Chicago one time and went through West Lafayette. Gates at Ross-Ade (Purdue football for you non-Big Ten people) were unlocked so we spent a half hour checking out different seats and spent about 10 minutes running around on the field pretending to be Drew Brees.
In 1990, my buddy Tony and I were planning a road trip to see Comiskey Park before she faced the wrecking ball. As the trip grew nearer, we realized we both had the day before the trip off, and that the Indians were at home. Cleveland was on the way, so we figured why not leave a day earlier and catch a Tribe game. We drove through the night and rolled into Cleveland during the morning rush. We decided to give Cleveland Municipal Stadium a quick once-over and buy our tickets before we found a motel to crash at. (Why we felt the need to buy advance tickets to a 1990 Tribe vs. M’s game in a stadium that held 80,000 fans is beyond me.)
It was so early the ticket office hadn’t even opened yet, so we decided to do a perimeter walk. When we got to center field, we stopped cold. A gate was wide open, with the huge outfield beckoning us. We ran back to the car to get the camera and our ball gloves. We walked right in and played a little catch, right there in center field. There didn’t seem to be another soul in the entire building. We humbly left before any could show up.
As far as better seats, sneaking into a game, getting into locker rooms, souvenirs, I can actually say “all of the above” during my younger years.
Notable ones however were the 1973 World Series, we had third deck seats in Oakland and were able to get within rows of the A’s dugout for the 3rd inning on of Game 1 and about the same 5th inning on of Game 7. 1989 World Series, Game 3 (make up game-yes I was there for the quake) we were able to get first row by the field 3rd base side midway thru the game. For the 2013 ALDS I sat with Tiger’s owners family first base side by just acting like I knew what I was doing when I saw open seats in the second inning.
Been on the field (as a 14 yr old kid) for Raider games in the 70s and in the locker room after. Snuck into Warrior practices in the 70s and have been on the court with the big guys under the net as they shot baskets and would return the ball – key was acting like you knew what you were doing.
BTW – Got the lineup cards after the 1973 WS from both teams out of the dugout – now are in Cooperstown per my donation.
I was visiting my sister in Chicago in 1994, right at the beginning of the strike. Had a day to myself and rode her bike around the north side, ending up at Wrigley. I went around to the right field side and the door was open for maintenance, but no one was there. I rode the bike in and parked it against the ivy while I walked around exploring the outfield and bleachers. Grounds crew were working on the infield and didn’t notice me at all. Swiped a handful of ivy on my way out, which I still have.
In 2014, I went to my first ACC tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum with my friend from college. I’m a double UVA Grad and he is UVA undergrad and UNC fan.
We went the Wednesday for the play in games and purchased cheap nose-bleed tickets for about $10 each for the session of games. We were walking around the main concourse to see how we would get down to the lower seats and past the ushers. Within the first few minutes a guy with a TV camera came and asked if he could film us walking in because we were decked out in orange and blue. He followed us in, had us split up and he filmed the court. We found out later he was an ESPN cameraman and it was B-roll for a commercial return.
All of this got us past the ushers and they were just excited to see the camera. It happened that we were right near the UVA fan section and we picked a random pair of seats on the first row about the vomitorium (tunnel entrance). It turned out that we picked the PERFECT seats and whoever bought them never came. I made friends with the ushers and they never checked our tickets because we had been there the whole tournament! Every day we found the cheapest tickets we could and were able to sit in AMAZING seats, whose prices increased with each round of the tournament.
We were doubly lucky that that was the year the UVA WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! We were there when the confetti came down.
This was just a perfect storm of situation (cameraman), luck (seats being empty) and confidence to pull it off. This is BY FAR one of my best sports memories!
Great responses everyone. Good stuff!
I’m usually a pretty strict rule-abider. I’m sure this is typical with everyone, but when I’m in a place where I’m not supposed to be, I get a head rush and all my senses become heightened.
Mid 20aughts went to a Rams game in St.Louis. A buddy of mine was dating the hairstylist of the cheerleaders and got us free tix. Seats were pretty good, 40 yard line or so, right in front of the private boxes. We noticed nobody was in the box right behind us the entire first half so at halftime we walked right in and stayed. The fridge was full and we had our fill of AB products. At the end of the game an usher came in, we thought we were busted. But she apologized and said to stay as long as we wanted. We hung for a while and all walked out with several for the road. Nice day for only the cost of parking.
I went to the Hawks/Caps game in DC in the fall of 2015 and bought tickets that had us one row from the top of the Verizon Center. We moved down to 4 rows behind the glass during the first intermission. We stayed there into the 3rd when some people got offended that some loud Hawks fans were so close. Security came, ASKED us where our seats really were and we told them further back in that section so we moved to about 8 rows back from where we were and watched the rest of the game from there.
I was a student at The Ohio State University in the late 2000’s. There weren’t too many games (football and basketball) that I didn’t find myself upgrading my measly student tickets. At both basketball and football there are sections reserved for recruits/guests once we found those we typically could sit there every game often times never making it to my real seats. During one particular football blowout against Minnesota we naturally got a bit bored and started checking doors. This lead us into the visiting team press room with not a soul to be found. We explored the area and eventually made our way into the visiting locker room. After opening one wrong door a state trooper stopped us, questioned us, and promptly escorted us up the team ramp (Ohio Stadium) back into the public areas.
These days the exploring is less but there isn’t many games that I don’t look for an upgrade. As my dad always taught me act like you are supposed to be there and no one will say a thing. I’ve been caught here and there and never been yelled at other than telling me to move. Wife gets too nervous now so its hard to pull off the upgrade every time.
I’m really wondering about the NFL’s uniform rules. The Rams can’t change their jerseys, but they can change pants and helmets? Give me a fucking break. What do you think actually sells more – jerseys, or every other item you can imagine with the team’s helmet printed on it? If the Rams can just swap helmets with no problem, could the Falcons switch to red without changing the rest of their uniform?
I believe the NFL announces these “rules” with the full expectation that they aren’t real rules, and will allow the teams do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t jeopardize a revenue stream.
Money is the only thing I think they really worry about.
The thing with new Comiskey, is they don’t even allow fans onto the main concourse who don’t have field level tickets. That’s the only stadium I know of with that stupid policy. I’ve been to 20+ MLB parks and 10+ NHL arenas, and all others allow fans to walk the main concourse, which is usually where the main food stands and “team stores” are located anyway. I don’t get why they wouldn’t want people to go down there. Every stadium employs ushers to keep people from getting into the field level seats, so upper-deck fans walking around the concourse shouldn’t be an issue at all. At most stadiums, in fact, fans have to go into the main concourse to get to the interior stairs/escalators to go up top. New Comiskey has an exterior walkway/staircase.
That is true about Sox park. Sometimes you can find a gate without a guard in front, but often times if you walk with enough purpose no one will stop you.
Shea used to be like this. Your entry gate would either say FIELD/LOGE or MEZZANINE/UPPER and in theory you’d be confined to those levels. But all fans were allowed in the food court in the right field corner on the field level. So I’d mosey down from my upper deck seat, load up on food and drinks, then exit through the field level exit. If I started to fumble in my pocket, and ask the ticket checker guy to hold my tray, he’d he’d usually just wave me through, and I’d watch he rest of the game from a field level seat.
New Comiskey has built a souvenir store attached to the park, but which is open to people with any sort of ticket, or no ticket at all.
Riverfront in Cincy was like that. The levels were color-coded, and the tickets matched. If you had a red (upper deck) ticket, you couldn’t get into the lower blue or green levels. Unless you told the usher you wanted to buy tickets for a future game — the “future sales” office was on the blue (field) level, so they’d let you through.
Sneaking in story: The NY Rangers used to practice at a public rink in Rye, NY. We knew people who knew people, and heard which players were hanging around in the summer. Word was Sergei Nemchinov (my favorite NYR at the time) was a workout regular. We showed up one day, went into the rink, helped ourselves into the locker room, and met Sergei . Nice guy, he stopped his workout to chat and sign a stick and take a photo with me.
I also got into Citi Field when it was under construction. With a friend of a friend who worked there. We spent about 1.5 hours touring the stadium before someone got tipped off and chased us out.
After the final game at Veterans Stadium (a Phillies game) I was enjoying some post game tailgate with a few friends. An hour or so later as we walked back to our cars, and past the stadium again we decided to take it in one more time, and as we were walking in close proximity to the stadium noticed a ground level, employee door propped open, as well as some bright orange workers overalls just sitting around. So we put them on, walked in the door, smiled at the guy sitting at the desk, and suddenly we were in the stadium. We made our way down to the field level, as there were families we presumed of the VIPs still walking around the field. As they exited we made a bold move to the field, hit some imaginary home runs and ran the bases, to cheers from whomever was still partying up in the stadium luxury boxes. Our fun attracted a few security guards to come to the field, who proceed to ask for our employee IDs, to which my friend brilliantly replied that since the season was now over, we had to turn the IDs in. Somehow that worked. And we then basked in our joyous moment in some field box seats. We then pondered what sort of souvenirs we could take to mark our adventure, something small, unique and not nailed now. We then realized the padded, field box folding chairs with Vet Stadium Final Season logos were the perfect souvenir. We made sure nobody was looking, and each grabbed a chair and made a b-line for the exit. For all the times we had been there we had suddenly found ourselves at a loss for our surroundings, but eventually found a way out of the stadium, and then booked it for close to a mile back to the safety of my car. One of the best memories of my life.
That’s an awesome story! And quick-thinking!
I have projected white face masks as winner in Rams poll – 64 to 36 percent lead with three hours left.
Are you calling it?
1988 49ers vs. Detroit – Candlestick Park was an easy place to get around & make your way into good/great seats, especially for Giants games, but for 49ers games it was a little harder as they were selling out at that point. So my buddy was able to get one of the old security jackets and that, coupled with two clip boards & yellow tablets gained us access to the field down by the right field corner/portable stands for those familiar with the ‘Stick. The folks for the 1/2 time show used to sometimes congregate there before going on the field. We casually walked down onto the field and sort of blended in. As the players made their way back onto the field after 1/2 time (we were on the Lions side) we made our way to the sideline and started talking to the players – Butch Woolfolk was one of the players we talked to and he called us on the fact that we didn’t belong there. It was at that point that we decided we pushed it far enough and made our way back into the stands.
The Rams’ blue-and-yellow is nice but I prefer a new color scheme or their blue-and-white because the blue-and-yellow looks too much like UCLA’s colors. With the town split between UCLA and USC allegiance better to be agnostic.
Rufino Linares. Like most NL players from that era, I can’t help but read his name in Harry Caray’s voice. That was an amusing one, too.
At old Yankee Stadium have ticket for upper deck would sneak down no 1 said anything also had buddy of mine got me into home opener and subway series with no ticket during 06 season.
Shea Stadium would go down for BP had seats for upper deck but would stay in field level for whole game. Old press gate players would go in Charles Johnson who was with Marlins signed but didn’t get him but went pass security to near visitors locker room he signed. This was before 9-11-01 when security was lax.
MSG sneak into family section during Hornets/Knicks game in 06. Sitting there J.R. Smith and Speedy Claxton had rookie initiation making Chris Paul sign for me and others who waited for his autograph. Another game got by Knicks locker room and got Stephon Marbury autograph.
At Busch Stadium, I’ve sat behind home plate by myself and with a friend with $5 tickets on two separate occasions. They were on Tuesday night games against the Pirates when they were crummy, so no one was there anyway. At game 7 of the 2011 World Series, I went down to ballpark with a few friends just to be there and the staff opened up the gates for us and 100 others to rush in and see the final out live. It was one of the best moments of my life.
Walked through open gates into empty Tiger (LSU) and Neyland stadiums during the 1990s. I stayed off the field each time (the sprinklers were on at UT) but spent enough time inside to take in the enormity of the place. I’ve been in both places with a crowd, but both seemed so much more immense when the only people in the joint were me and my friends.
This past January I went to Frozen Fenway for the BC-Providence game. My initial seat was right behind a support pole in the wooden seat section of Fenway (classic, right?). After the 1st period I wandered over to the 3rd base side to warm up and I ended up following a group of people up the stairs to the top of the Green Monster. Surprisingly, Fenway security and ushers weren’t strict about people sitting in their proper seats. Nonetheless, I stayed in the Monster for the rest of the game, braving the added cold and wind. It was a great time.
However, I’ve been to Norfolk Tides (AAA: Baltimore) games a whole bunch and their ushers are quite strict about people staying in their proper seats, which makes sense on high profile nights like fireworks or if a big leaguer is rehabbing. But I’ve been victim to being booted from behind home plate in the middle of a sparsely attended game. Was told that section was reserved for scouts and family members of the players.
Mike: As someone with tickets 5 rows behind the visitors at Sox Park, I’ve seen any number of clowns with cheap tickets try to sit down here. Try further up next time. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
1994 Chiefs-Browns at Arrowhead. Drove down there with some friends to see Montana play in person. It poured rain all the way down from Omaha to KC. Temps were hovering in the high 30s. When we get into KC area it is really coming down and traffic is all backed up. Did not even get into Arrowhead until end of first quarter. The tickets we bought (from scalpers under bridge on I-70)were WAY up in the corner of endzone. The way Arrowhead is designed makes those seats pretty far away. It was a pretty close game but because of the weather people were leaving early. We decided to chance it and move down to some open seats down behind Chiefs bench. No one stopped us and no one kicked us out. We were high enough to see over the team and right on the 50. Game ended up being decided right in front of us late in the 4th. That experience totally made up for the weather, missing a full quarter, me dropping a beer as soon as vendor handed it to me, forgetting where we parked cause we were in such a hurry, and one of my friends leaving a plate full of hotwings bones under the seat of my car.
When the Mets were a bad team at sgea stadium, the ushers would actually bring the people in the nose bleeds down lower to make the crowded for tv. Two seasons ago, I was with my cousin at Citi fields, and we were walking around during the game. We stop to watch the game on the 1st base side near home plate, an usher came to us and told us after the innong was over just walk pretend to flash us tickets and go down. We got down to about the third row where there were two empty seats on the aisle.