[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation. Today we have a guest entry from David Versel. He’s written for Uni Watch before, about his childhood uniform drawings. Today he’s taking a close look at a uniform that many of you may have forgotten about.]
By David Versel
I am a lifelong fan of the Washington Bullets/Wizards franchise, and I’m also a longtime uniform enthusiast. Those two passions collided in 1987, when the Bullets debuted a new uniform design on the season’s opening night.
The team’s iconic red-and-white striped motif, which they had worn since moving into the Capital Centre in the mid-1970s, was gone. In its place was an unfamiliar design:
The the team’s name on the front of the jersey was all but illegible, thanks to that red background on the blue lettering. But things got even worse when I saw the backs of the jerseys. The players’ names were in italics (strike one), with the first letter capitalized and all other letters in lowercase (strike two), and rendered in that same blue-on-red color scheme (strike three — click to enlarge):
In those days, there was no fanfare about uniform changes ”” the team simply came out onto the floor in their new duds (and, boy were these duds). So I was unprepared for the sheer horror of watching my team wearing these embarrassing costumes. That very night, the 13-year-old me went to my room and drew up a new uniform set for the team, which dropped in the mail the next day along with an angry missive about the new look. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a copy of my design.
The team’s road unis that year weren’t much better, although at least they were sort of legible.
This uniform only lasted one year. The next season the team took away the red trim and lowercase NOB lettering but kept the silly italics. A couple of years later the italics went away and were replaced with standard block numbering and lettering — boring, but not embarrassing, which I guess was progress.
This tiny blip in the Bullets’ uniform history has essentially been forgotten. A recent review of the Bullets/Wizards uniform history showed the later, cleaned-up version of this set but failed to included any mention the awful first iteration of it from 1987-88. Maybe it was the team’s uninspiring performance, or the fact that its best known players (Moses Malone and Bernard King) tend to be associated with other teams, or that this team is mostly noted for featuring the tallest and shortest players in the sport’s history on the same roster.
Either way, these dreadful uniforms left a deep impression on me personally, and I felt obligated to drag them back into the spotlight, even if only for a day.
Rams Uni Update
By Alex Hider
The votes are in, and the Rams finally have a full uniform ready to go for the 2017 season:
As you can see, fans decisively voted for a white facemasks over navy. While many fans clamored for LA to bring back the gray facemasks the team wore during their Color Rash game with the Seahawks, the NFL put the kibosh on that plan.
For those who asked, the reason gray is not an option for Rams' face mask is because it isn't part of their NFL-designated "color palette."
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 2, 2017
Not sure why this rule doesn’t apply to teams like the Bills and Cardinals, but I digress.
A quick perusal through the Gridiron Uniform Database confirms that 2017 will mark the first time in team history that the Rams will sport white facemasks. They wore gray up until 1980, and have used blue ever since.
In a much more narrow vote, fans picked wide single-striped pants over double-striped pants. As Paul pointed out on Tuesday, the Rams will avoid looking too much like the Colts below the waist. The solid navy-blue topped socks will remain unchanged.
The helmet looks great, but the lack of gold accents on the pants really makes the gold trim on jersey stand out more.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 3, 2017
The Rams plan on wearing the white jersey at home this season, so there are no shots of the new elements paired with the blue jersey. But the Rams would presumably have to break out the blues at least once this season, as a trip to Dallas looms on the schedule. Let’s just hope they wear their royal-and-yellow throwbacks that day.
LAST CALL for the Todd Radom T-shirt: Today is the final 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 11pm Eastern tonight. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
Sorry, no Ticker today. Phil will have his usual weekend content on Saturday and Sunday, and we’ll get back to our regular lede/Ticker weekday format on Monday. Have a great weekend.