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The Story Behind Team Israel’s ‘Jew Crew’ T-Shirt

[Today we have a guest article by Mickel Yantz, who’s going to tell us about an excellent WBC-related project he’s been involved with. — PL]

By Mickel Yantz

For a couple of years I’ve been a freelance artist for an Arizona-based company called America’s Finest Apparel, creating unique sports-themed shirts. Most of them feature Day of the Dead-style sugar skulls with sports themes. (Sugar skulls originated as actual skull-shaped sugar molds decorated with colorful frosting every year on the Day of the Dead holiday to honor loved ones who’ve passed on.)

Throughout my partnership with America’s Finest, I’ve talked with Steve, the company’s owner, about his background in sports media and some of his friends. One friend who he mentioned last year was Cody Decker, a minor league ballplayer who’s also on Team Israel’s roster for the World Baseball Classic. I followed Decker on Twitter and saw how entertaining he is with his fans and teammates. At one point he even had a fun back-and-forth with William Shatner.

This year Decker was signed to a minor league deal by the Brewers, who apparently gave him a cap with the Barrel Man logo, and Decker asked his Twitter followers to explain the logo to him because he wasn’t familiar with Barrel Man. Plenty of fans replied back to him. (It turns out it was the Brewers’ 2013 spring training cap.)

A few weeks later, Steve — the America’s Finest owner — texted me a picture of the full-body version of Barrel Man and asked, “Can you make this into a swinging rabbi?” It was certainly the most unique request I’d ever received from him. He didn’t say what it was for, but I remembered Decker’s tweet and knew Decker was playing for Team Israel, so I thought there might be a connection there.

Here’s the funny part: Steve didn’t realize that my day job is working as the curator at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa. We have an exhibition opening this April about Jewish ballplayers, called Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American, which is coming to us from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, and I’ve been in touch with the Israel Association of Baseball to procure a Team Israel uniform for us to display in conjunction with the exhibit. So I was definitely in the right frame of mind to create the “Barrel Rabbi” illustration.

I worked on the design and sent it over to Steve, who then added some lettering to spell out “Jew Crew” and put it on a T-shirt. He let me know it was for Decker and Team Israel (my understanding is that Decker requested 40 shirts to give to his teammates as gifts, with permission for America’s Finest to sell sell the shirt on its website) but asked me to keep it quiet until the reveal. Two weeks later I checked Twitter and saw that Decker had posted a photo of the shirt in Phoenix after meeting his teammates:

Team Israel has surprised everyone in the World Baseball Classic by sweeping the first round Pool A and moving on to the second round in Tokyo. Along the way, the swinging rabbi shirt has shown up at various press conferences and in other social media posts.

I have an exciting job promoting and sharing Jewish cultural history and heritage with museum guests, but this is the first time I’ve found myself contributing to that history. One of the “Jew Crew” shirts will even be on display in my museum’s upcoming baseball exhibit, so my side gig and my day job will be merging into one.


Paul here. Good stuff, right? I love Mickel’s design. My only quibble is that the swinging rabbi would be even better if he were based on the Padres’ swinging friar. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in purchasing the “Jew Crew” shirt, it’s available here.

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When the look goes beyond the uni: Remember Batting Stance Guy, who mimicked various MLB players’ batting stances? Former D-League player Brandon Armstrong has developed a similar shtick for NBA players. In the video shown above, he captures many of the physical nuances of LeBron James, James Harden, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony. It’s all pretty great.

There’s further info here, and you can see Armstrong’s YouTube channel here.

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jersey contest usa

Contest reminder: In case you missed it over the weekend, Phil is running a contest to design new World Baseball Classic jerseys and caps for Team USA. All the details are in this post. Get your designs in to by this Friday, March 17, midnight Eastern. Get crackin’!

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Culinary Corner: NYC was supposed to get a serious blizzard yesterday. As you’ve probably heard, the storm turned out to be a lot less severe than had been predicted, at least here in Fun City, but the Tugboat Captain and I weren’t taking any chances. We decided to spend most of the weekend cooking something that would sustain us while we rode out the storm: a gumbo.

The impending snowpocalypse wasn’t our only motivation. I’d been wanting to make a gumbo all winter long. And while we sampled two very nice gumbos during our recent visit to New Orleans, neither one quite achieved the upper-echelon flavor explosion that I’ve experienced with some gumbos in the past. I felt like we could do better.

I had a very good recipe for us to use, too (if that link doesn’t work for you, try this instead). As you can see, it calls for a shitload of ingredients, including a whole duck, a whole chicken, a pound and a half of shrimp, pheasant sausage, and a ton of vegetables. Takes all day to prepare, too. But it’s worth it — I had made it once before, in 1998, and it was amazing.

So that’s how we spent a good chunk of our weekend. We did make some adjustments to the recipe, though:

•  Instead of pheasant sausage, we used andouille.

•  Instead of using chicken or vegetable stock, as the recipe calls for, we used the shrimp shells to create a shrimp stock, which formed most of the liquid in the gumbo. (We also used the duck bones to create a duck stock and used a little of that in the gumbo as well. And by “we,” I really mean the Captain, who did all of the stock-related work.)

•  A gumbo starts with a roux, which is flour cooked in fat (which in this case was mostly duck fat that rendered out while we were cooking the duck). The usual way to do this is to stir the roux in a saucepan on the stove and watch it darken as the flour cooks over the course of a half-hour or so. It works fine, but it’s tedious and you tend to get splattered a bit by the hot fat. Some websites suggest toasting the flour by itself on the stovetop, without any fat, and then adding the fat and letting the roux cook in the oven. Neither of us had ever tried that before, but we were intrigued, so we decided to give it a go.

First we put a cup and a half of flour in a pot over medium heat and stirred it to keep it from burning. It felt sort of weird — who cooks flour all by itself? — but as the Captain noted, “I’ve toasted other grains, so why not flour?” After a few minutes, it began to smell nutty and roasty-toasty, so we removed it from the heat. It had gotten every-so-slightly browned, as you can see here — regular flour on the left, toasted flour on the right (click to enlarge):

Then we added the rendered duck fat (plus a bit of vegetable oil, because we didn’t have quite enough duck fat to reach the specified amount) and stirred to blend in the flour. The resulting mixture was a light tan:

Then we covered the pot and put it in the oven. The idea was that the flour would continue to cook, darkening the roux to a deep chocolate color. It did darken somewhat, but not enough — or at least not fast enough — so the Captain took it out of the oven and finished it on the stovetop, stirring (i.e., the normal way of making a roux). Eventually it reached a nice, deep shade of brown:

The rest of the process involved mixing the roux with the stock, adding the vegetables, adding the protein (duck, chicken, andouille, shrimp), and several hours’ worth of simmering, all of which made the house smell soooooo good. Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of any of that, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Between the shopping for ingredients, roasting the duck and the chicken and then picking the meat off the bones, peeling the shrimp, and all the rest, the project took a good chunk of Saturday and all of Sunday. It was finally ready to eat at about 7:30pm on Sunday, and we invited two friends over to share it with us. It did not disappoint — one of the better gumbos I’ve ever had, and definitely better than the two gumbos we ate a week earlier in New Orleans (which is no surprise, since neither of those included duck, or had a roux made with duck fat).

Quick tangent: Back in the late 1980s I was a book editor. Some of the books I worked on were cookbooks, and some of the cookbooks were about soup. My boss at the time, a very smart lady, hated having to approve the cover designs for these books because photos of soup always looked like, as she put it, “puke in a bowl” (I actually worked on that book). Nearly 30 years later, I’m always haunted by my former boss’s words when I try to photograph soup. With that proviso in mind, here’s how the gumbo turned out:

Looks pretty good, right? We had a lot of leftover servings (which, as you’ll recall, was the whole idea). In fact, I’m going to have some gumbo as soon as I finish typing this.

But before I do that, I should mention that the Captain did way more of her share of the work on this project. She chopped all the vegetables, made the shrimp and duck stocks, monitored the roux, and a lot more. I did some work, but not nearly as much as she did (in part because I was busy trying to finish writing the massive travelogue entry that ran on the site on Monday, and in part because she’s just far more kitchen-adept than I am). So the credit for the gumbo’s success really belongs to her. Take a bow, sweetie.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News:  The Rockies celebrated Pi Day lining up in pi uni-number order — or so it initially appeared. The photo was actually a doctored version of the shot that appears at the top of their Twitter page.  … Speaking of the Rockies, do their color changes a signal for an upcoming redesign? (From Perry Sailor.) …  Kind of hard to see, but this may be the stars and stripes caps MLB teams will wear this year (from J.K.). …  Francisco Lindor usually wears striped stirrups with the Indians, but has been wearing  solid Stance socks for Puerto Rico in the WBC. …  Dusty Baker is a treasure trove of baseball stories, and he had a lot of good stuff to say about baseball bats yesterday. … Robinson Canó’s captain’s C looks to be a lighter shade of blue than the rest of Dominican Republic’s jerseys (from Brian Bomser). …  Matthew Prigge  wrote a couple of posts on Brewers unis of the past. According to him, the team’s ’78 home set was supposed to include NOBs, but owner Bud Selig nixed the idea because he didn’t like the way the letters looked against pinstripes. … With much of the east coast under snow, Michael Clearly sent along shots of  Mel Parnell, Mickey Mantle, and Chris Speier balling in the snow. …  Cool move by the St. Paul Saints, who will be honoring Mary Tyler Moore with a hat giveaway this season. It’s meant to look like the same one she tosses during the opening credits of her show (from Patrick O’Neill). … Akron RubberDucks players got rings for their 2016 Eastern League Championship last night (from CN). …  St. Joseph’s College in in Indiana has some awesome posters for each home series this season (from Eric Bunnell). … Good-looking color-on-color game yesterday between Motlow Community College and Calhoun Community College (from Motlow Baseball).  …  Matt Ryburn  sends along this photo from the Atlantic. It was taken at Irwinville Farms in Georgia, though the player remains unidentified. The photographer, Roy Stryker, told his editors not to run a photo by punching a hole through the negative. A whole gallery of these photos is available here. … Japan’s WBC team has a raised helmet logo (from Jeff McClure).

NFL News: Packers RB and former WR Ty Montgomery says he’ll continue to wear No. 88 next year (from  Brad E.). … New Rams signing Kayvon Webster was wearing a cap with a gold-trimmed logo yesterday, instead of the team’s new blue/white logo (from  Moe Khan). … NFL Network reporter Jason LaCanfora shared a photo of his old pair of Baltimore Colts gloves on Twitter yesterday (from  Patrick Sesty). … Check out this Miami Dolphins basketball program from 1974. According to  Francisco Monteagudo, former and then-current Fins players used to hoop against high school and city teams during the offseason. … Here’s an article about the ’57 Steelers that includes some great helmet and facemask photos (from Bill Kellick).

College and High School Football News:  Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is not allowing his team to wear its logo until they “earn” the right to wear it (from Edside Manor). …  Awesome find by  Bill Moss, who sent along this  color clip from the 1940 Rose Bowl. Appropriately, Michigan and USC went color-on-color. … North Carolina celebrated Pi Day yesterday (from  James Gilbert). … New helmets for Warner Robbins High School in Georgia (from Doug Hazard).

Hockey News: On Monday I said that a James Harden/LeBron James frankenjersey may have been the strangest I’ve ever seen. We might have another contender: Panthers/Leafs (from  Brett Kirkham). … Taylor sends along photos from this  black-on-blue matchup between the Kings and Jets, possibly from 1988-89. Anyone know anything about it?

Basketball News:  Here are new NBA   socks for St. Paddy’s Day. The Bulls and Celtics will be wearing them as part of their holiday uniforms later this week. … Great looking  color-on-color  game in the NBA last night between the Cavs and Pistons (thanks  Mike). …   ESPN mixed up St. Mary’s and Mount St. Mary’s on their website last night (from Eddie Lee). …  Not sure if we’ve brought this up before, but  Michigan’s DJ Wilson wears some really short shorts (from  Max Weintraub). … March Madness means T-shirts with unimaginative slogans are in season (from  James Gilbert). … The public radio show Marketplace had an excellent report last night about the D-League G-League (from Andrew Cosentino). … TNT broadcaster Lewis Johnson was using a mic cube with a “Sager Strong” message (from Zach Loesl). … Also from Zach: Wake Forest and Kansas State went grey vs. purple last night.

Grab Bag: Liverpool will wear a 125th-anniversary crest on their kits next season (from  Moe Khan). …  Cal Lutheran University has a  new logo (from  Andrew Luttrell). …  Not often you see pink on the racetrack. That car is owned by team Force India in F1. Drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will also wear pink helmets. … Disney has made  logos for 18 of its attractions for a “March Magic” promotion (from  Yancy Yeater). … The officers at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are switching from silver belt buckles to gold — at a cost of $300,000 — in order to have the buckles match the officers’ badges (from Matt Shevin). … The amazing Japanese artist Gaku carves some very intricate designs into foodstuffs (from  James Gilbert).

Comments (71)

    Don’t disagree, per se, on the Swinging Friar model possibly being better for the “Swinging Rabbi” but then the “Jew Crew” (the takeoff on the “Brew Crew” nickname) doesn’t work (as well).

    I’d like to see the Padres incorporate the Swinging Friar into a PEW CREW shirt.

    This site has become Paul basically taking other people’s content and retweeting… adding one or two sentences at the end, instead of adding insight or original content. Unless, of course, it’s self-interest travel crap having nothing to do with anything put megalomania. Love other people’s content, abhor the negative additions Paul adds. Impeach?

    Trolls gonna troll. Brian complains that I’m “taking other people’s content” and then says he “love[s] other people’s content.” Which is it, Brian?

    I would gladly tell the story of how I designed a great T-shirt for the Team Israel — except I’m not the one who designed it. Mickel Yantz is. When he offered to share his story here on the site, it seemed like a story that deserved to be told, so I accepted his offer. (And contrary to what you might think, it’s actually a lot more work for me to edit and format someone else’s entry than to write something myself.)

    I’m sorry — really and truly, not sarcastically — if Uni Watch isn’t precisely what you want it to be. And even if it was, it would probably not be exactly what someone *else* wanted it to be. It’s impossible to please everyone, so I just follow my instincts and let everyone else get on board or not, as they see fit. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

    I’d also like to add impeach means bring charges upon. Usually an elected official. It doesn’t mean remove from office or position of power. So there’s that……

    I generally don’t have any issue with stories like this. However, in this particular case I think I would’ve liked to have seen Paul interview Mickel and have a real two-way discussion about the project. I recognize that interviews aren’t always possible, though.

    The Swinging Friar always looks like he’s striking out. The Swinging Rabbi looks like he has gone deep.

    Nitpicking here, but Marketplace is not an NPR program. It’s produced and distributed by American Public Media (APM).

    I’m pretty certain those color-on-color shots of the Jets and Kings are preseason action, the year those silver ‘n blacks were debuted. IIRC, they were hard games to watch on TV because of the minimal contrast.

    P.S. My feeble mind recalls the home white kit was being held “in reserve” until the home regular season opener, “introducing” both the new colors and a certain #99.

    Congrats to Mickel Yantz. So cool when someones passion and love can be what they do for a living. Best of luck with both “jobs”.

    “I did some work, but nearly as much as she did”
    “and he had a lot of good stuff to say about baseball bats the yesterday.”
    “It was taken Irwinville Farms in Georgia”
    “Check out this Miami Dolphins basketball program from 1974.” It looks like linking to a Gmail attachment is problematic.

    So many things to tell about wooden bats. Most people don’t know there are grades of bats with the best wood going to MLB and lower grades to other levels. When I was playing, used to take several bats to a game of various weights and lengths. Would also do things like taking a small wood planer and shave down and sand the handles (first inside pitch and you have a splintered bat), also would sand and shape the knob end to fit my hand better too. Allegedly would provide more hand speed though I am not sure that is the case. Like Dusty said, guys had light bats for fireballers and heavier bats for breaking ball pitchers. Had funnel grip end bats as well as standard knob bats. Can remember when the barrel cupped end bats came out. Originated in Japan or at least the baseball people of the time called them Japanese cup bats.

    I think Jason LaCanfora is formerly of NFL Network and now currently part of the NFL Today on CBS.

    Good-looking color-on-color game yesterday between Motlow Community College and Calhoun Community College (from Motlow Baseball).

    Fuckin-a! That is the way that is done. Kudos all around!

    Where is the line of distinction regarding cultural cartoons? For instance, why is a cartoon native American a no, but a cartoon friar or cartoon rabbi a yes? Is it a cultural vs. occupational difference (a distinction that could surely be debated)? Is it because “stereotyping is okay as long as we’re doing it to ourselves on our own terms?”

    As I’ve said all along, I’m totally fine with Native Americans using Native American imagery, or calling their teams the Redskins, or doing whatever else they may choose to do with their cultural heritage. Because it’s, you know, THEIR cultural heritage.

    And I feel the same way about Jews. Or any other cultural group.

    It’s a good point. It seems that generally the rule is that members of a culture/racial group are allowed to depict themselves however they like. But it is interesting that if a non-Jewish guy designed the exact same t-shirt it would be considered offensive. Which is, in its own way, a form of discrimination itself – why should one’s race or heritage determine what they’re allowed to say?

    I also wonder if at least some Jewish people find the whole “Jew Crew” thing offensive anyway, even if it was done by the Israeli national team? Or would Jews be offended if non-Jews started referring to the Israeli team as the “Jew Crew”?

    As usual, it’s not about something being “offensive.” It’s about cultural appropriation and about groups controlling their own cultural heritage. It’s about not using something that doesn’t belong to you, which is a simple right-vs-wrong lesson that most of us learn during childhood.

    So much of human history, though–so much of human PROGRESS–has involved cultural appropriation. It’s tough to imagine the rise of cultures like Hellenic & Hellenistic Greece, Rome, Japan, Britain, etc., without the absorption and strategic redeployment of other cultures’ ideas and images.

    So I’m not sure we ought to be reconciled to a behavioral standard that slaps copyrights on culture, or acts as if they can or should be “owned.” It’s rather like forbidding germination outside a certain radius of the tree. (And most important of all: no rule that would’ve kept the “Mikado” from being written could ever be worthwhile on balance!)

    Gotta love someone attacking people for “cultural appropriation” and “using something that doesn’t belong to you” while in the exact same article helping themselves to another culture’s food. You’re full of shit, Paul.

    Dan, you bring up a good point. I am not Jewish even though I designed the image and work for a Jewish organization. Sales of the shirt have been beyond our expectations and purchased by Jewish people. The team does refer to themselves as the Jew Crew and it was Cody Decker who requested it on the shirt. Also, I made sure the design did not have the stereotypes that have been common place depicting Jews like a short man with a large nose and ears. I also used to work for a Native American museum (I’m not Native either) with colleges wearing Cleveland and Washington hats and shirts. I would not have ever worn them, but it was their choice.

    Mickel – agreed, to me your design seems pretty inoffensive. But I do wonder, would you feel comfortable wearing your own shirt in public? And have any Jewish folks given you any negative reaction to the design or the whole “Jew Crew” theme in general?

    Race or heritage does not determine what you are allowed to say in any way; it is a right guaranteed to you by the Constitution. It also gives the right for others to respond should they find your opinions objectionable.

    Right, but what’s “allowed” can mean different things. Social pressure dictates quite a bit, and quite often results in more consequences than simply having somebody disagree with you.

    Sometimes, this is for the best. Social pressure that discourages overt racism or homophobia has no doubt made our society a better place to live. But at other times, it can be oppressive. People who hold unpopular views can be intimidated into silence.

    But whatever the case, I was simply stating that the idea that what a person can say or wear or do is based on their race or ethnic group is a form of racism itself.

    I would and will wear my shirt without any concerns. If anyone asks, I have a very positive story that goes along with it. At this point, I have not had any negativity towards the design. All I have received so far is positive comments and questions about where to buy one. There have been a lot of attacks to Jewish organizations lately around the nation. My own work was one of the JCC’s that received a bomb threat last month. The only concern I would have is from people who are caring out these acts of antisemitism and not from the Jewish community itself.

    Good points all around. To go further, is someone who’s not Mexican but sells sugar skull themed merchandise appropriating that culture? Again, I just want to clarify that I’m not being accusatory toward anyone here. I just find the topic quite interesting and today’s post is heavily related to this issue.

    It’s a good point, I’m still trying to figure it out myself. What about other parts of a culture? That’s why I made the gumbo comment above. Using your example of Mexican culture, could I open up my own restaurant and serve Mexican food as a midwestern white guy?

    Why not? The owners of my two favorite Mexican restaurants are Equadorian and Chinese.

    Possibly an unpopular point of view on this site, but I’ll posit that it’s okay for a white guy to record and sell reggae music, it’s fine for a Jewish family to cook and sell Mexican cuisine, and it’s all good if a European clothier bases his designs on Kachina motifs. My sympathies reside with the owner of the creative spark, whose duty it is to harness a whim and convert it to tangible goods that have merit and value. I take a dim view of naysayers; it’s well to consider what actual authority such critics have, and whether their approval is something a sentient person would want.

    Walter, I love ya, but this:

    I take a dim view of naysayers; it’s well to consider what actual authority such critics have, and whether their approval is something a sentient person would want.

    So when you encounter an opinion that doesn’t jibe with your point of view, you conveniently dismiss the source of that opinion as a “naysayer” and/or “critic.” For good measure, you dismiss anyone who values that source as “[non-]sentient.”

    This is certainly a handy way of justifying your decision to ignore opinions you don’t care for. But most people — especially sentient people — understand that it takes a multiplicity of voices and opinions to form a considered point of view. Most people also realize that the best way to confront an opposing point of view is to come up with a persuasive counter-argument, not to simply dismiss it with name-calling.

    Come on. You know better.

    Maybe “sentient” was beyond the pale, but I’ll draw the line at “Naysayer”: a very specific kind of unwelcome critic. An educated critic won’t disparage initiative; a naysayer lives only to contradict. I live by the credo of John Cleese, who said “There are those whom one should wish to offend.” You’re going to waste a lot of time wishing someone qualified or culturally appropriate would come up with the idea you just had, and it’s depressing to be taken to a metaphorical woodshed because one isn’t black enough, woman enough, Jewish enough. One of these days I’ll share the collection of new assholes I’ve been torn because “I should know my place”.

    I’ll draw the line at “Naysayer”: a very specific kind of unwelcome critic.

    In other words, someone you dislike, or who rankles you in a particular way.

    I’ll say it again: The best way to confront such a person is with a persuasive counter-argument, not with dismissive name-calling.

    Let’s move on. Thanks.

    This was the 1948 Rose Bowl. This youtube clip posted the wrong date. I knew something was amiss when General Omar Bradley was the Grand Marshal and they had a float of a jet.

    Just curious. I really dig the shirt, but I’m not Jewish. Would it be ok to wear this? I think with all the bomb threats it might be a small sign of solidarity to wear, but I also don’t want to offend anyone.

    Wear what you like, and like what you wear. You don’t need to beJewish any more than you need to be Catholic to wear the Swinging Friar.

    Haha…with that reasoning I guess Padres fans shouldn’t wear the “Swinging Friar” if they’re not Catholic. I guess the issue with this is the term “Jew”, since many, including myself, don’t know if this is a negative term for Jewish people. I don’t use it since I don’t want my ignorance to be an excuse. But I’m with Paul here since they were the ones who created it. I think it’s great.

    Paul, I’ve been making gumbo for almost 30 years (born in Eunice, LA, and in Baton Rouge for 25 yrs), and I’ve NEVER made my own roux. I don’t have an aversion to doing it, I’ve just never felt like a) it was something I’d be able to do well and b) my friends’/family’s gumbos made with home-made roux tasted any better than a jar. The jar roux I use is Savoie’s, which you can order from their website. Another anomaly is that, though I’m from south LA, I don’t eat seafood; however, using stocks made from shrimp or crab can work wonders with a gumbo. I’m also spoiled because we have some damn good smoked sausage down here.

    Now I’m going to have to go home tonight and make a gumbo while we still have some cool weather to enjoy. :)

    Ohhh, wow, Savoie’s sells it in a 30-pound tub. Ideal for stocking up for the next “blizzard.”

    The uniforms Wake Forest wore last night were a grey throwback version of a style worn while Tim Duncan was there. Not sure if they have worn them before last night or they were special for the tournament.

    How so? The number font, wordmark, collar and striping are all different from when Duncan was there. And they did not wear gray. The “DEMON” on the front right thigh and “DEACONS” on the back right thigh is about the only common design element, unless you want to count splitting “WAKE” and “FOREST” above and below the front numbers.

    While I can’t be certain, a possible explanation for the Leafs/Panthers frankenjersey could be back-up goalie James Reimer. He last played for the Leafs before coming to Florida this year. Also, you can make out the first digit “3” on the left sleeve of the jersey, which would be consistent with Reimer’s number 34.

    Japan’s WBC team has a raised helmet logo

    Looks like a black bear in a tar pit at midnight during a new moon.

    Per the Warner Robbins helmets: those are a near-clone of the Redan High School (near Atlanta) helmets. They look good, but a bit unoriginal in my tastes.

    There’s talk that the New York Jets are redesigning their uniforms and helmets when the changeover happens with the uniform manufacturers .Is this true ?

    1) The NFL is not changing uniform manufacturers anytime soon. Nike’s deal runs three more seasons (and, in my view, will likely be extended).

    2) A changeover in outfitters doesn’t necessarily mean anything in terms of a given team changing unis. If you look back at the Big Four leagues’ recent outfitter changes, you’ll see that most teams did not change their uniforms.

    All of which is to say: The Jets will change when they’re ready to change. And I’ll report on it when I have any information to report (which, at present, I do not have).

    “Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is not allowing his team to wear its logo until they “earn” the right to wear it.”

    Has this gimmick ever worked?

    I’d like to see any team not wearing their logo to a game if their players haven’t earned the right to wear it, whether it’s a few members or the entire team!


    I am curious why using the Barrel Man logo to make the Jew Crew logo is cool and fun but Papillion-La Vista High School using the body of UofMinn’s Gopher logo disappointing and shameful? In that case you considered it poaching and related it to plagiarism.



    1) Papillon-La Vista’s logo isn’t for a one-off T-shirt project. It’s the school’s primary athletics logo, and it’s a rip-off of a U of Minnesota logo. Your primary identity should be, you know, YOUR primary identity. It should be unique, and you should *want* it to be unique. Why would you want your visual identity to be based on someone/something else’s identity?

    2) If there were some connection between Papillon-La Vista and the U. of Minnesota, you could argue that the logo rip-off is really a form a commentary, a visual pun, an acknowledgment of the tie between the two schools or the two regions. But none of that is true. There IS a connection between the Brewers and Team Isreal, however: Decker. He asked for the design as a gift to give to his team, representing the overlap between his MLB affiliation and his WBC affiliation. So the shirt reflects an actual blending of two different situations, not just a case of, “I like this so I’m going to use it however I see fit.”

    3) Barrel Man is a fairly well-known logo. It’s impossible to repurpose it without people *knowing* that you’ve repurposed it. Or to put it another way, it’s impossible to use it without implicitly *acknowledging* that you’re basing your design on someone else’s design. That’s part of the commentary that the shirt is making. But the old U. of Minnesota logo — the one that Papillon-La Vista poached — isn’t as well known. (If you go back to the Uni Watch post you linked to, you’ll see that I didn’t even realize it was a poach job until someone else informed me.) That’s sneakier and more odious — taking something that (a) doesn’t belong to you and (b) knowing that most likely nobody will notice. Not good.

    Thank you for the reply. I wish my school used an original logo. Several years ago they ditched a beautiful and long used original ram for the NFL Rams logo. Now that LA is switching to blue and white (same colors as my school), they look identical.

    I still see original logos in some middle schools that never had the high school need to ‘modernize.’ They are quirky and unique. I think with modern technology students could come up with some amazing designs.

    Boiled eggs are also delightful in gumbo. Some people use hard-boiled eggs, and some people wait for the gumbo to get a boil and crack them right on top. A smooth mustard based potato salad is also a popular “condiment” for gumbo. The most interesting I’ve had was a duck, andouille, and sweet potato gumbo.

    I watched a profile of James McAdoo of the Golden State Warriors on the 700 Club yesterday.


    “After showing off his skill in the NBA Summer league…he got an invite to attend the Golden State Warriors training camp. but there was one caveat, if he didn’t make the team he’d be sent down to the D-League…the minors of the NBA. For many NBA prospects that’s the end of the road.

    ‘I heard some horror stories about the D-League. It’s a tough lifestyle,’ said James.”

    Besides the boost from Gatorade buying the naming rights to the D-League, perhaps the NBA is also trying the stop the perception of the D-League as a dead-end for aspiring pros, i.e., those who don’t get the ten-day contracts from NBA clubs.

    A “700 Club” reference on the same day we feature a “Jew Crew” t-shirt!

    Can we get a Hindu or Muslim reference next? Or an atheist mention?

    The Rockies’ Pi Day gimmick is great, but the guy alllll the way on the right should be wearing 9, not 8.

    Re: Baseball in the snow.

    Torontonians of a certain age will never forget the first-ever Blue Jays game. White Sox Jack Brohamer “skiing” across the snow on the Exhibition Stadium turf as everyone waited for the game to get underway.

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