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Basketball: A Contact Sport

Crazy moment in yesterday’s Wizards/Celtics game, as Boston guard Isaiah Thomas took an inadvertent forearm to the face from Washington forward Otto Porter Jr., resulting in one of Thomas’s teeth being knocked out. Play continued, and then Thomas calmly picked up the wayward tooth after the next whistle. He continued to play gap-toothed, and then the Celtics later announced that he “had his tooth repositioned,” but it reportedly came back out during the second half, and he plans to have it reinserted by a dentist. (Footnote: Thomas led all scorers in the game, with 33 points.)

Some NBA players wear mouthguards. It’ll be interesting to see if Thomas starts wearing one.

I played youth league basketball and can’t recall any of the kids wearing mouthguards. The only sport I wore one for was football. I can still remember boiling the mouthpiece in a pot on the stove and then biting down on it so it would mold to my teeth.

I’ve had a few dental incidents involving sports. I had a tooth knocked out while tossing a baseball around with my next-door neighbor when I was eight or nine. My parents rushed me to a local dentist, who was able to reattach the tooth. I still have it today. Later on, during high school, I was playing paddleball with my best friend and knocked out one of his teeth with the follow-through to one of my backhand shots. We looked all over the paddleball court, trying to find the tooth. I think we eventually located it, and his mom tried to get it reattached, but it didn’t take and he ended up having to get a crown.

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An even dozen: Uni Watch mascots Tucker (left) and Caitlin turned 12 years old yesterday. Tucker’s had some health issues over the past year but seems to be in good shape now, and Caitlin is still in forever-kitten mode, so we were all in the right frame of mind for birthday festivities.

Their best present came from the Tugboat Captain, who made them a catnip sock monkey. How sweet is that? Lucky kitties! Here are a few additional shots:

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“C” section: No NBA player has worn a captain’s “C” since 2011, when Chris Paul (shown at right) and David West did so for the Hornets. Lately I’ve been trying to update my list of “C”-clad NBA players. I’m currently up to 35 of them, as follows:

• Milwaukee Bucks (7 players): Vin Baker, Andrew Bogut, Blue Edwards, Desmond Mason, Michael Redd, Erick Strickland, and Tim Thomas

•  Denver Nuggets (5): Antonio McDyess, Nick Van Exel, Reggie Williams, Bryant Stith, and LaPhonso Ellis

•  Golden State Warriors (4): Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin (co-captains), and Avery Johnson

•  Los Angeles Clippers (3): Danny Manning, Ron Harper, and Mark Jackson

•  Portland Trail Blazers (3): Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter, and Damon Stouadamire

•  Seattle SuperSonics (3): Tom Chambers, Jack Sikma, and Downtown Freddie Brown

•  New Orleans Hornets (2): Chris Paul and David West (co-captains)

•  Kansas City Kings (2): Nate Archibald and Sam Lacey

•  Atlanta Hawks (2): Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Theo Ratliff

•  Indiana Pacers (2): Vern Fleming, Reggie Miller

•  Orlando Magic (1): Tracy McGrady

•  Minnesota Timberwolves (1): Christian Laettner

If you know of any other NBA players who’ve worn the “C,” please speak up. Keep in mind that there have been lots of NBA captains who’ve never worn a “C” (the Celtics alone have had 15 of them), but I’m not interested in those players. Only interested in ones who’ve worn the “C” designation. Thanks!

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Real strawberries, fake cherries: I had a few people over in the backyard on Saturday. I really like how the yellow on the tablecloth I used is slightly out of register. I always find something oddly reassuring and endearing about slight registration errors — a nice reminder that printing doesn’t happen by magic. It’s a real-world process, it’s tricky to get right, and sometimes it’s a little bit off.

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Tray of goodness: My friend Robert saw this Happy Steak tray in a Texas thrift shop, thought (accurately!) that I might like it, and brought it back to NYC for me. Isn’t that nice? Should come in handy for future backyard gatherings.

I’d never heard of Happy Steak, but some rudimentary googling indicates that it’s a now-defunct chain of cheap-steak eateries, based primarily in the west. Anyone ever eaten there? What exactly was a “golden spud”? Like, was it just a baked potato wrapped in gold foil?

Quite the riot of typographic styles on the tray. What is the “H” supposed to be?

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New T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it last week, our latest limited-edition T-shirt in the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, designed by the great Scott M.X. Turner, is now available, and it’s a doozy.

Here’s the concept: If Uni Watch had a bowling team, what would the team be called? The Athletic Aesthetics, of course! And what would the team wear? A classic bowling shirt with chain-stitched embroidery, of course!

Scott’s T-shirt is based on that idea, with a simple “Uni Watch” insignia faux-chain-stitched on the front-left chest and a spectacular design faux-chain-stitched on the back (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):

How great is that?! An anthropomorphized magnifying glass wearing a ballcap and stirrups — tremendous! The graphics really capture that old-school bowling shirt style, too. Even better, the design works well in a wide variety of shirt colors. Here are some of the ones we’re offering (there are several more on the sales listing page), just to show how flexible the design is:

Like all of our Artist’s Series shirts, this one is a limited edition, available through 11pm Eastern this Thursday. You can order it here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Paul, pinch-hitting today for Alex

Baseball News: The Binghamton Rumble Ponies wore “Art in the Park” jerseys yesterday. They were designed by a local fourth grader and will be auctioned off to benefit local arts programs (from @213MFS, @Astromets, and Lou Flynn). … A Massachusetts high school has managed to combine tequila sunrise with red/white/blue patriotism (from Andrew Peterson). … Rangers OF Carlos Gomez had his left shoe fall off while he was legging out a double the other night (thanks, Brinke). … Mariners P Chase DeJong’s NOB includes a small-cap “E,” which doesn’t feel like it’s the right weight. The letterform strokes seem too thick/heavy compared to the other letters (from Kenny Ocker). … Braves 1B Freddie Freeman has some issues with the lighting at Milwaukee’s Miller Park (thanks, Mike). … Florida softball is the latest team experimenting with 3D helmet logos (from David Roeder). … Hey, remember how MLB was going to replace dugout phones with cell phones a few years ago? That one didn’t quite work out, eh? … The Hartford Yard Goats wore their new Sunday uniforms for the first time (from Max Reiss). … The Dodgers had a kids’ helmet giveaway yesterday, and the helmets had a matte finish and a 3D logo, just like the real helmets. … With the Blue Jays wearing their red alternates yesterday, P Aaron Sanchez wore a red glove with blue trim (from Seaver Sheets). … Crazy situations for the two New York teams yesterday, as the Mets put a position player on the mound and the Yankees had a pitcher play first base.

Pro Football News: The Vikings’ new stadium, which is only nine months old, has a lot of physical defects. … Back in the 1960s there was an AFL running back named Billy Joe. That was his full name — William “Billy” Joe. He played for a number of teams, including the Dolphins in 1966. It’s a little hard to see, but he had FNOB. Here’s another view. … CFL news from Wade Heidt, who writes: “The Montreal Alouettes may have uniform changes in the works. Promotional videos and photos for the upcoming season show Alouettes players wearing their white helmets and white pants with the dark home jersey. CFL teams usually wear their primary home uniforms in these photos and videos, so this may be the new primary home uniform combination, with the white helmets and pants replacing the silver helmets and pants that had been part of the primary home look.” … The Falcons’ Snapchat account shared some videos of players visiting a local school. The players wear Falcons jerseys, but for some reason the NFL logo at the base of the collar was blacked out (from Britton Thomas). … Here’s a look at jerseys people wore to the NFL draft (from Kurt Esposito).

NBA News: The Jazz and Warriors’ uniforms have changed just a wee bit since the last time they met in the playoffs (from Jacob Marrocco). … Last night’s episode of Veep took place in Georgia — the country, not the state — and featured a guy wearing a Chicago “Balls” knockoff sweatshirt (from Will Shoken).

Soccer News: Good article about how soccer teams dare not change their team logos (from Ken Traisman). … New home kit for Oxford United (from Nate Hargis). … New kit for FC Buffalo (from @DrewCanady). … Check out this youth league game with both teams wearing black. Are they supposed to tell each other apart from the uni numbers? From the socks? Jeez (from Teddy Ice).

Grab Bag: Longtime NASCAR artist Sam Bass has been facing a series of health problems that have led him to bankruptcy, ultimately resulting in a court-ordered auction of his artwork (from Tommy Turner).

Comments (60)

    Nice sock monkey!

    Given your attention to food and its preparation, you probably already know that Tucker’s kneading behavior is often referred to as “making biscuits.”

    How does on lose a shoe simply by running the bases??

    I’ve seen shoes lost when a sudden move move/juke was made, or when someone is hit by a train.

    I shouldn’t think a professional ath-a-lete would lose a shoe doing something so simple/routine.

    At the end of the NBA ticker section, there is a typo that reads “sweathshirt”.

    At last night’s WWE show Payback Jeff Hardy also lost a tooth when he got kicked in the face by Sheamus.

    Love that serving tray from The Happy Steak! So awesome. I’m thinking the Golden Spud was a deep-fried potato. Rather than baking it, into the fryer it went and served golden-brown, just like french fries.

    On the Happy Steak tray, seems to me that the H is just meant to be a “fat and happy” specimen.

    Picky architectural comment: According to the article it appears that the problems with the Vikings’ new stadium are with the facade or the “skin” of the building and aren’t really structural which would refer to the framing of the building.

    Thanks for schooling me on that, Will. What adjective would you suggest instead of “structural” — physical? Something else?

    I can’t think of one adjective to plug into that sentence. I could say that the installation of the stadium’s exterior wall panel system appears to be defective.

    While “superficial” may accurately describe the problems as being “skin deep”, that word also carries the connotation of being trivial and unimportant. But just like having a gash in your skin would be a significant problem that merits serious attention to avoid loss of blood and infection, so a leaky facade can lead to a lot of problems with water damage and mold.

    Special K – I get where you’re coming from. I think “superficial” is a correct technical term for something happening at the surface, like this, but you’re right that it has a different connotation of “unimportant” which this is definitely not.

    I might say “exterior issues”; “superficial” suggests “cosmetic”, which would be trivial. The problem, while not at all “grave”, is still troubling and needs to be addressed.

    The irony of soccer fans getting upset that a crest that can barely be seen is changed but its just fine to make that crest to small to see so you can have new giant ads every year on the jersey.

    Ate at a Happy Steak once in San Luis Obispo, CA. Dennis James, the pioneer TV game show host, was their spokesman. Very similar to Sizzler, from what I remember. From what I recall, the Golden Spud was indeed a baked potato covered in golden tin foil.

    Congratulations on the cats’ birthday!

    Nice to see Tucker doing so well after his recent scare. Nothing makes me smile like a happy kitty does.

    “Lately I’ve been trying to update my list of “C”-clad NBA players. I’m currently up 35 of them”
    – Should be “up to 35 of them”

    “I always find something oddly reassuring and endearing about slightly registration errors”
    – Should be “slight registration errors”

    “Should come in hand for future backyard gatherings.”
    – Should be “handy”

    Tray typo…it should come in handy in the backyard…not “come in hand.”

    Anyway, interesting gift shop find. It was nice of your friend to pick you up a random gift.

    Happy Birthday kitties.

    I’m from Massachusetts, and I don’t think North Middlesex is going out of their way for patriotism. Their mascot has always been the Patriots, and their colors have always been red/white/blue. So it’s not a forced patriotism/GI-Joe type deal.

    “Are they supposed to tell each other appart from the uni numbers?”
    – Should be “apppart”
    – Kidding, at this point I feel like I’m on a deadline. :)

    We used to have a Happy Steak by us. We ate there almost every Friday. The golden spud was indeed covered with golden foil. When they closed we switched to Burger Pit and my mom always hated how their bake potatoes looked without foil.

    What is the golden spud holding above his head? Another spud? Looks like he’s about to spike a football.

    perhaps is he doing that self congratulatory hand clasp where you shake your clasped hands on either side of your head? Like the Little Rascals always seemed to do.

    What would you call that gesture?

    The UK football stadium will now be known as “Kroger Field”. First name change… Sad to lose another one to corporate ads.

    I have my own sports(ish)-related lost tooth story. When I was about 9, I was riding my bike in the neighborhood with a couple of friends. We rode down a hill and then made a left turn onto the street where I lived. As we were making the turn, one of my friends who was not on a bike decided that those of us who were riding were in a race, and since I “won” she threw something that accidently got caught in the spokes of my front tire and I went headfirst over the handlebars. This was way before the days of helmets, so in a way it may actually have been good that I hit my mouth and not my forehead. Anyway – knocked out one tooth that was temporarily reinserted, but I broke the root of another tooth that had to be removed. In the following years I’ve had to have a fake tooth, crowns, braces and a bridge.

    It’s been more than 40 years and I’m almost ready to forgive that idiot friend of mine.

    RE: Happy Steak tray … it looks to me the H is made up of two potatoes, in profile, kissing. Each half has one eye and half a smile (or a full smile, since they are in profile).

    It is curious to me, though, why a steak place promotes potatoes so much …

    I think it’s a little more complex: like the ornate vase that’s also two profiles, the “happy H” can be two in profile kissing, or a straight on view of a single person with a slightly cockeyed smile–something that might result from having a truly delicious spud!

    Man, that Happy Steak tray is awesome. Now I want one. Maybe not Happy steak specifically, but something old & retro like that.
    That would work well for my lifestyle (eating all my home meals in my living room).


    My son wore a mouthpiece while playing hoops because he was a post and had braces. Other kids I have watched or coached with braces, do the same thing. Hard for the point guards to call out signals with the piece in, but better than getting their mouth bloody from an elbow or diving for a loose ball. Braces aren’t cheap

    Grew up in California myself. We had a Happy Steak in my hometown (Tulare)…home of Bob Mathias…the restaurant also would provide plastic cow themed/shaped toothpicks in the customer’s steak order they brought out designating how the meat was cooked…medium..rare..etc. Great place!

    the restaurant also would provide plastic cow themed/shaped toothpicks in the customer’s steak order they brought out designating how the meat was cooked…

    I love those — but just to be clear, there are literally hundreds of steakhouses that use them. It’s not unique to Happy Steak.

    I feel for IT. I’ve chipped over half the tooth in the same front position three times. First time, about age 3, I lived with until it fell out naturally in grade school. In 6th or 7th grade, running in a gym, turned around to look behind me, slipped, there goes more than half the adult tooth. Couple years later, swimming in a public pool, too close to the bottom, knocked that crown out. Fortunately that one’s held for going on 20 years now, though I can’t recall the last time I bit into an apple with both my front teeth.

    It’s posts like this that keep me coming back to this site. A little bit uni-related and a whole bunch of other things.

    Late getting here today, but just wanted to point out that Billy Joe never played in the NFL — he was AFL all the way, playing his last game in the last pre-merger year of 1969.

    Mouth guards in basketball-My 12 year old plays in an AAU league where while the players aren’t mandated to have them, if they choose to use them they are required to have them in their mouth during game play. No leaving them half out of their mouth. Odd rule.

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