I recently heard from a source I trust, who had some interesting information about how the NBA’s Adidas-to-Nike changeover will affect the referees and the referees’ uniforms. Here’s what he had to say:
I was speaking to an NBA official and asked him/her several questions about uniforms and referee numbers. I will use male pronouns here, even though the NBA officiating corps includes Lauren Holtkamp.
In no particular order:
1) I asked the official about the changeover from Adidas to Nike and he was very excited about it. He said he has not seen the new uniforms but that Nike will provide them with the jersey and their pants. In the past, Adidas gave them the jersey but the officials were responsible for getting their own pants (often from Smitty’s or Honig’s). The pants had to be flat-front with western-cut pockets. The official said that the new pants will have the Nike logo on them, perhaps on the front of the hip. [The current pants do not have a maker’s mark. — PL]
2) Nike will also provide the officials with undergarments — compression shirts, compression shorts, socks, etc. Adidas has not provided these. The officials will not be required to wear the Nike base layers under their uniforms, but they can if they want to without having to buy their own. The official I spoke with said they will also be given a discount to buy other merch at the Nike headquarters.
3) Apparently there are a few unwritten rules when it comes to the system used for the officials’ uniform numbers:
• When officials make it onto the full-time staff, they are assigned a number without any choice. For example, if three spots are open, then the three new officials will be assigned the three open numbers in alphabetical order.
• If a number becomes available, other officials can request to change to that open number. In the case of multiple requests for the same number, the official with the most seniority will get the number.
• There is no set rule on this, but the lower numbers tend to be “reserved” for the veteran officials. It’s considered bad form for a young official to request a low number, because it gives off a sense of arrogance and not knowing one’s place. At the same time, however, there are some veteran officials who choose to stay with the high numbers they were assigned when they started.
• This was the first season after the legendary Joey Crawford retired. His No. 17 was left unused as a gesture of respect. The official I spoke to said that if someone requests 17, he thinks the league will ask Joey for his approval.
4) I didn’t completely understand all the specifics on this, but the official I spoke with said there’s no way that all the officials would be able to wear the same brand of shoe. Everyone’s feet are different and the officials do so much running that shoes are critical to their health and well-being, so shoes end up being a very personalized choice.
All very interesting. Disappointing to hear that logo creep will be extending to the refs’ pants, but at least the refs won’t be wearing corporate advertising patches like the players will. Actually, that raises a good point: Are there any sports/leagues where the officials wear advertising?
Update: A few minutes after today’s entry was posted, I received this tweet (and there are additional examples showing up in today’s comments):
— E P Conrad ðŸšŒ (@altimetr) May 4, 2017
LAST CALL for the bowling shirt tee: Today is the last day to order our awesome bowling shirt-themed T-shirt, designed by the great Scott M.X. Turner. I won’t belabor the point with lots of text or images here — you know what to do.
Meanwhile, I’ve created a new page that lists and summarizes all of our various merchandise projects — the shirts, the socks, the mugs, the wristwatches, the works. Check that out here. The “Merchandise” tab on the site’s menu bar will now link to that page.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The Big Red Machine had radially arched NOBs, but statues at the Reds Hall of Fame show some players with vertically arched names (from Brice Wallace). … The Chicago Fire’s Bastian Schweinsteiger’s appeared at Wrigley Field the other night, and the Cubs managed to fit his 14-letter surname a jersey by using smaller-than-usual NOB lettering. The White Sox did the same thing in March (from @NotHotTakes). … OF Josh Reddick bought his clubhouse an Astros title belt, which will be awarded to the player of the game each night. … The Biloxi Shuckers will wear puzzle piece jerseys in July to support a local autism support facility (from Zach Loesl). … Yankees DH Matt Holliday has been wearing one batting glove. That style used to be common decades ago, but in recent years only one player has done it regularly: Giants OF Hunter Pence. … Several readers have noted that the Yankees appear to have uni number stickers on their cap underbrims this season. “That makes sense to me, because you could write your number in black sharpie back when the underbrims were green or grey, but you can’t do that with the current black underbrims,” says Doug Robb.
Pro Football News: Several Ravens players have changed their jersey numbers (from Andrew Cosentino). … New number assignments for Titans rookies, too (from Eric Wright). … The widow of former Chargers lineman Terry Owens asked Gene Sanny to draw a portrait of him. Owens died of CTE in 2012. … In 1978, Calgary Stampeders receiver Willie Armstead had his TV numbers below his sleeve stripes, unlike the rest of his teammates (from Johnny Garfield).
College Football News: This Eastern Kentucky helmet has the school’s “E” logo sculpted into the facemask (from @ACC_Tracker). … Dreamstyle Remodeling bought the naming rights to the University of New Mexico’s football and basketball venues. University Stadium will be known as Dreamstyle Stadium, and The Pit will now be Dreamstyle Arena (from Joel Mathwig). … Auburn blogger Clint Richardson has some thoughts on whether the team will be wearing a 125th-anniversary patch this season.
Hockey News: The Penguins called up G Sean Maguire from the AHL for Game 4 last night. As you can see toward the bottom of this listing, they gave him No. 0 — the first such number assignment in team history — but he was a healthy scratch (from @redbuppy). … Penguins G Marc-Andre Fleury has a mask with some of his favorite teammates’ names on it. Earlier this season he wrote in the name of Matt Niskanen, who played with Pittsburgh from 2010 to 2014 but now plays with the Capitals. As you may know, the other night in Game 3 of the Penguins-Caps series, Niskanen knocked Sidney Crosby out of the game (and maybe the playoffs), delivering a cross-check that gave Crosby a concussion. In response, Fleury taped over Niskanen’s name (from Rick Chaus). … One more Penguins item: The team’s helmet numbers don’t match the font of the jersey numbers. … The Hearst Lumberjacks, a new junior hockey team, designed their logo to look like Claude Giroux, who grew up in the town (from Chris Ashworth).
NBA News: The Pistons are continuing to tease their yet-to-be-released retro-themed logo. The team indicated that they may have new logos for next season, when they move to downtown Detroit (from Conrad Burry).
College Hoops News: Xavier will introduce a new court design next season. The previous one had a silhouette of the Cincinnati skyline along the sideline (from Kevin Hastings). … Nike revealed the new University of Michigan Jordan V “Fab Five” retro sneakers (from Jorge Cruz).
Soccer News: Atletico wore black against Real Madrid the other day. They were told they couldn’t wear their usual red-and-white, even though they wore the unis against Real Madrid in two Champions League finals (from Rod Dunn). … New uniforms and advertiser for Lansing United of the NPSL (from Ed Å»elaski”). … Also from Ed: Hertha BSC is letting fans vote on the design for the team’s 125th-anniversary jersey. … Rafters FC of the NPSL will wear home building jerseys next Wednesday (from Phil).
Grab Bag: A Brazilian photographer is trying to create a “human Pantone” project by documenting every skin color in the world (from David Sonny). … In addition to the singlet, high school wrestlers will now have the option of wearing a two-piece uniform consisting of a compression shirt and shorts (from Sam Riesen). … The hockey-themed rock band the Zambonis are teaming up with the baseball-themed rock band Vista Blue to raising funds to create a split 7″ single featuring each band doing a new song about curling. … Here are the logo changes of 10 Milwaukee institutions from over the years.