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MLB to Let Inmates Run Asylum for ‘Players Weekend’

Padres manager Andy Green hinted last week that the team might soon be experimenting with nickNOBs. Turns out it’s an MLB thing, not a Padres thing, and it’s part of a three-day promotion that will also involve a crazy quilt of colored shoes and other accessories, along with jersey patches saluting formative influences in the players’ lives.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports broke the story last night. Here are the key bits:

The event, called Players Weekend, is planned for Aug. 25-27 and was negotiated between the league and MLB Players Association. Players long have sought to express their personal style on the field and capitalize on the intersection of fashion and sports in a way other leagues don’t allow, and the result will be a test of boundaries baseball may be inclined to stretch in the future depending on the weekend’s success.

Players will have the option to wear a jersey with a nickname — though they are limited to just one, according to the memo, and “inappropriate or offensive” nicknames will be banned.

The items with minimal color restrictions include spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, and catcher’s masks. The colors, according to the memo, must avoid interfering with the game and an umpire’s ability to make a call. White gloves, wristbands and sleeves are prohibited.

Each jersey will feature a patch with space for a player to personalize it by “writing the name of an individual or organization that was instrumental to his development,” according to the memo.

A few thoughts:

•  This seems rather transparently modeled on the NFL’s 2016 move to allow custom-painted shoes for one weekend last season, although that promotion was limited to footwear and tied to charity. For better or worse, the leagues are letting players exercise a bit more personal style.

•  The program also echoes the NBA’s move to allow nickNOBs for a few select games during the 2013-14 season.

•  NickNOBs, of course, are not new to MLB. A scattering of players wore them in the 1960s and early ’70s (mostly for the A’s, but not exclusively), and the 1976 Braves took the concept about as far as it can go. It’s funny that the prime movers behind those initiatives — Charlie Finley and Ted Turner — were considered renegade owners at the time. The world has finally caught up with them.

•  Speaking of the Braves, infielder Johan Camargo currently wears No. 17. He wasn’t born yet in 1976 and has probably never heard of Andy Messersmith, but there’s really only one possible nickNOB for him to wear. Here’s hoping the Braves make it so.

•  Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will presumably wear “Thor” (well, assuming he’s off the DL by late August, which is not a sure thing). If the Mets are smart, they’ll have former Twins pitcher Paul Thormodsgard on hand for some sort of photo op, because he wore that same nickNOB back in the late 1970s.

•  I’m not necessarily opposed to nickNOBs. But like so many other initiatives these days, this one feels like it’s following the rule that states, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Is it really necessary to stretch this out over a three-day weekend? Also, does it really make sense to mix the “personal style” thing with the “formative influences” thing? Or to put it another way, if you’re writing the name of an important person from your past onto a jersey patch, is that person really going to feel honored if you’re wearing orange shoes, a plaid compression sleeve, polka dot socks, neon batting gloves, and a goofy name on your back? Maybe. But it doesn’t seem like the best fit.

•  What exactly are the Yankees going to do about the nickNOBs? Or about all the other flair?

•  While we’re at it: The Red Sox, who go NNOB at home, have a weekend series at Fenway on Aug. 25-27. Will they add nickNOBs or will they stick with their standard home jerseys? (The Giants also go NNOB at home, but they’ll be on the road that weekend.)

•  Timing is everything: The just-announced fight between boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA champ Conor McGregor will be taking place on Aug. 26, so that may suck up a lot of the sports oxygen that weekend.

•  I find it hilarious that the promotion is called “Players Weekend.” Come on, now — when you’re paid millions of dollars to play a game, every weekend is players weekend, no? Reminds me of this Peanuts panel. (And yes, this is the second time in the past two weeks that I’ve referenced Peanuts. I guess it made a big impression on me when I was growing up.)

Anyway: This promotion is still more than two months away, so there’s plenty of time for the Earth to be hit by an asteroid by then it’ll be interesting to see how the nickNOBs develop during that time.

•  •  •  •  •

A very nice gesture: In the wake of yesterday’s alarming shooting of Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, which took place during a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game, an excellent uni-related response has emerged.

First, some quick background: Players in the Congressional ballgame usually wear the uniforms of teams from their home district or state. (Former Congressman Ron Paul, who represented a district in Texas, went so far as to go tequila sunrise with FNOB [too bad about the two-in-ones, though].) In Scalise’s case, he was known for wearing LSU uniforms.

And now it turns out that both teams — Republicans and Democrats — will honor Scalise by wearing LSU unis for this year’s game, which will go on as scheduled today.

Although I doubt they planned it this way, all that LSU purple will be doubly appropriate, because purple has become the color of nonpartisanship — a mix of Republican red and Democratic blue. So the implicit chromatic message, intentional or not, will be, “We’re all in this together,” which is something Washington could surely use more of.

Update: Reader/commenter Dane Drutis points out that there won’t be that much purple after all. According to the linked article, they’ll be wearing LSU T-shirts for the game, and “Republicans will wear black, Democrats white.” I’m thinking there’ll still be purple graphics, though.

•  •  •  •  •

But it’s a dry heat: The NHL and Adidas will be unveiling their new uniforms next Tuesday in Las Vegas. I’ll be heading out there to cover the event in person, and I’m thrilled, just thrilled, by the weather forecast for the three days I’ll be Sin City:

That’s something, eh? I’ve experienced 100-degree heat before, but not 110, and definitely not 116. The whole idea of it is upsetting. I mean, people (and most other living things) aren’t supposed to be exposed to that, right? I’ll be indoors most of the time, of course, but still. And what if the power grid goes down? What if they shut down the airport and I’m stuck there? (Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad, because the temperature’s slated to down to only 112 a few days later. Downright chilly!)

”¨There’s something really perfect about all of this happening as part of a hockey event. Sure, the NHL in the desert on the summer solstice — what could possibly go wrong?

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jersey contest - fauxback

Contest and Father’s Day reminders: Phil here. In case you missed it last weekend, I announced our latest jersey design contest (design a fauxback jersey for a team born 1990 or later). If you have any questions about whether a team you’d like to design meets the parameters, feel free to shoot me an email. Deadline is next Tuesday, June 20.

dads in unis

Also, Sunday is Father’s Day, and I’ll be continuing my annual tradition of posting photos of “Dads In Uniform.” It’s something I began doing in 2013, and continued in 2014, 2015, and again last year, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going strong.

If you’d like to have a photo of your dad (or granddad!) featured this Sunday, please send me an email along with a photo (just one, please) and description. I’ll run all submissions this Sunday.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Padres wore their splendid 1990s throwbacks yesterday, which were even better without the New Era logos on the caps. The Padres also used retro graphics on their scoreboard (from several readers, including @chrisinleucadia and Brandon Wright). … Gabriel Luis Manga designed a cap that combines two similarly named New York institutions: the Mets and the Met. “The woman who designed the new Met museum logo even found me and bought two of them,” he says. … The Fresno Grizzlies will wear Simpsons-themed jerseys on June 29 against the Albuquerque Isotopes, a team that took its name from a Simpsons episode. … A little tough to see, but vendors at Minute Maid Park wear Astros tequila sunrise throwbacks (from Rob Snyder).

NFL News: Jeremy Maclin will wear No. 18 for the Ravens. He wore 19 with the Chiefs, but that number is retired in Baltimore for Johnny Unitas — which is a little weird, since Unitas played for the Colts, not the Ravens, but anything Colts-related is still a loaded topic in Baltimore (from Andrew Cosentino). … Odell Beckham Jr. wore cleats with the logos of ESPN, TMZ, and the New York Post crossed out. The media had made a big deal this offseason about the WR skipping the Giants’ voluntary OTAs. … It seems that the Bengals are changing the collar color on their black jerseys to solid orange. You have to click on the second photo to see beyond the Twitter default cropping.

College Football News: Michigan State will wear all-white, including white helmets, for a Sept. 9 home game against Western Michigan. As @broc1984 notes, the helmet decal has a sublimated Greek key meander pattern on it. The Spartans last wore white helmets in 1954. … On a related note, here is a collection of the best Michigan State uni combos since 2007, and the worst Spartans uniforms since 2000 (from Phil). … The LA Coliseum, home to USC and the Rams, added new video boards (from Phil).

Hockey News: Team USA will wear Buffalo Bills-styled jerseys against Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championship, which will be played at New Era Field in Buffalo in late December. Here’s an illustration of the jerseys. As Paul notes, the jersey’s collar style doesn’t match the Bills’ new collar. … The Kootenay Ice revealed their new uniforms (from Brad McLeod). … When a ring on the Stanley Cup gets full, it gets removed and sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame and another fresh ring is added. If all the rings had been left in place, the Cup would be more than six feet tall (from James Gilbert).

NBA News: The Clippers are expected to announce plans for a new arena in Inglewood today. It will be financed entirely by team owner Steve Ballmer. … A Detroit ice cream truck has a logo that’s based on the Pistons logo (from @RickyH174). … High-top basketball shoes are fading away. For years it was believed that they better prevented ankle injuries, but players such as Kobe Bryant prefer lightweight soccer-inspired low-top sneakers that make it easier to cut, change directions, and start and stop (from Tommy Turner). … We’ve seen this before, but the Lakers had a lot of problems with mismatched shades of purple back in the day. In addition to the jerseys not always matching each other, they often didn’t match the shorts.

Soccer News: Here’s a look at every new kit in the Premier League for the upcoming season (from Josh Hinton). … New font for Real Madrid. … New third kit for Borussia Dortmund.

Grab Bag: Root Sports will become the AT&T Sports Network, and adopt the familiar AT&T ball logo. [No plans for an “I Still Call It Root Sports” shirt. ”” PL] … Here’s everything that goes into how logos are selected, arranged, and priced on those big blue lodging, food, and gas signs that you see along the Interstates (from Joel Mathwig). … New uniforms for the Boston Crusaders drum and bugle corps. This promotional video shows more (from Don Martinez). … A handful of amateur vexillologists redesigned San Francisco’s flag. Some critics think the city’s current flag is unattractive. Consider this a mini-Question of the Week: What’s your favorite, and least favorite, city flag in the U.S.? (Thanks to Joshua Tretakoff for the San Francisco link.)

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Special thanks to Ken Weimer. He knows why. Enjoy your vacation, Ken!

119 comments to MLB to Let Inmates Run Asylum for ‘Players Weekend’

  • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 8:25 am |

    mQotW:
    Best – Chicago and it isn’t close
    Worst – Seattle, but there are lots of other options

    • arrScott | June 15, 2017 at 10:44 am |

      Yes, Chicago, but DC is very, very close. There are a handful of city flags that almost give Chicago and DC a run for their money. Quebec (la ville, not the province) and Ottawa in Canada, for example.

      Worst: Provo, Pocatello, and Milwaukee. Milwaukee is bad in a way that almost stumbles into accidental goodness, but Provo and Pocatello are just godawful in every way.

      • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 11:39 am |

        . . . but Seattle’s flag bears a slogan for a commercial event contemporaneous with the flag’s issuance: Ted Turner’s “Goodwill Games”. Even if one admired Turner’s Olympic knock-off, using a municipal flag to promote a commercial endeavor has to be a giant demerit.

        • R.S. Rogers | June 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm |

          Seattle: The text is almost invisibly small, and so doesn’t distract me from an otherwise reasonably-well-designed C-plus of a civic flag. If it’s a demerit – and I don’t think it’s plausibly arguable that anyone seeing the Seattle flag for the first time make any connection to the 1990 iteration of a defunct sporting event – then it’s a tiny demerit in this instance. Literally tiny, as in so small that it’s almost impossible to read.

          Tampa: I had no idea. Wow. Like Milwaukee, that almost verges into so-bad-it’s-good territory. I’m not sure if the green B-2 Spirit bomber at the fly is the best or the worst part of the design. Best: Tampa is home to Central Command. Worst: But B-2s actually fly out of Missouri. And is Tampa really awarding itself the Vietnam Service Medal?

          Provo: I keep forgetting that Provo adopted a new city flag in 2015 that’s a vast improvement over what was once possibly history’s ugliest flag.

      • duker | June 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm |

        Provo redesigned their flag. It’s still not great, but a hell of a lot better than the original that looked like Power Point WordArt.

        • BvK1126 | June 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm |

          You beat me to it, duker. Glad to see that our opinions align, though.

      • BvK1126 | June 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm |

        Provo has a new flag . I’d say the new one, while not great, is a significant improvement over the old one.

  • patrick | June 15, 2017 at 8:38 am |

    I’m a homer, but the St. Louis flag (http://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2014/02/03/happy-50th-birthday-st-louis-city-flag) has always been an example of a great design to me. Chicago as well of course. I’ve always had the thought in the back of my head to get a flag tattoo for the three places I’ve lived: StL, Chicago, and Austin; but Austin doesn’t have a city flag, and I can’t bring myself to get the Texas flag as a substitute.

  • JohnMark | June 15, 2017 at 8:48 am |

    FLAGS – As a Wisconsin native, I’ve always been jealous of the brilliance that is the Chicago flag while beyond embarrassed about the Milwaukee flag. The “People’s Flag of Milwaukee” https://milwaukeeflag.com/ is a step in the right direction, but there doesn’t seem to be any push to make it official… sad. Living in DC now, I’m pretty pleased with that one as well.

    TLDR: CHICAGO >>>>> MILWAUKEE

    • Paul Lukas | June 15, 2017 at 8:50 am |

      If there’s one thing today’s comments are proving (at least so far), it’s that people read all the way thru to the very end of the Ticker!

    • Kyle | June 15, 2017 at 9:13 am |

      That People’s Flag of Milwaukee is gorgeous.

    • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm |

      I thought I read that Mayor Barrett has been considering a push to adopt the People’s flag. Frankly, it’s in the hand of supporters. The more they can get it flown around town, and adopted as a symbol of the city, the more likely it is that politicians will make it official.

      And yeah, the winner was good. I submitted designs, and one of mine was chosen as a semi-finalist, but I do think they made a good choice.

      • Thomas S. | June 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm |

        Your Calatrava flag grabbed me instantly. It literally screams, “Milwaukee!” The visual image is as iconic as St. Louis’ Gateway Arch (why they allowed a computer manufacturer to purchase the naming rights is beyond me), and the light blue fading into white evokes Lake Michigan and the nautical horizon.

        The gear against the dark blue/yellow gold background is a spectacular symbol as well.

        In short, Chance, you done yourself proud.

    • Chris | June 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm |

      Man I was so excited that we might get a new flag to represent Milwaukee. But honestly I think there were many flags submitted that were better than the eventual winner. See the designs by chance above for example. IMO the winner looks too much like a corporate logo and could easily be the symbol of a cheap hotel chain =X. I also don’t see it being adopted as official. In fact I don’t see it around town much at all.

  • K Hughes | June 15, 2017 at 8:54 am |

    If Montreal returns to MLB, can they be called the Expos? The Nationals category leaders include players who were exclusively Expos. I think that’s bad for both teams. I would hope the Expos name and uniforms would return. (And Mascot!) No love for that stadium, though.

    • Rob S | June 15, 2017 at 10:07 am |

      We already have a situation like that with the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets.

  • Mark Graban | June 15, 2017 at 8:58 am |

    Good luck with the Vegas heat, Paul. The casinos really don’t want anyone to go outside anyway. When I lived in Phoenix, 110F was about the cutoff when it was unbearably hot…

  • JoeUser | June 15, 2017 at 9:04 am |

    Denver’s flag is pretty cool…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Denver

  • Rob S | June 15, 2017 at 9:05 am |

    Considering that with both redesigns of the Stanley Cup, the winning teams on the rings that were replaced had their names re-inscribed on the new version, the “unabridged” Cup would be duplicating over 30 winning teams, with about 20 of them being duplicated twice!

    • Meef | June 16, 2017 at 10:29 am |

      I’d like to see the Hockey Hall of Fame display a “complete” Stanley Cup in Toronto. Just something in the lobby for people to gawk at when they come in.

  • Jerry | June 15, 2017 at 9:06 am |

    Thanks for the link on how the Isotopes got their name, now I will be reading about how some other teams got their name, the rest of the morning.

  • Dane | June 15, 2017 at 9:17 am |

    According to the article about the Congressional Baseball game, it won’t be a purple-fest. They are getting LSU baseball T-shirts, and “Republicans will wear black, Democrats white.”

    Here’s hoping for a full recovery to everyone affected by Wednesday’s attack.

    • Paul Lukas | June 15, 2017 at 9:26 am |

      Good catch. I’ll add that to the text.

  • Rich P | June 15, 2017 at 9:20 am |

    If you’re in Vegas when it’s that hot, I’d suggest not doing anything exerting. If you’re just walking from casino to casino, 110 will feel like 85-90 with humidity back East. Luckily everything’s air-conditioned out there.

    • Paul Lukas | June 15, 2017 at 9:27 am |

      I’m actually taking an outdoor tour of the Neon Sign Museum on Tuesday morning, 9:20am. Hopefully it’ll “only” be about 95 then.

      • Eric | June 15, 2017 at 10:12 am |

        Agree with Rich and was going to say the same thing – 110+ feels like a typical humid, 85-90 degree Brooklyn day. It’s not as horrible as it sounds.

      • jacket18 | June 15, 2017 at 10:54 am |

        If you have time, check out the Pinball Hall of Fame, too. It’s free admission, all the games work, and money to play the machines gets donated to the Salvation Army. They have some really cool stuff there.

        http://www.pinballmuseum.org/

      • Wafflebored | June 15, 2017 at 11:05 am |

        Hope you do a piece on your visit there.

      • mark | June 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm |

        The Neon Museum is pretty cool, and right up your ally. At that time of the morning the heat won’t be too bad and the lack of humidity does make a difference. Later in the day when we hit 110+ you’ll probably be praying for death. There is no such thing as a dry heat when it gets that hot. Every summer in Vegas I ask myself why humans ever thought it was a good idea to live here.

      • Dave Scocca | June 16, 2017 at 12:48 pm |

        If you have an interest in non-sports uniforms and insignia, there’s an amazing Scout museum in Las Vegas:

        http://www.worldscoutingmuseum.org/

    • Adam N. | June 15, 2017 at 10:22 am |

      I’ve lived in the midwest my whole life. My first time in Vegas (about 6 years ago), it was 110+ all 5 days we were there. I honestly would take 110 of dry Vegas heat over 90 and humid in the midwest.
      It didn’t get bad until the humidity picked up on our 4th day out there. We made the stupid mistake of walking from one end of the strip to the other and almost passed out – I think my wife and I each drank a gallon of water when we got to our restaurant and we waited about 20 minutes before we could even think about ordering food.

  • Mike Chamernik | June 15, 2017 at 9:25 am |

    My vote for best city flag goes to Ocean City, Md. Check it out:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Flag_of_Ocean_City.svg/1280px-Flag_of_Ocean_City.svg.png

    It’s fantastic! Simplistic with a retro vibe, and the city’s initials look like waves.

    • Tom | June 15, 2017 at 9:39 am |

      Quirky and better than flags that are simply a seal on a blue background, but looks to me like it is representing a shopping mall.

  • Block "O Canada" | June 15, 2017 at 9:25 am |

    Proofreading:
    “(mostly for the A’s,”
    – That link goes to a Cleveland player

    “because the temperature’s slated to down to”
    – “go” down to

  • Matt | June 15, 2017 at 9:26 am |

    The 90s Padres uniforms are probably my favorite of theirs. The burnt orange makes a nice accent color with the Navy.

  • Another Josh | June 15, 2017 at 9:28 am |

    The Washington, DC flag is also nice, though it looked better as George Washington’s coat of arms. And there is the nitpicky issue of if it is a city flag or a district flag. Thankfully the former mayor never signed the legislation that would have ruined it with a slogan. But as a former resident of Chicago, the two colors and 6 point stars are nicer.

    Apparently in 2004, the North American Vexillological Association published a survey of city flags. https://nava.org/digital-library/design/surveys/2004-American-City%2520Flags-Survey.pdf

    • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm |

      “And there is the nitpicky issue of if it is a city flag or a district flag.”

      Is there a difference worth the distinction? Washington is its own special animal.

  • Greg | June 15, 2017 at 9:33 am |

    This nickname initiative feels totally forced, and its not fun like it was in the spirit of Pistol Pete Maravich or Catfish Hunter. Those nicknames were organic and grew to the level that it made sense for them to be on a jersey. Lately nicknames just seem more like a marketing gimmick, ways to be cool and sell yourself. I mean, there is nothing intrinsically cool about the name Catfish, it just sounds like one of those things you call your friends that come from a good story. And really, if you pick or push your own nickname is seems incredibly manufactured.

    • Tom | June 15, 2017 at 9:42 am |

      Funny that. Per the Wiki entry on Hunter, Charlie Finley gave him the nickname as a gimmick.

      “Finley gave Hunter the nickname “Catfish” in 1965 because he thought his 19-year-old pitcher needed a flashy nickname.”

      • Greg | June 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm |

        Wow, never knew that! I always assumed with a name like Catfish there was some odd story behind it, or some old school baseball writer that just came up with it for reasons that don’t make sense to anyone under 70 years old.

  • Tom | June 15, 2017 at 9:33 am |

    Chicago, St. Louis, and Portland each have great city flags.

  • Bob | June 15, 2017 at 9:35 am |

    “Odell Beckham Jr. wore cleats with the logos of ESPN, TMZ, and the New York Post crossed out.”

    Yeah, that will show them. He’s an embarrassment to my alma mater.

  • Kevin | June 15, 2017 at 9:38 am |

    Big fan of the Indianapolis Flag which represents the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in the heart of downtown Indy.

    • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 10:51 am |

      I’ll take that as a nominee for “worst”

  • Steve Haller | June 15, 2017 at 9:55 am |

    Worst city flag: Columbus, Ohio

  • Noah W. | June 15, 2017 at 9:58 am |

    mQotW:

    Best: Chicago’s has already been mentioned, as has Portland’s, but I’m a big fan of the Des Moines flag as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Des_Moines,_Iowa#/media/File:Flag_of_Des_Moines,_Iowa.svg

    Worst: There are some really bad ones. The former flag of Provo is one of my favorite terrible flags: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/20/Flag_of_Provo%2C_Utah_%281985-2015%29.svg/2000px-Flag_of_Provo%2C_Utah_%281985-2015%29.svg.png
    in addition, the flag of Pocatello, Idaho: http://99percentinvisible.org/app/uploads/2016/02/pocatello-proud-to-be.jpg

  • Mainspark | June 15, 2017 at 10:00 am |
    • David Hall | June 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm |

      It’s great, but I’m conflicted about the seal being inside the C. I don’t think it adds anything.

      • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm |

        Agreed, especially with the motto.

  • Mainspark | June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am |

    Oh and Paul, take a sweatshirt to Vegas. As hot as it will be outside, the hotels/casinos are always cold, particularly when you come in from the outside.

  • Andrew Ross | June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am |

    Chicago, DC and Los Angeles all have great flags. One that probably no one else is going to bring up is Rockville, Maryland.

    • Chris Weber | June 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm |

      I have to admit, and am embarrassed to say, that even though I grew up in Los Angeles, I never paid any attention to our city’s flag. I only vividly remember the state flag; fact is, you could have put LA’s flag in a multiple choice question, and I’d have had a hard time guessing the correct answer. Strange, since it’s actually a nice flag design.

      -C.

      BTW: surprised at the lack of love for Pittsburgh’s flag. I’ve always liked it.

    • M. Stipe | June 16, 2017 at 7:21 am |

      Don’t go back to Rockville.

  • JAson | June 15, 2017 at 10:50 am |

    I wonder if this MLB influencer patch will end up on the Mother’s & Father’s Day jerseys. That seems to make the most sense.

    I could also see it being used as part of their Stand Up to Cancer program, where the players wear a patch with someone’s name.

  • Dan T. | June 15, 2017 at 10:51 am |

    At the risk of sounding like an old fart, two objections to MLB allowing nicknames on jerseys, even for a weekend:

    1. Allowing players to show “personal style” defeats the whole idea of a uniform.

    2. The XFL was the first pro league to allow players to choose any name or nickname they wanted, and a good general rule is to avoid doing anything the XFL did.

    Also, no discussion of nicknames on uniforms is complete without a mention of Ted Turner’s infamous “Channel 17” ploy, where Turner assigned Andy Messersmidt the nickname “Channel” and the number 17, which also happened to be the channel that Ted’s local TV station appeared on at the time.

    • Dan T. | June 15, 2017 at 10:55 am |

      And of course I totally missed that Paul did in fact mention Channel 17. My bad!

    • Brian | June 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm |

      “2. The XFL was the first pro league to allow players to choose any name or nickname they wanted, and a good general rule is to avoid doing anything the XFL did.”

      Interesting wording, considering the NFL has take and used with great success a great of things from the XFL relating to cameras, filming techiniques, and production.

      In any case, I agree that MLB doing this “player’s weekend” is a horrible idea.

      • Dan T. | June 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm |

        There is some truth to that, although I was talking more about the XFL’s on-field and rules “innovations” rather than NBC’s TV production elements.

    • Scott | June 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm |

      > 2. The XFL was the first pro league to allow players to choose any name or nickname they > wanted, and a good general rule is to avoid doing anything the XFL did.

      Oooh, wonder if someone will use “He Hate Me”…

  • arrScott | June 15, 2017 at 10:51 am |

    Madison, WI has a solid city flag, but it’s lately coming under heat for “cultural appropriation” for the use of a Southwestern indigenous symbol:

    http://isthmus.com/news/news/is-madisons-flag-offensive/

    While I am not persuaded by the “cultural appropriation” claims in this instance, the yellow sun symbol is the weakest element of the flag, and the design would be improved if it were removed or changed to reflect a more locally relevant image.

    • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm |

      You don’t need the sun symbol at all – the black cross works just fine.

      I love Madison’s flag, and am glad that it’s seeing a resurgence these days. It’s rather literal but still very poetic.

    • Special K | June 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm |

      Interesting that the Zia Pueblo sun symbol is used on several flags that have been mentioned. In addition to the state of New Mexico and the city of Madison, it is used on the flags for Wichita, Roswell, and Albuquerque.

  • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 10:52 am |

    While it’s a snappy motto, I’m just not a fan of words on flags

    • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 10:53 am |

      This was meant to be a response to the nomination of Cincinnati.

      • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm |

        You’re not wrong about the words, though.

  • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 10:59 am |

    Depending on how far down the list of “city” we’re willing to go, there are a couple of minor city flags worthy of note too.

    On the good side, Wichita (it’s hard to spell that correctly).

    On the other side. Yikes. Wordy, depiction of a particular individual, a map, bizarre color scheme and way too busy.

  • Mary | June 15, 2017 at 11:01 am |

    1. Never thought I’d look back on the 1998 Padres uniforms with nostalgia, but I do after 20 years of BORING unis. I’d rather see brown/something, but this is better than their regular duds.
    2. Incement weather closes the airport in LV sooner than anywhere I know of. My husband was flying back from Vegas after a conference when they closed the airport for ‘fog.’ The ‘fog’ was clouds higher than the tops of the high-rise casinos. My Colorado-native husband couldn’t believe it. He got home about 3 hours late.

  • JohnBoySlim | June 15, 2017 at 11:11 am |

    Bonus points for the vexilology call out!

  • Lee | June 15, 2017 at 11:31 am |

    Can’t wait for Noah Syndergaard to announce his jersey will have “Thor” as his nickname, only to have Marvel object on legal grounds of some sort.

    Gee, this is going to be fun!

    Lee

  • KW | June 15, 2017 at 11:39 am |

    Thanks for the note. Vacation will be enjoyed!

  • CheezBleeder | June 15, 2017 at 11:44 am |
    • Chris Weber | June 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm |

      … surprised that Norway never sued. ;)
      -C.

  • Nate | June 15, 2017 at 11:52 am |

    Paul, your Las Vegas forecast reminds me of this great King of the Hill bit (hopefully this Imgur link works):

    http://imgur.com/EnrWs9g

  • Ted Mark | June 15, 2017 at 11:58 am |

    When I would tell my dad how hot it was in northern Nevada during the summer he would always say, “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.” I love you, Dad, and I miss you, but dammit, when it’s 100 degrees plus it’s HOT.

    • walter | June 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm |

      Not sure of the source, but one of my favorite quips went: “The Arizona legislature voted down a bill to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a state holiday… You know, but since it’s Arizona, it’s a dry hatred.”

  • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    What exactly are the Yankees going to do about the nickNOBs? Or about all the other flair?

    Hopefully not one damn thing. There used to be a tradition of George Steinbrenner ignoring these types of events, a tradition that his sons would do well to resurrect.

  • Mike Chamernik | June 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    The only time I’ve been to Arizona was last June, when the Phoenix area had temps that got near a record-high 118 degrees. All that “dry heat” stuff… was correct! It wasn’t that bad! I went on a hike a little after sundown, when it was only 105 degrees, and I didn’t really even sweat. I’d much rather deal with a 110-degree day in Arizona than a typical muggy 95-degree summer day in Chicago.

    • R.S. Rogers | June 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm |

      First time I ever experienced 100-plus temps in “dry heat” conditions was an August day in central Texas. I sweated in the sun, but my sweat actually cooled me down and kept me comfortable. Growing up in the humid Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, I had literally never before experienced having sweat cool me down, as opposed to just making me wetter, hotter, and more miserable. I’d take 110 in the desert over 90 in any humidity.

  • David | June 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm |

    I love the various opinions here – as always! I get the meaning of the Chicago flag, but to me, it’s very bland. On the other hand, I LOVE Denver, South Bend, Roswell, Ocean City, Greenbelt, and Louisville.

    • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 1:33 pm |

      I was in New Orleans last week, and was pleased to see their flag flying everywhere. Lots of Acadiana flags too, although New Orleans isn’t technically part of that region.

  • mark | June 15, 2017 at 12:32 pm |

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reno,_Nevada

    I love Reno, but it has my vote for the most uninspired flag ever.

  • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm |

    I’d like to put in a word for the flag of NYC, which is very frustrating because it’s so close to perfect.

    I love the blue/white/orange tricolor, both simple and distinctive. It’s ruined, though, by the modified city seal at the center. Not only is the seal too complicated, but many manufacturers get it wrong and use the version of the city seal with the Latin motto.

    I would love to see New York remove the seal and just use the tricolor. New York City FC has been using a modified version of the flag as a jock tag on their jerseys, and at a distance all you see are the bands of color. Looks great.

  • mike 2 | June 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm |

    Best flag: Toronto

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Toronto_Flag.svg

    Deceptively simple design – only a few lines it manages to work in both the “T” for Toronto and an abstract representation of Toronto’s iconic city hall

    Worst: Whitesboro, NY. Everything else is a context for second-worst

    https://villagevoice.freetls.fastly.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/whitesboro-seal.jpg

    • Oakville Endive | June 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm |

      Yikes, how is the Whitesboro flag allowed in today’s world? Today’s comments makes me think there would be an audience for Sheldon Cooper’s podcasts

      Besides the Vegas uni – is there any definite major overhauls, or is it expected to be all relatively minor tweaks? Or nobody knows?

      My Vegas story, two hours north of Vegas, on a dark desert, and deserted, highway, with a cool (it was actually hot – 95) wind in my hair, with a flat tire on a car rental and having some trouble figuring out how the spare worked. A little scary.

      • Rick | June 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm |

        Whitesboro? Thought that was Pawnee Indiana.

  • Greg D | June 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm |

    Sure, I’m a homer but I have always liked Phoenix’s flag
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix,_Arizona#/media/File:Flag_of_Phoenix,_Arizona.svg
    (so did one of the San Francisco designers, apparently). And, as a Phoenix native*, while I agree that anything over 110 is just pizza oven hot, any kind of heat and humidity is sheer torture.

    *moved to Phoenix at 3 years old.

  • KW | June 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm |

    As a Phoenix resident, I am a bit amused at your “heat” comment. Sure, 110+ is really hot, but it’s not something to be scared about. When the heat cranks up, we just go inside or get in the pool. Hopefully your hotel will have one. I do take a bit of offense when people say “I mean, people (and most other living things) aren’t supposed to be exposed to that, right?”. Are you trying to imply LV or Phoenix or cities in the desert shouldn’t exist? That’s why when it gets hot, critters go find shade (or in our cases, A/C or water). However, on the other hand, are people supposed to be exposed to extreme cold and snow like the rest of the country?

  • Diego | June 15, 2017 at 1:03 pm |

    It’s funny that he said high top basketball shoes are fading due to players preferring soccer-like cuts since adidas Nike and puma have all started making high top soccer shoes now

    • Jim Vilk | June 15, 2017 at 1:36 pm |

      I stopped wearing them a long time ago…or if I bought a pair I wouldn’t lace them up all the way. In the mid 80s I read an article on Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He said he wore low tops because if you bind your ankle, the stress goes to the next available joint: the knee.

  • Jim Vilk | June 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm |

    What exactly are the Yankees going to do about the nickNOBs?
    They’ll have nickNNOBs, of course…

    vendors at Minute Maid Park wear Astros tequila sunrise throwbacks
    If I lived there that would make me want to become a vendor again.

    The Clippers are expected to announce plans for a new arena in Inglewood
    Sorry to hear it’s not in San Diego or Seattle. Also sorry I no longer need to design a shared Lakers/Clippers court. At least it’s not going to be publicly financed, so I’m glad about that.

    • Special K | June 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm |

      I find it interesting that the Clippers are planning a new arena in Inglewood, and that is also where the new Chargers/Rams stadium is being built. I’ve never been to LA, so I’m not familiar with the area. What do people who live in the area think about that? Is there something about Inglewood especially conducive to professional sports stadiums? More space to build? What is the neighborhood like? How well can their streets and infrastructure handle large crowds on a regular basis? etc.

      How accessible/easy to reach is it? It looks like it’s about 12 miles from downtown LA. I know in Chicago, a lot of people who live in the city wouldn’t enjoy having to drive that far “all the way out to the suburbs” to attend games. (I live in the suburbs, but have friends who live in the city. It’s hard getting them to come out to visit. Of course, I hate having to go into the city, so it works both ways.) I realize that Inglewood isn’t as far from LA as Anaheim (home of the “Los Angeles Angels”) is, nor as far as the “San Francisco” 49ers home stadium is to San Francisco.

      Anyway, I’m just curious.

      • Chance Michaels | June 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm |

        Well, LA is its own beast. Drive times there aren’t really applicable to anywhere else in the country.

        It’s fairly easy to reach by car – my dad is a basketball fan, and I remember going to Laker games at the Forum as a kid. Close to three interstates.

        I don’t know that there’s anything terribly special about the area sports-wise except that land used to be available there. The NFL stadium is being built on the site of an old racetrack, which was itself built in 1938 when I imagine there wasn’t much around. The new Clippers arena is apparently to be built across the street from Kroenke’s stadium, but I don’t know if it’s part of the same parcel.

      • Brent | June 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm |

        I just think that’s nuts. 12 miles isn’t far. I drive 50 miles one way to go to Rangers and Cowboy games.

  • BvK1126 | June 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm |

    mQotW:

    I think Nantucket’s flag is spectacular.

    From the so-bad-it’s-almost-good category, I submit for your consideration the flag of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There’s something endearing to me about the lettering, which looks like it was done by hand. And the image of City Hall, rendered in purple and white, looks like a mimeographed copy of old city letterhead. But apparently, plenty of city residents don’t find the flag’s flaws as endearing as I do.

    • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 3:18 pm |

      There once was a flag from Nantucket
      It looked very nice, not to duck it.

      • BvK1126 | June 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm |

        With its hues, white and navy
        And fly end so wavy
        A change in design would just muck it.

  • CJ | June 15, 2017 at 3:01 pm |

    Sounds like your Patch for “Players Weekend” might have a Peanuts strip on it. Maybe some Charlie Brown-themed socks?

  • DenverGregg | June 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm |

    The municipal vexillology rabbit-hole has swallowed up the comment section today. Not that I mind.

    The lede item is disturbing though. Not just for the goofy crap that 23 year old kids will display on their equipment, but because it sure seems like a desensitization to uni-ads. I admit to be a crotchety old coot about such things. Heck, I even thought the same about the Memorial Day patches. The patches for an “individual or organization that was instrumental to his development” will largely end up being de-facto ads for various NGOs. Once that camel’s nose is in the tent, the gig is up.

  • Paul Willams | June 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm |

    When your team is stolen in the middle of the night by a compulsive liar and drunk while still owing all the money he had paid for it you may call our love for the real Colts weird. Just ask the people of Brooklyn and now Oakland.

    • Paul Lukas | June 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm |

      Yes, having lived in Brooklyn for the past 30 years, I’ve heard rumors to that effect…..

      Nobody said Baltimore’s love for the Colts was weird. But it *is* weird for a team to retire a number for someone who never played for that team. That’s all.

      • Dave Scocca | June 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

        Yes it is weird. Even when it’s #42.

  • Ray Wroblewski | June 15, 2017 at 3:47 pm |

    Hopefully, you’ll balance out this trip to Vegas with a return to Minneapolis in January for a Uni-Watch party.

  • Kurt | June 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm |

    I called this a month ago that MLB would have a new promotion up its sleeve. Super League Rugby has had weekends where players went with Twitter handles on back, in 2012.

    And the space for personal messages on jersey, an obvious pretext for the inevitable advertising on jerseys.

    • Wade Heidt | June 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm |

      Twitter handles on back in nameplate has been done in National Lacrosse League too. 2012 Philadelphia Wings did this on an alternate jersey:

      http://thecampussocialite.com/philadelphia-wings-put-their-twitter-handles-on-jerseys/

      • Paul Lukas | June 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm |

        Well, yeah. But at the risk of insulting NLL, that’s the sort of gimmick you’d expect for a marginal league. Just like you’d expect a double-A baseball team to have Chewbacca uniforms, but not the parent team.

  • ZL_84 | June 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm |

    If a first baseman doesn’t take the nickname “Who”, it’s all a failure.

  • Phil P | June 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm |

    City flags, while not all that impressive design-wise, Boston’s flag is certainly distinctive, mainly because of the blue and yellow associated with the marathon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston#/media/File:Flag_of_Boston.svg

  • Tom Gronek | June 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm |

    Everyone is wondering if the Yankees will participate in “Players Weekend” and let their players express themselves. They can start now and let them grow facial hair.

    • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm |

      Actually, that would be a great way for them to participate in the promotion without doing the nickNOBs or all the other flair. Excellent idea!