[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site (although he’s still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally), and Phil is off this week. Today’s content was written and coordinated by assistant editor Alex Hider. Paul will return to take over the site this Friday, Sept. 1.]
By Alex Hider
At this point, we’ve seen how Nike will treat just about every NBA team’s
“Association” and “Icon” white and colored jerseys. But on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks gave us a glimpse into how throwbacks will be handled during the Nike era.
The uniforms will make their on-court debut on Oct. 26, when the Bucks take on the Celtics in the old MECCA Arena. According to Mike Chamernik, the Bucks will be the first team to reopen a former home arena for a regular season game since the Lakers and Sixers both did it in 2009.
Nike has been referring to throwback uniforms as “Classics.” That seems appropriate for this uniform, because while the set has the feel of the early ’70s Bucks, it’s not an exact throwback.
For one, Nike did a good job matching the font from the Bucks 1969-1973 set, but they chose to use green lettering and numbers instead of red —
a choice that, while not accurate, still plays into the vibe of the early ’70s. CORRECTION: As many point out in the comments, the Bucks wore this set with green numbers and letters from 1968-71. Apologies.
The Bucks’ “Classic” also imparts all the Nike-isms we’ve seen in the recent wave of reveals: Shoulder piping that doesn’t extend to the back shoulder, angled striping that follows a side-knee slit in the shorts, a logo (in this case, a slogan) on the waistband.
The elements WOULD come together to make a clean, simple, handsome uniform — if not for that big honking Harley ad.
And there it is. The first throwback jersey in a “Big 4” American pro sports league with an ad on it.
It’s disappointing to see Nike and the NBA set this precedent, especially since some European soccer clubs like Everton and Sevilla drop uni ads when wearing throwbacks.
Some on Twitter said the Bucks should have used a throwback Harley logo on the jersey. While I think that’s a great compromise for other throwback jerseys, the current Harley logo is actually period-appropriate for this era. Perhaps they could have treated the ad like they did the NBA logo on the back collar of the jersey: Replacing white with cream and using muted versions of the traditional logo colors.
All in all: It’s as good as you’re going to get for a Harley-Davidson ad.
• • • • •
Weird sight in St. Pete last night, as the Astros opened their “homestand” against the Rangers at Tropicana Field. The Astros, who of course have been displaced by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, never returned home from a weekend road trip to Los Angeles and didn’t have their home jerseys on hand.
The ‘Stros took the field wearing blue softball tops (only available because they wear them for batting practice), road caps and gray pants. The Rangers — the visiting team — wore white jerseys and pants.
According to reader Mark Coale, MLB’s stat tracker played along, setting the backdrop of the game at the Trop and including a Red Cross ad on an outfield sign.
— Mark Coale (@black_bile) August 29, 2017
Thanks to Chris Mycoskie, Nick Phillips and Brian Ogden for your tweets.
And now a few notes from Paul: Hi there. A few quick reminders and updates:
• In case you missed it yesterday, I’m currently in the market for a new Ticker intern. Full details here.
• Also from yesterday, there’s a new batch of Naming Wrongs shirts. Check them out here.
• Some of you have been asking about my annual NFL season preview column. I’m putting the finishing touches on it as we speak, and it should run on ESPN.com next Tuesday, Sept. 5.
• People have also been asking about the Titans-redesign contest results. Due to a variety of factors, that’s been pushed back a bit. I should have the results either next week or, at the latest, the week after. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience.
• Some of you have been getting a “Security Warning” notice when accessing the site this week. The short version is that we migrated the site to a new server. You should be able to eliminate the problem by clearing your browser’s cache. (There’s also a long version, which involves a bunch of tech jargon that I don’t understand, but the bottom line is that the site is fine and is not a security risk.)
Okay, handing things back to Alex now.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Columbus Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski threw out the first pitch at the Reds game yesterday and traded jerseys with Eugenio Saurez (from Tyler Johnson). … The Trois-Rivières Aigles and the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League wore CFL-inspired unis on Monday. The Aigles wore Montreal Alouettes colors, while the Champions wore Ottawa Redblacks colors.
NFL News: Lots of uni quirks on SI’s latest cover: Tom Brady is featured wearing an old jersey with the team’s script wordmark (scrapped following the 2014 season), and the Vikings’ Harrison Smith is featured wearing an old jersey in two versions of the cover (from Colin McDonough, Rip Van Whiskey and Braden Claassen). … Good catch by J.K. who noticed Dak Prescott wearing the wrong silver pants with his white jersey in a Tostitos ad. … This post takes a look at the Topps football cards for the 1980 Cleveland Browns. Sounds like if you need any dry wall work done at your house, you should call Brian Sipe (from Jason Hillyer). … Cruz Pedregon, an NHRA Funny Car driver, has a new racing helmet based on the Oakland Raiders’ helmet (from David Firestone). … Rob was recently cleaning out his attic when he found an old pack of NFL roster packet cards, given to him by the father of a grade school friend in the ’70s. The cards also included the team’s schedule for the 1976 season.
College Football News: Cal unveiled an alternate gold jersey yesterday (from John Lemein). …Western Carolina will wear Hawaiian-shirt themed unis when they travel to take on Hawai’i (from Aaron Wigg). … Rumor has it that Oregon will be wearing traditional green this weekend (from Fidget Spinster). … FedEx field will be painted with at least one orange end zone on Saturday when Virginia Tech takes on West Virginia (from Andrew Cosentino). … New helmets for Furman (from Brittany Hildreth). … Florida is installing 3D lettering for the iconic “This is…THE SWAMP” sign on the wing walls of their stadium (from Brock Brames). … Speaking of Florida, looks like they’ve added 3D lettering on the neck bumper at the last second (also from Brock Brames). … Arkansas will honor former head coach Frank Broyles this Thursday by wearing special Razorback decals that include his initials. Broyles died earlier this month (from Eric Cash). … Syracuse will wear a memorial patch for former coach Dick MacPherson this season (from Richard Gramzow). … Duquesne will wear a memorial decal for former Steelers owner Dan Rooney, an alumnus of the school (from Alan Saunders). … Youngstown State will wear a memorial decal for longtime fan and booster Frank Watson this season (from Josh Medore). … Georgia Tech and Adidas are already working on selecting a consistent shade of gold for use across all athletic teams (from Rex Henry). … Arizona State will dedicate a statue to Pat Tillman today (from ASU Uniformity).
Hockey News: The home of the Maple Leafs is going from one corporate name to another. According to Tom G., The occasion was marked with some AANOB — Arena Advertiser Name on Back. … New number assignments for the Predators. This season will mark the first time in team history that a players have worn Nos. 89 and 91. … ICYMI from the baseball section: Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski threw out the first pitch at the Cinicnnati Reds game yesterday and traded jerseys with Reds 3B Eugenio Saurez (from Tyler Johnson). … Cambria County War Memorial Arena, a hockey rink in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will now be called 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial (from Steve). … Found at a thrift store: A 1990 program for a series of old-timer games between USSR and Canada, which features the Soviets in these wild unis (from Chris Mizzoni). … New unis for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (from Wade Heidt).
NBA News: ICYMI from the hockey section: The home of the Raptors is going from one corporate name to another. … This season, Thunder fans taunted Kevin Durant by chanting “Cupcake.” Now, he’s trolling back by naming the new colorway of his signature shoe “Red Velvet.” (From Mike). … Speaking of Durant, while on Bill Simmons’ podcast recently, he said that “nobody wants to play in Under Armours” and suggested that, as a DC native, he feels that the University of Maryland is struggling to attract prospects because of the school’s contract with the company (from Brinke). …David M. Clements was in Italy recently and spotted someone wearing an “Ibiza” basketball jersey that looked an awful lot like Shaq’s Heat jersey.
College Hoops News: New unis for Bradley. For reference, this is what they wore last year (from Joe Ringham). … Thorbjarnarson makes for one hell of a NOB. Thorir Thorbjarnarson will be a freshman at Nebraska this season.
Grab Bag: New unis for Mainz 05, a German soccer club in the Bundesliga (from Aboutamoo). … An effort to revive Akron’s Rubber Bowl as a music venue is dead (from Jim Vilk). … Here’s what the Ole Miss cross country team will be wearing this year (from Gregg Elkin). … Someone at this Target in Las Vegas as some Rebel spirit (from Milk Skarda). … YouTube has gotten a bit of a facelift (from Brinke).