By Phil Hecken
undayaturday Morning Uni Watch returns.
As has been the tradition for the past several years, we start SMUW the week after the season starts (and this time “Week One” actually spanned a couple weekends) as I take Labor Day weekend off. So today (and tomorrow) the SMUW crew is back (in full) for another season — the boys will take a look back today at the first week of the season, and tomorrow, we kick SMUW into high gear covering all the games for this week.
Last week, “Houston Strong” seemed to be the in thing, as lots of clubs affixed helmet stickers in support of the teams and people of Houston. With incredibly dangerous/strong Cat V Irma (as of 11:00 pm last evening) rapidly approaching Florida, will we be seeing “Florida Strong” (or similar) stickers next weekend? We’re all praying the good folks (including Webmaster Johnny Ek) in Florida escape with as little damage as possible, but it seems like someone (unfortunately) is going to get hammered. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best, as they say.
To reintroduce the SMUW Crew: Terry Duroncelet (You can follow TJ on the Twitter here), who brings us the uni wraps each week, Joe Ringham who brings us the 5 & 1, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Ethan Dimitroff and Kyle Acker, who bring you the Power 5 uniform trackers. Their twitter handles are all below in their sections. You can always send them tips and links to their Twitter addresses.
Now then, we’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get right down to the Brass Tacks. TJ will start us off followed by the 5 & 1 and the trackers. OK? OK!
Saturday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
Hi there. Remember me? Wait… I think Paul already did something like this. Anyway, welcome to the first column of the 2017 college football season! Today’s column will be a recap of the happenings of Week 1, and tomorrow follows up with Week 2. As per usual, I will most likely miss numerous things from Week 1, so apologies if I missed a particular team or detail (or forget to proofread). Okay, deep breath… HERE WE GO.
From Saturday, August 26th:
• Anyone know the context for the yellow ribbon decals on the back of Colorado State’s helmets?
• I don’t say this enough, but Hawai’i looks damn good.
• I believe this is USF receiver Tyre McCants wearing the new Schutt F7 helmet.
From Thursday, August 31st:
• I can’t put my finger on what the Austin Peay logo reminds me of…
• Minnesota wore “Row The Boat” helmet stripes against Buffalo, a slogan made known by Gophers head coach (and former head coach of Western Michigan) P.J. Fleck. You can read more about the origins of RTB here.
• I’ll be perfectly honest in saying that I’m not too keen on Toledo’s new Nike unis. Their old Under Armour togs were wildly-bright (figuratively and literally), and at the very least fit with their ‘Rockets’ name, but the new look has this bland aura to it and is a bit of a downgrade IMO. Discount Kent State, if you will.
• While I very-much prefer the old mountain sleeves from last year, I gotta say that the new Utah unis don’t look that ba– OH. OH NO. NONONONONO. NEVERMIND. Let’s just… *quietly throws pants down the garbage disposal*
• Arkansas wore ‘JFB’ decals on the side of their helmets (better look) in honor of Frank Broyles (full name John Franklin Broyles), who passed away earlier this past August. Also from that same game, Florida A&M felt the need to be trendy, and got punished for it. Just as well: the FAMU Marching 100 looks infinitely better anyway.
From Friday, September 1st:
• I noticed in the Army West Point/Fordham game that the Black Knights had a black helmet stripe on a black shell. Was there a legit reason behind this and I missed it?
From Saturday, September 2nd:
• Maryland was seeing red. No, not this (thank hell), just simple red pants against Texas. Paired with the white jersey and full flag helmets, I actually quite like the look, and we already have our first big upset of the season.
• Okay, I have to know: what is Ball State’s obsession with screenprinted numbers? I think I may have seen… ONE Ball State uni with twill numbers (the more recent black one, not the older one from like, 2012), most of what I’ve seen from them over the course of consecutive years has been screenprint. At least 96% of D1-A football (an uneducated guesstimate) has moved to some type of tackle twill solution over the course of the last 8 or 9 years, so why not Ball State? Not even angry (even though twill looks way better), I’m legitimately curious.
• Interesting: despite Mizzou using the Nike’s Vapor Untouchable II template now, they’ve kept the two-tone neck fauxll — a combination of the words “faux” and “neck roll” — (on their gold tops at least) from their previous template.
• I looked at Cal’s new unis in-action and went “You know what? Things are gonna be alright”, even though I never had any doubts when the unis were first unveiled a while back. Also, North Carolina getting beaten to the punch on the Jumpman is akin to the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium being christened by Alabama and Florida State.
• If Tien Shinhan’s Solar Flare were a uniform, it would be Michigan’s full Maize (or whatever Nike renamed it last year, the name escapes me) outfit that they wore against a mono-blue Florida. On a serious note however, while this would NEVER be my first choice for a Wolverines uni… they didn’t look horrible. I’ve seen far worse. I’m more mad that Florida chose white helmets with the mono-blue. C’mon, throw in a blue or even the normal orange lid! White helmets virtually never looks good with monochrome anything.
• SMU wore S&S decals against Stephen F. Austin.
• Southeast Missouri State wore contrast NOBs against Kansas.
• Looks like MTSU QB Brent Stockstill’s nose bumper was knocked loose slightly during their game against Vanderbilt.
• BYU wore royal blue against LSU.
From Sunday, September 3rd:
• UCLA is now under the care of Under Armour, and already I can tell that this was a smart decision for the Bruins. Full-length UCLA Stripes (it feels good to use that term again), a logical number font, and the lighter blue for the tail decal on the helmets has grown on me more than I could ever imagine. Well done, UA.
And that’ll do it for Week 1! Tune in tomorrow as Week 2 promises more games, more surprises, and hopefully, more uniforms. Stick around.
Thanks, TJ! Nice way to kick off (pun intended) the 2017 Season. Welcome back, and we’ll check in with you tomorrow morning. Now, on to the rest of your SMUW…
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back again for 2017 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Hey everyone! Good to be back giving you my five best (and one not-so-good) uni match-ups of the college football weekend.
Now, usually the opening weekend gives us slim pickings as far as giving us five good-looking games. However, this year’s opening weekend gave us a plethora of choices. Only five made the cut though…
5) Kentucky at Southern Miss — Loved Kentucky going white/white/blue on the road in Hattiesburg. Paired up against the black/mono gold of the aptly named Golden Eagles, and you have a game that features some great contrast… and you could also mistake it for a Kentucky-Missouri game. Still a fine looking game to open up the season.
4) Colorado State vs Colorado — This annual season opener always seems to be a good looking game. The green/white/green road look of the Rams matches up pretty perfectly with the Buffs traditional gold/black/gold home look.
3) New Mexico State at Arizona State — A fine looking game on a Thursday night in the desert. Absolutely loved ASU going gold/maroon/gold, what I consider to be their best look. It matches up so well with the maroon/white/maroon of the Aggies.
2) BYU vs LSU — For the second year in a row, LSU opens up with a fine looking neutral site game. This time, the gold/white/gold of the Tigers matches up exceptionally with the white/royal/white of the Cougars.
1) Montana State vs Washington State — I have quickly become a huge fan of Wazzu and their uniforms. Loved how they opened up the season in crimson/crimson/grey, what I consider one of their best looks. The Bobcats looked great too, in gold/white/gold, creating this excellent looking opener.
+1) Florida vs Michigan — I was on the fence with this one all weekend. Don’t mind the Gators in white/mono blue. But Michigan going winged hat/mono maize is what brings this onto the other side of the list. It was just… too much.
That will do it for me for Week 1. Lets do this again tomorrow, shall we?
Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2016 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking last season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role of both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
Rex is up first today (ACC):
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2017 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
Our scoreboard creator Gary Chanko, after a long hiatus, has returned to grace us with “Series IV” in the set of Classic Ballpark Scoreboards. This feature will occasionally appear on weekends.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series IV
by Gary Chanko
In this edition of Classic Scoreboards we’re back to the Twin Cities for a look at the Metrodome as a ballpark and one of its famous moments.
(aka Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Mall of America Field, The Homerdome, The Dome, The Thunderdome, Sweat Box and probably more)
Baseball Home of: Minnesota Twins (MLB) (1982–2009), Minnesota Golden Gophers baseball (NCAA) (2004–2012)
Football Home of: Minnesota Vikings (NFL) (1982–2013), Minnesota Golden Gophers football (NCAA)
Basketball Home of: Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA) (1989–1990)
A Love – Hate Deal
“It’s a love-hate deal, … it’s been the site to some of the greatest moments in the history of the franchise, which are very difficult to forget. On the other hand, it’s never been a ballpark. We’ve played baseball in the corner of a football stadium for 27 years.”
– Twins President Dave St. Peter
Still the Metrodome provided Twins fans memorable moments and was undoubtedly a factor in capturing the 1987 and 1991 World Series championships.
Arguably the most memorable Metrodome moment is encapsulated in the scoreboard illustration. It’s just past 11:00 p.m. as the Twins Gene Larkin tenth inning single dramatically ends Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Watch this classic game here or tune to the 2:40 mark for the game ending hit.
A Few Things to Know
• The Metrodome was the site of the most 3,000-hit games in MLB: Dave Winfield (1993), Eddie Murray (1995), and Cal Ripken Jr. (2000).
• When opened in 1982, the Metrodome was the world’s largest air-supported facility.
• Unique as the only facility to host a Super Bowl, Final Four, MLB All Star Game and the World Series.
Baseball News: Really neat cover of New Yorker from 1951 of this catcher and umpire arguing (h/t Bruce Menard). … To my (admittedly limited) knowledge, the Mets never did this, and he disappointed us by NOT wearing it as a NickNOB, but the Twins are having “BIG SEXY” night this coming Friday! (from Ignacio). … You didn’t think MLB was going to let 9/11 pass without some sort of observations including flags on caps (from Samuel Lam). … If you get to the
Astrodome Astros ballpark on September 15th, you get a free “Houston Strong” t-shirt, as long as you’re one of the first 10,000 there (from Ignacio). … Because, why not: the Texas Rangers have Adrian Beltre commemorative 3,000 hit club baseballs (also from Ignacio). … “If Nationals are sticking with precedent, there’s a division championship banner ready to go behind that blue tarp,” tweets Andrew Schall. … Here’s a gorgeous colorization of “Cool Papa” Bell from my pal Chris Whitehouse (otherwise known as ManCave). … Here’s a neat podcast about the Neo-retro architecture of MLB ballparks (from James Poisso).
NFL News: Remember how Tom Brady’s Supe jersey was stolen. And then it was found? Well, the guy who found it was rewarded with front row seats to Thursday’s season opener. … The Chiefs’ Alex Smith started the season Thursday by wearing a VICIS Zero1 helmet. … Here’s a look at Brenden Stai wearing “the most enormous biceps pad” in history in 1993 (from Ethan Rowley). … The Buffalo Bills have debuted a new hat with Buffalo Bill Cody logo, and War Memorial Stadium emblem on the side (from Austin Zelo). … “You know you’re getting old when a logo released in 1997 is considered ‘vintage’!” writes Ryan Keberly. … We may have covered this already, but the Browns are wearing white jerseys & pants at home versus the Stillers tomorrow (h/t Robert Hayes). And apparently it won’t be the last time we see that combination. … Speaking of the Browns, they appear to be going with a “retroish” look for their end zone script (also from Robert Hayes, Beau Parsons and 84-56 (#12)). — Kinda like the old days (from 216 Sports History). Here’s another look. … Looks like the Intl Justice Mission doesn’t have the right to use helmet logos (either that or Topps just took over). From Andrew Walker. … The Philadelphia Eagles captains will have captaincy patches for the first time ever this year (via Jim P).
College Football News: App State will be wearing all gold, but decided at the last minute to add a black stripe to their hats (from Michael Princip). … Here’s Mizzou’s combo for SCar. … Did Under Armour give UCLA’s branding to a Japanese team? … The Kennesaw State Owls have a little change in the helmet decal for this year (h/t Paul). Speaking of the Owls, here’s this weekend’s uni combo. … Syracuse will wear its “classic” uni combo this weekend: orange/blue/orange. … Bowling Green has added a Texas sticker to their hats (from Beau Parsons). … Georgia Tech changed up the field this year. Going with white and blue letters — or are they? (from Bo Brewer). … The Sun Devils of ASU are breaking out the Sunburst logo for tonight’s game (from Joey). … The Arizona Wildcats will wear red chrome hats today with a Houston Strong sticker. Here’s more on that. By the way, they’re playing the Houston Cougars. … Speaking of the Cougars, they’re going mono-white (from Ignacio). … The Trojans of Troy have new Cardinal uniforms. Stripes on shoulders, “Troy” on chest. is larger, “power T” on pants (from Mr. Jackpots). … There are (very few) teams who look good in a chrome hat. Clemson is NOT one of them (from Matt Windsor). … Middle Tennessee wearing blue/white/blue at Syracuse (from Lee Wilds). … The McKendree Bearcats are going purple/gray/gray for today’s game against Kentucky State University (from McKendree Bearcats). … Army will have their classic look for today’s game against Buffalo (from #GoArmy).
Hockey News: The 2018 Winter Classic will be played at
Citi Field I’m Calling It Shea between the Buffalo Sabres and NY Rangers. The Sabres’ logo has “NY” added at the bottom (from Isaiah Zacchigna). … Similarly, the New York Rangers logo has a large block “NY” (h/t Brian Koperski). … And here are some slightly different variations on those Winter Classic Logos (from Kristopher Sharpe). … It’s hard to believe, but the Winter Classic is now going on a decade (from Ted Arnold).
NBA News: More NBA alternate uni news (from the very reliable Conrad Burry) notes “Via a fairly credible source on @sportslogosnet forums, info about the Raptors Community uni.” More info and a full mockup here. … Even though we’ve seen mocks and hints, the Sixers still haven’t officially revealed their two alternate unis. … Here’s a ‘brief’ history of the LA Clippers jerseys. … Tracy McGrady being inducted into the Hall of Fame without having his number retired by any of the seven franchises he played for is just the latest development to shine a light on the quirks of the various jersey retirement practices of NBA teams (from Mike Chamernik). … A week from Friday, the next edition of the Phoenix Suns’ new look will be revealed (thanks, Paul).
College Hoops News: Villanova basketball will honor legendary coach Rollie Massimino’s memory with a commemorative “RVM” patch on the team’s jerseys this season.
Soccer News: Did Montpellier spell their own name wrong on every single kit this year? Yes they did (h/t Cory Mizer). … Just when you’d thought all of the new jerseys for the 2017/18 season had been released, Nike are planning to roll out alternate jerseys for nine of the most popular European clubs that wear their product.
Grab Bag: Pretty interesting article here from The New York Times on tennis players and their travels (and travails) with their “emotional support dogs” (h/t Paul). … New uniforms for Texas Track & Field this year. Here’s the video reveal (h/t Paul).