For all photos, click to enlarge
Back in June I did an ESPN column about Riddell’s Precision-Fit helmet program. As you may recall, the Riddell people showed me how the program works by scanning my head to create a series of 3-D digital images.
Normally, the next step would be to use those scans to create a helmet with custom-fitted interior padding. But as I noted in that ESPN piece, Riddell had a limited Precision-Fit capacity this year, so there were no plans to make a sample helmet based on my head scans, because that would have used up one of their available helmets for this year.
Later on, however, the Riddell people said they could produce a helmet for me after all, so I could feel for myself how good the fit is. They even offered to make it a Uni Watch helmet. It recently arrived here at Uni Watch HQ.
As you can see in the photo at the top of the page, we kept the design simple. Center striping matches the striping we use here on the website, and the side logo is one of the logos that Scott M.X. Turner designed several years ago.
Here are some additional views:
I’m sure everyone will be glad to see that they cut the striping tape as it crossed the helmet’s flex panel:
Precision-Fit helmets all come with a little plate on the back featuring the player’s name and signature. Equipment managers typically remove it, but I’ll be leaving mine in place, at least for now.
There’s also a personalized tag woven into the interior padding, which is pretty cool:
And how does it fit? Granted, I haven’t spent all that much time wearing football helmets in recent decades, so I don’t have much baseline experience to compare it to, but it does seem like a pretty good fit. Interesting to see how it turned out after doing those head scans earlier in the year. Big thanks to Riddell for following through on that.
Now then: What am I going to do with it? For now, I think I’ll just leave it on my desk — a fun and informative souvenir.
Click to enlarge
Friday Morning Uni Watch: Last year, the Raiders’ Thursday-night pants had a black stripe. But last night, as you can see above, they went with a grey/silver stripe. A small upgrade, although I think the best solution would be to go with no striping at all (additional pics here).
As you can also see in that photo, the Raiders added a jersey patch for this game. It was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Oakland’s 1967 AFL championship team. Here’s a closer look:
There’s some interesting info about the patch design here. Also, as you can see, the patch includes the AFL logo, which the Chiefs wear as part of their Lamar Hunt perma-memorial patch. So both teams in last night’s NFL game were wearing the AFL logo.
Uni Watch Show & Tell: Earlier this week I wrote about how I spent last Saturday, including a tour of artists’ studios at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, where I fell in love with an piece by the artist Jung Eun Park — a guide to various types of embroidery stitching. It reminded me of the vintage salesman sample catalogs that I like to collect and also made me think of the chain-stitching that I love to see on old uniforms. She said the stitch guide wasn’t intended as art and wasn’t for sale (it was just a reference guide that she’d made for herself), but I emailed her the next day and convinced her to sell the piece to me.
As it turns out, Jung Eun and I live about a 10-minute walk from each other, so yesterday afternoon she came over to Uni Watch HQ and delivered the stitch guide to me in person. I showed her some of my vintage catalogs and also pulled some vintage jerseys with chain-stitched embroidery out of my closet, so she could get a sense of how the stitch guide fits into my aesthetic/obsessions/etc. As she looked around my apartment and saw some of my other collections on display, she said, “Oh, now I’m starting to see why you were interested in this piece!” It was a really nice visit. (I should have gotten a photo of her holding the stitch guide but didn’t think of it at the time. Dang.)
Here’s a much better photo of the piece than the one I provided earlier this week (for all of these pics, you can click to enlarge):
The piece is about 16″ square. The fabric is cotton, which Jung Eun says she got in Korea, where she grew up. She may not have intended it to be art, but she instinctively did lots of things to make it visually appealing. Look at how she organized everything in neat rows, changed the thread colors, meticulously hand-annotated everything, etc. I love it!
If you look at the middle row of this next photo, you can see that she included 10 different kinds of chain-stitching. I had no idea there were so many variations:
Check out the amazing ribbed spider web stitch, and the very appealing seed stitch just above it:
For the knots in the center of this next shot, I love how she sequenced the knots in seemingly random patterns, creating happy little jumbles of color:
Jung Eun said she made the piece early this year over the course of about two weeks, although she wasn’t working on it full-time during that period. More like a few hours here, a few hours there. I asked her to sign it, which she did on the back:
I plan to get the piece framed. Jung Eun asked me to send her a photo when the framing is done.
’Skins Watch: Twenty years ago Miami of Ohio changed its team names from “Redskins” to “RedHawks” at the urging of the Miami “Myaamia” Tribe, which Miami is named after. Now the university is adding a new logo that embraces the culture of that tribe (from K.C. Kless).
Baseball News: A Chicago barber shop called Hatillo’s uses the Astros’ logo on its storefront (from Adam Foxman). … Dodgers 2B Enrique Hernández, who had a historic night in yesterday’s NLCS clincher, is still having his jersey sewn shut, something I first wrote about last year.
NFL News: More and more teams are going without a huddle. … Packers LB Vince Biegle has been trying out the Schutt F7 helmet in practice. … Nike has taken the leather from some Super Bowl LI game balls and turned it into a pair of shoes. Additional photos here (from Brad Tatum and Brett Baker). … Furniture.com now has a collection of NFL product. … New Era apparently has a series of limited-edition Bills caps. Here’s this week’s design (from Eric Juergens).
College Football News: Here’s this week’s uni combos for UNC and Iowa State. … My ESPN pal/colleague Dave Wilson has written a fantastic piece about college football’s relationship with Waffle House. Of particular interest is this diagram showing WH’s byzantine plating system. … New black jersey for Harvard (from María Canales). … P Oscar Bradburn will wear No. 25 for Virginia Tech this week (from Andrew Cosentino). … Arkansas State and Houston both went with new helmets last night. … White helmets apparently on top tomorrow for CMU.
Hockey News: The ice rink at the U. of Michigan’s Yost Arena has named after former coach Red Berenson (from Tien Mao). … As we’ve noted here before, Pens star Sidney Crosby had his jersey altered last year to create a straight hemline. He’s still doing it this year with the new Adidas jerseys (from Denny LeeM).
NBA News: The Warriors’ throwback for this season, as had widely been expected, will be the white 1980s design with the California outline. The corporate and the maker’s mark look even worse on the throwback, eh? The jersey will make its on-court debut tonight and will then be worn 12 more times during the season. … The Raptors and Thunder both wore color at home last night, with the Bulls and Knicks wearing white on the road (from @HitTheGlass). … Speaking of the Thunder, they will continue to wear blue for nationally televised home games (from Joel Reagan). … The Hornets have released their uniform schedule for the new season. Wish more teams would do this (thanks, Phil). … The Knicks’ roster includes a large number of unusually tall players. … “The Mavs have a logo for Dirk Nowitzki’s 20th season and will be rolling out a series of bobbleheads throughout the year to commemorate his accomplishments,” says Gary Bates. “So far I’ve only seen the logo on video boards.” … Very cool visual moment in Wednesday night’s Suns/Blazers game, as all five Suns players began running at the exact same moment after a turnover. … The Kings have a cool historical jersey display in their arena (from Jason Gutierrez).
Soccer News: The women’s team at Baldwin Wallace, a D-III school, is wearing warm-up shirts with a heart-shaped “15” chest mark. That’s for teammate Alex Elliott, who suffered a career-ending torn ACL (from Tony Bruno). … New kits for the San Diego Sockers (from Jim Vilk).
Grab Bag: This is so awesome: A French photographer goes to museums and takes photos of people whose clothing matches the artwork they’re looking at. The same photographer has lots of other cool projects. (from my pal/neighbor Carrie Klein). … Also awesome: An artist has turned assorted corporate logos, including Nike’s, into weapons. Seems about right (from my pal Rob Walker). … New logo and can design for Hi Sign Brewing. … New home rugby kit for Wales (from @SerrinneWoW). … New wrestling singlets for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino). … New athletics logo for Southern Connecticut State. … Daytona International Speedway is letting fans vote for the tri-oval grass design that will be used in 2018 (from Kyle Speicher). … Ever wonder how the color “British racing green” came about? Find out the answer in this short video clip (from R. Scott Rogers). .,. New logo for the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. … Interesting detail on the new Wales rugby jerseys: Every single one — on-field and retail — will have a distinct pattern on the shoulders (from Josh Gordner).