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The Stars retired Jere Lehtinen’s No. 26 last Friday night. They made two uni-related moves to mark the occasion — one rote and predictable, the other more subtle and special, with lasting effects.
The rote and predictable move was that all Stars players wore No. 26 Lehtinen jerseys during pregame warm-ups. This has become a standard NHL trope when someone’s number is retired, which means it no longer feels special or momentous — it’s just “that thing we do because it’s what we’re supposed to do.”
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 25, 2017
The other move, however, was really cool. Lehtinen had a uni-related quirk during his playing days — he wore yellow skate laces:
So on the night that his number was retired, the Stars all wore yellow laces for their game against the Flames:
Nice, right? The Stars won that night, so they went yellow-laced again for Tuesday night’s game against Vegas (click to enlarge):
They won again, and now it looks like they’re going to keep wearing the yellow laces for tonight’s game against the Blackhawks, and as long as they keep winning, and maybe beyond:
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 29, 2017
I love this — a small gesture that goes a long way, and a nice way to extend the good feelings from the number retirement.
(My thanks to Brian Rowland for tipping me off about this one.)
Anthem update: Could the end of the NFL’s national anthem protests be at hand? Possibly. Word came last last night that the league and a group of activist players had reached an agreement calling for the league to commit $89 million over the next seven years to social justice issues that are important to the African-American community. That’s a greater financial commitment than the Salute to Service or cancer promotions. It’s unclear if the social justice initiative will include any uniform-related elements like the rainbow-patterned captaincy patches or camouflage waistband towels.
As for the anthem, here’s the key passage:
The agreement does not include language calling for players to end protests during the national anthem in exchange for funds; there’s no implicit quid pro quo. But the NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful yet controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016, when he refused to stand for the anthem.
For months, Goodell and Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, strived to find common ground with players who took a knee and raised fists in an effort to shine a light on racial injustice. The owners whom Goodell and Vincent serve could have attempted to push through new rules regarding the anthem in the NFL game-operations manual during offseason committee meetings. However, for Goodell and Vincent, trying to force players to stand for the anthem — which would have undoubtedly triggered a fierce battle with the NFL Players Association — wasn’t a fight worth having. League sources also said Goodell, in particular, believes that fighting for social justice is the right thing to do, which factored into the decision to place no anthem attachments on the partnership.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the anthem protests this Sunday. At least three players have already criticized the deal (NYT link). One of them, 49ers defensive back Eric Reid, described the deal as an attempt to “buy our silence” and said he would continue to protest.
Logo creep update: When the new MLB BP caps were unveiled last week, we noted that the New Era maker’s mark on these caps was “silicone-printed” rather than embroidered, and that this would presumably make the logo harder to remove.
Turns out we needn’t have worried. The logo comes off pretty easily (video and photo from @HatOnHeadWearer):
UPDATE: turns out if you scratch at it you can peel the New Era logo right off. Not perfect and I’ll probably continue to try and get any residue off, but much better. It came off easily enough I wonder if we’ll see team logos fall off of caps in games. @UniWatch @PhilHecken pic.twitter.com/eW4CQbVJPj
— Lets Chat About Hats (@HatOnHeadWearer) November 29, 2017
A little Goo Gone should take care of any remaining residue, and then you’re good to go. Nice!
Culinary Corner: A few years ago the food website Serious Eats ran a series of posts under the rubric “Will It Waffle?” The idea was basically to try putting anything and everything in a waffle iron (which was so much fun that it eventually led to a cookbook). Inspired by that example, I convinced the Tugboat Captain’s brother Peter to reheat our leftover Thanksgiving stuffing and mashed potatoes on his waffle iron.
Actually, “reheat” is the wrong word, because waffling is really a form of cooking, or maybe alchemy.
We started by putting some stuffing and mashed spuds on the iron (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):
It was hard to know when they were done (or even what constituted “done”), so we had to peek periodically. The initial viewing indicated that we were making excellent progress:
A few minutes later, we were ready to eat. Here’s some of the stuffing waffle — first on its own, and then with a bit of “syrup” (i.e., leftover gravy):
The mashed potatoes came out looking very much like a normal waffle. But they tasted like the best hash browns ever:
The whole thing seemed like a bit of a miracle. Check out the stuffing in this next shot, followed by the resulting waffle just a few minutes later:
So cool! And really tasty. Made the whole house smell good, too. A successful experiment!
’Tis the season: In case you missed it the other day, I’ve reactivated our Ugly Sweater T-shirt for the holiday shopping season.
This shirt, designed by Bryan Molloy, was originally the December entry in our original Uni Watch T-Shirt Club series from 2015. The version we’re selling now doesn’t include the sleeve patch graphic that the original version had but is otherwise the same design.
It’s a great design concept, with a really satisfying level of detail in the “stitches.” Click on the image at right to see a larger version of the front and back designs — Bryan really nailed it with this one.
The shirt (which also comes in long-sleeved and sweatshirt versions) is available here.
Baseball News: As noted last week, the “C” on the Reds’ new BP cap is based on the one worn by the old Cincinnati Red Stockings. But Ken Traisman notes that it also resembles the “C” used by Corona beer. … New softball uniforms for Southeastern Louisiana (from Chris Mycoskie).
Pro Football News: The Jaguars will reportedly wear their teal alternates on Dec. 10 against the Seahawks (from @aacameron1). … Here’s a rare preseason shot of the WFL’s Birmingham Vulcans wearing jerseys without their usual stripes. … The Bills are going mono-blue this weekend against the Pats. … Panthers QB Cam Newton, who’s an Auburn grad, wore an Auburn cap with a very odd brim yesterday. Anyone..? (From @BackAftaThis.) … Titans WR Rishard Matthews will wear cleats in support of former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick for this weekend’s “My Cause, My Cleats” promotion. Matthews and Kaepernick were college teammates at Nevada. … Packers RB Jamaal Williams wore a hoodie over his helmet in practice yesterday (from @Bigten119).
College Football News: Reader Michael Rich notes that Georgia Tech wore the same jersey for the entire season. “I wonder when was the last time a team achieved that feat,” he says. … Cross-listed from the NFL section: Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, who’s an Auburn grad, wore an Auburn cap with a very odd brim yesterday. Anyone..? (From @BackAftaThis.) … Clemson will wear orange for the ACC championship game, while Miami will go mono-white (from Phil and Eric Yesner, respectively).
Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Flyers G Michael Neuvirth wore a purple mask for Hockey Fights Cancer two nights ago. Here’s an action shot (from Bob Sullivan). … Pens equipment manager Dana Heinze says the NHL centennial patch will be removed in mid-December. … Love these old hockey program ad illustrations (from Chris Mizzoni). … The ECHL’s Maine Mariners unveiled their new logo (from Russell Wilson). … The Zamboni at Boston’s City Hall Plaza rink looks like a T car (from Greg Niforos).
NBA News: Could this Sixers T-shirt be the basis for the team’s upcoming city-based alternate uni? Jack Connell spotted that shirt at a local shop. … Postgame jersey swaps are now spreading to the NBA. … The Knicks wore orange compression sleeves last night. They had previously been wearing white. … Stunner last night in L.A., as the Lakers wore purple at home.
Soccer News: 1992 throwback kit for Charlton Athletic (from Ed Żelaski). … Here’s a really great video clip about Guatemalan soccer team whose uniforms are based on their Mayan heritage. Really interesting stuff — highly recommended (big thanks to Anthony Nuccio). … Portland Thorns striker Nadia Nadim has been wearing mismatched shoelaces (from Kenny Ocker).
Grab Bag: Here’s the logo for the NLL’s new Philly franchise, the Philadelphia Wings. … Here’s one observer’s picks for five cricket players whose jerseys should be retired. … Here’s more about the new F1 logo. … New logo for the 2018 Boilermaker Road Race. … Russia has unveiled its Winter Olympics uniforms, although the country is facing a possible doping ban. … Interesting story on the “uniform” worn by anti-fascist activists (NYT link). … New logo and mascot for a field hockey tournament in India.
On a serious note, you’ve probably heard that 150 ESPN employees got the heave-ho yesterday — the third round of staff cuts in the past two years. I appear to have once again dodged the bullet (not really a surprise, because my current contract has another year-plus to go, so my compensation is a sunk cost), but several of my colleagues were not so fortunate. My thoughts today are with them.