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’Tis the Season

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With holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s time for my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide, which features lots of cool uni-related items (including the print shown above). Check it out here.

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Embed from Getty Images

Game of shadows: The photo shown above is from last night’s Bengals/Steelers game. Notice anything odd about the uni numbers worn by Cincy defensive linemen Carlos Dunlap (No. 96) and Chris Smith (No. 94)? The drop shadows on Dunlap’s numerals fall to the left, while Smith’s fall to the right.

Smith’s version is the correct one. Dunlap’s is wrong — it appears that his “9” is actually an upside-down “6,” and vicey-versey (click to enlarge):

Dunlap had the same problem on the front of his jersey, so at least there was some consistency to his erroneous numerals.

Was this a new thing for him? Apparently. The last time the Bengals wore black jerseys was on Oct. 29, and Dunlap had the proper numeral orientation for that game. So he apparently got a new black jersey — with the improper numerals — for last night’s game.

The Bengals are scheduled to wear black again on Sunday. Someone remember to see if Dunlap’s wearing the same jersey.

(Big thanks to Ryan Suckow for bringing this one to my attention.)

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NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

This week I decided to chart how the various types of NBA uniform matchups have progressed during the season’s first seven weeks (click to enlarge):

The solid lines are the actual week-to-week actual totals for the percentage of games for each matchup type; the dotted lies are the season averages. This past week saw a new season high for both the number (11) and percentage (22.4%) of color-vs.-color games. By my count, the Celtics have played the most such games (eight, with a 7-1 record), while the Knicks and Kings are the only two teams who still haven’t had a color/color game.

Now that every team has played at home since the on-court debut of the third uniforms, I have final stats for the debut of those as well. Fourteen teams wore the newly available uniforms in their first game after Thanksgiving, and 18 teams wore them in their first home game after the holiday. The Bulls, Heat, and Bucks all debuted the uniforms on the road. The Pistons, Timberwolves, 76ers, and Kings are the only teams that haven’t yet worn their third uniforms at all.

Lastly, the longest current streak of games in one uniform is a tie at four games between the Cavaliers (white) and the Rockets (black alternate).

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Have mercy — look at these! Here’s a box of five Detroit Lions old-fashioned bobbleheads in perfect shape! Was someone hoarding these, or did they come across a dusty box in a warehouse somewhere? I have a Bengals bobble from 1974 with this look — a classic. But I don’t have five of them!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

Here’s one more from the Motor City: This 1960s Lions helmet/bottle opener is still in great shape!

• Johnny Bench used to have a pair of restaurants in Greater Cincinnati: Home Plate, north of town at Northgate Mall (went there for my birthday once), and Home Stretch at Florence Mall (Y’all) in Northern Ky. Notice the great Home Plate logo printed on this book of matches (and the phone number, mostly the number 5 — Bench’s uni number) Got a drinking glass here, too. If you were a Reds fan back then, it was the place to go!

• Check out the logos on this 1974 NHL All-Star Game poster.

• This 1970s ABA red-striped ref’s jersey was signed by ABA/NBA referee Jack Madden.

• I’m including this 1960s painting of Bart Starr for two reasons: He looks more like the late great Y.A. Tittle, and the Packers logo is the size of a postage stamp.

• We’re a mere 20 days from Christmas, so if you’re inclined to purchase, say, an NFL helmet ornament for the tree, now’s a good time. This Seahawks version is made of glass and there’s a ton of them on eBay, or you could go for something like this 49ers helmet, which is no more than a current gumball style with an eyelet screwed into the top. I bought one just like this, down to the facemask, several years ago.

• Here’s a full-size 1970s-era Steelers helmet emblazoned with No. 12. This doesn’t look like it’s quite the Bradshaw-style facemask, though. His looked more like Griese’s, right?

• The Iggles’ helmet wings are up front and center on this 1970s Big Sign by Fleer. More wings for you on this 1970s Eagles helmet plaque and this Eagles Technigraph 3-D plaque.

• This 1960s Baltimore Colts pennant was part of a Coke mail-in premium deal.

• Here’s a small (5.5″) promo football from the 1960s with the old Cowboys logo and “Coca-Cola” on the side. The seller says these were given away at the Cotton Bowl. A bunch of them were probably tossed back onto the field if the ’Boys were losing that day.

• A rather curious depiction of the ram on this Los Angeles Rams vintage pennant. And this Niners pennant is a bit lacking, no?

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

NFL NewsAn old version of the Vikings’ logo showed up on a PTI graphic yesterday (from Josiah Durie). … We’ve previously reported the issue of the Dolphins’ old logo showing up on ESPN’s playoff machine, but apparently it’s an issue for the Jaguars as well (from Greg Franklin).

College Football NewsFlorida will reportedly begin wearing Jordan uniforms, possibly starting in 2018. The basketball team will also reportedly also be switching (from Eric Juergens and Phil). … The College Football Playoff used a Washington helmet with a backwards “W” when announcing the Fiesta Bowl matchup Sunday (from Chris Knudson). … Scott Frost, Nebraska’s new coach, played at Stanford in 1993 and ’94 before transferring to Nebraska. Gil Neumann was doing some research and came across video of Frost playing for the Cardinal with his first two initials included on his NOB. What’s even weirder is that I can’t find evidence of any other Frosts listed on Stanford’s roster in ’93 or ’94.

NBA News: The Timberwolves’  fourth jersey, which was originally slated to make its on-court debut on Christmas Day, has apparently been delayed (from Phil). … ESPN used an old Bucks logo on a Snapchat graphic yesterday (from Cole P.).

College Hoops News: Cross-listed from the college football section: Florida will reportedly begin wearing Jordan uniforms, possibly starting in 2018. The football team will also reportedly be switching (from Eric Juergens and Phil). … Hope College is a NCAA D-III school in Michigan. It’s women’s basketball team won its 800th game over the weekend, and the school shared some great photos of unis through the years (from Jonathan Cain). … A graphic in this story about a former Kentucky staffer’s guilty plea to a fraud scheme contains an old version of UK’s logo (from Josh Hinton). …

Soccer NewsAccording to Andy Riley, Arsenal has a tradition of all players wearing the same sleeve length on match day, with the captain choosing whether to go long-sleeved or short-sleeved. However, F Alexandre Lacazette has taken to wearing a long-sleeved shirt under a short-sleeved jersey when the team wears full sleeves — and some of his teammates have followed suit.

Grab BagTexas Tech’s baseball team will have new red jerseys this season (from Everett Corder‏). … Ivan Chermayeff, a prolific graphic designer who created dozens of notable logos, died last weekend at 85. See some of his work here. … According to The Wall Street Journal, smartphones are to blame for the ongoing apostrophe catastrophe (from John Gagosian). … Nike introduced a hijab for Muslim athletes back in March. It’s now available for purchase worldwide (from Brinke).

37 comments to ’Tis the Season

  • Dumb Guy | December 5, 2017 at 7:55 am |

    “The drop shadows on Dunlap’s numerals fall to the left,”

    Actually they RISE to the left. Are they RISE shadows?

  • Dumb Guy | December 5, 2017 at 8:08 am |

    I can’t read the full WSJ apostrophe article, but my wife has to “train” every new phone she gets that her name is Frances, not France’s.

    Really??

    • Rob S | December 5, 2017 at 8:39 am |

      The thing is, yes, it’s annoying when your phone decides to fix “its” to “it’s” when you’re using “its” correctly, and things like that, but it’s ultimately up to US, the USERS, to actually proofread what we’ve entered before submitting it. Especially when using voice-to-text.

      • RS Rogers | December 5, 2017 at 9:12 am |

        Until we adopt a non-stupid keyboard layout, spelling autocorrect will be a useful, even necessary, innovation on mobile devices. But grammar autocorrect is, and thanks to English’s irregularity probably always will be, worse than nothing. The vast majority of the time, both IOS and Microsoft grammar autocorrects “fix” my typing by turning correct punctuation and capitalization into incorrect. I mean, maybe if a person never types punctuation marks or hits the cap button before starting a proper noun, grammar autocorrect would be useful. But there’s really no way for an algorithm to judge whether a clause is dependent or not, or whether a noun is proper or not, better than a minimally attentive human English speaker. When a former congressman from Massachusetts sends mail free from postage, which instance of the word “frank” in the sentence should be capitalized? Your phone will never do better than guess. And English grammar is chock full of such instances.

        Spelling autocorrect is an airplane’s autopilot at cruising altitude. Grammar autocorrect is autopilot when landing the airplane, at Denver, during a storm.

        • Phil Hecken | December 5, 2017 at 11:22 am |

          You just wanted to work in a Barney Frank (frank?) line…

  • Christian Berumen | December 5, 2017 at 8:17 am |

    Why is it that I’m getting tired of schools football team going to the jordan brand there’s one school who should’ve used it and that’s unc every one else doesn’t need it for football

  • Scott Johnston | December 5, 2017 at 8:21 am |

    You are correct, Brinke, on the Bradshaw helmet. Early in his career, he wore a Dungard DG 105 mask – the same mask Griese wore early in his career. He would later switch to a Dungard DG 205, which was closer to a cage-style mask than the 105, but still not the same as the one pictured in the eBay listing. By the end of his career, he was wearing a Schutt OPO mask. The other problem I have with this helmet being attributed to Bradshaw is the fact that it is a Riddell. If Bradshaw ever wore a Riddell helmet, it would have been very early in his career – before the company logo was on the front of the helmet. I associate Bradshaw with wearing Rawlings helmets early on and Maxpro at the end of his career.

  • Josh W | December 5, 2017 at 8:24 am |

    I think they fixed the ESPN Playoff Machine’s Dolphins logo since yesterday! In addition to the Jaguars as you mentioned, the Panthers’ old logo is also still in use at the moment.

    • Rufus | December 5, 2017 at 8:25 am |

      Also the old gold Rams logo is still being used.

    • Greg | December 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm |

      All still have the old logos, either when no winner is selected, or if they are the loser.

  • Winter | December 5, 2017 at 8:26 am |

    In regard to that Bradshaw helmet, he did wear that type of facemask for a while.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c5/9a/93/c59a9370dca46b33618341fef518da4d–pittsburgh-sports-school-football.jpg

  • Poppy Nurse | December 5, 2017 at 8:32 am |

    The eBay offering on the Steelers helmet is intriguing. That face mask doesn’t appear to be a Dungard from back in the day, but Bradshaw did wear a face mask similar to that for the first five years or so of his career; it was the same as the one worn by Griese. Maybe Helmet Hut can shed some light on it?

    • Dumb Guy | December 5, 2017 at 9:53 am |

      Yeah, Dungard masks are flat on the vertical. The ebay mask is flat on the horizontal–more like the Kra Lite masks. But I’m not aware of any Kra Lite with that configuration.

      • Adam N. | December 5, 2017 at 3:28 pm |

        An image search for Kra Lite doesn’t reveal any masks that match the listing – none of the two-bar masks with flat horizontal bars include the bars that go up to the bumper – they’re only affixed at the sides of the helmet.

        Also – two bar masks sit way lower on the helmet – this one is above the cheek protectors, which means the wearer’s chin and mouth would be completely exposed!

    • Mainspark | December 5, 2017 at 11:22 am |

      The Holiday Gift Guide is always fantastic. Every year I find something to purchase for my family or friends. Thanks Paul.

  • William | December 5, 2017 at 9:18 am |

    The more I see the Timberwolves’ uniforms, the less I like them. The two blues really blend together from a distance, and they could really use some of the green, at least outlining the numbers or something. If it’s too garish, then maybe they should’ve stayed with a tamer shade. Say what you will about the Seahawks and their similar palette, but at least they own that green and use it.

  • Lincoln | December 5, 2017 at 9:44 am |

    Scott Frost’s brother, Steve, played with him for two years.

    See the sixth paragraph in this story:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/11/scott_frosts_deep_football_bon.html

    “For brothers whose lives revolve around football yet whose playing days overlapped briefly – they were teammates two years each in high school in Wood River, Neb., and at Stanford from 1993-94, where they played with a guy named David Shaw – Thursday will be one of the closest transits of their orbits yet.”

    • flyergil | December 6, 2017 at 8:49 am |

      Total brain lapse — I knew that; but (probably caused by the painfully slow collapse of Nebraska football since 2002) forgot. Thanks for the reminder about Steve. Now that you mention him, I remember pulling for him on Jeopardy! many years ago. Glad to hear he’s doing well, too. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like we won the National Championship getting Scott back to coach the beloved Cornhuskers. Go Big Red!

  • Richard Craig | December 5, 2017 at 11:48 am |

    The ESPN story’s photo of the pennants is fun, and certainly unexpected for a San Diego sports fan. Of course, every team depicted in the pennants shown has either moved away or folded. So this photo basically tells the story of what was once a great sports town, ruined by idiotic owners and politicians…

    http://a1.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2017%2F1204%2Fr298314_1080x432_5-2.jpg

    • Wade Heidt | December 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm |

      Need to look at glass half full and the future. Don’t feel so down as a San Diego sports fan.

      -National Lacrosse League San Diego Seals start play in Dec 2018. Box lacrosse may not be as mainstream as other sports, but it is a great game. NLL will give you the best box lacrosse players in the world. Believe me it is worth the admission.

      -San Diego is in the bid for the last 2 MLS expansion teams. Even if you are not a soccer fan, you do not need to be to have fun at an MLS game. Crowd atmosphere at MLS games is top notch. I’ll cross my fingers that San Diego gets a team.

      • Richard Craig | December 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm |

        I’m sorry, lacrosse and MLS (a.k.a. organized flopping) aren’t even a glass one-eighth full, IMHO. They’re consolation prizes at best when you’ve had an NFL team for 55 years that is now sleeping with the enemy.
        Losing the Chargers is heartbreaking enough, but losing them to the same L.A. fans that taunted you about the Dodgers and the Lakers all your life is agony. This whole season has been one long, awful exercise in avoidance.
        As one SI writer put it, expecting San Diego fans to continue supporting the Chargers in L.A. is like asking your first wife to make your second wife’s car payments.

  • Brett | December 5, 2017 at 11:49 am |

    Iowa State debuted new grey uniforms in the basketball game last night.

    pic.twitter.com/BpUyskjpkq

  • HalKinnegan | December 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm |

    I really like the idea of taking the stats for NBA uniform matchups. I do wonder, however, how much it would affect the results if you were to consider the laker’s gold as a color uniform instead of white.

    • Paul Lukas | December 5, 2017 at 12:51 pm |

      We do consider it a color. We originally treated it as white, but we changed that a few weeks ago, and I said as much at the time.

  • Daniel Tarrant | December 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm |

    Seeing the news about Florida switching to Jordan Brand…

    Does anybody else think there is something to my theory that Nike is gradually moving in the direction of making Jordan its “college” brand while the Nike brand continues to be associated with professional leagues?

    In other words, at some point, will any college teams wear the Swoosh instead of the Jumpman?

    • Collin Wright | December 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm |

      Not sure I could ever picture Duke or Kentucky wearing the Jumpman. And those are the two most successful college basketball programs wearing the swoosh currently.

      • Daniel Tarrant | December 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm |

        Eh, if Nike throws enough cash their way, they’ll wear the Jumpman.

        And as a UNC grad/fan, I would be lovin’ it…

    • nickflees | December 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm |

      I suppose the Charlotte Hornets wearing Jordan brand would be contradictory evidence. Also, Jordan brand shoes are ubiquitous in the NBA.

      • Daniel Tarrant | December 5, 2017 at 4:09 pm |

        I thought about that, but figured it might be just an exception given who the owner of the team is. If other NBA teams start wearing Jordan brand then I guess my theory is shot.

  • John Orgel | December 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm |

    The LA Rams have their old logo on the ESPN Playoff Machine with the gold horns.

  • Peter | December 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm |

    Since there is no Russian olymoic hockey team for 2018, what will haplen to those uniforms?

  • Randy | December 5, 2017 at 6:42 pm |

    Story on ESPN about a possible Seattle NHL franchise… next design contest???