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One Shoe, Two Shoe, Red Shoe, Blue Shoe

Yesterday I had a sub-lede about how LeBron James wore mismatched sneakers on Sunday. That led me to write a new ESPN piece about pro and college basketball players with mismatched footwear (including Tracy McGrady in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game, shown above). Check it out here.

One item not mentioned in that piece: According to this Darryl Dawkins obituary (WaPo link), “During the 1980 NBA Finals, Sixers Coach Billy Cunningham took a call from an angry sneaker executive who said Dawkins was wearing a Nike shoe on one foot and a Pony shoe on the other. He had signed a contract with both.” I’ve so far been unable to find a photo showing that.

(Big thanks to John Fitzgerald for the Dawkins tidbit.)

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Raffle reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, our annual year-end raffle is currently underway. The deadline for entering is this Thursday evening. Full details here.

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Made to measure: The ongoing chatter about the “index card measurement” in Sunday night’s Cowboys/Raiders game has led lots of people to say, “There’s got to be a better way to measure for first downs.”

The most obvious (or at least obvious-seeming) solution would be a chip implanted in the ball or some similar tech-driven fix. But it turns out that that’s a lot trickier than it sounds (NYT link).

As it happens, there have been lots of alternative measuring systems proposed over the years, and I even wrote about a bunch of them back in 2010. Start here and then go here. It’s fun stuff — I’d actually forgotten about most of it until I looked up those entries yesterday.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

IHOP TV Football! The exciting game where you’re the TV quarterback — calling the plays along with the pros! It’s some type of “punch-out game,” and I’m not quite sure how it works, but it sure has nice graphics!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Lotsa great vintage NBA team logos to be found on this 1970s sleeping bag!

• The “National Star” sponsored this promo item called the “Superstars of Hockey.” Dial your favorite player and learn about Hockey’s Top Stars! (Like the fact that Rangers goalie Ed Giacomin is 5’11”, 180 pounds, and was born on June 6, 1939, in Sudbury, Ontario.) The more you turn, the more you learn!

• Boy, the graphics on these 1970s Fleer “Hi-Gloss Grand Slam Stickers’ are just classic retro.

• This kids’ Oakland Raiders long-sleeve polo from Sears is still in the bag. The seller calls it “vintage” but there’s no other info provided.

• Here’s a nice set of AFL/NFL gumball helmets. The seller says they’re from Sears in 1968. The Broncos and Steelers helmet stickers have seen better days, but otherwise the rest of the batch looks pretty good from here!

• Cue up your turntable for this 45-RPM record from the late 1970s featuring the Toronto Blue Jays theme song, called, of all things, “The Blue Jays.” Sung by “Paul’s People.” PL, we didn’t know about this part of your career!

• Here’s a late-1970s Brewers wall plaque featuring their terrific ball-in-glove logo. Only one problem here: the logo is, er, backwards. This wasn’t a DIY, either — these guys were official licensees! Although after this, probably not for long.

• Kentucky Art Plaques always did quality work, though — like with this 1970s Chicago Bulls plaque.

• Check out this 1970s L.A. Rams tie, made by Britannia.

• This 1970s Dallas Cowboys gear bag is in great shape!

• And I have to admit that I got myself an early Christmas present: a 1969 NFL radio! Still in the box and in perfect condition.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read Collector’s Corner in 2017. We’re taking next week off but will return for year nine (!) on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd. Got something you’d like to submit? Tweet/follow me on Twitter. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsOur own Phil Hecken ranked his top 10 favorite Negro League uniforms. … Staying in the Negro Leagues, check out this photo of the Harlem Stars’ Satchel Paige and Goose Tatum — with Tatum in shorts! (From BSmile.) … Here’s an interesting redesign concept for the Indians (from @aboutamoo). … Paul Ricciardi‘s son has a friend who plays baseball for McDaniel College in Maryland, and he was able to snag this old jersey before it was thrown out. Nice stitching detail. … A friend of Jim Brunetti recently posted this photo on Facebook. His friend is related to Lester Lanning, who is pictured alongside none other than Babe Ruth. Great old unis to boot! … Researcher Craig Brown, who specializes in 19th-century uniforms, has discovered that the 1856 Gotham team wore little “G” initials on their coat lapels.

Football News: Former Falcons LB Tommy Nobis died last Wednesday, so the Falcons wore a “60” memorial decal in his honor last night. … Speaking of the Falcons, before Brett Favre joined the Packers and the two-point chinstrap club, he found a way to get his four-point chinstrap out of the way during warmups (from @70sLogos). … Could these be Georgia Tech’s new unis? They’ll be switching to Adidas next season (from Richard Musterer).

Hockey NewsA day after the Senators beat the Canadiens 3-0 at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, the Ottawa 67’s and the Gatineau Olympiques played outside at TD Place as well in a color-on-color game. … Predators D P.K. Subban has signed an endorsement deal with Adidas.

NBA NewsThe Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 last night, but it looks like they didn’t use the proper number fonts. You can see the differences yourself in this a video that shows every jersey that Bryant wore during his career (from Chad Lehman). … Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo visited the site of the team’s future arena and wore a reflective vest with his number and NOB (from @Captain_Covert).

Grab BagVirginia Tech will be building a student-athlete performance center on campus. Photos here (from Andrew Cosentino). … France’s national handball team has an awesome logo that has a silhouette of a player incorporated into a rooster’s head (from Jeremy Brahm). … We all know how much Paul loves plastic bag closures. Well, a New York court just ruled in an intellectual property case concerning two of that industry’s largest companies (from Seth Horowitz).

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In case you’re wondering, I don’t know any more than you do about John Skipper, who resigned as ESPN’s President yesterday. I’ve been in the same room with him for several meetings (including one that was held just last week), but I never had any direct contact or communication with him. He cited an ongoing substance abuse problem in his resignation letter, so I hope he’s okay. — Paul

Comments (52)

    That Virginia Tech building looks damn good. I hope the indoor football practice facility that USF will build looks every bit as nice as that place looks.

    Not a big deal, but if you want an advertiser-less name for the stadium in Ottawa, it’s Lansdowne Park or Stadium.

    Also, the 67s and Olympiques are junior teams, and that’s an inter-league matchup (OHL vs. QMJHL).

    Interesting note about the game, it counted in each team’s league standings though they are in different leagues.

    Ottawa was wearing their usual barber pole dark uniforms while Gatineau were wearing their black and white alternates.

    Of course, was referred to as Lansdowne Park during the Scotiaback NHL 100 Classic. A rival bank. Called by its usual name of TD Place Stadium again the next day in the media.

    Back in the pre-renovation days for the stadium, was known officially as Lansdowne Park and then renamed Frank Clair Stadium.


    It was an extremely short trip for the 67s, since they play at the Ottawa Civic Centre (TD Place Arena), which is underneath the north grandstands at Lansdowne Park!

    Compared to the socks they wear now, the 67’s need to find a way to bring back the full barber pole socks:


    But I can say the present socks are better than the Cooperalls:


    On the CBC broadcast of the game on Saturday night, it was only referred to as Landsdowne Park.

    Puma routinely puts out football boots (soccer cleats) where each shoe is s different color starting back in the 2014 World Cup. I’m surprised you’ve never jumped into the technicolor world of soccer shoes. Rarely do they line up with teams colors and players change with every new color scheme the brand drops

    I’m too lazy to look up links, but the Puma mismatched shoes in 2014 have been noted here before. If I recall correctly, Puma decided to use the mismatched colors as a way to create a buzz without spending the hefty cash on TV advertising that Adidas and Nike were.

    Regarding the Georgia Tech item in football news, it dawned on me how difficult it must be reporting on college football uniforms now. It seems like every year the majority of schools have new uniforms, be it throwback, one shot alternate, etc. And even their “regular” uniforms seems to undergo frequent alterations to match up with whatever template the uniform provider has just put out. Makes you really appreciate the schools like Auburn and Alabama who have some stability in their uniforms.

    Greg – I agree totally.

    It’s interesting to me that the four teams in the college football playoff – Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia – all wear designs that are more or less identical to what they were wearing 30 years ago or more.

    In fact, all top 10 teams in the final playoff rankings wear traditional uniforms, now that Miami has switched back.

    To me, this shows that the really successful programs both understand the value of tradition and also the idea that recruits really care about new and flashy uniforms is vastly overstated.

    It is almost as if college football success depends on having a dynamic coach who can recruit and a tradition to get big boosters to foot the bill for great facilities. I guess the fancy lighter than air moisture wicking fabrics, chrome helmets, and neon ascents have nothing to do with it.

    That ticker part about Brett Favre’s chinstrap made me realize that we still don’t know where this Packers’ “two-point chinstrap club” comes from, right?

    I don’t think we’ve ever seen any explanation from the Packers equipment manager about this topic, or have we?

    I seem to remember him being unavailable when you wanted to ask about the facemasks with the throwback uniforms. Do the Packers pretty much always say no? And is this common with pro teams? Seems more often than not you eventually are able to get the equipment managers or someone else who can answer your questions.

    As a Clevelander, I thought the Forest Citys concept was fantastic.

    The Forest City name is still used around here. There used to be a lumber/hardware chain by that name, and a large real estate holdings firm by that name is headquartered here and owns buildings and shopping centers across the country such as the New York Times building. So I think the name would have traction here.

    It’s not a redesign of the Cleveland Indians. It’s a design for a replacement franchise.

    This kids’ Oakland Raiders long-sleeve polo from Sears is still in the bag. The seller calls it “vintage” but there’s no other info provided.

    I had the Denver Broncos version, and we bought it at a store (it wasn’t Sears) in 1980. Same stripes down the sleeves, same stripe pattern in the middle and same typeface style around the logo.

    “The Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 last night, but it looks like they didn’t use the proper number fonts.”

    All of the Lakers retired jerseys uses this font, which drives me crazy. The Shaq jersey, which was unveiled backward at first but later fixed, used to have the correct font and the Nike style, but has since been changed to match all the other ones.

    The retired jerseys at the Forum had the correct fonts.

    It doesn’t bug that much, since they’re now all the same style. But, would it be nice to use era appropriate styling and fonts? Yes.

    Was it really necessary to not only retire TWO numbers for Bryant, but to hang TWO separate ‘jerseys’ in the rafters? Was he really twice as good as Chamberlain? West? Twice as good as Magic?

    Seems like they should have given him the same space as the others, or just a little bit longer with one on top of the other. Having the correct font would reflect the eras better. Or if you want it to be the same for all, then do what Boston does and just put up the numbers and no jerseys.

    It is just so damn lazy to put up a permanent honor for an all-time great player and yet not give a damn about something as simple as the font on the retired “jersey.”

    I’ve complained about this before, but the Devils’ treatment of Scott Neidermayer’s retired jersey is especially egregious, since they got the font right on Brodeur’s, Stevens’, Daneyko’s and Elias’ jerseys.

    Regarding the gumball helmets, I’m assuming that the 3rd helmet in the 2nd row is the Chargers. It almost looks like a straight lightening bolt.

    Also, the logo on the Dolphins helmet didn’t appear until the 1973 season (unless it was altered due to space constraints on the decal).

    It IS a straight lightning bolt. still a gumball mystery!
    The Dolphins could be a replacement for a lost original helmet???

    SO much to love in that set:

    crazy Bengals arch
    crazy Falcon on brouchure
    Steelers with logo on both sides!
    Browns with CB logo (but only on ONE side)

    As I recall…and I may be wrong on this- the reason for the Bengals and Chargers looking the way they do is that the teams didn’t OK using their precise logos. The time period for these is accurate AFAIK

    Regarding the NBA sleeping bag, I notice how certain emblems are rendered sideways because of space constraints, but only the Phoenix Suns is rendered upside-down; probably because “Suns” is an ambigram.

    Clint Dempsey wore 1 “fire” shoe and 1 “ice” shoe during MLS cup. I’m not aware of any other Nike players wearing one of each.



    Love that handball logo. Took me a reeeeeaaaaally long time to see the player in the rooster’s head…

    Re: the first down paper, it’s always bugged me in football that they use millimeter-level precision when measuring a first down when A) the ball is so much bigger than that and B) its placement was made by a guy eyeballing it

    They are all eye-balling it!

    The ref who marks the original 1st down spot.

    the ref at the sideline who tells the chain gang where to start the chains.

    The guy that clips the mid-marker close to an actual yard marker (this guy has the most precise job of them all).

    The ref that takes the mid marker to the measurement site (he’s doesn’t have TOO much room for error)

    The Ref who determines a first down or ____ Down and inches.
    At least this ref has card/paper in his pocket for just such emergencies!

    The fact that they’re ALL eyeballing it doesn’t remove the absurdity.

    I’m not saying anything drastic needs to change – but this is objectively one of the most bizarre parts of football – that we measure the location of the ball within fractions of an inch, when the very placement of that ball is pretty much a crap shoot.

    It’s especially absurd when we consider that said eyeballing can have huge impacts on league standings -> playoff berths -> earning power.

    All we need is laser guided, computerized, all-seeing “eye in the sky” to mark the ball, measure for 1st downs, declare catches “catches” (or not), call holding penalties and pass interference, and….

    Oh wait, but who would be monitoring the computer?

    Really, all you’d need is a laser level type of thing. Shoot the laser across the field from one first down marker to the other, if the ball cuts the laser, Bob’s your uncle…

    Dawkins wore Pony on BOTH feet in Game 1 of the NBA finals. Scroll to the 7:43 mark of this clip for a crystal clear view


    Yeah, I found several photos from various games of that year’s Finals showing him with Ponys on both feet. Wondering if that two-brands story might be apocryphal.

    This image shows a Pony on his right foot. The inside of his left foot has a more rounded logo, like perhaps a Nike swoosh. Unfortunately I cannot find a better image. This photo would have to be from Game 3, 4 or 6, when Philly was the home team.


    I found that image and thought the same, but on a second look, it seems that the left foot is not his. He would have a very weird stance

    sorry for posting about gm 2. didnt see your reply until i hit POST.

    (btw, I have matching adidas on both my feet as I comment)

    these guys right here link

    As far as the NFL measuring 1st downs, really? This is an issue we need technology to interfere with? Please! Don’t remove every human element of the game! I can’t believe this is actually a topic. We’ve got replay and that’s enough. If an official makes an egregious error with the spot of the ball, then you challenge the spot. That’s it.

    The Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s Nos. 8 and 24 last night, but it looks like they didn’t use the proper number fonts.

    huh? none of the lakers numbers in that part of the rafters are the proper number fonts???? huh?? i thought this was uni-watch , not amateur hour lol

    also, from the other day, Kyrie Irving didn’t technically wear two different shoes, thats one pair of shoes they come mismatched right out of the box….

Comments are closed.