A Very Merry Vilkmas AND Your Sunday Morning Bowl Watch

By Phil Hecken, with Jimmer Vilk and the SMUW Crew

Readers of Uni Watch know that our own Jimmer Vilk is a very generous hombre — so generous, in fact, that whenever he feels the need to throw out his excess trash is in a particularly giving mood, he gifts some of his most prized possessions to our readership (including shipping!). We thusly had Vilkmas in December in 2015 and again last December. Rather than having a LOT of items to ship during the holiday season, Jimmer broke his Vilkmasses in 2017 into two parts: one this past July, and for the final giving, the one we’re about to endure enjoy today!

Jimmer’s not too much for words, but he’s all about gifts and deeds, so here’s the man with a short intro, and then the free stuff (you can see how to ask for it at the end of this section)…Here’s the man himself (click on any item to enlarge):

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Season’s Greetings to you and yours! Since today’s a busy day, I’ll be brief. In case you missed it five months ago, Vilkmas is still celebrated by giving away ten gifts…but now it’s five in July and five in December. So, let’s get right to part two of Vilkmas 2017!

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We begin with my latest thrift store find. If you’re Still Calling Them The Phoenix Cardinals, have I got a glass for you!

The second best facemask after the single bar, no?

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Next, more helmets on glass. This time you and someone else can propose a toast with a set of two glasses commemorating the old AFC Central.

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Switching to hockey, here’s a Sidney Crosby t-shirt with a retro Pittsburgh Penguins logo, size XL.

AND, there’s a 1997-98 Penguins yearbook to go with it.

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Now we move on to basketball. Next season will be ten years since the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic met in the NBA Finals. Remind everyone you know with this double-sided XL t-shirt.

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And finally, I know they’ve found the “on” switch lately but I have this feeling that the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t winning any more titles. So celebrate the one they did with this 2016 NBA Champions shirt, size XL.

Thanks again to Phil, Paul, the staff and the readers for putting up with me throughout the year. May you all have a joyous and peaceful season. Now back to Phil for the raffle details.

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Thanks, Jimmer! Your generosity never ceases to amaze.

OK, this is very similar to Paul’s once-yearly raffle so here is how you enter:

1) Send an email to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com and put in the SUBJECT “Vilkmas in December”

2) In the BODY of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 3 prize choices, in order of preference, by description. If you’re only interested in, say, one or two items, then just list your top one or two choices; if you want all 5, you can do that too, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. Jim will do his best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.

3) One email per person. Entry deadline is this THURSDAY (December 28th), 8:00 pm Eastern. The winners will be announced next weekend.

OK? OK!

And please, everyone please give Jimmer a nice round of thanks in the comments below. Thanks, Jimmer — you’re still the best.

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Sunday Morning Bowl Watch

By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

Let’s go bowling.

From Saturday, December 16th, 2017

North Texas vs. Troy│ We kick things off with the Troy University Trojans in white jerseys and pants, paired with cardinal-chrome helmets. They faced off against the MEAN GREEN of the University of North Texas, and as such, they wore green helmets and jerseys, with white pants. I should also note that North Texas has some of the finest matte helmets I’ve ever seen.

Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky│ Up next, we have the Georgia State University Panthers up against the wall Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. Georgia State decided to break out their all-blue set. Perfect for those Smurfs Christmas specials that we all love so much. Meanwhile, WKU was clad in mono-white with chrome helmets.

Oregon vs. Boise State│ Color Rush vs. Color comes to college football! This game featured the Ducks of the University of Oregon in mono-green (and of course, chrome helmets. The wing detail is in matte, so it’s hard to tell, but they are chrome), and the Boise State University Broncos in an all-blue ensemble.

Marshall vs. Colorado State│ Marshall University’s Thundering Herd dressed in white/green/white, and as for the Colorado State University Rams? They wore a stunning all-white uniform with green bone horns on a white shell. I’m not a huge sucker for all-white like a lot of people tend to be, but when done right, the results are fruitful (see also: Michigan State).

Middle Tennessee State vs Arkansas State│ The Arkansas State University Red Wolves wore an all-black look to counter the mono-white (and silver-domed) Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders.

From Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Florida Atlantic vs. Akron│ As shown with the uniform matchup, the 50-3 back-shed job wasn’t the only contrasting feature of this game. The Florida Atlantic University Owls wore a very nice red/white/red look, which matched up perfectly against the Florida International University Panthers University of Akron Zips’ all-navy look.

From Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Louisiana Tech vs. SMU│ Despite the rather patriotic color schemes featured by both teams, this was another black-and-blue affair, with the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs in full-white, trouncing the Southern Methodist University Mustangs (51-10), who wore much of the same, save for blue jerseys.

From Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Temple vs. Florida International│ The name of this bowl game is too much. I LOVE IT. With that out of my system, onto the uniforms: The Temple University Owls wore cherry/white/cherry, and the University of Akron Zips Florida International University Panthers wore all-navy.

From Friday, December 22nd, 2017

UAB vs. Ohio│ Two notable bits here: remember those Children’s Harbor uniforms that the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers wore for Homecoming? They revived them for their bowl game against the Ohio University Bobcats, who also had a new uniform (sorta). They wore all-white, but the stripes were moved to the sleeve caps (normally on the shoulders). Also, this proved to be the third one-sided game in four days (Ohio won, 41-6).

Central Michigan vs. Wyoming│ I’m gonna go off-routine here and simply link you to Phil’s writeup of the Central Michigan/Wyoming tilt, because he did a better job than I could if I were to go further with my own thoughts. YIKES, that was rough. At least the matchup matched the bowl game logo’s colors.

From Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Texas Tech vs. South Florida│ The Texas Tech University Red Raiders wore red/white/black against the gold chrome dome and mono-green-clad University of South Florida Bulls, who have effectively played their last football game in Under Armour uniforms (they will be switching to Adidas in 2018).

Army vs. San Diego State│ The San Diego State University Aztecs have developed a really nice uniform for themselves. Red helmets with white jerseys and black pants with that nifty pattern make this a modern classic in my eyes. As for the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy at West Point? They lived up to their name and wore all-black.

Appalachian State vs. Toledo│ The Mountaineers of Appalachian State University made quick work of the University of Toledo Rockets in their bowl game. Black/white/black for App. State, and a rather odd-feeling (no other way to put that) anthracite-over-navy look. The jersey/pant combo wasn’t what made this a weird uniform, but rather, the gradient helmets. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh well.

That does it for part 1. And if it seemed scarce and rushed, that’s because it was, unfortunately. I had a lot of things to tackle in my everyday life in the last week, and as such, I have been exhausted most of the time, so I have had no time to build my writeup properly. I wanted to be honest with you guys that I always aim to give you guys the best I can give, and I enforce a zero-tolerance policy on myself for “phoning it in”. Of course, life happens, and I would rather fill you in on why it seems like I just slapped this piece together. Rest assured, things are settling down now, and part two (coming next week) will be full of content, as it should be. At any rate, I thank you all for tuning in to part 1 of the bowl roundup, and I’ll see you next week with part 2. And of course, Happy Holidays to you all.

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Joe Ringham 5 & 1 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.

Here’s Joe:

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Greetings, everyone! After a few weeks off to rest and recharge a little, it’s time for the first of three bowl editions of the 5 & 1. Let’s see who makes the cut, good and bad, for the first 14 bowl games of this bowl season…

5) Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky vs Georgia State — Really loved how bright and bold the mono-blue GSU went with here looked. It just stood out so well here, even against the chrome/mono-white the Hilltoppers went with.

4 & 3 [tie]) Boca Raton Bowl: Florida Atlantic vs Akron and Gasparilla Bowl: Temple vs Florida International — These two tie here, not only because they look damn near alike, but because they are two examples of games where teams wearing red/white/red (or, in Temple’s case cherry/white/cherry) look great against mono-navy.

2) Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs Oregon — It’s not often nowadays that you see a color vs color bowl game. Even if it technically isn’t the right green for their school color, really loved the Ducks going chrome/mono-green here against the mono-blue of the Broncos.

1) Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech vs South Florida — I had a pretty good feeling about this one, when I saw this in the bowl lineup heading into the weekend. Loved Tech going with the red/white/black here, as I’ve become a fan of their red lids. It just seemed so festive against the chrome gold/mono-green of USF, a look the Bulls pull off so well. A pretty deserving #1, according to me.

And, finally…

+1) Potato Bowl: Central Michigan vs Wyoming — I don’t know, in my three seasons in this space, that there has been a game more deserving of this spot than this one. Combined with the blue turf in Boise, it damn near hurt my eyes to look at.

That will do it for this bowl edition. I’ll see you next week for part two. Until then, a very Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

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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!

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Duck Tracker

Welcome to the FINAL 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.

The Ducks played in the Las Vegas Bowl, held last weekend, for their final game of the 2017 campaign (you can click to enlarge):

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!

Thanks Dennis!

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BOWL Tracking

I asked the “Power5” Trackers to also keep tabs on “their” teams for Bowl Season. As of last evening, though, only two teams had actually played — The Ducks and The Texas Tech Red Raiders. I won’t repeat the Ducks (which is above), but Kyle Acker, who tracks the Big XII, has the one tracking for T-Tech:

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

NFL News: Say, did you hear about that Packer named XID-NOTNILC? No? Submitter Kevin McMahon says, “Is this freaky or what? My sons friend bought this off a Chinese website. Look at the photo upside down and you see the problem.” … If you collected all 9 of the Browns’ game day posters this season, you’ll notice they reveal their helmet stripe pattern (from several submitters). … Greg Armstrong notes the photo on the front page of Chicago Tribune from Getty Images has this picture labeled “from Louisiana Superdome”. But picture on the left shows this is incorrect. About 20 of you correctly noted it’s from 1986, a preseason game at Wembley Stadium. … Hey UWers — LI’L HELP with a Christmas Gift?: “Was wondering if you guys could help me, found this frame photo at a store and I didn’t know who the teams are in the photo, do any of you know the 2 teams in the photo?? Thanks,” writes Jamie Burditt. Sorry, but that’s the resolution he sent it to me at. I suppose it’s possible it’s college teams too. … Your New York Football Jets will look like a normal team today (from Walt Young). … I remember this! Our own Mike Chamernik says, “In honor of Christmas coming up: In 1996, the Jaguars put a Santa hat on their midfield logo.” … The Cleveland Browns have a perfect record when wearing orange/white/white/orange this season (actually their record is perfect in every combo). From Robert Hayes. … The Eagles give out this belt to the Community Service MVP each week. Mack Hollins has won it 3 times already (From James Gilbert). … So what is the alt jersey rule? A couple people noted yesterday marked the third home game in the 2017 season where the Baltimore Ravens have worn their Black alternate jersey. (vs. Steelers [Black on Black] vs. Texans – MNF [Black on Black] and vs. Colts [Yesterday – Black on White]. I thought (and conversed with Paul, who agreed) they could only wear their alternate jersey twice. Hmmmm. … The Titans will be wearing mono blue today for their game against the Rams (from Lee Wilds).

College/High School Football News: WHOA…there are program covers and then there are program covers! Check out this 1974 football program cover art from the Wichita State University Shockers (from Keith Means). … Here’s a look at John Steven Jones (Jerry Jones’s) grandson in the Texas state football championship game. He is wearing their version of the NFL captaincy patch (from Chris Perrenot). … A high school football player from Loyalsock Township high school in Pennsylvania signed his national letter of intent to play for UCONN recently. Notice how the ears of the Huskies logo align almost perfectly with the tall young man in gray’s head making it look like he has dog ears (from Gerry Dincher). … The Allen Eagles from the Dallas area have some incredible throwback helmet logos featuring past Texas state championship trophies (from Clint Kalinec). … Related: Allen vs Lake Travis for state title in Texas. Allen has their 4 state title trophies on their helmet. LT has stars for each of their 6 state titles (from Cork Gaines). … TCU will go purple/black/purple for Thursday’s Alamo Bowl.

Hockey News: I still wish you could purchase these awesome NHL jackets (though not necessarily a Philly Flyers one) at J.C. Penney (nice find from @PureLipschitz). … Kennesaw State Hockey has some pretty nice sweaters (from Mitch Harrison). … We may not be sending pros to the Olympics, but the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team has some seriously sweet sweaters (from Timothy Miller). … It’s that time of year: Orlando Solar Bears ugly sweater jerseys (from Jeff Tasca). … The minor league Penguins sported holiday themed jerseys last night. That’s a festivus pole in the penguin’s hand where a hockey stick usually is (from Yukon Cornelius). … Awesome Opposuit jackets were on display last night with thePredators coaching staff in the Christmas spirit. Adds Chris Howell, “And yes, they’re wearing them during the game.” … Also in the Christmas spirit (and rocking a FULL Opposuit — and yes, I not only would wear that, I have that one) was Hayes Permar, a local reporter at the Hurricanes game (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a closeup look at Preds coach Peter Laviolette rocking The Lumberjack (yes, I have that one too). From James Beattie.

NBA News: After seeing clues and gathering some more info himself, here is a full-view mockup of the Sixers City Edition uniform. Conrad Burry is still not 100% sure on the uniform’s material color, waistband logo and shorts hem design, but this is certainly a well-informed estimation. … “Wandering the Christmas Market in NYC and stumbled across this unreal poster,” says Matt Houston. “Too bad sold out :(” he adds. … This was forwarded by Robert Hayes without any context, but is this an ankle monitoring bracelet?

College Hoops News: More mis-matched sneakers. On Friday evening, Mickey Mitchell of Arizona State went with one black and one gold shoe (from @killerkg). … Also on Friday night, Old Dominion wore powder blue throwbacks, which made for a pleasing color vs. color game (from Jason Rhodes). … Jimmer Vilk was watching the CBS Sports Classic & once again wishing the Final Four floor looked like this. … Jorge Cruz notes that CBS Sports Classic court has 4 school logos on it. … “Kris Wilkes of UCLA continues the trend of rolling down the waistband of his long shorts to create short-shorts (actually they’re now just normal length),” writes Ryan Keberly. “Unfortunately it reveals a large garment tag — only a minor faux pas when considering the design of the ‘CBS Sports Classic’ court. Yeesh.” [Only Jimmer Vilk thinks those are ‘normal’ length — PH]

Soccer News: Real Madrid 2018-19 Home, Away & Third kits and info have bee leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, the 2018-18 Paris-St. Germain home kit has been leaked. … More from Josh: the Juventus 2018-19 home, away and third kits have been leaked. … (From Josh again): “Will be very similar to the 2017-18 FC Barcelona home kit. Here’s Barça’s home kit for 17-18.” … “I don’t know if this has been featured before but in this clip they talk about the ribbons on the trophy representing the colors of the uniform socks/shorts/jersey,” says Bryan Kimball.

Grab Bag: There was a real memorabilia fest in store for Ignacio, who says, “A lot of awesome in one photo. I love coming home and finding gems from the 80s and 90s.” … “Color v colour” in the National Lacrosse League last night when New England played in Saskatchewan (from Nelson Hackewich). … President Trump’s coin, which many saw on Friday for the first time, is unmistakably different from its predecessors (submitted by Jason Hillyer who stresses, “Submitted for design and visual, not political, aspects.”

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One Final Note…

To all who celebrate, a Very Merry Christmas.

Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
— Clarence the Angel, It’s A Wonderful Life

31 comments to A Very Merry Vilkmas AND Your Sunday Morning Bowl Watch

  • AlMaFi | December 24, 2017 at 7:43 am |

    That image of the Potato Bowl…please tell that’s a photo filter and not an actual painting.

    • Phil Hecken | December 24, 2017 at 10:17 am |

      Yeah…I had some fun with that one…it’s from a photo, not a painting.

      • Jim Vilk | December 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm |

        You should play around with an old Boise State/Wyoming photo. That’d be a real (surreal?) work of art.

  • Shane | December 24, 2017 at 7:55 am |

    That Barcelona piece is from May, and about this current season’s shirt, not next season.

    • Josh Hinton | December 24, 2017 at 11:34 am |

      I was comparing this year’s FCB shirt with next seasons PSG one. I don’t know what happened in the ticker…

      • Phil Hecken | December 24, 2017 at 11:58 am |

        That was my fault — I screwed up the wording from Josh’s submission. Should be fixed now.

        • Josh Hinton | December 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm |

          No problem; mistakes happen. Merry Christmas!

  • Adam T | December 24, 2017 at 8:29 am |

    The Predators coach is Peter, not Paul

    • Clarybird | December 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm |

      “To rob Peter to pay Paul” – or something like that.

      • John | December 24, 2017 at 1:42 pm |

        Peter, not Paul and not Mary.

        • Ryan M | December 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm |

          Pretty sure it’s Peter, Paul and Mary.

  • Jerry | December 24, 2017 at 8:45 am |

    Interesting story about the Presidents challenge coins. I’m something of a political junkie and I don’t recall knowing they existed for Presidents. It appears President Trump is altering the coin to fit his personality a bit more than the previous Presidents. It’ll be interesting to see if the next President continues this practice. I suspect that those who support President Trump will like coin and those who don’t support the President will dislike it. As for President Trump placing the words “Make America Great Again” on his coin I’d say this. While it was originally his campaign slogan I believe the Trump administration uses it as an unofficial motto of Trumps Presidency. Trump officials and staffers use it on official documents and the President still uses the phrase when he delivers speeches. I understand some people still think of that slogan as campaign related but to the administration it has become a phrase that they believe they are carrying out every day as they go about their business of governing. As for the future I believe the Trump 2020 campaign will be using “Keep America Great” as their slogan so perhaps those that don’t like the Make America Great phrase will not have to hear it anymore in a couple of years.
    Merry Christmas to all!

    • Paul Lee | December 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm |

      Is it even a coin anymore?

      • Jerry | December 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm |

        Ha ha great point Paul. I’m not sure if I really like the base positioned at the bottom of the coin or if I really dislike it. Either way the coins are ceremonial and most people probably don’t carry them in their pocket like a piece of currency.
        My guess it most folks display them so I imagine this gives it a built in stand for display.

    • Phil Hecken | December 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm |

      “. As for the future I believe the Trump 2020 campaign will be using “Keep America Great” as their slogan so perhaps those that don’t like the Make America Great phrase will not have to hear it anymore in a couple of years.”

      ~~~

      But what if the President doesn’t make America Great Again in 3 (maybe) more years? Will they still change the slogan?

      • Josh Hinton | December 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm |

        Likely not; does McDonalds change their “I’m lovin’ it” slogan if someone doesn’t like their food?

  • Kevin | December 24, 2017 at 9:10 am |

    While it’s true that Caldwell-Pope currently can’t leave California due to violating his probation (for a driving/drinking offense earlier in the year) and he has to wear a GPS monitor when out of the detention facility at his job it’s not an ankle bracelet like the picture – it’s also a pretty crappy photoshop job with blocky edges.

  • Ronnie Poore | December 24, 2017 at 9:27 am |

    Those Toledo anthracite jerseys looked almost green. Very strange look.

  • Josh Hinton | December 24, 2017 at 11:39 am |

    Proofreading:

    The PSG and Juve kits I sent in are for 2018-19, not “2018-18”, and the FCB jersey for this season is similar to the PSG for next year; that was what I was comparing in the emails. Also, The Rakuten ad for FCB was announced before the Warriors announced theirs.

    • Phil Hecken | December 24, 2017 at 11:59 am |

      See above. Should be fixed now. My apologies.

  • Teal Stripe Mike | December 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm |

    The faces on that Wichita State program will haunt me. Send help.

  • Jim Vilk | December 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm |

    do any of you know the 2 teams in the photo??

    First thing that popped in my head was Bears/’Skins. Not sure why, but it happened the instant I looked at it. I could be wrong.

  • Colin | December 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm |

    Those 2 teams are team A and team B . And I didn’t see any coverage from the NFL games. Well, I just skimmed a bit.

  • Ryan M | December 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm |

    I vote that the +1 be forever named in honor of this year’s ‘Tater Bowl, if for no other reason than to poke fun at the absurdly long named many bowls have acquired. The Dishonorable Smurf Turf / Central Michigan / Wyoming +1 Award.

  • Tim | December 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm |

    Pros are still going to the Olympics, just not players in the NHL.

  • Lee Wilds | December 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm |

    If you are wondering about the critter in the Titans uni photo, its a stuffed beaver. It resides in Taylor Lewan’s locker and his jersey number is 77 and that bucket hat is his preferred sideline gear.

    • Phil Hecken | December 24, 2017 at 8:24 pm |

      nice beaver2

  • Jimmy Corcoran | December 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm |

    Happy Holidays to the staff at Uni Watch and to all the readers! It has been a while since I have submitted a WFL story here but I read Uni Watch almost every day and appreciate all the work everyone does to make this site so great! Best of Luck in 2018!

  • Dave | December 24, 2017 at 9:45 pm |

    Re the Wyoming-CMU affair on the cyanotic tundra of Boise State… they told me not to adjust my TV set, so I spent the entire game banging my head on the wall to make it stop.

  • Bud | December 26, 2017 at 10:29 am |

    I watched Toledo’s bowl game for probably an hour and honestly thought that their anthracite jerseys were an olive-green (I noticed some forest green in the helmet too between the yellow and blue). I guess my grandparent’s TV contrast needs a bit of tweaking.