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The NHL season, which has been almost completely bereft of alternate uniforms, got a bit more uni-interesting yesterday, as the Capitals unveiled the design that they’ll be wearing for their Stadium Series game against the Maple Leafs on March 3.
The uniform is navy blue because the game will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
In addition to the “Caps” nickname on the front (which I like), there’s also a big “W” on the side of the pants, with a hint of the Washington Monument at its peak:
That “W” sure looks big, right? But the press release explains that “each element of the Capitals’ visual identity has been emphasized to create bolder, more visually pronounced uniforms that are meant to make a statement and be more recognizable in the larger outdoor stadium setting.” Fair enough — but they’ve also included a really subtle detail that nobody will be able to see: a little perforation pattern on the rear numerals that’s “based on Pierre L’Enfant’s original grid plan for the city of Washington D.C.”:
Nobody’s going to be able to see that (except fans buying the jersey, which is obviously the whole point). Also, while the perforation pattern looks pretty nifty on an “8,” it won’t work as well on most other numerals. In short: another “storytelling” gimmick that should probably have been left on the cutting room floor. On the other hand, since it will be largely invisible anyway, it doesn’t do much harm.
Overall: Not bad at all.
While we’re at it: In yesterday’s comments, reader/commenter Rob S. said that what Caps fans really want is a jersey featuring the “weagle.” For those who don’t know, that’s this logo:
Personally, I’ve never liked that logo, mainly because I think it looks like a bird being impaled on one of those old oil cans.
Oh, and this might be a good time to mention that I think it’s funny that the Capitals’ marketing slogan this season is “ALL CAPS,” when their chest insignia — even on this new nickname-crested alternate jersey — features lowercase letters. But maybe I’m being too literalist, or insufficiently ironic, or something like that.
Masterful: I have owned only one combination padlock in my life — this one. I got it in fourth grade — that’s 43 years ago — to lock up my bicycle, and then over the years it followed me to high school (where I used it for my gym locker), college (ditto), and adulthood. It’s all beat up, with most of the paint on the dial chipped off and the shank, which was once shiny, now oxidized to a deep brown. But it still works fine, and I kinda like the chipped paint and the brown shank. (I also like the word “shank.”)
These days I tend to go through long periods of not using the lock, but at the moment I’m in the midst of a two-month gym membership, so it was pressed back into service for the first time in a few years. Had no trouble remembering the combination. Dialing it up felt instantly familiar, like muscle memory.
I won’t tell you what the combination is, but I will say that the three-number sequence has always “made sense” to me in some intuitive way. I’ve felt the same way about most of the phone numbers and zip codes I’ve had over the years — they just feel right. Once we commit these number sequences to memory, we tend to find some internal logic or pattern in them, so that they seem almost obvious or self-evident.
The lock has a serial number on the back. Does that number match an index card or ledger entry somewhere deep in the dusty archives of the Master Lock offices, where they have the combination on file? I hope so. (And if that’s not how it works, please don’t shatter my illusion. Thanks.)
The dial has 40 numbers — 0 to 39. For a three-number combination sequence, that allows for 64,000 different combos, which isn’t really that many in the grand scheme of things. Master probably cranks out that many locks in a good weekend. That means there are lots of other locks out there with the same combination as mine. For some reason this disappoints me. I like to think that my lock is the only one. Hmmmm.
I can’t explain why I’m suddenly feeling sentimental about the lock, except that sometimes you just form an attachment to an object that’s been part of your life for so long, even something (or maybe especially something) as utilitarian as a padlock. Here’s hoping for another few decades together.
’Skins Watch: The University of Utah gymnastics team has a new leotard design inspired by the Ute Indian tribe. Utah is among the handful of schools that have permission from local tribes to use Native imagery (from Ryan McDonald).
Baseball News: New 3-D helmet logos for Pitt baseball and softball (from @MikePanther247). … New 3-D helmet logos for Marshall, too (from Joseph Asserly). … New Marlins owner Derek Jeter wants to get rid of the team’s home run sculpture (thanks, Brinke). … Really good article on how the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are the only MiLB team oufitted by Majestic. Lots of good info (from Rob Klingenberger). … Here’s how newly acquired Astros P Gerrit Cole looks in an unbuttoned Astros jersey. He did eventually button it, at least partially, toward the end of his introductory press conference (from @igTXSalazar). … The Charleston RiverDogs will mark the 25th anniversary of the movie Cool Runnings by wearing Jamaican bobsled team-themed jerseys on May 3. … Congrats to Richmond resident and longtime Uni Watch pal/collaborator Rob Ullman, who was hired by the Richmond Flying Squirrels to design their new “Funnville”-themed Sunday alternate uniforms. You can see the results here and here. … This is interesting: In the late 1950s, the Indianapolis Indians wore a “6672” sleeve patch, representing the number of public investors who had purchased stock in the team, thereby saving it from going under (from Michael Grace). … Japanese news: New alternate uniform for the Yomiuri Giants and new road cap for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.
NFL News: Reader Mark McLean notes that the Patriots’ TV numbers often overlap onto the shoulder striping. “This seems to affect only smaller jerseys, usually worn by wide receivers, cornerbacks and running backs,” he says. … Good article on the company that launders the Eagles’ uniforms (from Patrick Bourque). … Whoa — check out this model of the Vikings’ stadium made out of 6,400 toothpicks! (Rare non-UNC-related item from James Gilbert.) … Gotta like this: a vintage cookbook, entitled Gridiron Gourmet, featuring recipes from “the American Football League Women’s Association” (great find by Jon Solomonson). … Diego Yanez did some mock-ups showing what it might look like if Pro Bowl jerseys used the custom number fonts from the players’ regular teams. … Lots of classic stuff in this seven-minute video report on the old WFL, including the yellow football, the position-specific pants, the crazy officials’ jerseys, and the Dickerod. Uni-related trivia bits that I hadn’t known: When one team couldn’t pay its laundry bills, the laundry company simply kept the jerseys, so the team couldn’t play. Another team had its gear repossessed to help pay off debts (from Dan Tarrant).
College Football News: Akron’s equipment staff has created a facemask shaped like the Zips’ “Z” logo. It’s just for display, not for on-field use.
Hockey News: The Toledo Walleye will wear Toledo Goaldiggers throwbacks for two games next month (from @The_Real_Kub). … Someone created a series of flag designs based on NHL team logos and uniforms (from Tony Caliguiri). … Mike Scott, who plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, has a big NHL jersey collection (WaPo link) (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a weird one: Due to nasty weather, the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers decided to close their arena to fans and instead played yeterday’s game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in an empty arena with a skeleton staff. As that article explains, they did something similar two years ago. Really interesting — recommended reading (from John Muir). … Zombie-themed jerseys this Saturday for the Eugene Generals (from Alex Stimson). … We often see team logos carved into pumpkins, but how often do you see a team logo — the Bruins’ logo, in this case — drawn in the snow? … Speaking of the Bruins: Today is the 60th anniversary of when Willie O’Ree became the NHL’s first black player, and the Bruins honored him last night with a jersey patch and a pregame ceremony. Check out the jersey he wore. … The Greenville Swamp Rabbits will have pink “Stick It to Cancer” jerseys on Friday and Captain America-ish jerseys on Sunday (from Scott Trembly).
NBA News: Cross-listed from the hockey section: Wizards F Mike Scott has a big NHL jersey collection (WaPo link) (from Tommy Turner). … Looks like those NBA All-Star jersey designs that leaked last week were probably legit. Still no official release date, although I have reason to believe it’ll be late next week. … As had been hinted at earlier, the Raptors have a new alternate court design to go with their recently unveiled alternate uniforms (from Mike Styczen). … Dominique-era Hawks-style throwbacks on Feb. 3 for the D-League’s Erie BayHawks.
College and High School Hoops News: The uni-verse has now reached the point where even Fordham’s student managers are posting photos of their uniforms (from Andy Ross). … Pretty unusual road uniforms for the Lafayette Jefferson High School (Indiana) girls’ team (from Jeff Dem). … UNLV and New Mexico went black vs. turquoise last night (from Jeffrey Seals). … With Texas G Andrew Jones fighting leukemia, his teammates all wore his number No. 1 — during pregame warmups last night. Even radio announcer Craig Way got involved, wearing a No. 1 button (from Griffin Smith).
Soccer News: The LA Galaxy’s new home kit has leaked (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: The USL’s expansion team in Birmingham will be called Birmingham Legion FC. … One more from Ed: Handsome new home jersey, and new outfitter as well, for Universitario. … Gotta love this sensational Pittsburgh Spirit (MISL) promo video from 1982. “It shows the once-famous MISL orange game ball,” says Jeff Flynn. “Plus burned-out Civic Arena scoreboard lights where it spells ‘Spirit.’ Even shows the Civic Arena with the roof completely open!” … New ball for the NWSL (thanks, Jamie).
Grab Bag: North and South Korea will form a joint Olympic team for next month’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang. They will march and compete under one flag and wear one uniform. … This is pretty great: a website devoted to 45-rpm record adaptors — you know, those little plastic thingies (big thanks to Jeff Ash). … I only write about one check per month, for my rent, which means the box of checks in my desk drawer probably constitutes a near-lifetime supply. Still, these super-cool curling-themed checks are mighty tempting (from Steve Silverstein). … Slate.com, where I’ve written on and off over the years, has a new logo and site design. … Good story on how the Starbucks logo has an interesting asymmetry (from long-lost reader and onetime comments section stalwart Teebz — good to hear from you, buddy!). … Police in the UK are reportedly trying to raise some extra cash by selling off old uniforms, which has led some criminals to impersonate police officers. … Traffic police officers in the Indian city of Kolkata have begun wearing uniforms studded with LEDs, which are intended to make the officers more visible to drivers. … Pro golfer Rickie Fowler recently debuted a new Puma shoe design (from Zach Loesl).