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Report: NBA All-Star Jerseys Just as Bad as We Feared

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For the past two weeks, leaked images purported to be of the NBA All-Star jerseys have been circulating. The sheer multiplicity of images (there were several more in addition to the ones shown above) seemed to indicate that the leaks were legit, and yesterday Conrad Burry of, who’s been laser-focused on this topic, said he had confirmed that the leaks do in fact show the All-Star jerseys.

Now that we know the designs are for real, a few quick thoughts:

• There’s no more East vs. West format this year (they’re going with a draft-style system, with team captains choosing the rosters), so they’ve scrapped the old color system of red vs. blue. Okay, but man, black vs. white? Soooooo boring.

• Kinda hate the black-and-white treatment of the team logos on the chest. Makes the logos (and hence the jerseys) look cheap. Then again, maybe there’s some underlying “Athlete’s Icon Mindset Statement Edition” storytelling here that I’m overlooking.

• The outlined numbers on the back are going to be nearly illegible:

• People who care a lot more about corporate theater than I do are all worked up about the use of the Jordan logo, instead of the Nike logo, on these jerseys. Eh, six of one. As for why they’re going with the Jordan mark, reader Eric Fox tells me, “The entire spring 2018 Jordan line is centered around black/white and the theme ‘City of Flight.’ The jerseys fall in line with the brand theme.” Something-something, tail, dog, wag, something-something.

But hey, maybe the shorts will be really good.

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For all photos in this section, click to enlarge

Item! Non-loathsome reason to go to Times Square: Yes, that’s me in the foreground, with my back to the camera. No, I did not actually get doused in a sticky sports beverage that recently turned the name of a basketball league into a giant advertisement.

That scene took place yesterday afternoon, when I was part of a group of reporters who took a tour of the NFL Experience, an interactive attraction that opened in Times Square back in November. The guy who runs it, Danny Boockvar, described it to me as “Disneyland meets the Hall of Fame,” and that sounds about right. The virtual Gatorade bath (basically, you stand in front of a green screen and look up in mock dismay when the camera guy tells you to) is one of several bits that lean more toward the Disneyland side of that equation, but there’s also plenty of good stuff for the more serious fan. I enjoyed all of it — a fun, impressive place.

I shot a lot of photos and video, so I’ll do a full blog entry on the NFL Experience in a few weeks. For now, I’ll just share two more photos with you, beginning with this panoramic shot of a display that shows ticket stubs from every Super Bowl:

We also got a chance to meet Hall of Famer Mike Singletary, who led a 30-minute session in which he broke down the Xs and Os from some plays in Sunday’s conference championship games:

Singletary, incidentally, was quite entertaining and very poised. I can’t recall if he’s ever done TV studio work (I tend not to watch pregame, postgame, or halftime segments), but I think he’d be good at it.

Meanwhile, if you’re in NYC, I definitely recommend the NFL Experience, which is at the corner of Seventh Ave. and 47th St.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Here’s just the thing to set up in the living room for your Super Bowl party: This POP (point of purchase) display was shipped to the “Pittsburgh Hat & cap co.” to the attention of Mr. Sidney Rice in July of 1976, and #12 sure looks like Terry Bradshaw to me, judging from the facemask.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• This is a combo auction: You get 28 NFL team pencils and a terrific-looking NFL notebook with lotsa helmets on display.

• Single-bar action on this 1960s Packers “low ball old fashioned” cocktail glass.

• Have mercy, check these out: One auction gets you three of these early 1970s NFL Helmet Kits. If you scroll through the photos you’ll see the Jets one is a little scuffed up, but otherwise they’re in darn good shape for their age.

• This kids’ 1980s Seattle Mariners giveaway jacket featured their baseball “M” logo.

• Another item from the 1980s Mariners: This seat cushion giveaway featured another logo, the “Trident M.”

• Before the Mariners, there were the Pilots — briefly. Here’s what their bobblehead looks like.

• If you’re a Vikes fan and have a toddler you want to outfit in purple and yellow, try this mini-Vikings sweatsuit.

• Ever read any of the titles from the 1960s NFL Punt Pass and Kick book series? I had ’em all — highly recommended!

• This sticker urges Washington Caps fans to “Stick It to ’Em!”

• Dance to “Phillies Fever” with this 1976 45-rpm record (kids, look it up) with several team stars “singing,” including Mike Schmidt.

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Collection connection: I have a small collection of bowling-instructional LPs, and that collection got a new addition when I recently scored this copy of 7 Days to Better Bowling (Audio-Dynamics, 1961). It looks great displayed with the other three LPs in my collection — Joe Wilman Shows You How to Bowl Your Best, Hear How to Be a Better Bowler (narrated by Hall of Famer Billy Golembiewski, don’tcha know), and Spares and Strikes Forever (with Don Carter and Chris Schenkel; click to enlarge):

I’m still searching for a copy of Strike! With Billy Welu, but maybe it’s just as well that I don’t have it, because it has a pretty brutal cover design and wouldn’t look good on display.

There’s also a separate category of LPs with allegedly bowling-themed music, such as AMF Presents Music for Swingers, Don Carter Presents Music for Swingin’ Bowlers, and Don Carter Presents Music for Happy Bowlers (it’s not clear how Carter distinguishes a swingin’ bowler from a happy bowler), but I’ve never gotten into those. I stick to the instructional LPs.

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Naming Wrongs reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, some new Naming Wrongs designs are now available (including a bunch of color options for Cole Field House, like the one shown at right). Check them out here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsThe A’s are putting their 50th-anniversary logo on the game ball for home games this year, and will unveil a new alternate uniform on Friday (from Brinke). … Remember when the Toledo Mud Hens asked fans to help solve the mystery of Kirby Puckett’s uni number? A local fan has finally figured it out (from Brinke). … The White Sox have released their 2018 promotions schedule, which includes a 1983 jersey giveaway (from Robert Hayes). … Antiques Roadshow recently featured a 1930s Philadelphia A’s jersey (from James Gilbert). … New cleats for North Carolina baseball (from James Gilbert). … Eastern Michigan will be using 3-D helmet logos this season (from Cy Loveall).

NFL NewsThe Titans will reportedly unveil their new uniform set in April (from  Eric Wright). … Brian Speiss points out that the numbers on Tom Brady’s helmet are placed directly on top of a center ridge, instead of straddled on either side like on other teams. … With the Patriots headed to yet another Super Bowl, it’s worth checking in with this Bill Belichick hoodie database (from Brinke). … In addition to showing the worst play in every Super Bowl, this video offers a look into how Supe unis and field designs have changed over the years (from Dan Tarrant). … The NFL Shop in Europe is apparently having problems distinguishing between the Giants and 49ers (from Danny Thompson). … The Roots, the band hailing from Philadelphia, played at halftime of the Eagles/Vikings game on Sunday. Drummer Questlove used a bass drum with a throwback Eagles logo (from Jon Solomonson).

College Football NewsGeorgia Tech has reportedly selected the shade of gold it will use in its new Adidas football uniforms (from Douglas Ford and Michael Blake Raymer).

Hockey News: The Flames wore camo during warmups last night for Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation night (from Sunny Moon). … According to the NHL, Toronto’s Auston Matthews had the best-selling jersey in the league in 2017 (from Caleb Eefting). … The Blackhawks had a bobblehead giveaway last night, and the packaging included a typo that was covered up with a sticker (from Michael Apler). … Shannon Szabados‏, the goaltender for the Canadian women’s national team, has unveiled her mask for the Winter Olympics (from Moe Khan). …  The Hamilton Steelhawks, a senior team in the Ontario Hockey Association, will wear retro unis on Feb. 2 (from Ross Taylor).

NBA NewsA local retail store in Denver is selling Nuggets jerseys with the Western Union ad patch. Ad-clad jerseys were supposedly going to be available only at teams’ home arenas (from John Romero). … Zatarain’s advertises on the Pelicans jerseys, but apparently that doesn’t mean they can use the team’s branding in their own ads. The result is an odd-looking jersey showing the ad patch but not the chest lettering (from Chris Mycoskie‏).

College and Youth League Hoops NewsColorado State is following in its football team’s footsteps. The basketball team will wear “State Pride” unis modeled after the Colorado state flag on Jan. 31 (from Rob Montoya and Matt Lesser). … ‏West Virginia and TCU went color-on-color last night (from our own Kris Gross). … The Phi Slamma Jamma-era Houston Cougars had two players with the last name Williams. Instead of adding first initials to their NOBs, they simply wore their first names (from Cork Gaines). … Workers at a UNC bookstore found some old receipts in a used book that celebrated the Tar Heels’ 1993 National Championship (from James Gilbert). … A team of what appears to be elementary school-age girls in Oklahoma wears paw print-patterned uniforms that look like pajamas (from Chance Plett).

Soccer NewsMauro Icardi of Inter Milan suffered a jersey tear Sunday. Looks like it’s not just Nike’s NBA jerseys that are having issues (from Tim Wünderlich).

Grab BagTeam USA’s opening ceremony outfits for next month’s Winter Olympics include a battery-powered heat system (from Phil). … Speaking of the Olympics, this gallery takes a look at some of the most unique skeleton helmets that will be worn (also from Phil). … Old Bridge Raceway Park in New Jersey recently announced they would no longer host drag racing, which means they’re going to need a new logo (from David Firestone).

Comments (49)

    Here’s an nfl merchandise story for you. Chris long and Lane Johnson sold under dog shirts and donated the money to philly schools. Now the nfl is selling their own version. The players are angry they aren’t donating anything


    And if the schools were selling t-shirts with an NFL theme to raise money, the NFL suits would mail off cease-and-desist letters faster than you can blink an eye.

    Proofreading: The Inter Milan player’s name is Mauro Icardi, not Marizio.

    No more iconic Raceway Park ads on the radio in NY/NJ? (SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!) Loved those as a kid.

    Regarding Tom Brady’s helmet, the Riddell VSR4, I always found it odd that the NFL hasn’t talked to Brady, Drew Brees or Antonio Gates to put them in a safer helmet. The VSR4 is one of the worst helmets you can wear and isn’t even produced anymore. It’s 1 star rated as marginal by Virginia Tech’s rating system:


    I played football through college and I understand picking a helmet is all about personal comfort (personally I was a Schutt guy) but with player safety and CTE front and center it just seems like the NFL would ask the all-time GOAT QB to maybe wear something safer so kids that watch might emulate him with equipment too. The article yesterday about Brady trying the Revo Speed was interesting that he mentioned he didn’t play well in that helmet so switched back.

    Just my two cents on his helmet.

    Even if there are kids of today who say they want to wear the same helmet that Tom Brady wears because they look up to him and emulate him, they can’t, because the helmet is no longer in production. I think you’re worried about a problem that doesn’t exist.

    I think my point more or less with the CTE issues, lawsuits and all of the focus on player safety that you would want the quote unquote face of the league to be in a helmet that is considered safe.

    It’s basically grandfathered. Kind of like how the Jofa 235 was grandfathered in for ages in the NHL, and was being worn by the face of that league for a generation.

    I think you all are overestimating what a helmet can do to prevent concussions. When your head suddenly stops moving, your brain will still continue in motion until it is stopped by the inside of your skull. No helmet can prevent that.

    Billy G, of course!

    Seeing all those bowling albums reminds me of a time when bowling was mainstream enough to warrant recordings, whether pop music records or instructional records. But were those records really effective; did they really help bowlers improve their game?

    Not sure if the records improved their game but “swingin’ bowlers” had some interesting taste in music.

    “The Phi Slamma Jamma-era Houston Cougars had two players with the last name Williams. Instead of adding first initials to their NOBs, they simply wore their first names ”

    The Cougars also did this for Akeem (how he spelled it in college) Olajuwon.


    I can’t find any pics but I remember most of the players on the early 70s, Kenny Charles era Fordham Rams having first names or nicknames on their unis.

    Looking at the collector’s corner display; I agree #12 looks like Bradshaw and #32 looks a lot like Franco Harris.

    Regarding the Altitude retail store that is selling the Nuggets jerseys with the Ad patch, that store is probably the online arm of the Nuggets stadium shop. Altitude is the name of the network owned by Kroenke Sports, who own the Nuggets and the Avalanche.

    You beat me to it; I was about to reply with this. You’re correct. Altitude Authentics is the Pepsi Center/Nuggets/Avalanche team store, not a local retail store.

    No link (Because I’m not sure how to format it.), but per Adam Schefter’s Twitter, and via Mike Reiss, New England will be wearing white for Super Bowl 52.

    I would have thought that if any team could be counted on to NOT do the superstitious thing, it’d be Belichick’s Patriots.

    True. Though they are 3-0 in white in the Brady-Belichick era and 2-2 in blue, those two losses came against a team that didn’t even make the playoffs this year – plus, the coach of those teams is now in the front office of the team they just beat in the AFC title game. On top of that, the only loss this season for the Eagles in midnight green was in Week 17, which was a meaningless game for them as they’d already locked up the #1 seed.

    It was going to be a bad looking game either way, but Pats in blue and Eagles in all white would have been the best option visually

    That’s a shame. The Pats look pretty good with silver/navy/silver combo. Their silver/white/navy look is a bit of a mess.
    And the less “midnight green” the better for the Eagles. Hopefully they’ll switch back to kelly green sooner than later.

    Haha. The wife and I moved cross country last year – I should send a mess of those “I miss Cole” shirts to my friend back east.

    Those all-star jerseys are looking like practice or AAU jerseys.

    They should just go back to the way it was done when Magic and Bird played. Wear their own jerseys. If you have to, put a patch on it.

    Would have save us from those awful saguaro cacti jerseys from when they had it in Phoenix.

    Magic and Bird didn’t wear their own uniforms. That was a late 90s/very early 00s thing. And own uniforms would be SO much better than this year’s mess.

    Personally as a Pats fan, I’m happy they chose to wear to white. Not for any superstitious reason, but I just think the Pats look better in white in this current uniform set. (Not saying much I know).

    With all the success of the Pats with these uniforms, I see little chance that they change them for a very long time, if ever. I think most prefer the old “Pat Patriot”. I always prefer matching pants and helmets when a team has silver or gold helmets, regardless of the jersey color. So not a fan of the Pats blue pants with the white jerseys.

    I prefer Pat Patriot to Flying Elvis, but I also prefer the silver helmet to the white. Too much white in the design for Pat, so the logo was always kind of weak. Looked much better in print than on the helmet.

    The helmet Pats fans should be nostalgic for is the link with red numbers. Second-best helmet in NFL history right there.

    I’d like a mashup of the current and Pat Patriot era. Go with that red jersey with white and royal blue stripes (maybe add some silver outline to the numbers), but keep the silver helmet and pants.
    Either way, I think the navy pants with a white jersey and silver helmet just seems incredibly off-balanced.

    I like these, and having more red than blue would differentiate their uniforms from the Cowboys.

    I think the post Brady/Belichick Pats will go to a uniform similar to their current color rash set without the mono. Keeping the blue/flyi Elvis of the dynasty period, while at the same time eliminating m and streamlining the extemporaneous elements that hinder the current set.

    The SI article (link) about the Patriots wearing white states that “no team has worn an alternate jersey in the Super Bowl.” This statement is not true. The 49ers wore their throwback jerseys for Super Bowl XXIX against the Chargers. link

    Gotta love the irony of a record titled “Joe Wilman Shows You How to Bowl Your Best”

    At least Billy Golembiewski is a little more accurate with his “Hear How To Be A Better Bowler” title.

    Paul, would love to see a little more of your Warp’s Top Quality Plastics sign.

    I’m okay with boring NBA jerseys. At least they will all look uniform and there will be no color clashing such as putting a Lakers logo on a red jersey.

    Although it would have been fun to see them wear their own jerseys and go white vs color jerseys. But maybe too confusing to watch Draymond in white post up Durant in blue.

    Why is everyone freaking out about the ridge down the middle of Brady’s helmet?… this was standard of Riddell helmets for decades …

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