By Phil Hecken
In case you aren’t aware, there are not one but two “all star” games today — the NHL one, which is called the NHL All Star Game, and the NFL one, which is known as the “Pro Bowl.” The fact that both will be taking place at almost the same time speaks volumes. These games used to be real events — ok, maybe they were and still are exhibitions, but we used to want to watch them. Now it seems, no one really cares. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I get.
I don’t particularly care for the NBA All Star Game either, but I’ll probably watch, even if the players are just having fun running up the score for 45 minutes. They seem to play a little defense for the last three, for some reason. But that’s also all about the shoes (it’s become quite the fashion show for kicks) and their pre-game stuff (3 point contest, dunk contest) are pretty entertaining. The Baseball ASG is MUST WATCH (at least for me) and I even get a kick out of the home run derby. But there’s basically nothing about the hockey or football all star games that even remotely interests me. Even the unis have really started to suck.
It wasn’t always this way. For years the NHL uniforms were black, white and orange, and I always loved seeing them. Then they began to get away from those, but still had some pretty decent uniforms (you can see a bunch of those in this article — despite the author not liking many of them, I thought there were some really nice ones). But recently, it’s like the NHL gave up.
In 2015, the uni’s arguably reached a nadir when neon was added to the palette for the Columbus game. They were somewhat redeemed the next year when Nashville played host, and the colors were black, white, gray and gold. They changed up the format so that the game was played 3-on-3. Ugh.
For some inexplicable reason, which will continue again this year, the 2017 game featured FOUR different jerseys, and each one by itself wasn’t too shabby. However, they continued to use the 3-on-3 tournament,, in which teams representing each of the NHL’s four divisions (the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, and Pacific) played in a single-elimination tournament, with each game consisting of two 10-minute halves played 3-on-3. Because of this, you ended up with some odd combinations — not all of which turned out to be optimal for color separation.
This year, the four jerseys are these:
This year’s game is in Tampa Bay (Tampa), so in keeping with tradition, the unis take some of their colors from the host team. The NHL press release describes them like so:
“Utilizing the primary colours from the host team as a base, the uniforms are centered around the native color palette of black, royal blue, white and grey, while a custom color treatment featuring the ‘energy’ colors of UV yellow and solar red have been uniquely applied to evoke the warm, vibrant sunset tones and the energy of the Tampa Bay area.
“Creating a more contemporary and sleek aesthetic through bold color blocking, the uniforms are highlighted by a silver metallic film with four die-cut stars, one for each division, that allows the body fabric to show through. Accenting the colour palette and jerseys, a custom-designed number font was inspired by the suspension cables of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a Tampa Bay landmark.”
Yeah, I pretty much
threw up in my mouth a little couldn’t make it past the first graf too. But individually, the sweaters aren’t too bad.
Unlike last year, there shouldn’t be too much difficulty discerning the teams, should the lighter or darker jerseys meet up. The gray jersey shown above is actually darker than it appears, so it should be distinguishable from the white:
I still haven’t seen what breezers the teams will wear, but they’ll probably be black. But then, the NHL probably doesn’t sell too many souvenir hockey pants. But those jerseys were available for retail sale for a while. I’m sure there are a few die-hards out there who “have” to buy one in each color.
Like the NHL, the NFL’s Pro Bowl uniforms have been atrocious since Nike took over the contract, although the FIRST year the uniforms were excellent (2013 Pro Bowl). That year, the swoosh equipped the AFC in their traditional red and the NFC in their traditional blue. Somewhere along the way, things just got worse and worse.
2014 featured mono-neon-gray vs. mono-white-orange. 2015 changed things up…a bit. That featured neon-white OVER gray vs. orange-black over white. Honestly, this was not much of an improvement. 2016? mono-anthracite vs mono-white, all with some awful gold striping.
By last year, the NFL may have “come to its senses” so to speak, with the teams returning to mono-red and mono-blue. But the NFC (in pre-game promos) almost looked like royal (as opposed to a darker) blue, but in the game itself, the blue seemed darker. Of course, ridiculous fonts with neon outlining were the “feature”. At least there were no complaints from those afflicted with red/green colorblindness — as happened in the first ever Color Rash game.
This year, neither team is going mono-anything. Both teams will have colored tops (red and blue again) and white pants. But just when you thought the unis couldn’t get any worse…the GRADIENT appears:
At least both teams will have somewhat normally striped pants:
It’s somewhat difficult to see, but both pants feature a middle stripe that, like the numbers, is gradient — going from lighter at the top to darker at the bottom — the opposite of the numbers.
I won’t be watching either game today (I have curling anyway, which means I don’t even need an excuse NOT to watch) — but I have a feeling I won’t be alone. There was a time when I watched ALL the All Star games, in part due to the unis, in part due to the stars. Now I just hope no one gets hurt.
If you’re one of the few who tunes into the games, tell me how they looked on TV. I’ll catch the photos on the interwebs later on tonight. Maybe.
More Stadium Models…
Readers will recall a few weeks ago I ran this wonderful article featuring the wonderful stadium models of David Resnik.
That prompted long-time reader Bruce Genther to send the following to Uni Watch:
[T]hanks for the great interview and associated photos of the model stadiums by David Resnik.
Like all facets of the sport, there are many of us who are building architectural models of stadiums either for hobby or as a sideline business.
I also build stadium models for private collectors and museums and have been fortunate to have my Yankee Stadium model (circa 1968) in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and several models of past stadia or arenas that were on display within the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore before its closing.
My models are scratch built in a scale usually of one inch equals 60 feet or 1 inch equals 45 feet. Each model takes about four months to construct on a plywood base of 24 inches square and each commissioned model comes with a Plexiglas canopy and a wood base, ready for immediate display. I also design my own stadium models when commissions dry up.
I have attached several photos of models completed to date…either through commission or just my own collection. I have completed to date over 54 models and yes my townhouse in Laurel Maryland is a little cramped.
Enjoy the photos…
Bruce A. Genther
Bruce provided images of four of his creations, which are below. I think you’ll find that, just as with David’s these are incredible. I’m hoping to follow up with Bruce on a more detailed look at his work down the road.
Here’s a sampling of his prowess:
Boston Sports Complex:
Frank Purdue Stadium:
New Yankee Stadium:
Thanks for sharing, Bruce!
“What’s It Worth?” reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it the other day, I announced a new partnership with Grey Flannel Auctions. If you have a potentially valuable collectible, GFA will appraise it at no charge, and with no obligation. Think of it as an online version of Antiques Roadshow. Full details here.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from reader Matt Pozel (in response to yesterday’s main article), which got him to thinking about team anniversaries. It’s too long (and too good) for the ticker, so…
Thanks for feeding my obsession.
I wonder if anyone else has asked about the Oakland A’s decision to wear a commemorative patch and fancy threads celebrating 50 years in Oakland this season, which will be the team’s 51st season of play in the city (seasons 1968-2018). Coincidently, the Kansas City Royals, who began play the season after the Athletics abandoned Kansas City, will also be celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary and wearing a commemorative patch this season, which will be the team’s 50th season of play (seasons 1969-2018).
Interesting side note, the Royals wore their 25-year anniversary patch in 1993, the team’s 25th season of play, and their 40-Year anniversary patch in 2009, the team’s 41st season of play.
And the A’s have also had a hard time deciding when to celebrate the team’s anniversary. The Athletics wore a 25-year anniversary patch in 1992, the team’s 25th season of play, a 30-year patch in 1997, the team’s 30th season of play, and a 40-year patch in 2008, the team’s 41st season of play.
Bonus fun fact, the Athletics wore a 100-year commemorative patch celebrating the Athletics history in Philadelphia (1901-1954), Kansas City (1955-1967) and Oakland (1968-present) in 2000, the A’s 100th season of play.
Just curious if anyone’s noticed there’s not a uniform (sorry) standard for commemorating teams’ anniversary seasons.
P.S. You might circle Friday, June 1 on your calendar when the A’s face the Royals in Kansas City for round one of the battle of the 50-year commemorative patches.
Thanks Matt — if you weren’t already aware, Paul has covered this subject before (including noting the Royals inconsistencies) — but nice work on the A’s!
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: As you know, the Tigers have made a change to their uniform — making the cap and jersey “D” uniform (Paul covered that here) — and also made their cap “D” much bigger. The change is shown here (new cap on the right), and it’s pretty striking (from our own Kris Gross). While that may seem drastic, it actually just brings the cap logo size in line with other MLB clubs. … The ‘hat D’ on the jersey isn’t a totally new look for the #Tigers organization . For the last couple years, they’ve had a farm club in the Gulf Coast League sporting that kind of style (from Paul Sebastian Ozz). … A prominent baseball writer, Joe Posnanski, has announced he is only wearing baseball ties from now on. I wholeheartedly support this (from Kenny Ocker). … CROSSOVER ALERT: Check out these baseball-inspired hockey uniform designs (for the NL Central, minus the Cards) designed by @DesignsByRL. Also in hockey. … In light of the “Work or Fight” decree in 1917, check out this great photo of the Chicago White Sox practicing military drills at Comiskey Park (from SABR Bio Project). Here’s a bit more on that decree. … It could have been worse: the Braves have introduced a new mascot, Blooper (thanks to Christina Dodson). Not that anyone was expecting them to bring this out of retirement, but still. … Nice rare photo/pennant display of the 1907 American League Champion Detroit Tigers, including Ty Cobb (from Bruce Menard). … CROSSOVER ALERT! Did you ever wonder what a Chicago White Sox beach blanket jersey would look like as a Hockey-style hoodie? Wonder no more (from Matt Bond). Also posted in hockey.
NFL/CFL News: Pretty nice video embed here which shows many decades of Philadelphia Eagles uniform history (from Joseph Wolper). … For those of you who care about such things, here is the list of the top 10 NFL selling jerseys for 2017. … ICYMI: the NFL reportedly has plan in place to make sure Tom Brady’s jersey doesn’t get stolen (again). … There is a move afoot to put a CFL team in Halifax — so naturally there are lots of proposed helmets and unis for such a team (from @olBoozy). Worth checking out those concepts! … Sad that this is actually news, but Kyle Juszczyk’s name is actually spelled right on his Pro Bowl jersey. … “At a college sporting event in the Rochester, NY area,” says Joseph Bailey, “A food truck was here and is clearly a Steelers inspired logo
Hockey News: “We had a good looking colour vs. colour game in Canadian university hockey on January 25,: says Wade Heidt. “In Canada West hockey, the Calgary Dinos played the crosstown rival Mount Royal Cougars for a Crowchild Classic game held in the Saddledome.” … CROSSOVER ALERT: Check out these baseball-inspired hockey uniform designs (for the NL Central, minus the Cards) designed by @DesignsByRL. Also in baseball. … CROSSOVER ALERT 2! Did you ever wonder what a Chicago White Sox beach blanket jersey would look like as a Hockey-style hoodie? Wonder no more (from Matt Bond). Also posted in baseball. … The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs wore these Superman-inspired jerseys last night for their Super Hero Promo Night (from Al Jones). … Tweeter @UntillTheNight points out these “inexplicable ads on the ice behind goal at the NHL All Star Game (skills competition)…a first for the NHL.” He mentions they have those in the AHL — wonder if they will be there for the actual game today. … RPI wore special sweaters in their game yesterday — submitter Pach Zearce notes “RPI with mascot NOBs: every jersey says ‘Engineers’.” … Take a look at the jerseys the SC Stingrays wore last night for Military Appreciation Night. They were auctioned off on the ice immediately after the game to benefit America’s Mighty Warriors (from Daren Stoltzfus). … A select few were treated to the Guns and Hoses edition of Utah Grizzlies hockey last night (from Brian Prutch).
NBA News: All teams have revealed their fourth, or second alternate, unis and many have already worn theirs. The Lakers, of course, have an alternate “inspired” by Kobe Bryant. Here’s a writeup on that. … The Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray got a pair of customized Adidas for 90s Night (from Aaron Kastner). … Last night the Atlanta Hawks broke out their
City heinous alternate uniform. … There was no championship tab on Jaylen Brown’s jersey last evening (from Jason Collins).
College Hoops News: In support of Coaches vs. Cancer, the Duke coaching staff wore these kicks yesterday (from Maria Canales). … Yesterday, Ole miss players wore Texas colored shooting shirts to support Andrew Jones (from Griffin Smith). And here’s the view from behind the bench (from KevinMc From Texas). … Here’s a look at the special Jumpman23 shoes for Marquette Basketball’s Coaches vs. Cancer (#SuitsAndSneakers Week) which will be worn today against Villanova (via Paul). … Yesterday, Pitt’s cheerleaders were into the throwback spirit (from Alan Saunders). … Also from Alan, yesterday Pitt’s players were wearing throwback warmup shirts with the names of former players on the back. … “Iowa State went (dark) GFGS against Tennessee (yester)day,” says Kary Klismet. “The Cyclones lost, 68-45. Serves ’em right.” … There was SO. MUCH. PINK. in the Georgetown/Creighton game yesterday (from bryanwdc).
Soccer News: I’m not sure of the context of this picture (perhaps someone familiar with ads can ID the game), but the caption reads: ✅ Playing in the snow ✅ White ball ✅ One team in white kit. Top work all round, lads (from Caught Off Side). And who says soccer doesn’t have camo unis? … “Not sure if I will ever watch The 15:17 to Paris, as I prefer documentaries of history rather than dramatic portrayals of historical events but there is a uni situation,” writes Sara Schieve. “When the actual event went down, one of the heroes was wearing a Bayern München kit.” … There’s a new home shirt for Colombia’s Atlético Nacional (from Ed Żelaski), as well as a new away one.
Olympics News: It’s that time of year again: that time of year when we get a quadrennial reminder that curling exists as a sport; coincidentally the Olympics start in a couple weeks (from Tom Konecny). … Apparently there is a deeper story behind those Opening Ceremony unis by Ralph Lauren (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a look at the racing suits Russian skiers will use at PyeongChang.
Grab Bag: The NLL Colorado Mammoth sported new black uniforms for this year’s “Blackout Night” home game against the Vancouver Stealth. Jerseys and shorts were auctioned off (from Wade Heidt.