Today is my birthday. I’m 54, although most people tell me I don’t look or act that old (I tell them it helps to be really immature), and my Brannock Device tattoo, which I got on my 39th birthday, turns 15 today. Can’t believe it’s been that long.
When I was growing up, my parents always taught us that birthdays were important. I think they did that in part because our family wasn’t religious, so we kinda missed out on a lot of holidays, and in part because my mom’s birthday was a few days after her older brother’s birthday, so her celebration always got lumped in with his when they were growing up, which she still resents to this day. She raised me to believe that we should each get our own special day.
Anyway: I can’t believe I haven’t thought of doing this before, but I decided to see what was going on in the uni-verse on the day I was born — March 21, 1964. Here’s what I found:
1. On the day I was born, the UCLA and Duke basketball teams played each other for the national championship. This was back when March Madness was entirely confined to March. I couldn’t find any color photos, but reader Matt Olbert generously agreed to do some colorizations for me. We’ll start with those, and then I’ll add a few black-and-white shots (for some of these, you can click to enlarge):
Those UCLA uniforms were nice, right?
In addition, longtime reader Bruce Menard (aka BSmile) found the program from that game and was nice enough to share it with me:
2. There was a soccer match between Blackburn Rovers and Everton. Once again, Matt Olbert did the colorization honors. I love the jester-style jersey that Blackburn was wearing, right down to the two-tone collar:
3. The annual 12 Hours of Sebring auto race took place in Florida. Here’s one of the very groovy cars that was competing:
4. This isn’t really a uniform thing, but it’s related: The comedy duo Allen & Rossi did a sketch at the Hollywood Palace, and Marty Allen was dressed up in golf attire. Kudos once again to Matt Olbert for the colorization:
As I was putting the finishing touches on this entry, I decided to see if there was any Allen & Rossi footage on YouTube. The good news is that the very first hit was the golf sketch that they performed on the day I was born! The bad news is that it wasn’t very funny:
5. Down in spring training, 43-year-old Stan Musial was beginning his first season as a Cardinals coach following his retirement at the end of the previous season. Although he was no longer an active player, he still looked pretty sharp in a uniform:
Obviously, there was a lot more going on in the uni-verse on that date than these five items I singled out, but those were the only ones I was able to find in various photo online archives.
And now, with apologies to those who’ve already heard this story, here’s a little birthday tale: Forty-five years ago today, when I turned nine years old, my outdoor birthday party was rained out and I was pretty inconsolable. So my father, thinking quickly said, “Oh, don’t you know? Rain on your birthday is a sign of good luck in the year to come!” — a very sweet lie that he made up on the spot. He was really good at saying Just the Right Thing at moments like that.
Ever since then, with one exception (2008), no matter where I’ve been on my birthday, it has rained. Or snowed. And one time it hailed (which was actually quite exciting, because I figured it meant extra-good luck). As for this year, it’s snowing here this morning, so the tradition has already been upheld, and they’re saying we may get as much as a foot, so I’m looking forward to an excellent year.
One thing about having shitty weather on your birthday is that you really appreciate how great your friends are when they trudge through the crummy conditions to celebrate with you. Tonight I’ll be meeting a bunch of friends at a special little bar, and then we’ll head over to a Chinese banquet hall for a big feast. Should be a great time.
Thanks for listening. Oh, and happy birthday to reader Tyler Evans, who recently mentioned to me that he was born on this date in 1982, and to anyone else who’s celebrating today. 3-2-1!
(Special thanks to Phil for his assistance with this entry, and mega thanks to Matt Olbert for his colorizations. You can see more of his work here.)
Titans stay one step ahead: As teams post teaser photos of their upcoming uniforms on the internet, it’s become fairly common for some people (occasionally including myself) to try to deduce additional info from the teaser images by fiddling with them in Photoshop. By adjusting the various levels of brightness, contrast, etc., you can sometimes find details that were meant to be hidden.
The Tennessee Titans were apparently thinking about that when they recently promoted their upcoming uniform unveiling by posting a teaser photo on their website. It shows a player cloaked in shadows (click to enlarge):
And what happens if you play with the levels in Photoshop? Titans Uni Tracker (@TitansUni) decided to find out. Here are the results:
That is completely brilliant. If anyone from the Titans is reading this, please accept my congratulations — well played. And if you’d like to talk about the story behind this little maneuver, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Thirty-three minor league teams will wear Latin-themed jerseys with new team names for the MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión (“It’s Fun to Be a Fan”) program. Among the highlights: The Round Rock Express will become the Round Rock Chupacabras; the San Antonio Missions will become the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (Flying Flip-Flops); the Bowie Baysox will become the Bowie Cangrejos Fantasmas (Ghost Crabs); and the Oklahoma City Dodgers will become the Cielo Azul (Blue Sky) (thanks to all who submitted). … The Tulsa Drillers will have matte blue batting helmets this year (from Joe and Nick Lineback). … A pair of underwater archeologists have been exploring Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka. According to this story, they once found a gym bag in a sunken boat, and because it contained the owner’s drivers license, they were able to return his Twins T-shirt (from Greg Franklin). … Houston is offering residents one last look at the Astrodome before it begins construction to renovate the stadium. The event is being dubbed “The Domecoming” (from Ignacio). … The Brewers broke ground on the renovation of a local baseball park, and the ceremony included Brewers hard hats and bat-shaped commemorative shovels (from Garrett). … Check out this awesome video of the then-World Champion Cleveland Indians during spring training in 1949. Stick around to see Bob Hope in a Cleveland uni! (From @History_Cle.) … W.W. McClyde found this classic Rangers jacket in his mom’s closet. Good stuff. … This 1987 Chicago Cubs/WGN-TV brochure that promotes the team’s high television ratings to potential advertisers does a little trash talking at the hands of the Sox and other Chicago teams (from Ray Hund). … Texas has added a memorial patch to their caps for manager Augie Garrido, who died last week (from Griffin Smith). … This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tigers’ 1968 championship, so they had Todd Radom celebrate the ’68 team on these awesome season ticket designs (from Jason Law). … Our own Phil Hecken is ranking the top dozen Negro Leagues uniforms. Here are his picks for No. 12 and No. 11.
Pro Football News: Has anyone else seen old Mile High Stadium refered to as “Mile Hi?” At least one sign spelled it that way in 1972 (from Steven Marks). … This blog post has a good breakdown of the inconsistencies with the Eagles’ shade of midnight green through the years. … Anyone else ever notice that the Rams are wearing red-striped practice pants in the 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait? (From Willie Gabel.) … The new XFL won’t be the only football league to launch in the coming years. It was announced yesterday that the Alliance of American Football will begin play in spring 2019 — and one promotional image sure looks like it made use of a touched-up Bills uni (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a rare sight: former Washington QB Joe Theismann in a non-single-bar facemask (from Bill Kellic). … Texans DL JJ Watt wishes the team could wear Oilers throwbacks (from Christian Zummer).
Hockey News: Red Wings G Jimmy Howard lost his skate blade last night after he caught it on the post (from Tris Wykes). … If the NHL decides to put an expansion team in Houston, here is a concept they could follow (from Denis Costello). … And if Seattle gets a franchise, here’s a pretty good concept for that team (from Barry Brite). … Team USA’s development team will be wearing fauxbacks this weekend that honor the 1976 Canada Cup team (from Garrett Kolodziej). … Goalie captaincy alert! That’s Harvard’s Merrick Madsen, who was just signed by the Coyotes (from @OlegKvasha).
College Hoops News: After fracturing his elbow in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Purdue’s Isaac Haas has been practicing with a brace that is not NCAA-approved. Now Purdue is asking its engineering students to design a brace that could protect Haas and be up to NCAA specs (from @mrmichael21). … Yesterday, we linked to Alex Gerwitz’s color-blocked bracket. Today, we have a jersey bracket from @thefontsavant.
Soccer News: The USA’s 2018 home kit has leaked. Ditto for the change kit. They’ll be officially unveiled on Friday. … Here’s a look at different jerseys that Poland has worn in international competitions. … We have a bunch of soccer notes from Josh Hinton: World Cup jerseys have been leaked — including South Korea, Germany, Russia, Japan, Spain and Sweden. Also, Louisville City FC of the USL unveiled their new kits. … Speaking of Germany, Julian Draxler’s NOB proves there’s some issues with the blocky font (from Patrick O’Brien). … New second uniforms for the Scottish national team (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Newcastle’s under 18 team wore their first team’s kits — which include a gambling site ad — in a recent match. Alcohol and gambling ads are no-nos in English football for under 18 teams (also from Jamie Rathjen as well as Jonathon Sluss). … Interesting concept: Re-imagining Premier League teams as Formula 1 cars (from Doug Kalemba). … The Orlando Pride of the NWSL pranked their staff with a fake kit reveal before unveiling the real designs (from Bill Weiss).
Grab Bag: Are tennis balls green or yellow? Roger Federer says tennis balls are yellow, which is technically correct by definition of ITF rules. What say you? (From Mike Chamernik.) … Pretty cool interactive look at David Bowie’s stage costumes (NYT link).