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While Paul’s Away the Purple Will Play

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Wafflebored

Our old friend Wafflebored contacted me when I put out the call for reader submissions/article ideas with one he felt might best be run during Paul’s sabbatical, since his concept jersey features a certain hue of which Paul is not especially fond. As with all Wafflebored’s excellent DIY’s, this one is another beauty.


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Anatomy of a DIY: LA Kings Hybrid Jersey
By Wafflebored

The original LA Kings jersey from 1967 might be my favourite sports jersey of all time. Purple paired with yellow is just magic, and the crown logo is beautiful. I even like the later version with the Flyers-style stripes running down the sleeve, but the original still looks best to me.

Many years ago I bought this jersey logo at a flea market. It was a little rough, and had obviously been removed from a well-worn jersey, but I couldn’t resist picking it up. It has sat in a drawer since then. This dates back to before I started sewing seriously, but I imagined one day I would put it on a blank jersey and be done with it.

Recently I decided it was time to do something with it. I could have made a copy of one of the actual Kings jerseys, but I like making things you can’t buy in stores. In this case, it’s easy to get one of the reproduction jerseys, so came up with the idea of using the crest on a hybrid jersey featuring the pattern of the 1996 Burger King jersey, another jersey I like a lot.

The first task was getting the pattern correct. If the swoops, or stripes, or whatever they are aren’t 100% correct, the jersey will look off. So I pinned a piece of brown paper the exact size of the jersey I was going to make to the wall, and used a projector to shoot an image of the actual jersey onto the paper. I then cut it up to make the patterns you see here:

I then cut all of the pieces out from purple and yellow mesh, making sure to reverse the pattern for the back. Here are the finished front and back panels:

Next up is the collar, which is usually the hardest and most time-consuming part. In this case it’s a simple v-neck with crossover front. The collar is first pinned then loosely sewn in by hand. It’s then flipped over and pressed.

I thought a while about which player to put on the back or the jersey. While I was tempted to use Rogie or another high-profile King, I decided to use Mario Lessard, since I like the more obscure goalies. Plus, I thought the number 1 would look good against the jersey pattern. I made cardboard templates printed on my computer.

The original Burger King jersey has the “Chevy” logo as shoulder patches. Since I can’t replicate the level of detail of that logo, I made a simplified version using the “LA” from the current logo. I hadn’t worked with twill that small but it was no problem.

The sleeves came together exactly the same as the body. I always add sleeve numbers before attaching the sleeves to the body, as its much easier.

And it’s done! A super fun project.

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Awesome job (as always), and thanks for sharing! If you don’t already, you should follow Wafflebored on Twitter and you can also check out a ton of his other projects here. What do you guys (and gals) think of the purple & gold?

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Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

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Title: “Chief Prospect”
Subject: Mickey Mantle, 1951
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 22″ x 28″

This Mickey Mantle painting was a rough one to get through. Obviously the image is pretty instantly recognizable from his famous 1952 Topps card, which still remains one of the baseball card hobby’s most famous issues – undeniably the most popular post-war card in existence. The ubiquity of that image notwithstanding, it was important to make sure that this painting didn’t really look or feel like that treasure on too many levels. I’ve always found that particular set to be a bit too pastel-like and unrealistic in its coloring (especially that yellow bat), so I wanted to make sure the artwork was far away from those hue choices and as close to real-life as possible. I’d made a few color studies of the thing over the last 10 years, and it was only semi-recently that I finally “figured it out”.

The main issue was that the original photograph that I was using as reference was taken with a flash. So, you have that hot Phoenix sun shining down on Mickey, and then a flash bulb lighting him from below and bleeding into those shadows. That combination created some tough problems to sort out, especially since the photography method had all but flattened Mickey’s form out. Everything that as lit from the flash had to be cooler in temperature than what was being lit from the sun, and the photograph kind of exaggerates how bright those shadow planes get (especially in his face). I had to make sure that although he was being lit from two sources, one of them would win out in the overall hierarchy of light. In this case, what was lit artificially stayed a bit deeper in value than I might have originally planned it to, making that flash factor a bit less obvious. As a result, I think his features (as well as those of the bat and jersey) really pop where they should, and at the same time, sit in the space well enough.

And of course, when looking at the painting, one will always think of that famous card, but if he/she can enjoy it on a different unrelated level, then I’ve definitely achieved my goal.

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Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Appropriately gaudy Margaritaville Night unis for the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles. The unis will make their debut on Aug. 25 (from Ian Locke). … Not uni related, but too good not to post: Two New Jersey brothers found a trove of baseball cards, including five ultra-rare Mickey Mantle cards, one of which was valued at over $1 million (from Ted Arnold). … Two players were wearing completely different jerseys despite being on the same team at the 14U Championship game (from Erik Fowler). … I’m not sure what (if any) playoffs/championships are at stake here, but Mike Styczen‘s kid has an A+ stirrup game but wore the wrong alternate jersey yesterday. … Tremendous Astrodome shot glass find at Goodwill by Jim Vilk.

NFL News: The Chargers released their 2018 uni schedule. The most important bit: powder blues are making appearances in back-to-back games on Oct. 7 and 21 against the Raiders and Titans respectively. The game against the Raiders will be in London (from Brock JacksonKenny Saidah and everyone else who sent this in). … The Saints are wearing white at home against the Eagles on Nov. 18 because Sean Payton lost a golf bet to Doug Pederson (from Gil Neumann III). … Here’s a good shot of the Jets in the 1978 preseason wearing their then-new green helmets with their previous year’s unis (from Joe Sumpman).

College/High School Football News: Did you know that some schools had SNOBs back in 1974? I didn’t. Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tn., wore them in the 1974 Tennessee AAA High School State Championship Game (from @UniformSnob). … Jack Trice Stadium’s field is getting a corporate name, Iowa State announced yesterday. The stadium itself will retain the name “Jack Trice” (from Derek Lilleskov).

Hockey News: In an unsurprising and totally deserved move, the Coyotes will retire Shane Doan’s No. 19 Feb. 24 — against the Winnipeg Jets. Doan, of course, started his career back when the Coyotes were the first iteration of the Jets, and stayed with the franchise through a relocation, a name change, lots of losing, threats of another relocation, iffy ownership situations, league administration and a bankruptcy. Few players are as intimately interwoven with a team’s history and identity as Doan and the Coyotes (from Mike Chamernik). … The Blues will reveal their new third jersey at their annual Ice Breaker event on Aug. 26 (from Jacob Bischoff).

NBA News: The Bucks revealed their new court design yesterday (from Mike Chamernik and Brian Kerhin). … The Grizzlies keep teasing us with sneak previews of potential new changes (from Evan Winburne).

Soccer News: Leicester City have launched their new third kit (from Josh Hinton). … West Bromwich revealed their new change and third kits — and one of them’s in Uni Watch colors! (Also from Josh Hinton). … The Premier League is updating their referee kits (again from Josh Hinton). … An odd NOB for Real Madrid’s Raúl de Tomás, first and foremost that his NOB is only initials, and secondly that there are periods after the “R” and “D” but not the “T,” which is strange to say the least. The NOB also appears to be uncentered and it looks like the space is too large between the “D” and “T” (from Pádraig T Watson). … ESPN appeared to forget what Tottenham Hotspur’s crest looked like during their coverage of Spurs’ friendly against AC Milan (from @SoCalMindset). … Clemson men’s soccer has revealed their new kits (from Blake Toy). … River Plate had their new home and away kits leaked to Footy Headlines. … So was Roma’s third kit. Nike’s ugly contrasting sleeves rear their ugly heads again. … Manchester City’s new all-black minimalist pre-match kit is not exactly getting rave reviews. … Tuesday’s MLS Homegrown match against Tigres UANL’s U-20 team featured a Tigres player inexplicably wearing No. 286 (from @AVKingJames).

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Comments (58)

    The Kings jersey is nice, but it would never see the ice in an NHL game without fixing the legibility problem. Make the numbers and letters white with gold trim, and you’d be in businessman

    Alternatively, a purple inner outline would help make the gold elements pop out more against the gold backgrounds. It may not be accurate for the 1970s aesthetic, but then again, neither are the NOB/number font or modern LA letters.

    The Kings jersey could have also used a black trim on the side, as black goes well with Forum Blue and Gold.

    The yellow alt-logo on the yellow shoulder of that concept is a no go, should have made that one in purple. As someone who (to a near OCD extent) thinks jerseys should be symmetrical, I find this one to be an abomination, but to each his own.

    Greg – I would think the old Atlanta Thrashers jersey must have bothered you due to its asymmetrical nature. I did not like this uni:


    Yeah, that thing is pretty hideous. The only asymmetrical design that comes to mind that looked really great was the Atlanta Hawks old blue and green set. Though I’d imagine there are others out there as well.

    Basketball seemed to make asymmetrical uniforms work better than other sports. Some other decent basketball uniforms that were asymmetrical.

    New York or New Jersey Nets:


    Original Miami Heat uniforms:


    Let me preface this by saying it clearly takes talent/skills to assemble a pretty darn good replica and this Kings jersey is exceptional… That being said, that “design” is butt ugly! I’ve always wanted to like the Kings but couldn’t because they may, one day, be tempted to go back to this purple and gold (yellow) abomination – and I simply can not associate with a sports team that looks like that. They toyed with purple for more than a decade (from 1998 to 2011) adding it with black… Simply awful.

    “a Tigres player inexplicably wearing No. 286”

    Oh, it’s not inexplicable. It’s very explicable. Mexican under-20 teams wear numbers starting with 280. It may have to do, as someone indicated in the replies to that tweet, with each player at the club being required to have a different number.

    It seems like it would be more surprising that not every player on Tigres had a three-digit number. Only 12 out of 18 did:


    “… Margaritaville Night unis for the Norfolk Tides…”

    I still call ’em the Tidewater Tides

    Wow, those new/old Jets uniforms actually look better than anything else they’ve worn. Hope they go back to that look, or something similar.

    It is nice to see a Jets uniform with the proper shoulder loop treatment (the green stripe being about half the thickness of the white between the stripe and the sleeve). And the green helmet does look good with that jersey.

    I think that’s the first color photo I’ve ever seen of the Jets’ ’78 preseason (the ones in the ’79 team yearbook were all B&W). It’s not a bad look, reminiscent of the ’93 throwbacks, although I still don’t care for the wordmark-as-helmet-decal.

    Another odd thing about the Jets picture: the Falcons are still wearing white pants, which they did during the 1978 preseason only; for the regular season they switched to gray (link). I can’t think of a whole lot of other instances where a team wore an old uniform (or part of it, in the Jets’ case) in the preseason and saved the new look for the regular season.

    There definitely must be a few other instances. I can think of a recent one in the CFL similar to the Falcons example. In 2009, the Saskatchewan Roughriders wore black masks and silver pants at home:


    A minor uniform change happened for 2010. A switch to white masks and white pants at home:


    However, during 2010 preseason, the Riders still wore the old silver pants at home combined with the new white mask:


    If you look at the gridiron database you’ll find lots of instances of this. Most were pre-merger days, but still it seems to have happened quite frequently that old uniforms carried over for the preseason and then were gone for good.

    The Jets did that in 1990, saving the black-trimmed, black-facemasked version for the regular season.

    For an example in baseball, I’m pretty sure the Phillies new uniforms for 1992 were kept under wraps until opening day.

    ” the Jets in the 1978 preseason wearing their then-new green helmets with their previous year’s unis ”

    I actually like this look a lot!!

    Wait… people *like* the navy-on-navy Chargers? Players think it’s a “traditional” look?


    Yeah, mono is bad enough, but white helmet with mono-dark always looks AWFUL. Then again the Chargers, who could simply go with the powder blue look (either full throwback of their modern alt) and have one of the best uniforms in sports, continue to do dumb stuff like this. Not to mention they are wearing a total of 3 different blue jerseys this year? NFL is clearly on the road to NCAA levels of uniform nonsense. Home and away, maybe an alt/throwback one game a year. There is no true visual identity if you aren’t wearing the same uniform week to week.

    The Chargers actually have a game on October 14th. So I think it’s back-to-back home (despite one being in London) games for the Powder Blue

    Right – the Raiders are playing the Seahawks in London on the 14th. I know the Raiders are a bit nomadic, but I don’t believe they’re playing two weeks in a row in London…

    So the Memphis Grizzlies are brown and yellow now… Hey Padres, they took your balls and made them their own.

    Purple haze, baby! Awesome job on that Kings jersey even though I hate the Burger King swoosh patterns, just reeks of ’90s “let’s see how bizarre we can make jersey striping” (Islanders, Blues, Flames, Ducks, etc.) Echo what others said about the name/number needs to be white with yellow outline.

    The Kings pretty much stopped being the Kings for me when they dropped the purple/gold. Gretzky notwithstanding, the Kings will never be black and silver in my book, nor any of the other blackened-purple stuff they followed that with. Kind of defeatist to drop your signature colors to match those of another sports team in your town — you didn’t see the Raiders looking to change their colors to purple/gold!!!


    While I’m at it, PADRES, BRING BACK THE BROWN! Another team that was erased from my radar when they dropped their signature colors…

    If the Chargers think the powder blue units are the best, why not make them their primary uniform, or at least wear them more. The Rams are going to wear their royal and yellow 5 times. They could actually wear the powder blue most games, with many color on color, since these have a lot of contrast to other colored uniforms.

    Because that would make too much sense. Remember this is an organization that left the 8th largest city and 18th largest media market, where they were one of only two teams, to go to LA and play second fiddle to the Rams in city with 7 other teams, plus soccer, and two big time college programs. I wouldn’t consider their management to be smart people.

    In dollars and cents, it was a smart move by ownership (for themselves, of course) for the Chargers to relocate:


    Even if the Chargers play second fiddle to the Rams, the LA media market is still larger than SD’s by about 3 million and is home to more corporate headquarters for sponsorship opportunities and people with money to pay personal seat licenses and season tickets:


    The economic benefit for the taxpayers in San Diego would probably not be sufficient, given the amount that they would have had spend (‘invest’) on a stadium to keep the team.

    Pinterest has been a goldmine of hockey pics I’ve never seen before. Check out the masks on these two Russian goalies:



    How often do you see a team photo with players wearing both light and dark unis? This is the short-lived Denver Spurs of the World Hockey Association, the goalies are wearing red jerseys while the rest of the team is in white:


    I should probably mention this while Paul’s around, but the pop-up ad thing is causing my computer to freak out increasingly. Is there any way that the ad could at least be restricted to one pop-up per session? It’s so annoying to have it pop up once, and then once again when I open the comments section.

    i have the same issue and posted about it on twitter here

    is this the same pop-up you are referring to?


    I think you are being a little selfish for being mildly inconvenienced for a free site. Paul needs money, and you could easily install an ad blocker, but that would keep any and all revenue from him.

    He wanted to make this a subscription service, but like the most of us, we won’t pay…and he’s just in his cause…just don’t tell him otherwise.

    Deal with with it…


    you’ve made an incorrect assumption. I am not being “selfish” as I am one of the people who can afford to pay for this site and offered to do so when Paul surveyed us on the topic.

    I didnt know that Paul makes money off that pop-up, I actually thought it was some kind of unsolicited spam. Now that I know that is the source I will definitely stop visiting because just like Paul can boycott FiServ arena, I can boycott being punished with the “poors” since I can afford a better internet experience.

    So former WWE Wrestler Brian Christopher/Grandmaster Sexay tragically died (if you want details, google it), and apparentlly was a huge steelers fan, so this is his casket.

    Wow, if that’s true, things might have been tense twice a year when the Steelers and Browns played. His dad, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, is fan of the Browns and the other Cleveland teams.


    You’ve managed back to back purple features to kick off your month taking the reigns from Paul. How long do you think you can go? Could this be the Uni-Watch version of Jim Rome’s “Rex” streak?

    I think it will end tomorrow. Unless the Grizz unveil a purple alt…

    No word on how much the state of Wisconsin paid FiServ to let them use their logo on the Bucks’ new floor?

    I feel like I should know this, but what is SNOB’s?
    I looked at the video but could not figure it out.

    The Kings jersey is FUCKING awesome……That Jets pic, looks like they’re in Giants Stadium……..but they played at Shea at that point……anyone have an answer?

    After some research we know the game was played in New York but was unable to find any record of the stadium the game was played in.

    First time comment from a long time reader. I passionately watched that 1978 Jets-Falcons game as an eleven year old and I’ll give you more detail. The Falcons came back from 20-0 to win 21-20 if I recall. They wore their old white jersey and white pants for the last time against the Skins at RFK the next week. The new look with gray pants and red jerseys with gray numbers debuted the next week in preseason game number three, a home loss to the Eagles.

    Keep up the great work. I discovered Uni-watch on ESPN 6-7 years ago and now read this site everyday.

    Very interesting Kings DIY, except….as any Kings ( and Laker) fan of that era knows, that’s not purple and yellow…’s “Forum Blue and Gold”. Seriously…..owner Jack Kent Cooke insisted that his announcers use “Forum Blue and Gold” as another way to publicize the “Fabulous Forum”, which the Kings and Lakers moved into in 1968. Not long after the Kings went to the total yellow (er, Forum Gold), home unis, which were quite bold statement in the old 12-team NHL…..

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