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It’s Time for the Uni Watch College Football Preview

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Submissions & Voting for the Griffins Alternate Jersey contest are just below a quick guest appearance from Paul! Scroll down to begin that — PH

Paul here, making a rare August cameo. Greetings from the new Uni Watch HQ! I moved in with the Tugboat Captain on Saturday. Everything went pretty smoothly, although Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin is still a little freaked out by the change of venue.

Anyway: Phil and I wanted to let everyone know that my annual college football season preview column is now up on ESPN. It’s usually my biggest column of the year, and many of you have told me it’s your favorite, so enjoy.

While we’re at it, a few other items of note:

• My annual NFL preview will run next Tuesday, Sept. 4.

• In case you missed it last week, our latest StripeRite sock designs are now available for pre-order, and I don’t mind saying that they look pretty sharp.

• Our Uni Watch flex-fit “alternate” cap is available here.

Okay, that’s it for me. I have some clean-up to do at the old place and a ton of unpacking to do at the new place. My continued thanks to Phil for keeping the site running this month. I’ll now hand the baton to him for the rest of today’s content.

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Griffins Alternate Design Contest – Third Group of Submissions

Today we begin voting on the third group of contestants for the third annual Grand Rapids Griffins design contest. In case you missed it, the contest parameters and rules were laid out here.

We’re using a new polling system, which we hope will eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) any fraud or shenanigans. You will be permitted to vote for as many designs as you would like, but you may only vote ONCE. The poll(s) will close approximately twenty-four (24) hours after being posted — the TOP THREE vote recipients will move into the final group (the winner of which will be chosen by the Griffins).

Today the lede will focus on the third 15 submissions. Tomorrow (the final day of voting) the designs and voting may be a sub-lede, so please be sure to check back and check the full post each day.

You will also notice the polling system looks different — I want to give my great thanks to Larry Torrez, who worked with me to come up with the poll you’ll see below in an aesthetically pleasing format as well! Great work ElTee (of DC)!

REMINDER: The Griffins set out the following parameters for designing an alternate jersey. Please use them to guide you as you make your decision(s) below:

• Create a brand new design for a Griffins alternate jersey (remember: you are ONLY designing a jersey, not a full uniform).

• While your design work must be original, you MAY use current or previous Grand Rapids Griffins logos.

Therefore, while some of the submissions you see below may include gloves, helmet, pants, etc., you are ONLY voting on the jersey design. Please keep that in mind when casting your vote(s).

OK? That’s about it. First I’ll display all the submissions for today, which will be followed by the new (sharp-looking and hopefully cheat-proof) poll. Click to enlarge any image below.

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A: John Elbertson

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B: Johnny Woods

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C: Robert Briczinski

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D: Matt Bachovchin

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E: Noah Kars

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F: Zach Rueger

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G: Jacob Barnes

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H: Garrett Pickard

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I: Douglas O’Leary

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J: Serena Dworzynski

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K: Lucas VanderBilt

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L: Nathan Bryson

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M: Ryan Brandt

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N: Patrick Shivers

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O: Marco Pavano

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P: Mark Ureel

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And there you have it. Your third 15 submissions. And now, to vote, here’s the poll — to start, click “ENTER” or hit “SUBMIT”; once you start the poll, the reader design will appear next to the name and you may select as many designs as you like. Once you have finished voting, be sure to scroll to the bottom and hit “ENTER” or click “SUBMIT” to make sure your vote(s) are counted! That’s it!):

powered by Typeform

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St. Louis Blues Intro New “Heritage” Sweater

Last evening, the St. Louis Blues unveiled their new “Heritage” sweater, unveiled at Ice Breaker on at Ballpark Village.

Here’s a look at the full sweater:

According to Adidas,

Inspired from the team’s inaugural uniforms from the 1967-68 season, the Blues have gone with a retro look for their new adidas adizero Authentic NHL third jersey. The 2018-19 Heritage Jersey, like the original, features the iconic Blue Note emblem on top of a vintage light blue base with the original gold and white stripes along the sleeves and waistline. The design also borrows from the Blues’ primary home jersey, featuring the fleur-de-lis of the flag of St. Louis inside the jersey’s collar. The third jersey blends history, color and modern materials for a true evolution of the 1967 inaugural jersey.

If the sweater looks familiar, it should. They basically wore this during the 2017 Winter Classic vs. the Blackhawks:

As mentioned above, the sweater is “inspired” by the team’s original 1967-68 uni, and the replication is pretty spot on. For comparison:

Here’s a look at the new Heritage Jersey and some closeups on some details:

Of course, there was a hype video:

Here’s the designer on the new jersey:

According to the team, the St. Louis Blues will wear the new Heritage Jersey on 11 Saturday night home games during the 2018-19 season. Here are those dates: Oct. 6 vs. Chicago Blackhawks; Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota Wild; Nov. 24 vs. Winnipeg Jets; Dec. 29 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins; Jan. 5 vs. New York Islanders; Jan. 19 vs. Ottawa Senators; Feb. 9 vs. Nashville Predators; Feb. 23 vs. Boston Bruins; March 2 vs. Dallas Stars; March 23 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning; and, April 6 vs. Vancouver Canucks.

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Griffins Jersey Voting Results, Rounds A & B

The results of the first two days of voting on the Griffins Alternate Jersey Contest are now complete.

Congratulations to Group A Winners Matthew Harvey, David DiFalco, and Joe Hilseberg. You three will be moving on to the Group of 12, from which the Griffins will select one overall winner. The results of the Group A voting are below:

Thanks to everyone who submitted. You can see all of the Group A submissions here.

• • •

Congratulations to Group A Winners Mason Fiske, Adam Cain, and Turner Rintala. You three will be moving on to the Group of 12, from which the Griffins will select one overall winner. The results of the Group B voting are below:

Thanks to everyone who submitted. You can see all of the Group B submissions here.

• • •

Some notes:

For the most part, everything ran smoothly. First off, there were some questions about mobile devices (although it’s possible some Macs/PC’s had this problem as well) not necessarily supporting the voting. I asked the great Larry Torrez, who was instrumental in setting all of this up and assisting with the data crunching, to address the issue:

(L)et me start by listing the devices that Typeform, the application we are using to gather votes for the contest supports.

Typeforms can be viewed and completed using the following platforms / browsers:

Windows and Mac computers: IE9+, and latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

Tablets: iPads running IOS 8.4+ and Android tablets running 4.4+.

Smartphones: iPhones running IOS 9.1+, Android smartphones running 4.4+, Opera Mini (latest version) and IE Mobile (latest version).

Does your device meet these requirements?

If so, when you click on the link can you view the contest submissions?

If you can’t the problem could be with your browser, clear your cache and try again.

Hopefully no one will have any issues going forward.

I’d also like to mention that, unfortunately, there was some attempted cheating. According to Larry, contests such as this have an attempted duplicate voting rate of between 3 and 5% (we have removed all duplicate IP address voting). Group A in particular was affected: Sadly, (and we will not name any names — but you know who you are), 22.54% of the submittals were duplicates submitted by 5 people (IP addys). These were all removed and the results adjusted accordingly. It is possible that the winning designs won despite attempted vote rigging, and it is also possible some in the top 3 were taken out of the top 3 after IP address duplicates were removed. Larry informs me that Group B also suffered from attempted ballot stuffing, but it was not as bad as Group A. We know who you are and you know who you are, so I would expect there will be no complaints from those who did not crack the top three on either day.

Again, congratulations to the first six advancees from Groups A & B. I’ll hope to have the results of both Group C & D on Wednesday (definitely Group C; and I expect to have Group D sometime in the morning on Wednesday).

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Diamondbacks said they don’t currently have plans for a John McCain memorial patch (thanks, Brinke). … Brewers pitcher Brent Suter, who is on the disabled list, still got in on the Players’ Weekend action (from our own Alex Hider). … Brewers 1B Jesús Aguilar stuck Swedish Fish in the holes in his helmet during an at-bat (from Mike Chamernik). … The Tigers retired shortstop Alan Trammell’s number and wore a patch for the occasion (from multiple readers). … Yesterday’s Tigers/White Sox game accordingly did not feature Players’ Weekend uniforms (also from multiple readers). … Here’s one writer’s opinion on the “best” cleats from Players’ Weekend (thanks, Phil). … The Giants have been putting their 60th-anniversary-in-San Francisco logo on their game balls (from Ray Meyers). … There was a blue-vs.-blue-vs.-blue matchup: the Single-A Charlotte StoneCrabs and Clearwater Threshers, and the umpires (from @I_am_PLB). … “In Paul’s article about the evolution of the C-flap, he mentioned that helmet manufacturers were working on a helmet that already included the C-flap without the attachment needing to be screwed on to a normal helmet. Is [Cubs RF] Jason Heyward wearing it?” asks Derek Linn. … Reader Will Schiebler wore a certain cap from a certain uniform blog while playing for his softball team recently.

Football News: Reader Wade Heidt has a bunch of observations from the CFL, which is about at the midpoint of its season (click to enlarge). … Hawaii wore state-themed helmets this weekend in support of the victims of Hurricane Lane (from multiple readers). … However, one Hawaii player seemed to have his Mountain West sticker upside down. It’s supposed to be green first, then white, says Aaron Wigg. … Also posted in Grab Bag: here’s Syracuse running back Jim Brown in uniform for the school’s lacrosse team (from Adam Thacker). … Red Springs (N.C.) High uses NFL captaincy patches (from Gerry Dincher). … “For weeks, I’ve been trying to find legitimate photos of the back of Virginia Tech’s new jersey,” writes Andrew Cosentino. “Well, I finally found a link that shows them! I took some screenshots as well.” … Here’s some rare footage of the Steelers in white pants. (The white-helmeted Eagles are a little more common.) From Jerry Wolper.

Hockey News: AHL jerseys are apparently to have a giant CCM patch on the back next season (from Nick Gratton). … A good CCM patch story: Darby York says in a 1992 Boston University/Boston College game, then-BU coach Jack Parker tried to have BC forefit because he believed the CCM patches on their jerseys were too large. The officials allowed the patches to be blacked out instead. … Beautiful “vintage” Seals jersey created by Wafflebored, yes?

Soccer News: We’re now into the period where teams reveal third kits, often of questionable usefulness. Among those to do so were Premier League Everton, the English Championship’s Bolton Wanderers, Millwall, Nottingham Forest, and Swansea City, and German teams Freiburg and 1. FC Nürnberg. … Other new kits: German team Borussia Dortmund (second) and NCAA Division III’s Transylvania (Ky.) University, the last from Kyle Sutton. … Bundesliga team Schalke 04 made separate shirts for their League of Legends esports team. … Brighton and Hove Albion’s English Women’s Super League team wore the wrong white shorts with their second-choice kit. Brighton have two pairs of white shorts this year: the pair for the first kit has red accents, as the shirt also does, while the second-choice shorts have black accents. … This article has several interesting points about conventions regarding players’ numbers. … Here’s a great picture of Virginia men’s soccer coach George Gelnovatch as a player at UVa in the mid-’80s. As it turns out, his team wore an Adidas template previously seen on the NASL incarnation of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, right down to the oversized chest script.

Grab Bag: Also posted in soccer: Bundesliga team Schalke 04 made separate shirts for their League of Legends esports team. … Here’s Syracuse running back Jim Brown in uniform for the school’s lacrosse team (from Adam Thacker).

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Comments (38)

    I only wish they didn’t have that scooped back causing the stripes to droop down to the butt like that. I’ve maintained this for the last decade-plus – hockey sweaters should have straight hemlines! After all, when was the last time you saw any other kind of sweater that had a scooped hemline like that?

    Love the uniform, but also a minor complaint. It is the vintage white in the trim, though not as noticeable compared to when there is more vintage white trim like the old Columbus thirds.

    Can notice it mostly on the gloves.

    Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of that “vintage white” myself. It just doesn’t look right on a modern sweater.

    Heritage, shmeritage… this is what the Blues should like like ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME!!!!


    Congratulations Matthew, David, Joe, Mason, Adam, and Turner and good luck to everyone else! And if you, like me, didn’t win, good luck next year as well!

    Ian Lee,

    Well said sir.

    People like you make the Uni Verse a great place to live in. Good on ya!

    To all artists out in the Uni Verse:
    If you aspire to be a legendary graphic artist/Uni Designer and want to know how sick, dope, noice your designs are with the masses (i.e. will people like/buy them?) you could not find a better group on earth to present to, then here at Uni Watch.

    The denizens residing here are among the most Uni Savvy on the planet – this is not hyperbole. They really are very Uni Savvy in their opinions. They know good, because they understand that there is a Uni Aesthetic (yuuup, there really is one) A tough room? Not really. An honest room? Absolutely.

    Win or lose or poorly drawn, we salute those who contribute because they are making the effort to show the best work they can muster to a very knowledgeable peer group. We respect that in the Uni Verse because you can’t get better designs without trying, failing, learning from it, and trying again.

    That is why Phil, Paul and the rest of the Uni crew – myself included, will do our best in presenting contests, that every design gets it’s shot to be seen and voted on by ones peers fairly, so that every entrant can benefit from the experience.

    I just finished reading the preview and what struck me, as it does every year, is the incredible amount of work it must take to put this together. The recent challenges with Verizon must have made it all that more difficult. Thank you and well done!

    Great work Paul!
    Considering the number of D-1A teams the constant uniform changes they go through this is always an impressive undertaking. Certainly with your attention to the tiny details. Most people would probably never notice the changes that, for example, Nebraska did this year, nor are they particularly newsworthy, but you still note them for completeness.

    Do you have a source for Notre Dame wearing green on Saturday besides that hashtag? This is not the first time there has been a push to have a green-out in the stands but the team hasn’t worn green at home in years.

    Not to get too Zabruder on this, but zooming in the Heyward photo, it’s hard to tell if the flap is a consolidated part of the helmet, or if the screws were painted over to match the helmet. There are ridge lines where the C flap begins which don’t appear on an ear-flap only helmet.

    Waffleboard, great job on the vintage Golden Seals jersey! Cool feature with those uniforms back then that you don’t see often.
    Players rocking the teal helmet.


    The voting page closes immediately on my Android phone. Is there any alternate way to vote since it doesn’t seem to be working on my phone?


    Send an email to Phil as we documenting these issues so that we can deliver a better presentation of contestants work, and want to solve as best we can, everyones issues with the voting process.

    Is there any alternate way to vote since it doesn’t seem to be working on my phone?

    Do you have access to a PC/Mac, Tablet or phone running any of the software listed above? You should be able to vote that way no problem!

    Vote Rigging! – Always knew it… It’s not like it JUST STARTED this year. The vote totals in the past were BS and [will remain unnamed] “white hat” told me so.

    Look, if you can’t win fair and square, you’re really a loser.

    I think it is really sad that there is attempted vote rigging. Let the uni enthusiasts decide, they’ll typically pick the best one anyone, which is the whole point. And if you feel the need to stuff the ballot box, at least tell your friends and family to vote for you (very simple in the age of social media) rather than cheat.
    I know in the past I’ve been shocked by some of the vote numbers, so I guess this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. At this rate I’d rather have Paul/Phil pick the winners, like they do in contests with no prizes. Even if I disagree with which ones they thought were best, we know it is an honest contest based on their tastes.

    Haha. I’m all about the reader polls assuming we can be sure nobody is cheating to get their design to win. On the other hand Paul and Phil have good taste, so we’d never have to worry about people that like the Nike-ification of uniforms to storm the polls and elect an awful design.

    Color me a sore loser. My jersey design finished 4th in its group. I totally missed the voting since it did not get it’s own post like the first group…was viewing on a phone and only saw the “US Open Fashion Preview” post header. I didn’t even get a chance to vote on my own design, ha. Better luck next year I guess.

    The numbers don’t lie. By burying the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day Griffins entrants, they receive less votes as a whole than day one entrants which get the lead story. I’m surprised you can’t see this.

    The Blues’ new jersey isn’t terrible, but I don’t really like it. If you’re gonna go OFOS (old for old’s sake), at least bring back something with a little more pizzaz – like maybe the 1979 jersey with the yellow shoulders. This is just a generic 1960s/70s template jersey.

    Plus, I have to confess, I love the contrast between the royal and navy on their regular unis, so anything that doesn’t have that just looks like it’s missing something to me.

    The numbers don’t lie. By burying the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day Griffins entrants, they receive less votes as a whole than day one entrants which get the lead story. I’m surprised you can’t see this.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “burying” them. Friday’s lede had a “jump” to the Griffins contest link right at the top, and today’s lede was like 8 sentences. The contest was announced only a short time ago with the dates and times for voting straightforwardly announced. Each day, the “tweet” post mentions the contest.

    I’ve been criticized when I run contests as ledes over multiple days (so I try to have this one only take one “full” day), and each day INCLUDING the first day, it was mentioned that the contest voting would take place over four days. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t it seems.

    I got complaints that there was vote stuffing (over the years) so each year I tried to implement a system that would lessen or eliminate that. I got criticized for running the contestants alphabetically, so this year I randomized (a LOT more work for me) things. I even have help in the form of the Great Larry Torrez, who is working diligently behind the scenes to ensure the contest is as fair as possible.

    No matter how I choose to run things, I get criticized. It makes me wonder if it’s even worth it anymore.

    Not venting on you, per se, Richard. But FFS, I’m not BURYING anything. Not everyone wants to have contest voting as a lede for our straight days. You’d think the current system balances that out.

    It’s NOT worth it if you can’t provide equal exposure. Sorry you can’t accept some criticism in this regard. Your readers would prefer the contest to be the lead always, not US Open tennis shirt stuff.

    Wherever the contest is on the page, it’s physically the biggest part of the entry because all the designs are shown. It’s basically impossible to miss.

    No one can claim to speak for the entire readership’s preferences, but Phil tries to take everyone into account and, like he says, sometimes you can’t please everybody.

    It’s NOT worth it if you can’t provide equal exposure.

    But it doesn’t work like you seem to think it does. Each days contestants go up ONLY against each other, they don’t go against contestants from the other days. So if contestant “X” gets 300 votes (but 20%) on day one and contestant “Y” gets 160 votes (but also 20%) on day two, that doesn’t mean “Y”‘s design is 140 votes less “popular.” In EVERY contest I’ve run (including ones where there was two sets of voting on one day — that is, two separate polls — the second set received considerably less voting. The first poll will ALWAYS receive the most attention, regardless of whether it’s the lede or not.

    The contest isn’t which design receives the most number of votes overall (though that design would win that day), it’s which design receives the most number of votes on the day it’s run. In this case, it’s the top three vote getters EACH day who move on, so it’s fair in that regard.

    Gee, Richard, tell me more about what I’d prefer.

    This is a news site before it’s a contest site. Running the same story as the lede four times doesn’t make any sense.

    At most, I could see including something like “Plus Griffins Part 2” in the header to draw more potential voters.

    Explain the drop off in voter participation? It’s like this every year. Look, I’m only pointing out something that is exposed by actual numbers. More people vote the first day, regardless of entry quality. You’ve done it by alphabetical order, and now a random order and the numbers suggest a lull in voter participation in days where the contest is not front and center. You can try to deny it, but the numbers say otherwise. Thanks for being transparent with showing these numbers so we know. I appreciate you running the contest and it will never be perfect, but I did read a post from someone earlier bringing this up and though it may not be important to all, it obviously is important to some and seems to be factually based. Here’s an idea, never make a contest a lead, ever. Problem solved.

    By the way, though it’s nice you’re tracking IP address to try and stop vote rigging, I’m sure you know that there are ways around this and it’s still not a perfect system. I don’t want to get into the details, but I know from past vote tallies that voting was rigged – Last year was horribly blatant. The sliver of a saving grace is the Griffins select from a group of finalists. Too bad some have to cheat to achieve this.

    Can’t vote on the phone eltee. Though this is nowhere near as bad as that tee shirt mocking Asians.

    Today’s the first time I voted, there was a design I thought was particularly creative (Johnny Wood’s logo, it was different and cool), so for comments above that entries are buried or whatever, it might also be that for whatever reason a day’s entries don’t appeal to folks.

    I’m curious if any designs are resubmissions from previous contests, as a few looked like that to me, like one that appears to be from the 80’s throwback. And one with Peter Griffin as well.

    I’m not super invested in these contests or their outcomes, I’ll vote if something looks good to me, but appreciate your running it, and definitely wouldn’t blame you if you either retired this contest or just had the main UW contributors have a voting panel for these.

    I have seen footage of Jim Brown wearing No. 17 when he played for Syracuse. It was in “Jim Brown, All American” directed by the great Spike Lee

    Paul –

    Great job as always on the College Football Uniform preview. I wish all journalists had your eye for detail and dedication to accuracy.

    It is appreciated.


Comments are closed.