Back in the Saddle

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Hi there. Remember me?

As you can see above, I am now officially shacked up with the Tugboat Captain. I love that our landlord used an old-school Dymo label for our door buzzer — much like the Dymo nameplates that the Cowboys have been using on their helmets for the past half-century.

My annual August break from the blog is usually a chance to recharge my batteries and have some distraction-free time to focus on my annual college and pro football season preview columns. But this year the August break was also a chance for me to prepare for my move — or at least that was the plan. As it turned out, Real Life dumped a lot of additional things on my plate over the past six weeks or so: My mom had a stroke, I caught a stomach bug that landed me in the ER, and the pinheads at Verizon mistakenly turned off my phone, internet, and TV and couldn’t get them restored for a week (!).

It’s no exaggeration to say that I could not possibly have dealt with all of that — and moving to boot — while still doing the blog on a daily basis. So it was a godsend to know that the site was in deputy editor Phil Hecken’s very capable hands for the past month. Let’s please have a standing O for him, and also for the rest of the Uni Watch team (Alex Hider, Jamie Rathjen, Anthony Emerson, Kris Gross, Brinke Guthrie, John Ekdahl) and the many additional contributors who provided so much fascinating content in August. I’m grateful to all of you, and doubleplus-grateful to Phil.

Happily, all of the crisis situations I was dealing with are now much improved (including my mom’s health, which is still a little dicey but is nowhere near as dire as it initially appeared to be) and I’m settling in nicely at the new Uni Watch HQ. So is Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin, who was a little freaked out for the first few days but now seems pretty happy. She doesn’t know it yet, but she may have a new boy mascot sidekick in the not-too-distant future.

Phil is off this weekend, and I still have a lot of unpacking and house-organizing stuff to do, so this little note will be our only content for the Laborious Day weekend. I’ll be back on Tuesday with my annual NFL season preview column, and then we should get back into the regular swing of things. Until then, the comments are open, and you can still buy a cap or a set of our new StripeRite socks. Have a great holiday weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week. — Paul

34 comments to Back in the Saddle

  • Bill E | September 1, 2018 at 8:27 am |

    Paul, Welcome back. Phil and the Crew did a great job in your absence. Good to hear things are currently stable. Love the Dymo address label, truly old school, fitting !!

  • Ran isaacs | September 1, 2018 at 9:01 am |

    Just saw Gear Up, a weekly uni segment, on Sportscenter. UGH. Filled with marketingspeak, I’m curious how much Nike and Adidas pay for the segment of branded content.

    • Jamie Rathjen | September 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm |

      I, unfortunately, learned this was a thing today because Virginia was featured (apparently for the first time). It sounds exactly as cringe-worthy as I imagined.

  • Ran isaacs | September 1, 2018 at 9:01 am |

    Just saw Gear Up, a weekly uni segment, on Sportscenter. UGH. Filled with marketingspeak, I’m curious how much Nike and Adidas pay for the segment of branded content.

  • Greg | September 1, 2018 at 9:24 am |

    Welcome back Paul. Glad you and your mom are on the mend!

  • Josh | September 1, 2018 at 9:50 am |

    Welcome back Paul! Sorry to hear the break was not as relaxing as hoped. Good to hear things have improved.

  • MJ | September 1, 2018 at 9:54 am |

    Welcome back. You two would make a great Scrabble word if such things were allowed.

  • Phil Hecken | September 1, 2018 at 11:01 am |

    Love the dymo tape! Looks like you’ve been on there forever, too! Also, due to the kerning, it looks like your new landlord had a different label maker for the first set of names … either that or I just need better eyes. Awesome and congrats and believe me… WELCOME BACK!

  • muddlehead dave #26 | September 1, 2018 at 11:06 am |

    Could it be a Scotch brand label?

  • Brent Nelson | September 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm |

    Glad to hear good news from you, Paul.

  • The Mick | September 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm |

    Phil’s Best August Ever! And that’s saying something. Welcome back Paul. Looking forward to the NFL Preview

    • Phil Hecken | September 2, 2018 at 9:07 am |

      Thanks!

  • Mike Wissman | September 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm |

    Great job to Phil and the crew while Paul was away. The site maintained its high quality and allowed Paul another August to focus on other endeavors. Deputy Editor Phil, thanks for the time and energy you put into the site. It’s appreciated!

    • Phil Hecken | September 2, 2018 at 9:08 am |

      Appreciated! Honestly when August began, I may have been the least “prepared” in years, but things fell into place nicely — I had some great guests, and nikadidas didn’t kill me with a new unveiling daily. I was really into it after the first few days!

  • jonathancain | September 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm |

    glad to hear everyone is doing better, paul.

  • Mark in Shiga | September 1, 2018 at 6:42 pm |

    Dymo tape = Cowboys? What about the ’86 Mets?

  • Chip Powell | September 1, 2018 at 8:37 pm |

    These new Louisville uniforms are a hot mess…the forward facing TV numbers that don’t quite face forward when stretched over pads…and the wings on the sleeve caps look more like the wings from the Hornets side profile logo http://content.sportslogos.net/logos/6/5120/full/1617_charlotte__hornets_-secondary-2015.png than they do anything a Cardinal has.

  • Batmanuel | September 1, 2018 at 9:54 pm |

    No posts on the first weekend of college football?

    • Lindsay Resnick | September 1, 2018 at 10:42 pm |

      It’ll probably happen tomorrow. usually CFB round-up posts are on Sundays.

      • Lindsay Resnick | September 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm |

        Wish I could delete this comment. I looked at the comments before actually reading the post.

    • Jamie Rathjen | September 2, 2018 at 8:00 am |

      The college football people will post about both of the first two weeks next weekend.

    • Phil Hecken | September 2, 2018 at 9:10 am |

      Heh. Guess you didn’t read my August posts (or at least the last one before this weekend) where I said the whole SMUW crew is back this year and we kick off the coverage starting next Saturday with a full week 1 wrap, then start off with the regular SMUW coverage next Sunday.

      • Lindsay Resnick | September 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm |

        Sorry. I must have missed it.

  • Lindsay Resnick | September 1, 2018 at 10:43 pm |

    Sorry to hear about your mom’s health problems, Paul. Best wishes for her speedy recovery!

  • Wade Heidt | September 2, 2018 at 8:12 am |

    Do you know what else is back in the saddle? College football uni-tracking Canadian rules style!

    For the football where your team can lead a game by a score of 1-0 (shout out to our national treasure – the rouge!)

    Will concentrate on just Canada West conference which kicked off this week.

    -Saskatchewan Huskies home opener was their annual Support Our Troops game. They wear uniforms for this game honouring the Canadian Forces. The uniforms feature arctic camouflage. In place of the last names on the back, players wore various military related words in the nameplates, such as “courage”, “integrity” and “honour”. Alberta Golden Bears wore white over yellow as the visitors in Saskatoon:

    https://d2o2figo6ddd0g.cloudfront.net/z/q/rgymy3wdbbox2b/20180901yduwlc_thumbnail.png

    -Pretty standard fare for other opening games. Regina Rams went mono-green at home while the Calgary Dinos went white over red:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dl-u5BOU0AApYE7.jpg

    -UBC Thunderbirds went mono-blue for their home opener in Vancouver. Visiting Manitoba Bisons went white over brown:

    https://cdn.prestosports.com/action/cdn/img/mw=1000/cr=n/d=eexeg/b1udkqg7sei8nio9.jpg

  • Wade Heidt | September 2, 2018 at 5:25 pm |

    Saskatchewan Roughriders wearing throwback-inspired third uniforms for the first time this year in their CFL Labour Day Weekend Classic against the Blue Bombers in Regina right now:

    https://d3ham790trbkqy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Image-from-iOS-6.jpg

    I am a little bit irritated with 3 Riders defensive backs. Like DB Matt Elam seen here. Breaking with the dress code and wearing black socks:

    https://d3ham790trbkqy.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Image-from-iOS-2.jpg

    Additional of helmet stripes for the Riders compared to their usual look. Striping not cut on SpeedFlex style helmets.

  • ChrisH | September 2, 2018 at 6:33 pm |

    For reasons that aren’t too clear, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace had his Darlington ‘throwback’ paint scheme changed on race day from this:

    https://www.speedwaydigest.com/index.php/news/monster-energy-series-news/45184-stp-unveils-darlington-raceway-throwback-weekend-scheme-for-wallace-jr

    To this:

    https://speedsport.com/nascar/monster-nascar-cup/petty-stp-alter-darlington-scheme/

  • Heisenberg's Hat | September 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm |

    Sorry about your Mom. Hope she’s recovering well. My Mom had two of them going on two years ago. Scary stuff. Good vibes your way!

  • Rydell | September 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm |

    As I’m watching the “advocare classic” …(advocare classic really???) Miami LSU neutral site game at “at&t stadium” could there be any way we can make this kickoff game even more cheesy? Jerry Jones the most powerful man in usa, next to your former president of course

    • Josh Hinton | September 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm |

      Don’t forget, this crap that was on after each commercial break:
      “This Hulu telecast is brought to you by hulu”

  • Rydell | September 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm |

    LSU is 7 hours away from at&t stadium, Miami over 15 hours.
    How does this benefit these two programs?
    The network and facilities are loving these sponsors/advertising/“classic” games

  • Gill | September 3, 2018 at 2:48 am |

    One of the greatest songs ever takes place on “Monday,” according to the lyrics. And it is…..

  • Terry Mark | September 3, 2018 at 10:32 am |

    Even though I’ve never met any of you, this community feels like family to me. Paul, I’m sorry for all of your travails over the past month but I’m glad your mom is better and everything is starting to settle down. Phil, thanks for all the great work you do not just this month but throughout the year. And kudos to the Ticker Team and John the webmaster!

  • MN | September 3, 2018 at 10:15 pm |

    As a long time reader if this blog I can finally admit today that I am in lockstep with the groups feeling about the “Mark of the Beast”

    I have been a loyal customer of that cult in Oregon for almost 35 years. Todays announcement that they will be making that no talent, Kardashian wanna be Kapernicus the face of the 30th Just Do It campaign had pushed me over the edge.

    I have worn my last swoosh and will be breating Either from here on out!

    Rot in hell Nike!