The End of Miller Time

News broke yesterday that the name of the Brewers’ stadium, which for the past two decades has been an ad for a brewery, will soon become an ad for an insurance company. The change will become effective at the end of 2020.

This news led dozens of people to contact me via social media and email to ask how soon I’d be producing an “I Still Call It Miller Park” T-shirt as part of our Naming Wrongs project. Several people even offered to pay for a shirt immediately, so they could have it shipped as soon as it was designed.

I completely understand why people are upset about the name changing. But as I explained to everyone who asked, we don’t do shirts that honor corporate stadium names — only non-corporate names — so we won’t be doing a Miller Park shirt. It was interesting (and, frankly, depressing) to see that there are so many people out there who are aware of Naming Wrongs but don’t understand the idea behind it. But even more interestingly, several people then responded by saying (I’m paraphrasing here), “You should make an exception for Miller Park, because the team is called the Brewers and because Miller is a beloved hometown brand.”

I understand what those people were trying to say, but nuh-uh. Leaving aside Miller’s rather dubious “hometown” status (over the past 17 years, Miller has been purchased by a South African conglomerate and then spun off as the property of several different subsidiaries; it’s currently owned by a joint-brewery subsidiary headquartered in Chicago, which in turn is owned by an American/Canadian multinational headquartered in Denver, all of which may explain why they felt no particular need to extend their naming rights deal), my decision not to do a Miller Park shirt isn’t just about the name itself. It’s about the whole system of teams selling off their stadium and arena identities to advertisers, which is bad for fans and bad for cities. If the Brewers had called their building Brewers Ballpark or Milwaukee Stadium to begin with, like they should have, we wouldn’t need to be having this discussion. This is just another example of how corporate-advertised stadium and arena names suck, no matter how “appropriate” the advertiser may seem. You end up with no consistent identity and no civic equity. You’re just in the billboard business.

One person who I explained this to responded, with no apparent irony, “Yeah, I see what you mean, but you should really do the shirt anyway, because of all the money you’ll make!” — which, of course, is precisely the mindset that has now resulted in the name of the Brewers’ ballpark changing from a brewery advertisement to an insurance company advertisement. Sigh.

Over the years, many people — knowing that I hate naming rights but love Wisconsin and Milwaukee — have said to me, “Sure, naming rights deals aren’t ideal, but don’t you think Miller Park isn’t so bad? You know — beer, the Brewers, Wisconsin’s brewery heritage. It’s one of those partnerships that makes sense for everyone involved!” And sure, I totally get that on some level Miller Park seems less objectionable than a lot of the other more cringe-worthy stadium and arena names. But if there’s anything we can learn from yesterday’s announcement, it’s that the Miller Park name never “made sense” for anyone on any deep cultural level. If the deal truly made sense for Miller, why are they letting the deal expire instead of renewing it? If it truly made sense for the Brewers, why didn’t they offer to lower the price for Miller instead of accepting a higher bid from the insurance company? The reality is that it never “made sense” anywhere except on a balance sheet, and pretending otherwise is just a romantic fantasy.

Miller beer will still be sold at the stadium. The company issued this statement, which perhaps says more than it means to:

While the name on the stadium will change after the 2020 season, we fully expect Brewers fans inside and outside the stadium will continue to celebrate every home run and every strikeout with one of our beloved brands.

Not “our beloved beers” — “our beloved brands.” That’s really sad.

Meanwhile: The first thing I thought of when I heard about the new stadium name was, “Hmmm, I wonder if they’ll change their primary logo,” which has always seemed transparently evocative of the Miller script. Given the unrelenting clamor for a return to the ball-in-glove “mb” logo (or, really, any change from the current design, which has been snoozeville from the moment of its launch), it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a change in 2021. But if they do, that would pretty much confirm that the current design was always just a Miller tie-in, which is pretty gross. Doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to do that with their new stadium-name advertiser’s logo, though, which is perhaps the best thing we can say about the new naming rights deal.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Lunch angle: How much do I miss baseball? This much: The Tugboat Captain and I had lunch yesterday at the venerable Manhattan sandwich joint Eisenberg’s, where I ordered a pastrami on rye. When our platters arrived, I took one look at mine and immediately thought, “Hmmm, blue and orange toothpicks — Mets colors!”

How long until pitchers and catchers?

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Cap reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, on Monday I asked how many of you would be willing to order a flex-fit Uni Watch Alternate Cap in size S/M for the cut-rate price of $10.99 plus $4 for shipping (further details here), and yesterday I asked those of you who responded affirmatively to put your money where your mouths are by going ahead and pre-ordering the cap.

Without going into specific numbers, it would be fair to say that the number of people who said they’d pre-order was a lot higher than the number of people who actually did pre-order. So I’m asking again — if you want one of these caps, please do one of the following:

1. Send me $14.99 via Venmo, using @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee. (This is my preferred payment method, because there are no fees.)

2. Send me $14.99 via Zelle, using plukas64@gmail.com as the payee. (Again, no fees.)

3. Send me $14.99 with this Amazon Payments button (if you don’t see the button, refresh the page):

Whichever payment method you choose, please email me and give me your shipping address after making your payment.

Sorry, American customers only for this deal.

I should be able to ship the caps in early February. Thanks for helping me move this inventory.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Yesterday — Jan. 22 — has been a momentous date in the uni-verse. In 1929, the Yankees announced that they’d be adding numbers to their uniforms, and in 1960 the White Sox announced that they’d be adding NOBs (from @BSmile). … Adam Vitcavage found these vintage MLB mini-pennants in his aunt’s house. … Orioles C Mickey Tettleton is wearing an interesting double-striped mock-neck collar in this card (from Hovan Patey). … Someone set out to find a minor league cap for every letter in the alphabet. Turns out 24 of the 26 letters are accounted for. … Pirates Double-A affiliate Altoona Curve will become the Allegheny Yinzers for select home games this season. A Yinzer is a person who hails from the Pittsburgh area (from Darien Somers). … The Phillies are adding a beer garden to their ballpark, complete with the Liberty Bell that topped their previous home, Veterans Stadium (from Arthur Savokinas). … Newly elected Hall of Famer Mike Mussina says he isn’t sure whether he wants to be depicted in an Orioles cap or a Yankees cap on his Cooperstown plaque. … Deadspin did a ranking of newly elected Hall of Famer Roy Halladay’s caps (from Mike Chamernik).

Pro Football News: The Rams will apparently be the first team in NFL history to wear different helmet designs in the conference championship and the Super Bowl. They wore white horns last Sunday and will wear yellow horns for the Super Bowl (from Andy Zare). … The grounds crew in Atlanta is getting to work on the Rams end zone for the Super Bowl. This will be the fourth different end zone design the Rams will use in the Supe (from Jon Anker and Joe H.). … Still mad about how the refs handled the NFC Championship Game? Now you can buy a shirt featuring the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s headline about the game (from John Stinson). … About two seconds into this video, you can see the Browns using their interlocking “CB” logo at midfield at Cleveland Stadium (from @The_Real_Cub). … The 1968 Jets have some crazy stories about their Super Bowl rings (from Mike Chamernik). … It looks like the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL found a quick solution to changing facemask colors: Just dip them in white paint (from Pro Football Journal).

College Football News: Following up on yesterday lede about a 1960 photo of a Clemson player getting ready for a game, Douglas Ford dug deeper into Clemson football history and found this orange-cleated photo gem. … Tim Dunn found this list of Clemson media guides, a couple of game programs, and a video of the team storming down “The Hill.”

Hockey News: Everyone’s familiar with Islanders C Butch Goring’s Jofa helmet, but was anyone aware of these strap-tied skates? (From Steve Helldorfer.) … It looks like helmets at this Saturday’s NHL All-Star Game will have decals with division names on them (from Rick, who didn’t give his last name). … Here are the sweaters for this year’s CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (from Wade Heidt). … The Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League will be wearing astronaut-themed uniforms for Moon Landing Night on March 23 (from DJ Morvay).

NBA News: PF/C Kenneth Faried is wearing No. 35 with the Rockets (from Etienne Catalan). … Mavericks G Luka Doncic took his frustrations out on his jersey last night, ripping it apart in anger (from our own Anthony Emerson).

College/High School Hoops News: New alternates for Clemson men’s (from @DaveGH2P). … The University of South Carolina Upstate debuted new uniforms this season with white on white numbers. Perhaps due to visibility issues, they’ve updated their numbers to black (from James Lightsey). … The University of Kentucky men’s coaches will wear these sneakers for their annual Coaches vs. Cancer Week (from Josh Hinton). … Indiana and Northwestern went black vs. red last night (from Kenneth Traisman). … In that same game, Indiana Assistant Athletic Director for Basketball Administration Bill Comar wore tennis shoes on the sideline last night in support of Princess Lacy’s Legacy, a child cancer charity (from Eric Farrell).

Soccer News: The following three items are from Josh Hinton: Brazil’s new home shirt has leaked. … LAFC’s away shirt has leaked. Newell’s Old Boys has released their new home shirt. … The Chicago Fire have a new shirt advertiser. Here’s how it looks like on their new alternate shirt (from multiple readers). … The El Paso Locomotive of the USL Championship have revealed their shirts.

Grab Bag: Even though Florida wears Jordan brand and Nike, their lacrosse team is outfitted with Under Armour. The lacrosse squad is just a club team, so they’re not under the same outfitting rules as the official school teams (from Hunter G and Mark M). … Jeremy Brahm observes that the Norway men’s national handball team looks like they’re wearing sweaters at this year’s Handball World Men’s Handball Championship. … The WWE has inked a new deal with New Era. … New uniforms for Liberty lacrosse. … Here’s a profile on the laundry man for many of the world’s top musicians (NYT link) (from Tommy Turner). … This writer has a theory as to why 2020 presidential campaign logos are straying away from blue and red. … President Trump’s social media team has apparently been digitally altering photos of him to make him look thinner and longer-fingered (from Ted Arnold). … Here’s a shot of every Florida license plate design from about 1911 to about 1980.

• • • • •

I have to vist my mom today. See you back here tomorrow. — Paul

121 comments to The End of Miller Time

  • Joe | January 23, 2019 at 8:33 am |

    Typo – Butch Goring was an Islander and not an Oiler. Before the Islanders, he was with the Kings.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 8:35 am |

      Right. Fixed.

    • Wade Heidt | January 23, 2019 at 9:17 am |

      In addition, Butch Goring’s unique and infamous helmet was not a Jofa. According to information I’ve read, it was a Snaps helmet. Purchased in the early 1960s.

      https://shottec.com/ugliest-hockey-helmets-ever/

  • Peter | January 23, 2019 at 8:35 am |

    “If the Brewers had called their building Brewers Ballpark or Milwaukee Stadium to begin with, like they should have, we wouldn’t need to be having this discussion.”

    Would you have made the shirt then “I miss Brewers Ballpark” then?
    You have said that you would not / could not make “I miss Giants Stadium” for trademark reasons.

    Would this specific hypothetical name then fall within that same spectrum (which was real)?

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 8:41 am |

      Actually, I have never said anything about trademarks. I have simply said we’re not including any team names on shirts for this project.

      Here’s the larger point: If they simply called it Brewers Ballpark and left it that way, there’d be no need for any shirt.

  • Ron | January 23, 2019 at 8:39 am |

    Regarding the toothpicks story, last Friday my wife and I went to our favorite Mexican place and our table was set with blue and orange napkins. When I mentioned to my wife that our table was an “official” Mets table because of the napkin colors, she just shook her head…LGM!!

  • Greg | January 23, 2019 at 8:41 am |

    Miller Park was simply a corporate name that happened to fit, because it doesn’t sound corporate and because the brand was at one time local, and associated with a product people like, as opposed to insurance, financial services, etc. But Paul nails it, it is still a corporate name.
    RE: Rams endzone, does this mean the Pats endzone will also feature the team helmet instead of just the logo, or are they treating the Rams helmet as their primary logo as they did during their previous stint in LA? If so I think that is poor design and won’t match well with the Pats endzone at all. No reason why you can’t throw the blue and white ram head logo on there with the yellow word mark.

  • CW | January 23, 2019 at 8:47 am |

    Sounds like it’s time for the Brewers fans to come up with a good ballpark nickname that can survive any change in advertising or venue. Then you can make an “I’m calling it (blank)” shirt. Something along the lines of “I’m calling it The Brew Haus”, etc.

    • DenverGregg | January 23, 2019 at 9:14 am |

      in the 90s some locals tried to get folks to call Coors Field “the keg”, but it never took root

      • Paul B | January 23, 2019 at 9:41 am |

        I had a friend or two call Miller Park “the keg” in the 2000’s, never really stuck here either.

      • Paul B | January 23, 2019 at 9:55 am |

        A couple of friends called Miller Park “the keg” in the 2000’s but it didn’t catch on here either.

      • DenverZephyr | January 24, 2019 at 9:30 pm |

        The Pepsi Center in Denver is called “The Can”.

  • Gary | January 23, 2019 at 8:52 am |

    Hopefully “Wrigley Field” will be renamed someday. Gotta stop that corporate intrusion into professional sports.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:00 am |

      Actually, Wrigley Field is a vanity name, not a corporate name. Mr. Wrigley owned the Cubs and named the ballpark after himself.

      • Gary | January 23, 2019 at 9:02 am |

        Tell yourself that the next time you have a piece of Juicy Fruit, Double Mint, Wrigley’s Spearmint or Big Red. It’s a corporate name.

        • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:04 am |

          I don’t need to “tell myself” anything. The reality is that Mr. Wrigley named the stadium after himself, and the company has never paid a penny to the Cubs. It’s not a naming-rights name.

          (Also, I can’t remember the last time I chewed gum, but the larger point remains.)

        • MJ | January 23, 2019 at 9:30 am |

          Is that the same scenario with the Cardinals and all of the incarnations of Busch Stadium – vanity instead of branding?

        • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:33 am |

          Original Busch stadium was vanity (although there’s the whole Budweiser Stadium story and the subsequent launch of Busch Beer — look it up). I believe the new/current Busch Stadium actually has a naming rights deal.

        • mark coale | January 23, 2019 at 9:37 am |

          I was going to ask the Busch Stadium question too.

          Is it named after August Busch, the beer or both?

        • Greg | January 23, 2019 at 9:37 am |

          I think Paul has a valid point here. Cubs owner also owned the Wrigley company. I don’t know if there is actual documentation saying he named it after himself rather than to advertise for the company that also bears his name. Either way, if the Miller family of Miller Brewing Co owned the Brewers (and still owned the company) and named it Miller park, and even if they did so as a way to advertise their beer, it would be a different story than why it is/was called Miller Park in reality.

        • Tom | January 23, 2019 at 10:13 am |

          The stadium built in 1966 was known as Busch Memorial Stadium. At some point it changed to simply Busch Stadium.

        • Martina | January 23, 2019 at 10:44 am |

          IIRC the story was that the Busch family intended to name the Cardinals’ park Budweiser Stadium but MLB wouldn’t allow it (this was in the 50s), so they named it Busch Stadium “after themselves,” and then promptly introduced Busch Beer in order to capitalize.

          I do think this story serves to illustrate how the line between “corporate name” and “vanity name” is not always extremely solid as Paul seems to be implying re: Wrigley. It’s hard to imagine William Wrigley didn’t at least have it in the back of his mind that naming the stadium “after himself,” when his gum brand was also named after himself, could potentially have advertising benefits for him whether it was the main reason or not.

        • Ryan M | January 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm |

          I was going to ask re: Busch Stadium, too, but I think you answered it by noting that the current stadium bears that name because of a deal with A-B that runs for another 6 or 7 years. But, hypothetically speaking, if the team still named the stadium after Gussie and received no compensation from A-B for doing so, and they elected to find a corporate sponsor, would that still qualify for the Naming Wrongs, or is a beer name masquerading as a vanity name still too corporate to qualify?

          I do sympathize with Brewers fans, though, because Miller Park doesn’t sound a whole lot more corporate than any other ballpark named after an owner, but American Family (Insurance) Park is going to be really annoying to hear on a regular basis.

    • Peter | January 23, 2019 at 9:27 am |

      What about Fenway?

      Do you believe the creative advertising for Fenway Realty Company “because it’s in Fenway” for naming it, or it’s really named for it’s geographical location?

      • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:31 am |

        Are we really going to play this silly game all day? (Answer: No, we’re not. Or at least *I’m* not, because I have to go visit my mom now.)

    • Shiveringtim | January 23, 2019 at 9:42 am |

      On a similar note, consider Ford Field in Detroit. While it is a corporate sponsorship from the Ford Motor Company, the Ford family owns the team.

      I believe Jacobs Field in Cleveland had a similar arrangement. While the team was owned by Richard Jacobs, he also owned a development company with his name. I recall reading somewhere, possibly here, that the stadium wasn’t named after him but the company.

    • Jake | January 23, 2019 at 9:49 am |

      I actually remembering hearing a story on the radio maybe 8-10 years ago that the Cubs went to Wrigley Gum and told them that if they don’t start paying for rights, they are going to change the name of the stadium. Of course there was a huge uproar from baseball fans and it died. Does anyone else remember hearing something about this?

    • ThresherK | January 23, 2019 at 11:32 am |

      How about an “I’m calling it Weeghman Park?”

      (Okay, I went a bit too far there.)

  • RS Rogers | January 23, 2019 at 8:53 am |

    If I were a betting man, I would bet serious money that the Brewers will revamp their uniforms and logo for the 2021 season. Ball-in-glove on the cap full time, new jersey lettering, replace the metallic gold with yellow. (The Brewers are already doing a lot of promotional stuff with athletic gold instead of metallic, and have one navy-and-yellow alt uniform.) But I suspect that they’ll keep navy, rather than reverting to royal. Especially since 2016, the Cubs just own royal blue hereabouts.

    Has the team ever denied that the current logos are nods to Miller? And is that even such a bad thing? Several other teams in history have styled themselves after commercial products, including beer. There’s room in baseball for a team to do that when it ties so closely into the team’s name and civic identity. But I suspect that I will be nearly alone in mourning the passing of the current Brewers caps and jersey lettering. For some reason, Brewers fans in particular, and baseball fans generally, seem to hold a strong preference that Milwaukee should wear only the most generic, anodyn uniforms.

  • Memal | January 23, 2019 at 8:56 am |

    At first I totally agreed with your stance against a Miller Park shirt Paul, then I thought, “What if Heinz Field was changed to Safe Auto Stadium or something else for an out of Pittsburgh company with a lame name?” Heinz is a such a Pittsburgh institution that I thought it would deserve recognition, especially since it was a family owned business that for years was manufactured a few blocks from the stadium.

    But then I remembered the company is owned by a conglomerate now and Heinz Field is just advertising for that conglomerate. That’s disappointing to realize this when in the moment the name was announced it felt like the city and the Steelers avoided selling out by having a Pittsburgh company get the naming rights. Funny enough, it was such a moment of relief for me that I remember I was on my way to my first Pirates game at PNC Park when I heard the news.

    • Ben Sonnet | January 23, 2019 at 1:37 pm |

      Technically, the Steelers themselves are a Naming Wrong, since their name and logo were borrowed from the US Steel Corporation…

    • Ben Sonnet | January 23, 2019 at 1:38 pm |

      Technically, the Steelers themselves are a Naming Wrong, since their name and logo were borrowed from the US Steel Corporation…

      • Memal | January 24, 2019 at 7:18 am |

        Steelers was an original name I believe, but the logo was poached with permission though. Good point!

  • Mangler | January 23, 2019 at 8:57 am |

    I didn’t know vintage pennant designs were made as late as the late 60’s! Good renderings of logos for the established NL teams, but I was amused to see pennants for the Padres and Expos, presumably made before their official logos were unveiled. There’s a good approximation of the Swinging Friar, but I can’t picture the “E.B.” in a vintage context.

    So the Clemson Tigers were running down that hill back then; at least they didn’t do it accompanied by balloons.

    • Dumb Guy | January 23, 2019 at 9:21 am |

      But why is “Mr. Red” riding a baseball bat rocket???

    • Dan near LAX | January 24, 2019 at 12:38 am |

      Before there was Bucco Bruce, there was Pippi Longstocking Pirate !

  • Steve | January 23, 2019 at 8:57 am |

    So if the cubs for whatever reason decided to move into a new updated park, you wouldn’t create “I’m still calling it Wrigley” shirts?

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:01 am |

      Wrigley is a vanity name, not a corporate name. Mr. Wrigley owned the Cubs and named the stadium after himself.

  • Ron | January 23, 2019 at 8:58 am |

    I’ve never had a problem with stadiums named after beers as long as they sound like a human name… Busch Stadium, Coors Field, Miller Park sound right.

    There’s a strange situation going on with the name one of Denver’s facilities, as their stadium is currently “Broncos Stadium at Mile High.” It was originally “Invesco Field at Mile High,” then “Sports Authority Field at Mile High”, now this. When I take the train to work, one of the stations serves that facility. The signs at the stop were recently and not very permanently changed to reflect the new sponsorless name, but the automatic audio announcements and signs on the train still refer to Sports Authority. So the question is, can we get a t-shirt for the train to wear saying “I still call it Sports Autority Field at Mile High Station?”

    On a related note, the Broncos current stadium was never called “Mile High Stadium,” so the Naming Wrongs shirt is sort of inaccurate. Should that be “I’m Calling it Mile High Anyway?” Either way, I can attest that folks around here do indeed prefer to call it “Mile High Staduim.”

    Prefered names to call Denver’s facilities, based on my unscientific poll of Denverites:
    Coors Field: No one has a problem with this. It sounds natural.
    Broncos Field at Mile High: Mile High Stadium
    Pepsi Center: The Can
    Dick’s Sporting Goods Field: The Dick

  • Gary | January 23, 2019 at 9:00 am |

    The Brewers “M” logo looks NOTHING like the “M” from Miller Beer – Aside from they’re both M’s. They’re different colors, have different serif styling, have different italicized angles, The Brewers has a stalk of wheat under it, Miller’s does not. Seriously, this is like saying a Corvette looks like a Camry because you know, they’re both cars.

    • DJ | January 23, 2019 at 9:08 am |

      It’s not wheat. It’s barley. Which is more commonly used in brewing beer.

    • RS Rogers | January 23, 2019 at 10:36 am |

      Both are up-slanting M’s with underlines and a giant loop off the top left. Both are used in contexts primarily defined by white and navy blue, which for the Brewers was a significant change in colors shortly before adopting their current unis. The similarities are strong and obvious.

      I’m usually the first to pooh-pooh lazy criticisms that a new logo “looks just like” some other existing symbol that it doesn’t actually look anything like. There’s way too much of that in first reactions to any new commercial design. But in this case, the resemblance is real, it is obvious, and it’s almost certainly deliberate. Which I don’t argue to condemn the Brewers’ logo! On the contrary, I think it’s a virtue that the Brewers’ cap logo and jersey lettering look like elements from a beer label. The cap logo isn’t an exact copy of the Miller M, but it’s close enough in resemblance that it says “beer” in addition to saying “the letter M.” That’s an effective design for a team named “Brewers” in my judgment.

  • RS Rogers | January 23, 2019 at 9:01 am |

    If the people making a beer think of what they’re making as a “brand,” not a “beer,” then they’re probably making crap beer. The ugliness of Miller’s language about their own products made me realize precisely why I’ve found modern corporate brand-talk so vaguely objectionable all along: A “brand” is an assertion of value that is entirely unrelated to the quality or any particular product. Miller doesn’t want its customers to “drink delicious beer,” it wants us to “celebrate beloved brands.” It’s not about the quality of the beer brewed, it’s about some sort of unqualified relationship with the supposed personality of the corporation. I don’t want an identity statement or a lifestyle, I want a glass of beer that tastes good!

    • Jim Vilk | January 23, 2019 at 3:20 pm |

      I want a glass of beer that tastes good!

      Well I want a glass of beer that’s less filling!

      Sorry…couldn’t resist.

  • Mark M | January 23, 2019 at 9:09 am |

    Florida’s Men’s Lacrosse team is a club sports team, hence why they are not required to wear Nike/Jordan. They’re not affiliated with the Athletic Department whatsoever.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:10 am |

      Ah, good info — thanks for that. Will update the text accordingly.

  • Zack K | January 23, 2019 at 9:14 am |

    Florida’s men’s lacrosse is not a varsity sport (they play in the MCLA – which is the top division of college club lacrosse). It’s more than likely that as a club sport they are excluded from the Jordan/Nike sponsorship for uniforms, and Under Armour offered a more competitive price when the team was looking to purchase uniforms for the season. When I was a coach for the BC Eagles lacrosse team, we had the same issue – most colleges have an apparel deal for the varsity programs but very few cover the club teams or specialized sports like skiing, crew, etc., and since club team players have to fund their teams travel and equipment, cost is an important factor.

  • MAL | January 23, 2019 at 9:16 am |

    The Rams will technically have different helmet *designs* but the same actual helmets, no? Not to be a total pedant…

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:17 am |

      100% correct. Text now updated.

  • DenverGregg | January 23, 2019 at 9:17 am |

    while there’s no realistic way for the Brewers to incorporate the insurance logo into the team logo, could they add fakery to make the building look like the advertiser logo?

  • Wade Heidt | January 23, 2019 at 9:21 am |

    Speaking of naming wrongs…Alouettes spelling wrong in the ticker.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 9:30 am |

      Fixed.

  • Jon | January 23, 2019 at 9:34 am |

    Small point, but the interlocking “CB” logo from muni stadium is not the same logo that is often seen as a proposed helmet logo. The Browns usually had nothing at midfield, but they occasionally tried out a few things.

    • Munch | January 23, 2019 at 1:38 pm |

      Yeah, I noticed that, to. This one looks like an orange C and a white B. I would like to find a good image of what is at midfield. I don’t think I’ve seen it before.

    • Munch | January 23, 2019 at 1:39 pm |

      Yeah, I noticed that, to. This one looks like an orange C and a white B. I would like to find a good image of what is at midfield. I don’t think I’ve seen it before.

  • boxcarvibe | January 23, 2019 at 9:35 am |

    To whomever is alphabetizing the Minor League caps: If you want to branch out into the independent leagues, the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association has your “X” cap.

  • Mark H | January 23, 2019 at 9:35 am |

    The history between the Cardinals, their stadium, and Anheuser-Busch is so intertwined, it would definitely cause some local angst if the stadium in St. Louis changed its name.

    https://www.stlmag.com/culture/gussie-busch-at-the-confluence-of-beer-and-baseball/

  • Rex (acc-tracker) | January 23, 2019 at 9:39 am |

    Did anyone else go through that Clemson program? There’s an advertisement for the Irving L. Wilson Company for sports uniforms with “modern fabrics–improved technique–advanced craftsmanship and contemporary design.”

    • DenverGregg | January 23, 2019 at 10:45 am |

      yes it was swell. the Winston ad on the back cover was a highlight too

    • Kevin Shaw | January 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm |

      Check out the ad for Duke Power on page 50. Reddy Kilowatt in action.

  • Law | January 23, 2019 at 9:45 am |

    What are you thoughts on corporations owning teams? For example, the New York Red Bulls who play in Red Bull Arena and are owned by Red Bull as mix of vanity and corporate naming

  • ChrisH | January 23, 2019 at 9:45 am |

    For years, the Veterans Stadium Liberty Bell sign had been sitting outside at a South Philly food distributor blocks away from the ballpark:

    https://thecoggintoboggan.com/2018/02/23/a-satellite-view-of-the-veterans-stadium-liberty-bell-in-all-its-rusted-glory/

    Here’s a gallery of its’ primary restoration:

    https://www.ameriblasts.com/portfolio-items/veterans-stadium-liberty-bell-cleaning/

  • hoser | January 23, 2019 at 9:46 am |

    Got dang that sandwich looks good.

  • William | January 23, 2019 at 9:54 am |

    I wonder if the money a company pays for naming rights generates enough additional profit to justify the expenditure?

  • Martina | January 23, 2019 at 9:58 am |

    I couldn’t agree more with your take on the Miller Park situation, Paul. Really disgusting that we’ve gotten to a place where corporate names are perfectly fine as long as they’re the RIGHT corporate name. Similar thing in San Francisco where people are inexplicably nostalgic for “Pacific Bell Park,” and even there there isn’t really the argument about it being a “beloved local brand” exactly. In that case it seems more just that it rolls off the tongue nicely?

  • Steve | January 23, 2019 at 10:02 am |

    To all you nimrods here complaining that Paul isn’t making a “I’m Still Calling it Miller Park” t-shirt, why not just make one for yourself? You can easily just design one and have it printed at a place like this: https://www.onehourtees.com/

    Not only is it much cheaper, but you also save yourself the trouble of trying to play “gotcha” with Paul all the time when he sells merchandise but complains about polyester shirts.

    • Brent | January 23, 2019 at 1:51 pm |

      ^^^^^This.

  • RICKAZ | January 23, 2019 at 10:05 am |

    With all the naming changes at venues here in the Phoenix area is hard to figure out what place is what. Talking Stick Resort Arena, where the Suns play downtown, and Talking Stick Resort, on the Indian Reservation by Scottsdale, both have concerts. Whenever I tell my wife about a concert at either one, I have to explain to her which one is the venue. Also I don’t even know what the Cardinals Stadium is now called? One concert venue has had 6 names, now named after another Indian Reservation, Ak-Chin. It gets very confusing.

    • ThatRodneyGuy | January 23, 2019 at 12:44 pm |

      I second this. After I moved away for two years it took a good 6 months after I moved back to realize Talking Stick had not in fact built an arena but rather that it was the new moniker for AWA. Gila River Arena also is not near Gila River Casino.
      Desert Sky Blockbuster Desert Sky Cricket Ashley Desert Sky Ak Chin is a great example Rick.

  • JP | January 23, 2019 at 10:09 am |

    To be fair to Miller about the “beloved brands” thing, there are a couple dozen beer brands under their umbrella (Miller, Coors, Leinenkugel, Blue Moon, others) that they’ll continue to sell. My home stadium changed to A-B a couple years back and I’m still grumpy about not being able to get a Summer Shandy.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 10:10 am |

      To be fair to Miller about the “beloved brands” thing, there are a couple dozen beer brands under their umbrella (Miller, Coors, Leinenkugel, Blue Moon, others) that they’ll continue to sell.

      And why exactly does that justify using the corporatespeak “beloved brands” instead of “beloved beers”?

      • JP | January 23, 2019 at 10:55 am |

        Maybe wrongly, I just think some folks won’t know to look past the word “Miller.” Then again, this is Milwaukee, where they make the stuff, so they’re probably more aware.

    • hoser | January 23, 2019 at 10:45 am |

      If you really want your Summer Shandy fix, just go stick your head in one of the fine Miller Park toilets and take a big slurp.

      (I’m sorry, not trying to be “that guy”, but that stuff is awful. But then again, I’m sure I like some things that you find awful. Drink what you like and ignore all the rest!)

      • JP | January 23, 2019 at 10:56 am |

        No worries. Even though I disagree, I laughed.

        • hoser | January 23, 2019 at 11:34 am |

          One of my best friends drinks that stuff almost exclusively during the summer months and he never hears the end of it from me. It’s all in good fun!

        • JP | January 23, 2019 at 3:34 pm |

          I think of it as good “baseball beer.” Not my first choice in a bar or pub, but outdoors on a hot sunny day? I like it.

  • Bryan Farris | January 23, 2019 at 10:10 am |

    I’m Still Calling It “The House Where Bud Murdered a Construction Worker”

    • Peter | January 23, 2019 at 10:53 am |

      That’s slander…and incorrect.
      There were 3 deaths in one accident
      *As Bud did not cause their deaths, the company building the roof settled.

      Not like Bud had any say in building / contractors

  • Jim | January 23, 2019 at 10:19 am |

    Milwaukee power tools would have been the perfect sponsor!

    • Bryan Farris | January 23, 2019 at 10:25 am |

      If I can go ahead and read between the lines, I’m pretty sure Paul is saying “no sponsor” would have been the perfect sponsor.

  • Jim Vilk | January 23, 2019 at 10:28 am |

    “While the name on the stadium will change after the 2020 season, we fully expect Brewers fans inside and outside the stadium will continue to celebrate every home run and every strikeout with one of our beloved brands.”

    Not “our beloved beers” — “our beloved brands.” That’s really sad.

    Yeah, and sometimes I drink Miller Lite, but don’t “expect” anyone to do so. Makes it sound as if the naming rights deal no longer made corporate sense to them because they’re taking customer loyalty for granted.

    Anyway, if there’s an ad-free version of that Norwegian handball jersey, I’d wear that.

    • Daniel Tarrant | January 23, 2019 at 6:51 pm |

      It does sound kind of goofy that they’d use the term “beloved brands”, as if they’re admitting that nobody really loves their beer but will drink it anyway because they just love being associated with SABMiller.

  • Kub | January 23, 2019 at 10:52 am |

    Just a personal correction here. I could see the confusion, being on a sports-related blog. But I left the video with the Browns “CB” logo. My twitter handle is @the_real_kub, with a K. Thanks!

  • Collin Lehman | January 23, 2019 at 11:03 am |

    Sorry, not sure where to send other than on here, but the Minnesota Twins Facebook just released a link to a 3D model of their new alternate for 2019. https://sketchfab.com/models/04fa433c9e70484889c4a133f08b1544?fbclid=IwAR3DScwki0ap9dXulQhCx2Vsk76LxQDj3eZ9t1c7Qx0AxPzZHXOQxd-aMJE

  • GTV | January 23, 2019 at 11:13 am |

    That was the “orange shoes game” in 1967 vs. No. 10 NC State. NCSU had become famous for wearing white shoes, a rarity back then. Clemson won 14-6.

  • Chris Fitzgerald | January 23, 2019 at 11:29 am |

    USC Upstate had no choice but to change their numbers as they were in CLEAR violation of NCAA Basketball Rule 1, Art 7, b, 6 that clearly states:

    The number shall be one single solid color that is clearly in distinct contrast with the neutral zone regardless of any border around thenumber. This border shall be not more than 1/2-inch wide and maybe of any color(s)

    There is a similar rule in most of the NCAA rule books, no matter how cool, ghost numbers are not allowed

  • hjwii | January 23, 2019 at 11:29 am |

    As for the alphabet baseball caps:

    U – Utica Blue Sox
    X – Sioux City Explorers

    • ThresherK | January 23, 2019 at 11:35 am |

      Good catch. I’m in the Northeast and was already wondering about Utica.

      Of the 24 remaining, how many could you name? I didn’t get many, but it’s the dead of winter. I’d do much better in June.

      • hoser | January 23, 2019 at 11:54 am |

        Looking at that graphic made me realize just how awful most minor league team logos/uniforms are. Like they’re all cut from the same template of aggressive/extreme/intimidating/pointy/goofy. Woof.

        • RobYaz | January 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm |

          And back in the early 90s, when merchandising really took off, most minor league logos were cool and often locally unique and distinct from each other. At least I thought so then. Now they’ve gotten ridiculous, and as you say, too similar.

  • Lee | January 23, 2019 at 12:01 pm |

    Nice write-up today Paul, fine writing.

    I didn’t think of the Naming Wrongs project aspect necessarily, but knew some people would express sadness at the re-naming of Miller’s Park.
    It’s still an advertisement folks! You should be opposed to it no matter what (IMO).
    I even drink Miller High Life (as a remembrance to my grandfather) and never liked the Brewers field’s name.

    Lee

  • sandy | January 23, 2019 at 12:15 pm |

    and obviously it meant nothing to the Swiller Beer Co. now did it? so all this ‘loyalty’ from Brewers fan base seems a bit misplaced…as I said here last week, corporations just suck the life out of everything!

    Have a god visit with your Mom, Paul.

    PS, and as a Canadjyun, I think that guy above has a good point aboot American beer, eh?… ;-0

  • Tim | January 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm |

    Don’t have to worry about a renaming of Coors Field in Denver.

    When Major League Baseball selected Denver to have a National League expansion team, Coors contributed $30 million, $15 million of that was to put the Coors name on the future baseball-only stadium, that ended up at 20th and Blake Streets.

    As Seen in:
    https://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/mlb/rockies/2017/03/18/coors-may-have-best-stadium-naming-rights-deal-sports-rockies-field/99366746/

    That’s both a Brand (Molson Coors) and a Vanity Name (Coors Family)

    • Tim | January 23, 2019 at 12:37 pm |

      Forgot the biggest part of that deal.

      Coors $15 Million spend gets them naming rights for the field in perpetuity.

  • Dave Mac | January 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm |

    When it comes to Miller Park, this time Lukas is the one who doesn’t “get it.”

    Corporate or not, it is one of the best stadium names in sports, with tons of local tie ins. It was the perfect marriage, and almost no one locally thought of it as a “corporate” name. It was a family name.

    It was a corporate name, but it never felt like one. Comparable to Wrigley Field or Lambeau Field. That aside, any association between beer and the Brewers is entirely congruent.

    Maybe you have to be from Milwaukee (as I am) to fully understand/appreciate this connection on a deeper level, including how this ballpark was built in the first place. But this is not the same as the typical “stadium goes from one corporate name to another” story.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 2:22 pm |

      Don’t tell me, tell the Brewers. They’re the ones who are ditching the name.

      All I’m saying is that I’m staying true to my policy of not doing a Naming Wrongs shirt for an advertised name.

  • Daniel Tarrant | January 23, 2019 at 2:15 pm |

    A couple of points on Paul’s take on the Miller Park situation:

    1. I wonder if we’ve reached the point where corporate naming rights have been commonplace long enough where a good percentage of sports fans are too young to remember it being any other way? I’m 44, so when I was a kid there were almost no corporate naming deals on venues so I will always have a bit of nostalgia for those days. But I’m guessing if you’re 24, corporate names are all you’ve really known which might explain why some fans might feel nostalgic when original naming rights deals are replaced with new ones.

    2. As I noted here a few weeks ago, some corporate names simply sound better, or at least more natural, than others. For example, if you didn’t know better, “Miller Park” just sounds like it was named after a guy named Miller, while “American Family Insurance Park” is obviously pretty clumsy to say and is more obviously corporate.

    3. Paul writes that corporate stadium names are “bad for fans and bad for cities”. It seems to me that this is a bit of a simplistic take on the matter, as naming rights deals often play a important role in the financing of venues being built in the first place, and will lower the amount of public funds required. So it’s really something of a trade-off, and one could argue that fans and cities thus benefit from it, or else it wouldn’t have become such a common practice.

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 2:28 pm |

      Paul writes that corporate stadium names are “bad for fans and bad for cities”. It seems to me that this is a bit of a simplistic take on the matter, as naming rights deals often play a important role in the financing of venues being built in the first place, and will lower the amount of public funds required.

      You’re assuming that the building being built in the first place is a net positive, which isn’t necessarily the case. You’re also making a huge leap in suggesting that revenue from naming rights is put toward construction costs. I’m not aware of that being the case.

      According to this “logic,” we should put advertising on the door of City Hall, on trails at National Parks, and in all other public spaces — because hey, it’ll lower operating costs and thereby lower taxes!

      This is fine if you think the only thing that matters is your tax rate. But some of us think other things matter, such as the increasing encroachment of advertising and corporate culture into public space. There are some places that advertising does not belong. I’d like to think we could all agree, for example, that there should not be an ad on the U.S. Capitol dome. Personally, I also think advertising does not belong on, say, NBA uniforms or stadium names. You may draw the line in a different place than I would, but make no mistake — the line exists. So the issues at work here are more than merely financial.

      one could argue that fans and cities thus benefit from it, or else it wouldn’t have become such a common practice.

      Right. Everything that happens must be good for everyone, or else it wouldn’t have happened in the first, and that’s how the world works. Therefore there’s never any need to examine or analyze anything, because everything is self-justifying by definition. Makes sense to me!

      This is the problem with market-based thinking. You end up painting yourself into absurd rhetorical corners, because you assume that market-based outcomes are, by definition, the right outcomes. Life doesn’t work that way, which is one reason we regulate most markets.

      • Daniel Tarrant | January 23, 2019 at 6:39 pm |

        Paul, you’re putting a lot of words into my mouth here. Of course I’m not saying that everything that happens is good for everybody, or that market-based thinking should be the one consideration. And certainly not that we should plaster ads on any and every public facility.

        I was just responding to your claim that naming rights on sports venues are bad for fans and cities. Now, I totally agree with you from the aesthetic standpoint that things were better in the pre-naming rights era, where there was also less advertising in sports venues in general.

        Where I disagree is that there is some sort of moral issue involved. If the residents of a city/county/state, via their elected representatives, decide that the additional revenue from naming rights is worthwhile, and do so over and over again, I think it’s reasonable to assume that they are getting something out of the deal. In fact, the linked article that you provided on the Milwaukee park states that Miller’s $20 million contribution was the “final piece of the financing puzzle” which implies that the place might not have been built otherwise.

        Ultimately, though, it is just hard to see how any real harm is done to anybody via naming rights, beyond rather abstract notions like “encroachment of advertising”.

        • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 10:31 pm |

          “encroachment of advertising” into places where it doesn’t belong is neither an abstract notion nor harmless. It is a real problem in our culture. You’re free to disagree, but it’s something I feel strongly about and will continue to oppose.

  • Bill Brauner | January 23, 2019 at 2:36 pm |

    Paul – I appreciate and agree with your take on the naming issue. How many venues have had multiple names? (The current home of the Flyers & Sixers must be up to 5 or 6 by now…) It becomes awkward and annoying to tell stories about great moments when you have to differentiate between the current name of a building and whatever former name it had at the time.

    If I was writing the script for “Bull Durham” I’d make 1 revision to Crash’s speech: “I believe there ought to be a Constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf, the Designated Hitter, and corporate naming rights for ballparks.”

    • Jim Vilk | January 23, 2019 at 3:34 pm |

      It becomes awkward and annoying to tell stories about great moments when you have to differentiate between the current name of a building and whatever former name it had at the time.

      Only if you use the names. I make it a point now to say “the (insert name of team here)’s arena (or stadium/field)” instead.

      Or if I’m talking to someone locally I’ll just say, “Oh, you’re going to the arena tonight?”

      • ChrisH | January 23, 2019 at 8:03 pm |

        Aside from a select few, NASCAR race names seem to change as often as a set of Goodyear’s; in conversation I usually refer to them as the season or month and track (i.e: the fall race at Dover, the June race at Pocono).
        “I Still Call It The Bud at The Glen.”

  • Jet | January 23, 2019 at 2:45 pm |

    Check out these Minnesota North Stars hockey players in N.Stars SOFTBALL jerseys!! L-to-R Tony Mckegney, Willi Plett and Ron Wilson, no info about date or event:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/5f/9d/7c5f9d5ce90506784e058c08944327e5.jpg

    -Jet

  • Jet | January 23, 2019 at 2:46 pm |

    ..excuse me, not just jerseys but full North Stars baseball/softball UNIFORMS and CAPS!!!

    -Jet

  • Vaughn | January 23, 2019 at 3:58 pm |

    What about stadiums that is named after the city?? Like Cleveland Municipal Stadium ?? Would that get a shirt I wonder? Its sounds so much better than First Energy Stadium

  • Bruce Genther | January 23, 2019 at 5:35 pm |

    The so-called mock collar shown on the Mickey Tettleton card is not a collar at all…the jersey is a v-neck pullover and v-neck collar is made of the same material as the jersey…black mesh. What he is wearing is a dickie the Orioles worn for many years under their jerseys which had two orange stripes.
    Bruce A. Genther

  • MRB | January 23, 2019 at 6:42 pm |

    Aren’t many of the “Classic” stadium names also corporate named, just go so far back we don’t recognize them any more? Wrigley and Fenway come to mind.

    Surely one of the naming-wrongs shirts is already celebrating a corporate tie in, right?

    • Paul Lukas | January 23, 2019 at 10:32 pm |

      Surely one of the naming-wrongs shirts is already celebrating a corporate tie in, right?

      No.

  • Stan Schenher | January 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm |

    I really don’t get the anti advertising bit spewed on this site since the site itself is full of ads. A bit incongruent to me

  • MIke R | January 23, 2019 at 6:59 pm |

    Butch Goring never wore a Jofa helmet.
    It was an different Swedish brand called SPAPS.

  • Mike A | January 23, 2019 at 9:45 pm |

    Taking the high road here:

    “If the Brewers had called their building Brewers Ballpark or Milwaukee Stadium to begin with, like they should have, we wouldn’t need to be having this discussion.”

    Or, say, Uecker Field?

  • Nathanyo | January 23, 2019 at 11:57 pm |

    I still call it Crew Stadium. Mostly because I can’t pronounce Mapfre.

  • Michael Emody | January 24, 2019 at 12:59 am |

    The Clemson program from 1960 shows some remarkable consistency in both Clemson and Virginia Tech’s uniform numbering. I don’t know how wide-spread the system was back then – or if it was an ACC thing – but both teams strictly number Quarterbacks from 10-19, right halfbacks in the 20’s, fullbacks get the 30’s, left halfbacks the 40’s, centers get 50’s, guards 60’s, tackles 70-79, and ends 80-89. No one with a number in the 90’s or single digits – on both teams!
    (Clemson has a couple anomalies with the left HB and FB’s. Did some players change positions after getting uniforms issued?)
    And certainly NO double use of numbers.

  • Nathaniel | January 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm |

    I’ve heard business transactions are not allowed under terms of service with Venmo. Just a heads up.

  • Chris Vinal | January 26, 2019 at 1:51 am |

    https://goo.gl/images/8Se1ii

    Here’s the utica blue sox hat. They were minor leauge but now Indy..