Life of Pi

For all pics in this section, click to enlarge

Yesterday was Pi Day (3/14), and this year there were way more uni-related references to it than I remember seeing in previous years, beginning with the Detroit Pistons, who had some fun with their jersey. I was waiting to see if anything similar would be coming from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers, or any other “Pi”-based team, but I don’t think any of them played along.

Much more common were uni-numerical sight gags, some of which took the value of pi out to many decimal places. The sports site StatMuse posted the following graphic:

Fun, right? But there were at least two similar efforts that used photos, not jersey icons, which seems like it would be trickier and more work, what with all the cropping and so on. One of the photo-driven posts came from the Seattle Mariners:

Another came from the Twitter account @Random49ers, a Niners fan account:

And there was this effort from an Islanders fan named Tom S, who didn’t go to quite as many decimal places but still did a nice job:

There also lots of tweets like these, which found pi “in the wild,” so to speak, without having to group any photos together:

And then there was the UCLA softball team, which took the laziest approach — two decimal places grouped together, not in the wild:

Meanwhile: As you may recall, the Colorado Rockies caused a stir last year by posting a viral photo showing their players lined up in pi-numerical order. It was a great stunt — but it was actually Photoshopped. Dang.

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And then there were none: The Thunder, the last remaining NBA team to have an advertising-free uniform, gave in and announced a new jersey ad patch this morning. There wasn’t time for me to get my usual Photoshopper, Nic Schultz, to do the Mr. Yuk honors, so my own crude rendering above will have to suffice. In some ways, I like my version better!

Ad-free NBA uniforms: 1946–2019. R.I.P.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it, yesterday was my final day at ESPN, and they let me write a farewell column with a greatest-hits rundown of my favorite things I wrote for them over the years. You can check it out here.

On a personal note, yesterday was an emotionally complicated day. I was (and am) very sad about leaving ESPN, but there was also a big outpouring of love from the Uni Watch community, which I appreciate more than I can possibly express here. Many of you ordered membership cards or made donations (thank you, and thank you!!), and there were also lots of thoughtful, heartfelt communiqués, many of which actually got me a bit misty-eyed. Thanks, people — you helped make it a special day.

As I begin my free agency, I remain optimistic about Uni Watch’s future. After all, Bryce Harper took longer than he expected to find a new home too, right?

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Membership update: A bunch of new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Benjamin Gray’s card, shown at right, which is based on NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s car (without the ads, obviously). Great request, great execution by card design Scott M.X. Turner.

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, quite frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! New one-day raffle: Are you a cash-strapped Uni Watch reader who’d like to order a membership card but can’t really justify the expense? A generous reader has purchased a membership for me to raffle off — just for today.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 11pm Eastern today. One entry per person. It would be nice if we could restrict this to people who truly can’t afford a membership card (not just people who can afford it but would rather get something for nothing), but obviously there’s no way to enforce that, so I’ll leave it to the honor system. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.

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Click to enlarge

Wafflebored reminder: In case you missed it on Wednesday, we’re auctioning off another one-of-a-kind Uni Watch jersey made by the awesome Wafflebored. Full details, including a rear-view photo, the jersey’s measurements, how to bid on it, and more, can be found here.

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The Ticker
By Yianni Varonis

Baseball News: During spring training, Nationals P Sean Doolittle has kept a picture diary that you can view here (WaPo link) (from Andrew Hoenig). … A Nationals coach recently wore the team’s alternate cap despite everyone else wearing their traditional red version (from Billy King). … Rangers manager Chris Woodward finished college online during his last years as a player. This article offers the tidbit that one night he had to submit a paper in full uniform in the Mariners’ dining area to meet his deadline with two minutes to spare. … The ACC Associate Commissioner for Communications is retiring and received what appears to be a Pirates jersey during a ceremony in the press room during the league’s basketball tournament (from James Gilbert). … Next month the Durham Bulls will wear 1902 fauxbacks honoring the city’s first baseball team, the “Tobacconists” (from David Cline and Todd Delk). … Reader Matthew Moschella was picking up tickets for the upcoming Las Vegas Aviators season and spotted what might be new alternate logos. … Sacramento State gave a first look of its new throwbacks.

NFL News: Reader SJ Bovitz shared his Twitter conversation with a Rams beat reporter regarding the team’s royal blue throwbacks and how often we can expect to see them next season. … Here’s what newly acquired DB Earl Thomas and RB Mark Ingram look like in Ravens uniforms (from Andrew Cosentino). … Patriots DL Michael Bennett shared this cartoon graphic of himself in his new uniform (from Sam McKinley). … WR DeSean Jackson will return to the Eagles where he will once again wear No. 10 thanks to a deal made with new teammate and fellow WR Mack Hollins (from our own Brinke Guthrie).

Hockey News: We’ve previously written here in the Ticker that the Worcester Railers would host Nickelodeon Night with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed uniforms. Those uniforms debuted last night (from Alex Chaves).

NBA News: The Raptors’ training facility has been renamed after rapper and Toronto native Drake (from @ohhhsourry). … Newly acquired G Justin Bibbs will wear No. 11 with the Clippers (from Etienne Catalan). … The D League’s Texas Legends have a 10th-anniversary logo (from @gimmethewooby).

College Hoops News: Washington broke out its gold uniforms yesterday for the first time this season (from Anthony Edwards). … Virginia G Kyle Guy wears two different colored shoes, but it hasn’t seemed to hurt his form (from James Gilbert). … Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, this is how Michigan State fares when HC Tom Izzo is and isn’t wearing a tie (from Ron Wade and @feve10). … Cross-posted from the baseball section: The ACC Associate Commissioner for Communications is retiring and received what appears to be a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey during a ceremony in the press room during the league’s basketball tournament (from James Gilbert). … Wichita State has added a “JB” memorial patch for university president John Bardo, who died earlier this week (from @PhillyPartTwo).

Soccer News: Check out the championship rings that Atlanta United players received yesterday (from Wade Heidt). … Greenville Triumph SC has unveiled its inaugural kits (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: The Chicago Tribune ranked the Big Ten’s mascots from worst to first (from Griffin Smith). … As it should be: Professional golfer Aaron Baddeley recently took part in a tournament without maker’s marks or advertisers on his attire (from Darin Nelson). … New presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign logo — the same he used as a U.S. Senate candidate — apparently has a striking resemblance to a Whataburger spicy ketchup packet. … After a woman was told to change her clothing or be kicked off an airplane, this op-ed asks, “What’s wrong with wearing a crop top on a plane?” … Turkish Airlines unveiled its new cabin crew uniforms at the International Tourism Fair in Berlin. … In this short video, fashion designer Michael Kors explains how he designed his first dress at the age of 5. … It appears that the Avengers have a new white uniform.

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I’ll be running around Manhattan for much of today. Among my appointments: my annual between-the-birthdays lunch with uniform designer Todd Radom (his was two weeks ago, mine is next Thursday). Enjoy Phil’s weekend posts, and I’ll see you back here on Monday. — Paul

19 comments to Life of Pi

  • Matt | March 15, 2019 at 8:52 am |
  • Kevin Zdancewicz | March 15, 2019 at 9:03 am |

    The Kyle Guy ticker item implies he always wears two different color shoes, but yesterday was seemingly the first time he’s done it.

    Found this article on it: https://www.courier-tribune.com/sports/20190314/acc-notebook-focus-on-shoes

    • Jamie Rathjen | March 15, 2019 at 9:05 am |

      Yesterday was the first time he did.

      Also, at some point in the first half one of them came off, so he was running around with one shoe for about 30 seconds.

  • Joe Rodgers | March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am |

    There’s something cosmically appropriate about the Thunder unveiling an ad the day after the final ESPN Uni Watch column.

    • Wade Heidt | March 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm |

      I love the new Mr. Yuk.

  • Bernie | March 15, 2019 at 9:20 am |

    I love this post. I thought Pi Day was kind of played out, but this feels fresh.

    Basketball must be harder to uni-pi, since there aren’t as many players with digits 6-9, right?

  • Jay | March 15, 2019 at 9:53 am |

    I’m trying to decide which item I’m more reviled by: that horribly mismatched jersey patch on the Thunder unis or the fact that Toronto is so starved to be hip that it literally renamed its entire practice facility after a boutique sweater line?

    I’m gonna give this to OKC by a nose, simply because that patch is so unwieldy and clashes so badly with their uniform.

    • Iain | March 15, 2019 at 11:14 am |

      I despise the Raptors’ connection with Drake but the name change is more about $ than trying to be hip. It was the BioSteel Centre until last year.

  • Kevvv | March 15, 2019 at 10:01 am |

    This came from the main university account and not an athletics one, but Pitt did tweet this out (and not built the way you’d expect).

    https://twitter.com/PittTweet/status/1106237893981470720

  • John Gagosian | March 15, 2019 at 11:05 am |

    Paul, I like the Harper reference, but PLEASE promise us you won’t ever move to Philadelphia!

    • Josh B | March 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm |

      What’s wrong with Philly? Greatest city in the world! If Paul loves Brooklyn, he would certainly love living in Philadelphia! Fish Town area has his name written all over it! Come to Philly if need be Paul! We would love to have ya!

      • MJ | March 15, 2019 at 1:33 pm |

        Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve lived here. Philadelphia is awesome.

  • Nate | March 15, 2019 at 11:41 am |

    While I don’t exactly relish the sight of a pro golfer looking like a walking billboard, I have to take a bit of an exception to the “as it should be” comment. Pro golfers aren’t paid salaries by the PGA or European Tours. Golfers have to pay their own travel expenses, hotel charges, caddie fees, etc… out of their own pocket! And if they don’t have a sponsorship deal with a club manufacturer, shoe company, glove company, etc., they have to pay for their own equipment, too.

    They make money in one of two ways: tournament winnings, which can be fickle, or sponsorship/advertiser fees.

    In that regard, pro golfers are more akin to Little League teams than they are NBA teams. Personally, I’m particularly fond of guys who have apparel deals but are free agents when it comes to equipment. Tommy Fleetwood can play a bag full of random and awesome equipment because he has a Nike apparel deal (he might be a bad example because he’s currently winning quite a bit of tournament money). I like guys who play the equipment that they really like rather than the new equipment that their club company wants to sell to the public.

  • Long time first time | March 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm |

    Watched most of the movie Major League last night for the first time in forever. So many cringe-worthy references to Native Americans it was hard to believe…but everyone was wearing stirrups!

  • Jason Von Stein | March 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm |

    Wow, the Bill Buckner story is crazy. Makes me wonder if he missed it on purpose, and the glove was a way of telling the bookies the game is fixed. Wouldn’t be the first time a World Series was thrown.

    Also is uniwatch@earthlink.net still valid?

    Paul, your a Rock Star Writer and you will be fine.

    • Paul Lukas | March 15, 2019 at 5:17 pm |

      No, that address is no longer valid.

  • Stephen Rigby | March 15, 2019 at 7:26 pm |

    Rams could save a whole lot of heartache and money by simply not ditching one of the best uniforms in the NFL. Fix the shoulder horns which are too narrow and you’ve got an all-time classic right there. Oh and it will save them the trouble of living with a Nike monstrosity for 4 years before reverting back to what the majority of the fans want

  • Ryan M | March 15, 2019 at 9:50 pm |

    Is π Day a thing in the UK and other countries who give dates with the month following the day?