ITEM! Uni Watch Announces New Media Partnership


.

Greetings, people! I come to you with glad tidings, for today I have good news and better news.

The good news is that the results of our Bengals-redesign challenge are now available on SI.com.

The better news is that this is the last freelance piece I’ll be doing for Sports Illustrated … because I’ll be joining SI as a staff writer on Aug. 12. Or to put it another way, my Dallas Keuchel-like free agency, which began back in mid-March, is finally coming to an end.

You probably have questions. Allow me to anticipate some of them:

So were your freelance pieces for SI basically an audition, and then they decided that you passed the audition so they hired you?

Not exactly. SI actually wanted to hire me almost from the moment that I announced I’d be leaving ESPN (it turns out that their top digital editor has been a fan of my work going back to my 1990s zine days, although I didn’t know that until he got in touch with me last winter), but their hands were tied because they were up for sale and had a hiring freeze.

Although they couldn’t formally hire me, they did have a freelance budget, so we decided to have me do a series of freelance pieces — first the MLB season preview, then the Jets unveiling, then the piece about the Game Face inventor, and now the Bengals redesign — with the hopes that they’d eventually be sold and get the go-ahead from the new owners to make a new hire. That’s what happened.

What if someone else had made you a serious offer before SI had been sold?

If I had received a fair offer for a situation I felt good about, I would have taken it. As it happens, I had reasonably serious discussions with three other outlets over the past few months (and more informal chats with several others). In fact, I was about to sign a contract with another outlet, literally that same day, when SI came up with a last-minute offer. So there was a bit of drama and brinksmanship, all of which was both exciting and stressful.

How did the other outlet feel about losing out on you at the last minute?

They weren’t happy. I felt badly about that, because we had been engaged in talks for some time, I liked the guy I was dealing with, and I was looking forward to working for them. But in the end, they couldn’t or wouldn’t match the SI offer, so that was that.

You used the term “staff writer” — so you’ll be an SI employee, not just a contract freelancer?

Yes. That means I’ll get full benefits, including health insurance — my first employer-provided health insurance since 1996 (!).

Does that mean you’ll stop complaining on the blog about your insurance situation?

Probably, at least for a while. But it’s still nuts that health insurance is treated as an employment benefit, rather than as a necessity. As a nation, we need to do better on this.

Since you’ll be on staff, will you have to go to the SI offices?

I’ll still be able to work from Uni Watch HQ, although I expect I’ll choose to go to the office from time to time. Since ESPN’s offices are a nearly three-hour drive from Brooklyn, I only went up there about once a year, which I think led to a certain “Out of sight, out of mind” factor among the editors and other ESPN people I worked with. Going to the SI offices now and then should make it easier for my new colleagues to remember that I’m a human being, not just an email address, and it’ll also make me feel more like I’m part of the SI family.

Why are you starting in mid-August, instead of right away?

I have a trip to Ireland coming up from July 28 to Aug. 8 (my first real vacation since the Utah trip more than a year ago), so we figured it would make sense to wait until I got back from that.

How long is your SI contract for?

There’s no contract. I’ll simply be an at-will employee. That means I can be laid off or fired at any time. It also means I can leave or quit at any time. (Obviously, I’m hoping neither of those things comes up any time soon.)

How much are they paying you?

Less than ESPN paid me, but with better benefits.

Enough about you. What does all of this mean for this website?

SI will permit me to keep blogging, so the arrangement I’ll have with them should be very similar to the one I had with ESPN — I’ll do big stories for SI, smaller stories here on the blog. I may make a few tweaks to my internal assessments of what constitutes a big story vs. a small story, but overall you shouldn’t really see much of a difference from the way things were before.

So all of the season previews that you usually do in the late summer and fall — college football, NFL, NHL, NBA, college hoops — will run on SI?

Yes. So will my annual gift guide, and pretty much anything else that you would have expected to see on ESPN in previous years.

Will you also do non-uni content for SI?

I hope so. I already have a few ideas for for features that aren’t uni-related but are very much in keeping with my sensibility, if you know what I mean.

Will you still take your annual August break from the blog?

Yes. Phil will run the site in August, just as he has in previous years. I’ll have more to say about that soon.

You’ve been doing more non-sports pieces lately — the articles about collectors, the piece about mailboxes, the pepperoni article, and so on. What will happen to that kind of work?

I’ll probably cut back on that so I can concentrate on my SI work. SI will be my first responsibility and priority going forward.

Hasn’t SI been undergoing a lot of turmoil? I read some stuff about how they were sold, but I found it confusing.

For many years, SI was owned by Time Inc. In late 2017, the Time Inc. magazines were sold to Meredith Corporation. But Meredith never intended to hold onto SI — they planned to flip it. In May of this year, they sold SI to Authentic Brands Group. ABG is not a publisher (their interest in SI is primarily the value of its name, which they feel they can leverage in various ways), so they temporarily licensed the magazine and website operations back to Meredith for a period of up to two years. But that period ended up being only a few weeks, because ABG then struck a new publishing agreement with a Seattle-based startup called the Maven, which will now essentially be my boss (or more like my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, or something like that).

That still sounds confusing! Are you sure SI is a safe place to work?

The reality is that there are no safe places in journalism anymore. As we’ve discussed here on Uni Watch several times, the old media business model, based on subscriptions and advertising, no longer works. New models, like the one being used by The Athletic, are propped up by venture capital, which is notoriously fickle. There’s no perfect option.

That said, I’ve been assured that SI’s new publishers want to invest in the magazine. The digital editor who brought me on board tells me that his new bosses have asked him who he wants to hire, not how he can cut costs. The main editor I’ve been working with — an SI lifer who’s been with the company for 21 years — sounds enthusiastic about sticking around for this new chapter in SI history. And they both sound excited about working with me. Here’s hoping we all get to do that for a long time.

I’m surprised you’d work with a company that produces the annual swimsuit issue. Are you really okay with that?

I’m generally fine with pornography (let’s call it what it is), although I don’t see any reason why a sports magazine should be producing it. So yeah, I wish the SI swimsuit issue didn’t exist. But it’s not a dealbreaker. Frankly, ESPN did some things I wasn’t crazy about either (ditto for just about every other place I’ve ever written for), but overall they were a reputable company that I was happy to be associated with. Same goes for SI.

There are certain places I would never work for under any circumstances because they’re just too toxic, but SI and their swimsuit issue certainly don’t cross that line.

Now that you’re no longer a free agent, does this mean you’ll stop begging us for money?

The emotional and financial support that you people have provided since I left ESPN has been nothing short of amazing. We processed as many membership card orders in the first half of 2019 as we got in the previous four years combined. In addition, there have been generous financial donations, items donated for raffles and auctions, and more. So many of you have also sent thoughtful notes telling me how important Uni Watch is to you, and those notes mean a lot to me — really. All in all, I feel like I’ve been on the receiving end of a big outpouring of love and support from the comm-uni-ty. Thank you!!

Now that I’ll be getting a steady paycheck from SI, I won’t need to lean on you so hard for financial support. It’s worth pointing out, though, that this website does not write or pay for itself. We still have monthly web-hosting fees, I still have a staff to (under)pay, and the content still takes a lot of time to produce (all of which was also the case when I was at ESPN, of course). If you value that content, I hope you’ll continue to support Uni Watch with membership enrollments, shirt purchases, and so on.

I think that’s it. If you have additional questions, feel free to post them in today’s comments and I’ll do my best to answer. Thanks.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Bouton/Ball Four recap: Last night’s tribute to Jim Bouton and Ball Four at Le Poisson Rouge was a blast. That’s me in the photo above, with three of the other four sportwriters who participated. As you can see, Jay Jaffe (at far right) went full Bouton by wearing a Seattle Pilots jersey. Had No. 56 on the back, too. I took a more subtle approach, wearing my Pilots-inspired StripeRite socks:

Several Uni Watch readers were on hand, including Ryan Dornan, who was decked out in Uni Watch finery (and bought me a beer besides — thanks, Ryan!):

The event was audio-recorded. I’ll let you know when the audio is available on the internet.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Big uni-versary news: As you know, we are currently in the midst of celebrating Uni Watch’s 20th anniversary. So far I’ve rolled out uni-versary patches and T-shirts, plus the special shirt that celebrates the dual 20th uni-versaries of Uni Watch and MLB’s futuristic uniforms.

But I wanted to do something special — something that really said, “20th anniversary!” So I looked up the list of traditional anniversary gifts and learned that the 20th anniversary is the “China anniversary.” That’s China as in plates, dishes, and so on. So I decided that we would have a commemorative Uni Watch 20th-anniversary plate!

The design took a bit longer than I expected (mainly because I’m a terrible art director), but I’m really happy with the way it came out. Dig (click to enlarge):

Pretty swank, right? The design was done by Scott M.X. Turner, except for the little cherubs who are hoisting the Uni Watch script into place, who were drawn by longtime Uni Watch pal Rob Ullman. Let’s take a closer look at them (click to enlarge):

Isn’t that great? In addition to their angels’ wings, they’re also wearing little winged stirrups, just like the one in our logo!

The good news is that the plates are being made and sold for us by the fine people at Uncommon Goods (I went to college with their founder). They have plenty of experience with commemorative plates, so you can be assured that it will be a high-quality made-in-USA product and that they’ll do a good job of packing and shipping it.

The bad news is that custom-designed plates are expensive. The price will be $59 (that’s only $10 over cost, and I plan to give all of the profits to Scott and Rob), plus $6.95 for economy shipping (4-8 business days). For two plates, the shipping is $8.95; for three plates, $9.95; and for a set of four, $10.95.

Will many of you want to buy something like that? Will any of you want to buy something like that? I really have no idea, which means we have no idea how much inventory to purchase — which means I’m asking for pre-orders on this one.

So! If you’d like to eat off of a genuine Uni Watch commemorative plate, or just display such an item in your home, send the appropriate amount, including shipping (that’s a total of $65.95 for one plate; $126.95 for two; $186.95 for three; and $246.95 for four) to me via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee) or Zelle (plukas64@gmail.com). If you’d like to use Apple Pay or mail me a paper check, get in touch and I’ll give you the info for those methods. Sorry, no non-USA orders for now, but we may offer them later.

After sending payment, be sure to let me know your shipping address.

Thanks for listening. I don’t really expect many people to purchase this, but I thought it would be fun to have a piece of Uni Watch China for our China anniversary — and I was right! Very conceptually satisfying!!

I have some other fun merch in the pipeline — more on that soon.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Membership update: Oh man, is that gorgeous or what? The colors, the graphics — so good! That’s Will Scheibler’s membership card (go ahead and click to enlarge — it’s worth it), which is based on this curling sweater. What a beauty!

Will’s card is one of several that have been added to the membership card gallery. I also want to give a shout-out to 11-year-old reader Nicklaus Wallmeyer, who saved up his allowance to order a Steelers bumblebee throwback card!

Ordering your own custom-designed membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch. 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.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The FBI is investigating alleged baseball card fraud (WaPo link), which collectors have long suspected (from Tom Turner and Mike Chamernik). … Phillies OF Bryce Harper’s Philly Phanatic headband got a lot of attention yesterday. … The Double-A Bowie Baysox have some pretty insane/awesome unis to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (from @ClancyKolzig). … The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods League will play as the “Gorgeous Grandmas” for Grandmothers Day on July 23 (from Cullen Holt and Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … Brice Wallace sent us some cool late-’70s/early-’80s amateur sports pics from West Virginia, with lots of uni goodness.

NFL News: Here’s our first look at the helmet decal the Broncos are wearing for Pat Bowlen (from Kary Klismet). … The Packers will wear their alternate against Denver on Sep. 22, week 3 (from Brian Kerhin, Christopher Rucinski and @Zannerzas). … According to this article, the XFL’s unis are coming this summer, probably in August (from Ted Bloss). … We’ve seen this before, but Pro Football Journal’s rundown of NFL facemask oddities is pretty great (from Brad Eenhuis).

College/High School Football News: Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has given QB Terry Wilson the green light for wearing the late Jared Lorenzen’s jersey number for the season opener (from Josh Hinton). … Here’s our first look at the CFB150 patch on Iowa State’s unis (from Lauryn Feauto). … And here’s the CFB150 logo on Iowa’s unis (from @PensChronicles). … And here’s the same for Michigan (from Mitchell Thomas and Justin Essa Zayid).

Hockey News: TSN’s Bardown site has listed “seven retro jerseys that need to be used as alternates next season” (from Gershon Rabinowitz). … The AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals have unveiled their 50th-season logo (from Brian Kerhin). … And it turns out, the Admirals were not named after high-ranking naval officers; they were named after a line of home appliances one of the team’s investors sold, so the team will wear a sweater with a refrigerator on it for one night next season (from Andrew Wagner). … The Minot Minotauros of the NAHL have unveiled new sweaters (from Kary Klismet).

NBA News: As part of the ongoing lawsuit surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s personal logo, Nike has now counter-sued Leonard (from many readers). … Bulls big man Luke Kornet will wear No. 2 (from Etienne Catalan).

Soccer News: Juventus signed an exclusive video game deal with eFootball PES 2020, meaning that the world-famous Italian club’s stadium, crest and kits will not be in the 2019 edition of EA Sports’ more popular FIFA series, replaced by a generic team to be called “Piemonte Calcio”. … In a related note, here’s a list of the worst generic team names in soccer video game history, inspired by the “Piemonte Calcio” name. … You can catch Josh Hinton’s daily download on his Twitter account, including Atlético Madrid’s leaked new alternate kits and Tottenham’s formally unveiled home kits. … Speaking of Spurs, their Twitter account posted an interesting video of the NOB application process, revealing that new signing Tanguy Ndombele will wear no. 28 (from Kyle Dawson). … Boca Juniors new kits have been leaked (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: Liverpool Women have a new shirt advertiser, matching their kits with the men’s team. … Aston Villa went NNOB during a friendly match in Minnesota against Minnesota United.

Grab Bag: Two Indiana high schools have changed their athletics logos after Kansas State and Missouri State declined to renew their licensing arrangements (from Geoffrey Miller). … Here’s a list of the best uniforms in pro track and field this season (from Anthony Gonsalves). … Golf.com has a kind of inexplicable flowchart telling you what to wear on the course in what situation (from @walbergLines). … Did you ever imagine an iced tea-branded sneaker? AriZona and Adidas have you covered. And it only costs 99 cents! (from John Cerone). … Also from John, here’s a rundown of the most expensive Jordan 1s on the market. … New logo for Sony San Diego, which makes the MLB: The Show video game (from Kary Klismet). … The ACC Network has released its “Creative Elements and Animations Package” (from Joel Mathwig). … College Gym News has a rundown of recent Alabama leotards (from Griffin T. Smith).

106 comments to ITEM! Uni Watch Announces New Media Partnership

  • Weston | July 19, 2019 at 8:56 am |

    Great news, congratulations! Glad you have more stability to allow you to keep doing what you do so well!

  • Ben Isaacs | July 19, 2019 at 8:57 am |

    Congrats Paul!
    I was expecting it to be The Athletic though!

  • DJ | July 19, 2019 at 9:01 am |

    Congratulations on your new gig at SI!

  • Jon | July 19, 2019 at 9:04 am |

    Congrats Paul!

  • Rich | July 19, 2019 at 9:05 am |

    Congrats Paul, I knew you’d find a new home. You’re just too good and talented not to be snatched up by someone else.

  • Dave Zalatoris | July 19, 2019 at 9:08 am |

    Congratulations Paul! I’m very happy for you.

  • Memal | July 19, 2019 at 9:08 am |

    Congratulations on the job with SI Paul! That’s great news.

  • Ilana Hardesty | July 19, 2019 at 9:08 am |

    Mazel tov, Paul!

  • Bruce | July 19, 2019 at 9:10 am |

    Big congrats on the new SI gig Paul – great news!!!

  • James Gilbert | July 19, 2019 at 9:12 am |

    Congrats Paul! Does the new job come with a football phone? Seriously though that’s great news.

    I love that the cherubs on the plate are unique and not just flipped versions of the same image. Well done!

    • Robert Ullman | July 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm |

      For something like this, there was absolutely NO WAY I could cheap out and only do one cherub…because I knew all you eagle-eyed UWers would notice!

  • Dan O'Connell | July 19, 2019 at 9:14 am |

    Congrats Paul! Terrific news

  • MotorCityJeff | July 19, 2019 at 9:14 am |

    Congratulations Paul! One clarification though. An at will employee can be terminated for any reason as long as that reason is not illegal. Just cause is not required as you indicated: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/employment-at-will-definition-30022.html

  • Lou | July 19, 2019 at 9:15 am |

    Congratulations Paul!
    Well deserved, I am so happy for you.
    SI is a perfect match for your talents.
    Glad to know that you will be able to continue to produce your fantastic content for the foreseeable future without concern of paying the bills.

  • Brent Nelson | July 19, 2019 at 9:15 am |

    Congrats Paul! I hope this leads to more travelogues in the future!

    • Brent Nelson | July 19, 2019 at 9:36 am |

      (On a selfish note..)

  • Dave | July 19, 2019 at 9:17 am |

    All the best to you in your new job!!!!!

  • Josh | July 19, 2019 at 9:19 am |

    Congratulations Paul!!! Wonderful news!!!

  • DenverGregg | July 19, 2019 at 9:19 am |

    Congratulations both on the new gig and the impending vacation.

    just one more week of Uni-Watch before summer hiatus – yikes!

  • Tom | July 19, 2019 at 9:21 am |

    Congratulations. A regular paycheck is good for the budget and the worrying mind.

  • MJ | July 19, 2019 at 9:22 am |

    That is awesome news, PL. Congratulations! I can’t imagine how stressful the transition period was.
    Enjoy Ireland! Do you have an itinerary?

  • Robert Ullman | July 19, 2019 at 9:25 am |

    Beyond thrilled to hear this…SO well-deserved. Congratulations of the highest order!

  • Omar Jalife | July 19, 2019 at 9:30 am |

    Excellent news Paul!!

  • Geoff from New Hampshire | July 19, 2019 at 9:34 am |

    CONGRATULATIONS, Paul!!! Everyone here was pulling for you, and great way to start the day reading your good news. Good luck!

  • Shaftman | July 19, 2019 at 9:41 am |

    Way to go Paul – the last few months might have been difficult but good times are ahead. SI now has (at least) one more guaranteed click every few weeks. Mazel tov!

    • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 9:50 am |

      Honestly, the last few months haven’t been bad at all, thanks in large part to all the support from you people. Things were fine — but now they’ll be even better!

  • Ron | July 19, 2019 at 9:49 am |

    Congrats Paul!!!

  • ThePonchat | July 19, 2019 at 9:59 am |

    Congrats on the new gig Paul!

    Even more congrats on the trip to Ireland! My wife and I went in April. Love the place. Although we spent most of our time in Northern Ireland, I did experience a little more of the Republic this time (my second trip there).

  • Joe Werner | July 19, 2019 at 10:00 am |

    Congratulations on the new gig Paul. I suspected that this news was coming when the last appeal to buy a membership card didn’t include the phrase “Which quite frankly, could use your support these days.”! I’m looking forward to reading your pieces on SI.

  • BvK1126 | July 19, 2019 at 10:01 am |

    Congratulations, Paul! I’m thrilled for you – and for us as Uni Watch readers! It will be fantastic to have such an iconic forum for all the regular features and other content we have come to love from your days at ESPN.

    One question: Is it weird to go back to “working for the Man” (so to speak), after making a very intentional decision 23 years ago to leave the corporate world behind and forge your own path?

    • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 10:17 am |

      Is it weird to go back to “working for the Man” (so to speak), after making a very intentional decision 23 years ago to leave the corporate world behind and forge your own path?

      It’s really no different than my arrangement with ESPN, except that I’ll have better benefits. I’ll still work at home, still choose what I write about, etc.

      • BvK1126 | July 19, 2019 at 10:37 am |

        Ah! So it preserves what you really wanted when you chose the freelance route back in the ’90s, which was more freedom to write about what interests you and to have more control over your own schedule. I guess that’s one perk of the rise of the internet economy and the telecommuting. Traditional, rigid employment models with conventional expectations about hours and working in a centralized office location have given way to more flexible arrangements that can resemble freelance/contract gigs, while still providing the security of salary and benefits. Best of both worlds!

  • Steve | July 19, 2019 at 10:03 am |

    Congrats, Paul! Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Best wishes at SI!

  • Forde | July 19, 2019 at 10:04 am |

    Congrats Paul! Writing for ESPN & SI, top 2 in the business is quite an accomplishment.

    Looking forward to your travel summary from Ireland. Those are always tremendous reads! My father is from Mayo and was just there in April (Sligo too). Let me know if you want any recommendations if you are heading that way.

  • Munch | July 19, 2019 at 10:08 am |

    A very heartfelt congrats to you, Paul! Happy for you, man!

  • Wafflebored | July 19, 2019 at 10:20 am |

    That plate design is unbelievable! So nicely done. And unexpected.

    And of course, congratulations to Paul for the great news today.

  • Graf Zeppelin | July 19, 2019 at 10:22 am |

    Major kudos and congratulations and mazel tovs and all that. Awesome, awesome news.

  • BvK1126 | July 19, 2019 at 10:23 am |

    Two Indiana high schools have changed their athletics logos after trademark-infingement claims by Kansas State and Missouri State

    Two quick corrections on this item:

    1) Proofreading – “infringement” rather than “infingement”

    2) Substantive – the schools weren’t threatened with trademark infringement claims by the universities. The licensing agreements for the logos weren’t renewed. The change in logos was well-planned among the parties and non-contentious.

    • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 10:28 am |

      My bad. Fixed.

    • BvK1126 | July 19, 2019 at 11:08 am |

      Interestingly enough, I think Missouri State might have a trademark infringement claim against Lawrence Central over their new logo. Compare Lawrence Central’s new logo to Missouri State’s.

      To be sure, there are some differences. But from a distance or at a glance (even a not-all-that-quick glance), they look pretty similar, especially with the nearly identical color schemes. In fact, when I first saw the new logo, my thought was, “How is that different from Missouri State’s logo? All they did was put a roundel around it with the high school’s name.”

      Someone has a claim for infringement under trademark law when the mark in question is “likely to cause confusion” with the original mark. If I, as a seasoned Uni Watcher, had trouble easily spotting the differences between these logos, I’d say there’s a good chance that standard has been met.

  • ChrisH | July 19, 2019 at 10:25 am |

    Cheers to you!
    Congratulations and best of luck!

  • Jason | July 19, 2019 at 10:38 am |

    This is fantastic news!! Congratulations!!!

  • Ethan Lewis | July 19, 2019 at 10:38 am |

    Mazel tov on the new job with SI. I have to say, when I saw that they had been flipped to Authentic Brands I cancelled my subscription, but I will seriously think about re-subscribing now that their editorial judgement has been proven to be so strong. Good luck!

  • jacket18 | July 19, 2019 at 10:42 am |

    Mazel Tov, Paul!

  • Rich P | July 19, 2019 at 10:47 am |

    Congrats, Paul. Happy to see you’ve found a new home, a steady paycheck, and an exciting opportunity to grow your column/site.

  • DJ | July 19, 2019 at 10:48 am |

    As expected, Huddersfield Town’s jersey launch (with bookmaker Paddy Power) was a publicity stunt. stunt. The real launch just happened — although Paddy Power is the sponsor, Huddersfield will have NO advertising on their shirts:

    http://www.footballshirtculture.com/19/20-Kits/huddersfield-town-2019-20-umbro-home-kit.html

    • BvK1126 | July 19, 2019 at 11:44 am |

      From the story:

      The shirt is part of Paddy Power’s new ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign; an initiative that is backing a move towards unbranded football kits, effectively returning the shirt back to the fans.

      As a result, Paddy Power has relinquished the space on the front of the shirt that the company would be due as title sponsor.

      WOW! This is a movement that is really worth paying attention to! The Huddersfield Town shirt looks amazing without the ad space. Oh please, oh please, let this catch on through the rest of the Uni-verse! Maybe there is still hope for us yet!

      • Iain | July 19, 2019 at 2:54 pm |

        I think it is a very nice looking kit (Umbro is really doing great work) but sadly we can’t call this a movement. Paddy Power is only interested in this as a way of getting publicity for themselves. Knocking their rival betting companies who do have their names plastered on other kits is a bonus.

  • JessMan | July 19, 2019 at 11:02 am |

    Thanks for the interesting fact about the Milwaukee Admirals. I always found it funny that there were two Admirals teams in the AHL for a while (Norfolk too)

    • DenverGregg | July 19, 2019 at 11:09 am |

      . . . still not up to the SEC with two sets of Bulldogs and three of Tigers

  • StanGable | July 19, 2019 at 11:05 am |

    Congrats, Paul

  • DavidS | July 19, 2019 at 11:12 am |

    Congratulations Paul! Very happy to hear your good news.

  • Rick | July 19, 2019 at 11:14 am |

    Congratulations and Good luck! Always respected when you made a move you went through your Q&A when you never had too.

  • mike 2 | July 19, 2019 at 11:18 am |

    Congratulations Paul!

    I love Will Scheibler’s card. Just love it. I’ve seen that sweater (or one just like it) in person at the Fort William club in Thunder Bay.

    Here he is wearing it, delivering one of the greatest shots I’ve ever seen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASH8dWdlEIo

    .

    • Wade Heidt | July 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm |

      I love it too! Great idea Will!

      The logo is still on the back of recent curling jackets for Northern Ontario.

      https://www.curling.ca/2018canadacup/files/2018/10/THB-2015-Jacobs-NO-slide-FI-750×400.jpg

      Also – Congrats Paul! Really happy to hear the news today.

    • Will S | July 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm |

      Not sure where mike 2 is located and if memory serves correct Wade Heidt is nowhere that close to where I live, but if either one for some reason is in Thunder Bay a week from this Sunday there is an annual ball hockey game you’re welcome to attend. Skill is not required and is discouraged.
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/2296880587/

      or if you are passing through Thunder Bay at any time either message me on Facebook:
      https://www.facebook.com/will.scheibler
      or my regular email is still in the profile information in my mostly abandoned blog:
      http://reignoferror00.blogspot.com/

      • mike 2 | July 19, 2019 at 7:36 pm |

        Thanks Will!

        I live in Calgary now but I spent most of my 20s in Atikokan. I was single and childless then so I spent most weekends curling or skiing (winter) or biking or camping (summer). I’m trying to get the kids out for a trip to Quetico next summer.

      • Wade Heidt | July 19, 2019 at 8:33 pm |

        Thanks for the invite Will! Ball hockey would be fun but I’ll be at home in Vancouver that weekend. If I am passing through Thunder Bay sometime I’ll be sure to reach out. Would be fun to meet with you in person. Always good to visit with members of the Uni Watch community.

        If you are ever out here on the West Coast, message me as well:

        https://www.facebook.com/wade.heidt

  • Daniel Tarrant | July 19, 2019 at 11:18 am |

    First off, Paul, congrats on the SI gig.

    Second, when reading the results of the Bengals redesign contest, this passage grabbed my attention:

    “People like the helmet. The Bengals’ tiger-striped helmet design was controversial when it debuted in 1981. Nearly four decades later, it now appears to be viewed by many fans as part of the NFL firmament, as untouchable as the Cowboys’ blue star.”

    Further evidence that any design will come to be considered a classic if enough time goes by. Now my goal is to get Paul to include this as “The Tarrant Theory” in the official lexicon…

  • Dan Pfeifer | July 19, 2019 at 11:19 am |

    Plimpton
    Deford
    Reilly
    Maule
    King
    Rushin

    Lukas

    I like it. It’s cool to me to know I got to hang out with an SI writer now, even just once. It feels like a perfect fit.

    ‘grats.

  • JD | July 19, 2019 at 11:21 am |

    CONGRATULATIONS, PAUL!!!

    I told you you were too talented for that period to last! I’m thrilled to read this today!

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | July 19, 2019 at 11:25 am |

    Congrats Paul! That’s terrific news!

  • Max W. | July 19, 2019 at 11:25 am |

    Congratulations Paul!! Just curious, with the “recent unpleasantness” behind you, will you be telling your Mom about the new job/how it came about?

    • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 11:30 am |

      It’s a long story, but my mom found out months ago that I was no longer with ESPN. And yes, she knows that I’m now joining SI.

    • Pedro N | July 19, 2019 at 11:57 am |

      I was wondering about that too, but I wouldn’t have asked, so I’m glad you did.

      Anyway, congratulations Paul!! I’m so happy for you. You did really good covering up how stressful things must have been the last few months, and that’s a credit to you and your staff. Great job guys, if we didn’t know any better it would have seemed like business as usual.

      • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm |

        Honestly — it hasn’t been that stressful! I’ve had plenty of freelance work, you folks have provided a lot of support (both emotional and financial), and things have been fine. But now they’ll be even better!!

  • Bruce Jaynes | July 19, 2019 at 11:34 am |

    Fuck Yeah!

  • John H. | July 19, 2019 at 11:39 am |

    Congratulations on the fantastic news, Paul! Good things happen to good people.

  • Sam A. | July 19, 2019 at 11:58 am |

    Awesome news Paul, so happy for you!

  • Vasav | July 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm |

    Congrats Paul! And feel free to complain about everything you’d like – this is your blog and I am happy to read it most days

  • Jerry Reuss | July 19, 2019 at 12:26 pm |

    Wishing you all the best with SI!

  • Wade Heidt | July 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm |

    Re: TSN Bardown retro jerseys that should return. really hit and miss on their list.

    Wouldn’t really want to see black Flames horsehead jersey, Oilers Macfarlane jersey or any old Thrashers jersey back any time soon.

  • Brian | July 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm |

    Congratulations Paul! Fantastic news on a Friday morning.

  • david goodfriend | July 19, 2019 at 12:45 pm |

    Wow. What great news. Congrats Paul

  • Sandy | July 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm |

    Yessir!

    Major congrats Paul!

    This is great news!

  • Jason D. | July 19, 2019 at 12:54 pm |

    I probably haven’t posted on the comments in a long long time. Today however was worth it, I just wanted to say how happy I am for you Paul. As a long time reader, when I saw you were hired by SI I got a huge smile on my face. Congrats!

  • Oakville Celery Root | July 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm |

    Congrats Paul, good news indeed. Good sign that someone over at SI is leading them on the right path of hiring skilled, entertaining writers.

  • Graf Zeppelin | July 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm |

    Another dumb, pointless baseball-uni rundown at Esquire. Did you know the Mets wore “teal, red and white” in 1984? Boo.

  • Jet | July 19, 2019 at 1:07 pm |

    Congrats, Paul!

    Man, the world must be passing me by because I’d only want to see two out of those 7 NHL “retro jerseys that need to return” — the original Kings purple and gold (sorry, Paul) and the Penguins black with diagonal PITTSBURGH wordmark. The rest… ugh…

    -Jet

  • DJ Doc | July 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm |

    Congratulations, Paul…Exciting news indeed!

  • Steve D | July 19, 2019 at 1:53 pm |

    Congratulations Paul!

    Also, you really have some nice 20th Anniversary iconography. I am wondering if you plan to use it on the website banner, instead of the current banner, which if I recall is a 15 under the magnifying glass for the 15th anniversary (though sometimes is a 7).

  • Mac | July 19, 2019 at 2:12 pm |

    Congrats. Genuinely.

    Unfortunately, SI’s swimsuit issue represents the downfall of Western civilization. First time I’ve had what I would call a serious disagreement with an opinion of yours.

    I was hoping you would land at The Athletic as that is where serious journalism is happening these days (one of the only places). SI seems like more of a relic of the 20th century. I hope your work will help in changing that perception and elevating the writing.

    • Paul Lukas | July 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm |

      Unfortunately, SI’s swimsuit issue represents the downfall of Western civilization. First time I’ve had what I would call a serious disagreement with an opinion of yours.

      ??? I said I was opposed to it.

  • Chance Michaels | July 19, 2019 at 2:13 pm |

    So glad to hear it, Paul. Congrats.

  • Ryan M | July 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm |

    Congrats, and best of luck working with SI!

  • Robert Erdtmann | July 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm |

    Congratulations Paul – well deserved for sure! I appreciate all that you do!

  • Obbs | July 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm |

    Congrats Paul! Great news.

  • Traxel | July 19, 2019 at 2:38 pm |

    Congratulations Paul! That’s awesome news.
    Also, Kansas State and Missouri State mentioned in the same sentence. My two alma maters, that’s a rarity.

  • DenverGregg | July 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm |

    Too bad that NoDak hockey team didn’t keep their older Minot WhyNots moniker

  • Richard Craig | July 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm |

    Congrats Paul!!! You richly deserve gainful employment with real benefits and everything. Thanks for all your excellent work.

  • sam | July 19, 2019 at 3:51 pm |

    Congrats Paul. I’m really happy for you. You don’t get nearly the recognition you deserve.

  • RICKAZ | July 19, 2019 at 4:33 pm |

    Paul, very happy for you!
    Now on to the Bengals contest. I’d like to see a combination.
    The jersey from Dan Stewart.
    The helmet from Brandon Moore, but with black face mask.
    The socks from Colin Eadie.
    The sock stripes and shoulder yoke stripes should match.
    Pants? Maybe the best option is no stripes, so as to not compete with the shoulder and sock stripes.

  • Jordan | July 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm |

    Congrats Paul! Well deserved.

  • Brett Alan | July 19, 2019 at 5:04 pm |

    Congratulations, Paul, and thanks to SI!

  • John | July 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm |

    Missing from that facemask oddity rundown, and one of my favorite backstories for a modded mask, is Geno Smiths modified facemask after the punch incident: https://mobile.twitter.com/helmetstalker/status/661008171377512448

    PS: congratulations on the new job!

  • JaceSon P. Barrus | July 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm |

    Really excited and pleased for you Paul. Congratulations!

  • Clayton Lust | July 19, 2019 at 8:43 pm |

    Many congratulations on the SI gig, well-deserved.

  • Josh from Jersey | July 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm |

    Congrats Paul! Well deserved !

  • Le Cracquere | July 20, 2019 at 12:14 am |

    Congratulations on the SI job, and I hope it proves a long & fruitful assignment! Best to you & yours as you ease into the new gig.

  • Phil | July 20, 2019 at 12:34 am |

    Congrats on the new SI gig! Glad it all worked out. Enjoy your vacation!!

  • gak | July 20, 2019 at 2:34 am |

    What a bonanza day! SI employment, Uniwatch China & a glorious Northern Ontario curling-inspired card? Glorious! Congratulations on landing a new gig!

  • Michael b | July 20, 2019 at 9:06 pm |

    The swimsuit issue was terrific marketing, regardless of propriety. Of course our readership here is all about authenticity and the gall of it is cause for objection. But it’s day is long gone and it is irrelevant today. I still watch television even though they once ran cigarette ads forever ago.
    The important thing here is not about Paul at all; it’s that this subject is in demand from a major publisher.