By Phil Hecken
If the name of today’s featured designer sounds familiar to you, it should: I first introduced Brian Begley to you in the summer of 2017, who graced us with some of his NBA concepts at the time. He’s also appeared in some tweaks (like this Brooklyn Nets concept logo — scroll way down) as early as 2012. Today he’s back to share some NFL concepts.
I always have this impression of the guys who design uniforms (whether it’s in the tweaks section, as occasional ledes, or the Griffins contest, for example) as young guys who live in their moms’ basements, but this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Guys like Brian are often older, married and with kids (as are a number of my SMUW guys). But for some strange reason, I always picture them like THE Jeff (remember him?). Anyway, I’d set this piece up with Brian earlier in the week, and when I didn’t hear from him until late yesterday, I just had in my head some slacker who would get to it when he got to it. Nope. Brian’s a family guy and he has real grown up responsibilities, and I appreciate his getting this all to me just under the wire. Thanks Brian!
Anyhoo — today I’m pleased to re-present Brian Begley (who you should definitely follow on Twitter) with 10 NFL concepts.
Starting Week 2 of the NFL season, I challenged myself to design two full uniforms of two teams that were facing off each Sunday. On top of sports designing full time six days a week, my wife, our 15 month old boy, dog, and I have been living with my parents since the middle of July waiting to close on our new house. So, why not throw in another challenge on top of this lifestyle, right?! hahaha
With ten teams down (two that I’m giving you an early sneak peek before this Sunday) here’s my breakdown & inspiration behind the designs!
I eliminated all the white & silver from the Carolina branding, and it leaves you with something clean and timeless. A matte blue helmet w black gloss decals would shine day or night!
This is an early release for this Sunday. How do you redesign something that is already iconic? You let the past speak to you. I gave the helmet a rough texture to replicate the earth in which cowboys travel on. I designed a new “Dallas” mark for the gloves. The rest of the uniform is inspired by the days of Roger Staubach.
Inspired by their color rush set, I added a sublimated watermark of some iconic mountains. You may have seen these mountains across the chest of Dikembe Mutombo in the past… wink wink White pants brings this set up to date, and should be used in their regular season rotation.
I debated on going with an alt red jersey, but something about the Texans screams, “AMERICA!” Sticking with the double stripe theme throughout, the stars on the neck, and a white helmet, makes this set an instant classic.
Powder Blues. Need I say more? I gave this powder blue jersey a heathered texture, which I like to think of it as a “charged” texture. See what I did there? Also, a new neckline (Nike uses this on the new Oregon jerseys) with the Chargers bolts elevates this traditional design up to the next level.
I designed a new logo that incorporates “LA” in the Rams forehead, along with the Northwestern striping on the horns. The LA Rams wore these stripes when they were first in LA. I love the throwback Blue & Gold Rams uniforms they wore in the Super Bowl last year, but why not bring back the stripes?! This entire set is inspired by past styling cues along with current color ways & design elements.
Again, removing all white from their branding, and coming up with this mean look! The helmet has a brass texture to it to represent the brass instruments in jazz music. I feel like this is such an easy update. I designed a new fleur-de-lis for the helmet, and watermarked it on the jersey chest.
As a Giants fan, I know I’m one of the few that actually LOVES their red jerseys! I also designed a new logo that meshes the three logos used by the GMen from the 70’s to today. This logo looks great on a matte blue helmet! Just saying.
Another early release for this Sunday. I designed a new logo, which I created by accident one night, and I’m happy it happened. I LOVE this logo! I added a sublimated watermark across the chest to look like… welp… a jet. I used a previous Jets mark for the helmet. I had another idea in mind for the helmet, but it was way off brand.
I designed a new buccaneer (which I’ve been told a million times that it looks like a cowboy, so save your breath) This uniform was obviously inspired by the creamsicle era. I also used a metallic gradient on the helmet with a ghosted logo.
Great stuff, Brian — again, thanks so much for getting these to me. Brian, aside from the stuff he mentioned up above, had a sick wife and was taking care of their young child the past several days (you go!), so this was doubly awesome. Please let him know what you think of the concepts in the comments below — and give him a follow on the Twitter.
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Josh Gibson, 1933” (color study)
Subject: Josh Gibson, 1933
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”
“Wait, Josh Gibson played for the Cuban Stars, too?”
That’s what I said to myself only weeks before the Uniforms of Josh Gibson posters were about to be printed (https://negroleagueshistory.com/shop/negro-leagues-posters/joshgibson-lithograph/). In about eight months’ time (starting from late 2016), I had done a ton of research on the man, especially from a visual standpoint. He had played for many teams throughout his storied career, in the Negro Leagues, Cuban Leagues, Venezuelan Leagues, Dominican Leagues and Mexican Leagues. Each time, donning a different uniform for varying amounts of time, sometimes for an entire winter campaign, others for only a few games.
And in all of the time I spent digging through books and the Internet to find examples of each one, I had never run across anything about him being with the Cuban Stars. He’s not listed as playing for the team on his Wikipedia page. Nor Seamheads. Nor Baseball-Reference.
And none of what I’ve just written is a knock on the quality of these resources. Not even remotely. It’s just that if there’s one important thing I’ve discovered in these past eight months, it’s that the lack of this kind of information is not only par for the course, but will hover over my head for the remainder of the time I spend making these paintings (and let’s face it, well beyond).
White newspapers rarely covered those leagues, which means that not only was a lot of its history unwritten to millions of Americans, but also went unseen. The mere fact that most baseball fans are familiar with only a handful of images of somebody like Josh Gibson is a testament to that.
This was one of the reasons I was attracted to Jay’s project (https://negroleagueshistory.com/) in the first place. I’m like a lot of baseball fans that are attracted to its history. I know Satchel Paige. I know Josh Gibson. I know Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson all had stints there before coming to the bigs. That’s about how deep my pool of knowledge got. In other words, the game’s history that I know has mostly been seen through a white lens, and perhaps that’s how it’s been for a lot of other baseball fans.
As a result, this project was an opportunity for me to not only meet a lot of these guys for the first time, but also attempt to breathe life back into them somehow. Much like the great players of the Deadball Era in the white leagues, these guys fall under the ‘ancient history’ category and are perennially in black & white. And as such, we feel somewhat removed from them. But much like Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb, the great Pete Hill and Cristóbal Torriente played the game in living color. They breathed the same air as these guys did. And though maybe they weren’t able to compete with them (for the most part), they certainly deserve to be remembered just as much for their contributions to the sport.
Although the scope of this whole endeavor with Jay is rather large, I KNOW that we’ve still only scratched at the surface. There’s still so much to learn. Who knows, maybe I’ll run into a couple more uniforms that Josh Gibson wore, ones that I never knew he did. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
And with Satchel Paige, well, don’t even get me started on what I’ve missed.
For a more in-depth dive into the origins of this club with Gibson, check out this post on Gary Ashwill’s brilliant blog:
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
MLB Playoff Uni Tracking
A few years back, reader Alex Rocklein tracked the MLB Playoffs by uniform — you guys may recall this. Here’s what his 2010 Uni Tracking looked like. Alex also tracked the playoffs for Uni Watch last season as well. Here’s how the 2016 World Series looked, here’s how the 2017 Playoffs shook out, and here’s the 2018 Playoffs.
Alex is back once again for the 2019 MLB Playoffs. Unfortunately, Alex was attending a wedding last night, so he wasn’t able to post the uni matchups for the first game of the NLCS, but he’s got everything from the Wild Card and LDS rounds. Here we go:
Current Uni Tracking
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader ojai67.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
The “Hillies”? No, obviously it’s a game between the Dodgers and the Phillies. But when? That’s up to you…
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: In 1891, Sporting Life published a letter to the editor from a fan wanting players’ names on jerseys, 69 years before the White Sox actually went and did it. Talk about being ahead of your time! (from John Thorn). … Going off of yesterday’s press pin post, Tracy Ruckel sent in his rather impressive collection. … The Minute Maid Park groundscrew just threw a little paint over the “D” in the on-field ALDS logo to turn it into an ALCS logo (from @NikolaiPopusk19). … Mets P Marcus Stroman will change his uni number from 7 to something else out of respect for Jose Reyes (thanks, Phil). … Deadspin’s Ray Ratto took the Nationals to task over their cap logo (from Mike Chamernik).
NFL News: A man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey was removed from Donald Trump’s rally in Minneapolis (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil, the Saints are going to go white-over-white on Sunday against the Jags, but it won’t be their Color Rash unis — the white pants will be new. Interesting.
College/High School Football News: The Cotton Bowl’s logo at midfield has been replaced by the “Red River Showdown” logo, complete with ad (from Matthew Salazar). … Here’s a great piece on Iowa’s mid-90s uniform experimentation (from Joseph Foro and Rudy Chihak). … FAU’s endzone is going to be very patriotic and completely illegible today (from Jake Elman). … Mizzou is going yellow-yellow-black (from Jacob Bogage). … Virginia Tech will go white-maroon-white against Rhode Island (from who but Andrew Cosentino). … The following are all from Phil: Florida is going orange-blue-blue against LSU. … Mono-white for Mississippi State against Tennessee. … Ole Miss is going blue-white-white against Mizzou. … West Virginia is going black-grey-grey — or is it dark grey-lighter grey-lighter grey? It’s honestly hard to tell from the video. … Indiana and Purdue are both going with throwbacks this weekend for their respective homecoming games. … Throwback helmet logo for Oregon State. … Also a throwback helmet logo for Baylor. … A TV reporter in Philadelphia covering a pep rally at Father Judge High donned a helmet, pads and jersey (from Christopher Hickey). … The Grants Pass (Or.) Cavemen go MHOB — Mascot Head on Back (great spot by Scott Stoddard).
Hockey News: The Hurricanes wore their black third jerseys for the first time last night (from Scott M. Trembly). … Michigan Tech is going with white helmets for the first time since 2006 (from @TechHockeyGuide).
NBA/College Hoops News: Warriors C Kavion Pippen — Scottie’s son — is wearing No. 31 (from Etienne Catalan). … The following are all from Mike Chamernik: Throwback court incoming for the Cavs. … The Grizzlies will also have a throwback court. … The Magic have added pinstripes to the key of their court. … Looks like a new court for Evansville (from Ryan Bowman).
Soccer News: Nebraska’s midfield logo was painted in camouflage for their militry appreciation night (from Dakota Buesing). … Hertha Berlin released their Fall of the Berlin Wall commemorative kit yesterday (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed, Pumas’ women’s team will wear pink against León. … Coventry City’s third kit has been released (thanks, Jamie).
Grab Bag: Wales and Georgia went red-vs-maroon during yesterday morning’s Rugby World Cup match (from Will MacEwen). … Iowa’s default license plate design is so ugly that many drivers are picking the new “blackout” design after the state bureau of transportation made it available. More info here (from Taylor Warntjes).