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.
Los Angeles Chargers:
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.
Los Angeles Rams:
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.
New Orleans Saints:
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.
New York Giants:
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.
New York Jets:
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.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
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.
I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.
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
Guess The Game…
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).
Wales/Georgia was three weeks ago, not yesterday. We covered it then.
The scoreboard is the NLCS Game 4, 10/7/78 at Dodger Stadium.
Fantastic work, Brian.
The Grizzlies throwback court link goes to the one for the Cavaliers.
Mike Schmidt batting leadoff? This is first scoreboard I ever solved. link
October 7, 1978 – Phillies lost the NLC series in 4 games in 10.
(Always enjoy the scoreboard challenge!)
Are these concepts worth being the lead item? The only standout aspect is the presentation.
Every one of these NFL uni concepts is markedly better than what they would be replacing. Fantastic work!!!
Definitely no on the Panthers redesign; a dark muddled mess without the silver.
Kavion is Scottie’s nephew, not son.
Nebraska painted their logo for MILITARY appreciation, not “militry”.
Those concepts are exceptional. The only one I disliked was the one for the Giants. As much as I dislike the Giants, Big Blue should be… blue.
So it looks like the Natinals are now 4-0 in their blue tops. I suppose they’ll keep wearing them until they lose.
These are some of the better NFL uniform concepts we’ve had in here in a long time. And I also second the thumbs-up to the presentation. I just wish all of them included a side view of the helmet (or maybe have BOTH the side and top view) so we could get the full effect of the helmet design.
A lot of good stuff in the NFL concepts. Dallas Cowboys could switch to that dark jersey and I think it would be applauded by most fans.
I like the Texans uniform too. Looks better than current design and it looks like something the NFL would not be opposed to from a design standpoint.
Kindly permit the space necessary for a suggestion that will, in the writer’s estimation, add greatly to the interest in our national game. Not only those who go occasionally, but the steady goers, lover of the game (and even “fans”) find it difficult to recognize the visiting players and call them by name, even by the aid of a score card, as very few keep the score, so that after the first or second inning they are completely mixed up, and questions of this kind are heard on all sides:-“Who is that at the bat?” “Who caught that fly?” “Who made that long slide?” etc. Particularly so is this difficulty found with the average visitor who constitutes the majority at most games. This trouble can be overcome by having the name of the player in large letters across the breast, either worked in his shirt or on a band that can buttoned across his bosom. This, the writer thinks, will add greatly to the convenience and be appreciated by every one interested in the game.
Great concepts! And you made the Cowboys and Rams blues (and silver) match! I thought this was impossible!
Great NFL uni concepts! Familiar yet traditional and imaginative. Seeing the effort on different helmet textures, what’s everyone’s take on the matte finish trend? It seemed like the Dodgers started the change in MLB and then a bunch of others went “ooh, we want that.” Call me old school but I like the shine on any helmet more. Just makes any color deeper, IMO. Do you think more teams in any sport will go with textured finishes next or more matte?
Love these NFL concepts! It’s still my favorite thing to see on this site: new uni ideas from folks. Always fun to imagine. The Panthers, Saints, and Chargers here are especially likable.
Also, the Grizzlies link wrongly goes to a Cavaliers court.
Rams and Chargers concepts are OK. The rest. Yuck.
Which is your favorite title for the Oklahoma/Texas game?
Red River Shootout?
Red River Showdown?
Red River Rivalry?
Red River Classic?
Oklahoma beating the crap out of Texas?
Dallas – 5 stars out of 5
Houston – 5 stars out of 5
The rest, meh…Brandiose?
Tampa Bay – -3 stars No cowboys/bandits, please.
Great presentation of NFL uniforms. Sorry but not a fan of the Chargers weird shoulder stripe. I like the Panthers, but not the matching socks/pants leotard look. I like shiny helmets so not a fan of all these matte finishes, especially for the Cowboys. Love the Tampa Bay colors, but yeah that logo should be for the Bandits. And I want to see the Rams in royal blue.
As a cowboys fan that uniform makes me tingle inside a nice refresh of the current unis but still keeps how iconic they are. love that it reminds me of staubach times.
The Deadspin writer criticizing the Nationals’ current cap exemplifies for me people who try to tell teams they don’t like how they should dress. I love the Nats’ cap and precisely because it creates a connection to the prior D.C. team, of which I was a big fan. The cap alone turned me into a Nats fan. And creating that connection certainly made sense in terms of appealing to D.C.-area baseball fans who were needed to fill the stands. Meanwhile, I personally never liked the Expos’ “beachball” cap but in any case feel it belongs to Montreal — if a team ever plays there again, that would be the time to revive the design, in hopes of creating exactly the kind of link to the city’s baseball past that the “pretzel W” successfully created for the Nationals.
As has been mentioned by Paul previously, it was Bud Selig who had the team go with the Curly W. They had a different W with the original uniform set. link
Kavion is Scottie Pippen’s NEPHEW, not his son.
The Cowboys, Bucs, Broncos, Texans and Jets prototypes are all huge improvements over the current. The others…meh.
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Question to all uniform designers: what’s wrong with the color WHITE? White numbers are easier to see from the stands or the TV room, white pants would give good contrast to any dark jersey (with white numbers, of course). In The Browns’ case, orange numbers on brown jersey are indecipherable in any setting.
I have no professional background in this, but I know what is easiest to see. I am interested in hearing from the Pros on this.
Been saying forever that the Panthers need to scrap the silver helmets and go with blue. I would’ve gone with black jerseys and blue pants too, just as you did. Nice work! Also really digging the Texans’ double color stripe on the helmets