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Which Heroes Will the Post-Pandemic Uni-verse Celebrate?

Good morning! Everything here at Uni Watch HQ continues to be fine. I hope that’s also the case at your home.

Now then, here’s something I’ve been thinking about: For the past 10 to 15 years, the sports world in general and the uni-verse in particular have largely defined heroism in terms of the military, as evidenced by all the now-familiar military appreciation uniforms. Some people are cool with this; others (myself included) find it problematic.

But no matter which side of that debate you fall on, it seems to me that some sort of reckoning will be at hand when live sports events eventually resume, and that the uni-verse will have to redefine its concept of heroism. That’s because the pandemic had led all of us to redefine our concepts of heroism.

For example, I think the following statements are all fairly self-evident and uncontroversial:

• Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, who are doing their best to battle this plague, often in ways that risk their own health and that of their families, are heroes.

• Pharmacy workers, who continue to make crucial medications available to those who need them, are heroes.

• Teachers, who are meeting the enormous challenge of educating and engaging with our youth while working remotely, are heroes.

• Transit workers, who continue to run our trains and buses so medical professionals and other essential workers can get to their jobs, are heroes.

• Sanitation workers, who continue to collect our trash and thereby keep this public health emergency from being even worse than it already is, are heroes.

• Supermarket and grocery workers, who continue to make food available to us — often under conditions that don’t allow for social distancing and are therefore clearly unsafe — are heroes.

• Food deliverers, who bring groceries and pizzas and other food to us so we don’t have to venture outside, are heroes.

• Letter carriers and UPS/FedEx delivery people, who continue to bring mail and packages to us while we’re stuck indoors, are heroes.

• Utility maintenance workers, who are keeping our electricity, water, phone, sewer, cable TV, and internet functioning at a time when they’ve never been needed more, are heroes.

• The behind-the-scenes support staffs that back up most of these workers — the people who sort the mail, produce the food, drive the tractor trailers full of groceries and packages, clean and maintain the subways and buses, service the garbage trucks, and so on — are heroes.

That list isn’t complete, of course — it’s just a start.

Many of these people, frankly, have been heroes all along; others, to paraphrase Shakespeare, have had heroism thrust upon them by the pandemic. But most of them are literally risking their lives out there, and all deserve our heartfelt thanks. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been saying, “Thanks — y’all are heroes!” to every garbageman, letter carrier, and food deliverer I’ve seen over the past few weeks.

How might the uni-verse acknowledge this heroism when the sports world returns to live action? Camouflage is a very handy visual signifier, so it’s easy (too easy, I’d say) to come up with a military tribute uniform, but it’s a lot harder to conceive of a uniform that salutes, say, a supermarket cashier, or a pharmacist, or a teacher. And aside from the design challenges, the bigger issue is that the sports world likes the visual symbolism of comparing athletes to soldiers but may not so readily embrace the optics of comparing athletes to garbagemen. Still, it will have to be done, at least if we want to be honest about recognizing the genuine heroism of the people who are holding our world together while the rest of us shelter in place.

Personally, I’d prefer to see the sports world stop with the uni-driven heroism themes altogether (it’s mainly just another form of self-serving mythmaking, which sports already has more than enough of), but the industry seems to have decided that sports and uniforms are part of the story we collectively tell about ourselves as a society. I can accept that, but what kind of story will that be in a post-pandemic world? Will it be a story that fairly acknowledges all of these various kinds of civilian heroes? I hope so — the uni-verse, the sports world, and our society at large would be better off as a result.

Finally, if anyone reading this falls into any of the categories I mentioned, please accept my sincere thanks for your service during this national emergency. You, and people like you, are heroes.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Take a look at this vintage beauty! It’s a menu from DiMaggio’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. I’d say 1940s-1950s, judging from the people’s attire and the phone number. And look at the prices! Research shows the location was open from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Here’s a stuffed Texas Rangers doll from the early 1970s. He’s kinda dingy in places but maybe some a squirt of Oxy-Clean stain remover will help. Notice no sheriff’s badge in the capital R. And did the Rangers really make the R and S capitalized for owner Robert Short? This 2009 article says yes.

• Looks to be mid-1980s for this NFL ruler showing all 28 teams at the time. Love that period’s helmet style!

• I like the contrasting red sleeves and the ringer-style collar on this 1970s Buffalo Bills T-shirt, although I don’t know that “paper thin” is a great selling point for a shirt costing close to $300.

• Boston Red Sox fans will like this vintage 197os pocket knife.

• There’s no hang tag to back it up, but this Champion jersey does bear a resemblance to a Kansas City Chiefs jersey. Since this is a retail item, what’s noticeable here are the sleeve cuffs — notice how they’re tailored (if that’s the term) rather than the usual look.

• Bucco Bruce is among the helmet designs featured in this set of 1970s NFL helmet air fresheners. I guess they’re still fresh?

• Here’s a Los Angeles Rams boys’ football kit from Rawlings, with shoulder pads and the blue/white helmet (the jersey and pants are MIA). I doubt we’ll be seeing new editions of these in Sears for the upcoming Rams uni rollout. 

• Your entire tabletop hockey team will be comprised of the Great One with this Winnipeg Jets team set.

• Why did they use the powder blue, instead of royal, for the cover of this Amazin’ Mets World Champions 8mm home movie?

• This USA Hockey pin reminds me of a 1960s TV show!

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Cycling jersey reminder: In case you missed it, we’re taking orders for another round of Uni Watch cycling jerseys. Just like before, you can customize the back of the jersey with your choice of number and NOB.

We’re taking orders through the end of this week, and the product should be ready to ship in early May. Full ordering info here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsGross: The Reds shared shared a “draw your favorite Reds player” template that included the Nike maker’s mark (from Michael Kinney). … Joseph Aronoff has started a petition calling on the Tigers to bring back the old “jersey version” of the Old English D. … The Yankees were selling baseball caps in their team yearbooks as early as 1950 — much earlier than I would have thought! (From @Titan4Ever2488.) … We’ve covered this before, but once more won’t hurt: The Phillies have never worn the word “Philadelphia” on their jerseys, but they considered doing it in 1991, as seen on this prototype (from Steve Kusheloff). … Here’s some great footage of the Royals and Mariners playing the very first futuristic MLB game in 1998. That game was the model for the larger TATC program that followed in 1999.

NFL News: The Broncos signed former Lions P Sam Martin yesterday and used a photo of him in a number-less Lions jersey in their introductory Twitter graphic (from Michael Blake Raymer). … Spotted on eBay: This “prototype” Pats jersey from 1995 — the first year they wore the style with Flying Elvis-clad shoulders (from Kenny Saidah). … Check out the kerning on Giants’ LB Jim Clack’s NOB during the 1978 “Miracle at the Meadowlands” game against the Eagles. You could run a semi through those letters! (From Patrick Henderson.) … Stefan Vasilev took a stab at designing a new logo for the Rams. … Speaking of the Rams, they did a live Instagram session last night and fans just wanted to shit all over the new logo. … Travis DeMarco was watching Season 4 of Amazon’s All or Nothing, which follows the Carolina Panthers. Footage from the show caught a miscolored logo on CB Donte Jackson’s jersey that doesn’t include any grey elements. … Check out this Oilers logo that Bum Phillips was wearing on his cowboy boots back in the ’70s (from @NFL_Journal).

College Football NewsTulane will have new turf and field design when football returns (from Patrick Barnett). … Writers for The Athletic determined the best player to ever wear each number (from @Wilds_Lee). … Clint Richardson hopes that SEC football can return by this fall, but if not, he has a backup plan: Quarantine Ball!

Hockey NewsThe pandemic has halted work on the Islanders’ new arena (from Kary Klismet). … The Canucks’ mascot, Fin, went to visit a boy on his fifth birthday the other day (from Wade Heidt). … A Twitter user had his non-hockey fan friends guess NHL team names based on the team logos — with entertainingly bad results (from James Gilbert). … The Charlotte Checkers of the AHL shared photos of their uniforms through the years yesterday and encouraged fans to submit their own jersey designs (from Canes Uniform Tracker and @CJWinterberg). … The great Wafflebored DIY’d himself a sensational hybrid jersey that combines the Canucks’ “flying V” design with the old Vancouver Millionaires’ design. Note the Wafflebored maker’s mark above the NOB — a first, he says, “to cover a mistake.”

NBA NewsThe Mavericks have updated their Twitter avatar to a logo with neon green accents. Not sure what that means for the future (from Ethan Angel Cardona). … A judge has thrown out a lawsuit that a group of tattoo artists had filed against the makers of the NBA 2K video games. The suit alleged that the game infringed on the artists’ copyright when it replicated LeBron James’s tattoos, but the judge ruled that the tattoos were simply part of the depiction of James himself (from Timmy Donahue). … When NBA and ABA players played exhibition games against each other in the 1970s, both teams wore jerseys with wider shoulder straps (from Tom O’Grady). … Check out future Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain competing in the high jump in high school (using the old forward roll technique) — while wearing a driving cap! (From Michael, who didn’t give his last name.)

Soccer NewsThe Athletic has a great piece about a company that’s making soccer cleats designed specifically to fit women’s feet — as they put it, no more “pink it and shrink it” (from Ed Żelaski). … Speaking of Ed, see more soccer updates over on his Twitter account.

Grab BagDayton, Ohio, is seeking the public’s input on the design for a new city flag (from Kary Klismet). … A police officer in India made a scary-looking coronavirus helmet and wore it out on the streets to encourage social distancing (from Jeremy Brahm). … New uniforms for the Lower Paxton Township Police Department in Pennsylvania (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: The Seal Beach Police Department in Orange County, Calif., will be among the departments wearing puzzle piece badges in April for Autism Awareness Month. … The apparel company Brooks Brothers, which had shut down its domestic factories due to the pandemic, is now reopening them to make masks and hospital gowns for healthcare workers (from Tom Turner).

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What Paul did last night: The Tugboat Captain’s grad school classes were cancelled last week, and the week before that was spring break, so yesterday was her first day of virtual classes. We spent our porch time talking a lot about that (the short version: She didn’t find it very satisfying). Today she has to teach a virtual class herself, as part of her graduate assistantship, so she’s stressed out about that.

Grad school was supposed to be a way for the Captain to reinvent herself career-wise (she was a journalist but decided that that’s too risky, so she’s getting a library/information degree), but now who knows what sort of job market will be waiting for her when she graduates six weeks from now. Plus her graduation ceremony has been cancelled, plus-plus some of her classmates went home to their parents’ houses for spring break (they’re all younger than she is) and then ended up staying there, so she may never see them again. Basically, she’s in mourning — she’s worked really hard on this degree, and now it’s all ending in disarray and uncertainty.

Obviously, those are minor problems compared to, say, being on a ventilator with Covid-19. But still — it’s sad. Fortunately, Uni Watch girl mascot President Caitlin always brightens the Captain’s mood:

Hope everyone’s keeping healthy and safe. This too shall pass. Stay well! — Paul

83 comments to Which Heroes Will the Post-Pandemic Uni-verse Celebrate?

  • Ted Machnik | March 31, 2020 at 8:52 am |

    The Man from “U.N.C.L.E.”

    – United Network Command for Law Enforcement.

    Loved that show!

    P.S. Open Channel D!

  • Greg | March 31, 2020 at 9:04 am |

    Paul, I work on the management side of waste utility, I will say that the work trash collectors and sewer plant operators do largely goes unnoticed in any emergency. And while a week of missed trash collection might be tolerable by many, one day without a sewer treatment plant means oceans/rivers/bays flooded with human waste. Thanks for the shout out to all of my coworkers who work directly in operations.
    Re: teachers as heroes, I would say, based on the experiences of many of my friends with kids at home now, the greater appreciation of teachers’ heroism is not for the work they are doing right now, but more so for what they do every day normally, as parents now experience what it is like teaching their kids all day! :)

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 9:05 am |

      Thanks for the important work that you and your colleagues do, Greg!

    • WFY | March 31, 2020 at 10:52 am |

      Getting a glimpse of the association side of those industries, I heard the same story again and again – it wasn’t an industry that necessarily their first choice, but they love their work. The water workers in particular were passionate about what they do.

    • Cris | March 31, 2020 at 6:35 pm |

      Thanks Paul. You’re probably the first person that I’ve ever heard to recognize those of us who work in the Utilities field during this pandemic.

      Greg, as a fellow worker in the Utilities field (Wastewater Treatment Plant), your comments are spot on.

      WFY, your words are so true. The wastewater field wasn’t my chosen field when I entered the work force. But I’ve been in this business for over 17 years and it was the best career decision that I could have made.

      • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 8:20 pm |

        You’re very welcome, Cris. Thanks for the important work that you do!

  • AJ Kane | March 31, 2020 at 9:09 am |

    The Mavs twitter avatar link isn’t working.

  • Shaftman | March 31, 2020 at 9:14 am |

    When teams return I’d love to see something along the lines of what the Mets did post 9/11 (NYPD, FDNY caps in the field).

    Except keep it simple for acknowledging different professions…

    Maybe an Apple logo on a cap for teachers, a train or bus for transit, a sanitation vehicle, a face mask for those in the medical community and so on.

    In 20,30,40 years, those images will be much more powerful than a patch or one day uniform change.

    • Mike | March 31, 2020 at 12:15 pm |

      I like all of the ideas you mentioned. Keep it simple.

    • Shaftman | March 31, 2020 at 12:20 pm |

      No idea why it was capitalized, but I did not mean the logo of Apple Computers. I pictured the quintessential red delicious.

  • Marcus from Baltimore | March 31, 2020 at 9:19 am |

    I too have adopted an extra sense of gratitude these days. I am generally pleasant to service people (although not so talkative when my introversion kicks in), but now, I make sure I let them know that I appreciate them being there (especially food service places and supermarkets), and that hopefully they will stay safe.

    With regards to heroes, I can definitely see MiLB having a “Heroes Day”, where teams rename themselves: Hershey Nurses, Durham Doctors, Midland Cashiers, Springfield Deliverers, etc. Of course there will be duplicates across the league. I can foresee the Major 4 doing some sort of patch and a weekend where those workers are acknowledged, throw out the first pitch, do the coin toss, drop the puck, etc. I also envision some roles being highlighted more than others. It’s easy to recognize the doctors and nurses, but, as you listed, there are so many other heroes that go unnoticed.

    • Vasav | March 31, 2020 at 12:49 pm |

      I would love to see the majors do it, even for just opening day

  • Ben Zoss | March 31, 2020 at 9:20 am |

    I’m in your third bullet point (I’m a Spanish teacher and a football coach…a fun combination) and I agree with the Captain’s sentiments regarding virtual learning. I also agree with getting rid of heroism-driven uniforms..

  • Jon Plummer | March 31, 2020 at 9:26 am |

    *kerning, but in this case you are looking at tracking. Kerning is specially adjusting the small amount of space between two characters, while tracking (also called letter-spacing) is adjusting spacing uniformly over many characters.

  • art | March 31, 2020 at 9:32 am |

    The Captain is not wrong to be bummed about all of this. I’m on the faculty side, and going remote has not been easy. Particularly as I’m teaching and advising a lot of seniors this year that I might never see again. We haven’t cancelled commencement yet, but it will likely be delayed. On a uni-related aside, I was granted tenure this year and finally splurged on a set of full custom regalia that I don’t when I’ll even wear. I’ve spent the last few weeks going back and forth with the vendor trying to figure out how they managed to botch the size so badly. It all feels stupid and trivial, but maybe stupid and trivial is all we can handle right now.

    • RS Rogers | March 31, 2020 at 10:04 am |

      She’s specifically not wrong to understand what she’s feeling as mourning. All of us are in some combination of denial, shock, and mourning right now. Mourning being the healthy response, and the one we’ll mostly all end up in, and rightly so.

      For what it’s worth (not much!), library science has been and probably will continue to be a growing field. The pandemic has disrupted everything, and even best-case economic outlooks now suggest 2022 as the earliest point when we’ll be back to 4th Quarter 2019 levels of overall economic activity. It’s gonna be rough for all of us, especially those of us who for whatever reason seek to enter the workforce, but library science seems like a good medium-term bet to me.

  • Alec | March 31, 2020 at 9:37 am |

    If a person’s tattoos aren’t considered works for hire, I wouldn’t know what is.

  • Kevin B. | March 31, 2020 at 9:42 am |

    I think there’s a bit of hero in every single one of us, and such a notion doesn’t dilute the term in the slightest for me. It’s heroic to do the right or good thing when no one would think any less of a person for doing the easy thing even if the right or good thing is small.

  • Drew B. | March 31, 2020 at 9:48 am |

    I teach secondary school English. I do not want to watch a sporting event where teams “dress up” as teachers. I don’t want to see red apples, pencils, rulers, or anything else on a uniform or jersey patch. I wouldn’t mind discounts on tickets to sporting events though. Not just for teachers, but for all categories of workers.

    The pandemic is demoralizing. One hates to see people go to the hospital. For me, one of the most demoralizing parts of this thing (maybe it is petty) was waiting to see who (including myself) was deemed “essential” by our school’s superintendent.

  • RS Rogers | March 31, 2020 at 9:51 am |

    That DiMaggio’s menu reminds me of an old family story: My dad and his younger brother, who was just out of college working his first job, found themselves together in San Francisco at the same time on work trips sometime in the very early 1970s. They got together one night for steaks and drinks at DiMaggio’s because they had both grown up as Yankees fans in Iowa, where the Yanks and Cardinals were the only teams whose games were broadcast every day. Anyway, the story goes that Dom DiMaggio was working the front of the house that evening, and dad and Uncle Bill ended the night sitting at the bar and drinking with Dom while the younger DiMaggio brother told ribald baseball stories.

  • RS Rogers | March 31, 2020 at 9:54 am |

    I think that’s my favorite Waffleboard jersey yet. Making the basic pattern of the Flying V into a jersey I think looks good is quite an accomplishment! Kudos and thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Josh | March 31, 2020 at 9:55 am |

    Good luck and congratulation to the Tugboat Captain! The librarian at our daughter’s elementary school is one of the most wonderful people and has been able to keep the kids involved and excited about reading during this time.

  • Jake | March 31, 2020 at 9:56 am |

    Looks like Wilt’s high jumping for Kansas, not Overbrook High.

  • Bernie | March 31, 2020 at 10:00 am |

    I’d love to get a Uni Watch bike jersey, but I have a weird issue. Bike jerseys typically don’t have NOBs or numbers (except for race labels, where the number is not personal). I wouldn’t be interested in a bike jersey with my own NOB. Easy enough: Make the NOB “Uni Watch”. But what about the number? What’s a good generic number for a bike jersey? I probably would have bought one earlier, but keep struggling with this important question!

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 10:07 am |

      What’s a good generic number for a bike jersey?

      2! It’s a BIcycle, after all — the “bi” stands for “two wheels.”

      • Bernie | March 31, 2020 at 10:17 am |

        That’s a good idea!

    • SYH | March 31, 2020 at 10:23 am |

      I kind of agree with this, I do think the uniwatch cycling jersey was a bit of a missed opportunity to do something more “cycling” looking – rather than an Astros template on a cycling jersey.

      Brooklyn Gum jersey but in Uni-Watch colors, anyone?

      • Bernie | March 31, 2020 at 11:49 am |

        Or a Mondrian-inspired La Vie Claire jersey with Uni-Watch colors!

        Actually, I think the green tequila sunrise stripes look great, but the number/NOB back isn’t very cycling-looking.

    • Bernie | March 31, 2020 at 11:51 am |

      By the way, IMO, professional cycling jerseys SHOULD have numbers and NOBs; it would make identifying riders from a helicopter or trailing motorcycle SO much easier.

    • Tom | March 31, 2020 at 11:54 am |

      Get an upside-down 13. One of the great traditions is for the rider assigned 13 in a race to pin on the number upside down.

      • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 11:58 am |

        Oh, wow, that’s a *great* idea!!

      • Humberto | March 31, 2020 at 11:39 pm |

        Sorry to hear about your significant other Paul.
        Uni Watch has been a real god send of diversion during this whole damn thing. Best wishes to you and your fam
        Peace!

  • Sean The Trucker | March 31, 2020 at 10:06 am |

    As a truck driver I have to say thank you to Paul. The daily lists here help make my day that much brighter and better.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 10:09 am |

      Hi, Sean! Whenever I see your name, I immediately think of your membership card. Didn’t realize you’re a truck driver! Big thanks to you and your colleagues for the important work you do.

  • Justin | March 31, 2020 at 10:06 am |

    I’m sure there will likely be a tribute for the victims of the virus, like a black armband or something. With many teams already wearing sleeve patches, that doesn’t leave much real estate for a tribute to all the heroes you mentioned. Maybe they’ll be able to squeeze it in near the collar. Perhaps they’ll make it blue.

    • Patrick in MI | March 31, 2020 at 5:42 pm |

      Zing! Or how about secretly retiring the number 19?

  • GM | March 31, 2020 at 10:16 am |

    I’d add farmworkers to the list of heroes. What’s incredible to me is how many of the people we truly need to function as a society are underpaid. There’s nothing more fundamental than the people who make sure we have food and water (and electricity and gas, and who take away our refuse).

    I don’t think special uniforms will happen. But I certainly can imagine promotions in honor of different jobs (letting a farmworker through out the first pitch, having a nurses choir sing the national anthem, etc). Also might be nice if MLB made a big deal of Labor Day.

  • Dan Pfeifer | March 31, 2020 at 10:16 am |

    I fear two things may come about as a result of the idea discussed above, simply because we know all to well that the merch makers will come up with any reason to make merch and people tend to fall back into old habits:

    1. Be prepared for “medical personnel tribute uniforms” incorporating a lot of the blue-greenish color that stereotypical scrubs are.

    2. For all the other folks, more discussion of how those people are “the blue- collar folks that deserve the credit so much,” and, as you’ve been putting it, more blue-collar fetishism.

    That’s just the cynic in me, but it seems like there’s a pattern for this and I don’t see it breaking.

    • Ron | March 31, 2020 at 11:16 am |

      Blue collar. This right here. This will possibly be the lazy way they pay tribute to all those folks.

    • Will S | March 31, 2020 at 5:39 pm |

      The cynic is me says there will be many things to “honour” the professions but very little of it going towards any of those severely impacted by the pandemic.

      Also, I can’t see the camo completely disappearing from all professional sports uniforms (unfortunately). If there is a downturn, I expect it to be back at its now usual levels in a season or two (because Murica!)

  • steve | March 31, 2020 at 10:19 am |

    There will be a lot of people to honor – the various workers you mentioned, the people who have passed, the people who recovered, and even the people who did their part by staying at home to keep others safe. I think all sports will adopt an all-encompassing patch like “stronger together” or something.

  • SYH | March 31, 2020 at 10:24 am |

    Don’t know who needs to hear this, but if you’re using delivery or taxi services right now, please, please, please tip. *More* than usual. These people are putting their health at risk to support stay-at-home workers, they at least deserve that much.

  • Zalman Lev | March 31, 2020 at 10:27 am |

    Anyone else notice the Saturn v. Pluto matchup on the scoreboard in the video of the Royals/Mariners game?

  • Smokin' Joe | March 31, 2020 at 10:46 am |

    Couldn’t agree more about the ridiculousness of camouflage as part of sports uniforms; it takes an implement of war and trivializes it to somehow “honor” service. Also, thanks for pointing out the real heroes in everyday life, most folks don’t even give them a passing thought.

    To commemorate and honor those who are most affected by the current pandemic, I propose two simple uniform changes: a black armband on one sleeve to remember those who have died, and on the other sleeve another color (maybe green?) to represent the health care workers who are our first line of defense. This should be coupled with a short ceremony each game spotlighting a different job which helped us all get through this (which we should have been doing all along anyway instead of being so military-centric). Maybe throw in some free or half-price tickets for that game for the workers?

  • John | March 31, 2020 at 10:59 am |

    Thanks for the reminder to listen to this lovely arrangement:
    https://youtu.be/wSX9F6ETTDQ

    Also, has a ‘thin green line’ flag desecration design been floated? If so, I hate it already. Cheers!

  • Rick | March 31, 2020 at 11:29 am |

    To honor all the heroes that we recognize now-and should have before-a heart patch on the chest would be a perfect remembrance.

  • Jim Vilk | March 31, 2020 at 11:35 am |

    Personally, I’d prefer to see the sports world stop with the uni-driven heroism themes altogether

    YES.

    You want a different patch on the sleeve and a different day for all the heroes out there, go for it. But leave the rest of the uniform alone.

    One home, one road, one alt (or throwback) per season. That’s it.

  • Anthony Emerson | March 31, 2020 at 11:45 am |

    Hi guys. My day job is at a grocery store — if the MLB wants to honor us, make them play a game in aprons while someone keeps on interrupting them asking when the toilet paper is going to come in.

  • DW95MVP | March 31, 2020 at 12:00 pm |

    This is un-uni-related but is there a name for the type of beer glass you use? I’m thinking about the Hamm’s glass that’s featured frequently on Pandemic Porch Cocktails. My local bar and older establishments have them and I love their aesthetic.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 12:08 pm |

      They are variously known as “pilsner glasses” (although that term also applies to larger 12- and 16-oz. glasses of a similar shape) and “sham glasses” (to my knowledge, that term applies exclusively to smaller glasses like the one you’re referring to).

      I have a bunch of these sham glasses, each with a different logo. It’s my favorite beer glass size — friendly, conversational. If a bar has them, I always ask for a draft beer in that type of glass (even if a pint is a better bargain). The Hamm’s one was stolen for me from a Wisconsin bar by my-then girlfriend around 1996 or ’97.

      • Nate Rathjen | March 31, 2020 at 1:00 pm |

        I think the correct term for this style of glass is sham glass – the term sham refers to the thick glass base like you would see in a highball glass. Where it came from I have no clue.

        While generic pint glasses are sometimes called “pilsner glasses”, a true pilsner glass is tall and slim; the only ones I’ve drank out of are European-made, and they are typically 500 ml/16.9 oz.

        • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm |

          I believe “sham” comes from the thick bottom you refer to — often called a “sham bottom,” because it means the glass doesn’t hold as much liquid as its height suggests.

  • Ron Ruelle | March 31, 2020 at 12:02 pm |

    Colorado has declared marijuana dispensaries essential, so honor your local weed dealer!

    • Anthony Emerson | March 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm |

      Like Jackie Robinson day, but everyone wears 420…

    • Patrick M O'Neill | March 31, 2020 at 2:57 pm |

      If weed is essential, then everything is essential.

  • Oakville Celery Root | March 31, 2020 at 12:32 pm |

    I wonder – but I tend to doubt it – after this is all over, whether it helps reframe the importance we place on the professional sports leagues.

    As to the theme, as a good percentage of the professions are blue collar – I hate to say it may make teams that want to adopt a “blue collar” mentality even more prolific.

  • Mike | March 31, 2020 at 12:34 pm |

    One more category to include in the pandemic responders: those who staff homeless shelters! Folks in transition, in fairly tight quarters, we’re doing our best! (Not sure what a social worker-themed jersey would look like though…)

    Like Paul often says on holidays: thanks to all who keep the world spinning!

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 12:41 pm |

      Indeed. Phil always offers to get me a birthday present each year, and I usually tell him to just donate in my name to a charity instead. This year I asked him to make the donation to the Coalition for the Homeless, because I figure they need all the help they can get right about now.

      Not saying this brag or virtue-signal — just trying to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you folks, even if I didn’t include you on today’s list of heroes. Thanks so much for the important work that you and your colleagues do!!

  • Vasav | March 31, 2020 at 12:46 pm |

    I’ve thought about this a lot. I think on opening day of baseball, every team in the MLB should re-name themselves after an “essential” profession – and then, as mentioned by Shaftman above, have playerrs on the team wear a cap that recognizes local teacher’s unions, or doctors, or the local area’s strongest (sanitation).

    As an aside – I kinda wish professions could be paraphrased down to one word. Some examples:

    -Doctors and nurses, cool. Instead of “medical professionals” and “health care workers,” why not “healthers,” “carers,” or “hospitallers?”

    -Pharmacy workers – pharmacists,and for pharmacist assistants, pharmacistants.

    -Teachers, and their support staff is “educators”

    -Transit workers are engineers, drivers, and an all encompassing “transiters”

    -Sanitation workers already have a tradition as our “strongest.” As an aside, this is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and contribute as much as doctors do to the health of our society and the limitation of disease.

    -Supermarket and grocery workers oughta be “grocers,” I don’t believe that word should be reserved just for the owner, especially since many grocery stores are chains and public corporations

    -Food deliverers are “deliverers”

    -Letter carriers and UPS/FedEx delivery people are “postalers”

    -Utility maintenance workers are “utiliters”

    -Everybody in customer service is a “peopler”

  • Noah Friedman | March 31, 2020 at 12:51 pm |

    I think honoring those who work in utilities, and garbage collection, etc is a bit of a catch-22. On one hand it’s a nice thing to do, but you’re also looking at working class fetishization. What teams could do is nights to honor various industries and offer discounted tickets to those working in that industry.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 12:56 pm |

      On one hand it’s a nice thing to do, but you’re also looking at working class fetishization.

      You’re being selective. My (incomplete) list of pandemic heroes included teachers, pharmacists, health care professionals, and others who are not blue collar. The virus knows no class boundaries, and neither does the heroic response to it.

  • Mike Fudge | March 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm |

    Better late than never… going back 3 days (sorry, been busy dealing with kids at home, etc.) The story about the Colts’ horseshoes, as told by the late great Steve Sabol (from the looks of it, probably in the mid- to late-80s) cannot be true. Checking Gridiron Uniform Database, there were no horseshoes on the helmet in ’53, and the right-side-up horseshoes were in the back of the blue helmets in ’54 (but not the white helmets). George Shaw was not drafted by the Colts until 1955 – so hos mother could not have been the impetus. It is possible the team was talking about which way to place the horseshoes in 1954, and Fred Schubach figured out the good luck rule, but neither Shaw nor his mother could yet have been involved.

  • Matt Huha | March 31, 2020 at 1:10 pm |

    All baseball teams wear vest tops like a retail worker? Maybe just a logo on the left chest like the Reds?

  • Phil P | March 31, 2020 at 1:13 pm |

    There’s a daily deals site I look at and just the other day they had a whole laundry list of deals/discounts available to first responders and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when the real heroes (the docs and nurses) are being overlooked by this fetishization of police and firefighters, and first responders are certainly not facing the brunt of the challenges with this pandemic

  • Pete Garofalo | March 31, 2020 at 1:40 pm |

    My wife is a nurse at a hospital and there is an entire floor with patients infected with COVID-19. She works with them. Hero. I know a railroad conductor who contracted COVID-19 on their job; another hero. They’re down for the count; but they’ll be back.
    I also work at a hospital (albeit not on the front lines) so am constantly aware of it, acutely so. Indeed, we’ve basically been told to work remote until further notice. And God knows I’m no hero.

    Here’s the thing: the heroes Paul describes don’t want to be recognized as heroes. They are just doing their job. To a one, that’s what they will tell you. You can honor them; but my thought is that they would be uncomfortable that they’re being praised and singled out as heroes. We have a job to do, and we’re doing it, and that’s it.

    And maybe that’s what being a hero is all about.

    So maybe the answer is nothing special uni-wise. But when you see your mailman or train conductor or a cashier at the supermarket, say thank you. What you do is appreciated. That’s plenty. And if you want to engage in a socially distant fist bump or high five, so much the better.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 1:43 pm |

      FWIW, every deliverer, garbageman, etc. to whom I’ve said, “Thanks, y’all are heroes” has immediately lit up with a bright smile and given me a very sincere-seeming thank you.

      We all like to be appreciated.

    • Chris | March 31, 2020 at 2:46 pm |

      As a teacher, I agree with this comment. I identify plenty of these groups as heroes–I’m thinking medical professionals, farmers, truck drivers, grocery story workers, delivery persons, heck, even other teachers. But not me. I’m just a guy trying his best to provide the opportunity for my students to learn remotely until we can be in the same building again. In other words, I just do what I can to keep my part of the world turning while other people bring this crisis to an end.
      And I think that is enough. Also, I think that is something we all do. For example: Uni Watch. This is a place I come to every morning, a touchstone that helps me as I prepare to do what I need to do that day. I thank you for that, Paul. We all have something we can do to keep the world turning. Some of those things are very high profile, very visible. Others are less obvious. But one outcome of this situation that I have noticed is broad recognition that we are all in this together, and we all have a role to play.

  • Michael | March 31, 2020 at 2:24 pm |

    Paul, I’m curious about your answer yesterday that all Original Six team uniforms are “perfect” and shouldn’t be changed. That includes the Blackhawks. Given your aversion to Native American sports iconography (which I support), why are you fine with Chicago?

    I realize the uniform is beloved, the colors are great, and it’s less problematic than the Washington Football Team, the Indians, or Braves. But it hasn’t been approved by a tribe like the Seminoles at FSU. Seems like the Chicago name/logo should be considered in the discussion of other problematic team identities.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm |

      You’re 100% right — I sort of reflexively responded without thinking it through. Thanks for calling that out.

      • Michael | March 31, 2020 at 3:47 pm |

        No problem! And thanks for the Q&A — always one of my favorite posts.

  • Ted Mark | March 31, 2020 at 2:35 pm |

    I’d keep it simple. At the beginning of each game, of every sport, at every level, upon their return, The PA announcer would ask for a moment of remembrance for all we’ve lost. Then, the announcer would ask for an acknowledgement to those who cared for us and did their best to preserve our health. And finally, a thanks to all those who came to work each day in necessary jobs that allowed the rest of us to live our lives in ways that would have been impossible without them.

    • RS Rogers | March 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm |

      … and then instead of “God Bless America” in the seventh-inning stretch, they play the video clip of Fred Rogers’ “Always look for the helpers” interview on the jumbotron.

  • ScottyM | March 31, 2020 at 2:55 pm |

    Unfortunate change at the Tulane football field. Looks so dated. The previous look was much better… and how old could that turf be? Stadium opened in 2014!!

  • John F. | March 31, 2020 at 5:05 pm |

    I am designated as “essential” by my employer and have been at work every day since it hit NYC. My once 90 minute bus ride from Midtown to Staten Island is now 30 minutes with only 3 or 4 passengers. The city is a ghost town. I especially want to thank the deli workers who add a little bit of normalcy in an otherwise surreal setting. Stay safe fellow watchers.

    • Paul Lukas | March 31, 2020 at 5:39 pm |

      John, if you’re willing to say, what is your job?

  • ChrisH | March 31, 2020 at 9:05 pm |

    Collectors’ Corner…

    Those NFL air-fresheners are mid-to-late 80’s vintage, as the Falcons wore the red helmet with black facemasks from 1984-1989.

    • Chris M | March 31, 2020 at 9:31 pm |

      Also, the ruler has to be pre-1981. It has the old Bengals helmet, not the current striped version.

  • Robert | March 31, 2020 at 10:00 pm |

    Paul,
    So sorry the Tugboat Captain is experiencing grief over what she thinks she’s lost. It’s so difficult for all of us here in the present, but the grief of future losses is real too. I hope as time goes on, her path becomes more clear for her. The uncertainty is so anxiety producing.

    Thanks for the comments about heroes. Like you, I find myself so much in the minority when it comes to the constant military uniform designs. I hope—given that is the uniform world—we find a way to honor these everyday heroes who allow the rest of us to live some semblance of a normal life through this.

    The new Tulane field is a big upgrade.

    Be well.

  • spinetingler | April 1, 2020 at 3:40 am |

    Dominos is my side-hustle (teacher is main hustle). Would love to see a team rock throwback Dominos shirts and hats.

    https://external-preview.redd.it/a2ouHlG5HawUOwLVbdk83cYFR7EvA442fXA97j-PWZY.jpg?auto=webp&s=cb819f03a3627ba9070410d832ec772009339e84

  • Marcus Jackson | April 1, 2020 at 7:33 am |

    I run a warehouse and have to take in stuff from UPS, FedEx subsidiaries (Ground, Express, Home Delivery, Freight, etc.) that we have to deliver, hold back indefinitely (a more common occurrence now) and have some people pick up. That’s not something my people and I can do remotely, so we’re risking our health to an extent.

  • SEAN | April 1, 2020 at 9:29 am |

    Just had a thought that a nice simple awareness tribute could just be bringing back the old “HEALTH” patch.

  • Jim Knight | April 1, 2020 at 11:23 am |

    Grocery store workers, food delivery folks, the people still serving up restaurant and fast food — heroes that too many people don’t think are worth paying a living wage are now vitally important to EVERYONE! If this isn’t proof of what bullshit that is, I’m just flummoxed.