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EXCLUSIVE: Did the Colts Copy This Guy’s Logo Design?

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The Browns will unveil their new uniforms at noon Eastern today. While we’re waiting for that, I want to follow up on something from the recent Colts unveiling, which we discussed yesterday.

Less than an hour after the Colts revealed their new secondary logo — the stylized “C” with the shape of Indiana in the center — a Twitter-er named @CoachKubuske accused the team of “ripping off” the design from a logo he had created for the football team at Cathedral High School — which is in Indianapolis:

He later posted several additional tweets showing the Cathedral version of the logo being used on the school football team’s Twitter account in early 2017, and then posted what he said was the original logo sheet that he had created in 2016:

The similarity between the two logos was widely noted on social media, and USA Today and the Sporting News both had articles about it yesterday, but apparently nobody bothered to take the seemingly obvious step of contacting @CoachKubuske and getting his full story.

So I did that myself. I got in touch with @CoachKubuske — whose full name is Jere Kubuske — on Monday night and arranged an interview with him for yesterday afternoon. Here’s a lightly condensed transcript:

Uni Watch: First, tell me a little about yourself. How old are you, where do you live, and what do you do for a living?

Jere Kubuske [shown at right]: I’m 38. I’m currently living just outside Green Bay, Wis. We just moved up here. My wife is actually the head softball coach at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. Just took the job last year. I’m a high school science teacher by trade, and a football coach. I’ve also been a school administrator for a couple of years now.

UW: What school do you currently teach at?

JK: Green Bay East High School, which is actually the original home of the Green Bay Packers.

UW: Coaching football for them as well?

JK: I wasn’t able to coach football with them this past school year because of some scheduling issues. So I helped out just, you know, talking with some of their coaches on the side, but nothing in a formal position.

UW: But you you did coach and you also taught at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, right?

JK: Correct. Yeah, I coached there for eight years, was a part of four state championships, which was awesome. We had a run of five state championships in a row. It’s the winningest program in Indiana and has a lot of tradition. It was fun to be a part of. We’ve got guys playing in the NFL and at big-time colleges like Ohio State and Alabama. Well-known school, well-known program, and I was lucky to be a part of it.

UW: Were you the head coach, or an assistant..?

JK: Yeah, I was an assistant coach, mostly working with the defense. I also did all the special teams. And then kind of, you know, whatever else the coach head coach needed.

UW: Do people call you Coach K?

JK [laughing]: Yes, they do.

UW: What years were you working at Cathedral?

JK: Okay, so I started coaching there in 2011. And then I started teaching there in 2012. So overall I was there from 2011 until just this last fall — the fall of 2019 is when I left.

UW: When you created a cathedral logo with the shape of Indiana and the center, was Cathedral already using that same basic “C” by itself? In other words, were you modifying an existing logo of theirs?

JK: Right, exactly. So they so Cathedral — and you may know this story — but the Cathedral is known as being the original Irish in Indiana. And then Notre Dame, which is actually kind of a sister school to Cathedral, founded by the same Holy Cross brethren or whatever, they also then became known as the Irish and started using that leprechaun. Well, we borrowed the leprechaun from them and were using it for several years. And then there was kind of a cease and desist order out there, I think around 2010 — definitely before I got there — and so Cathedral had to stop using the leprechaun.

So, real quick, the marketing team came up with this kind of block-C, and then in the bottom-left corner there’s a shamrock. So I was doing some sketches and doodling, and I was trying to come up with something that I thought would be kind of an interesting take on things, so I came up with that design with the shape of Indiana inside the C. I just tried to come up with something that was a little bit more unique, that stood out.

UW: What’s your background in graphic design? Like, do you have a design degree?

JK: I’m self-taught. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator on my own. And I was one of those kids, just like a lot of your readers, my brother and I were designing the logos and uniforms of teams when we were young. So it’s something I’ve always kind of done on the side as a hobby. And then you know, once I got my hands on a computer, I started messing around with Photoshop. And then, probably around 2009, somebody who actually had a background in design saw me working on Photoshop one time and said, “Hey, have you ever used illustrator?” I was like, “No, I don’t even know what Adobe Illustrator is.” And he kind of showed me what it was and what it could do. And that’s when things kind of opened up to me and I was able to really take off as far as graphic design goes.

So now I do some graphic design stuff on the side, mostly for friends. I’ve done logos for some nonprofits, one business for profit, and then I’ve done a couple of high schools that have have come and gone over the last decade or so. I was a football coach at Bemidji State for a couple years and they obviously have Division I hockey there, and one of their hockey goalies saw a beaver design that I had come up with and asked if he could use it on his mask the next season. So there’s a little bit of everything as far as graphics and designs and logos, but I’m by no means a professional.

UW: When did you decide to tinker with the Cathedral logo?

JK: It would have been around Christmas of 2015 when I started really working on my designs and doing some different doodles. But when it would have been, like, officially created was February of 2016. I thought I might be able to use it for our football branding, and then if other people or teams at the school wanted to use it, obviously they could — I wasn’t gonna say no.

UW: So it wasn’t an official school logo where the school was using it overall, or the school district or anything like that.

JK: Correct. It was for the football team. And it was it wasn’t the school that approached me — it was just something I was doing. And the head coach was super-supportive of me.

UW: It looks like the logo’s first appearance on social media was for National Signing Day in 2017. Was it used in any other capacity outside of social media? Like on stickers, or caps, or T-shirts, or in any, like physical capacity? Or was it strictly digital? And if it was just digital, was it just social media?

JK: We used it a ton on our social media. I also used it on some T-shirts for the lacrosse team and the women’s lacrosse team. They used it on a couple of their T-shirts and warm-up shirts that spring as well. And then we used it on all kinds of signage down in our public locker room and on some of our fliers that we gave out that spring to prospective student-athletes.

UW: Did you trademark the logo?

JK: No. I had to stop using it — I’ll explain why in a minute — so I didn’t bother, because I thought that was kind of the end of it. I had trademarked a couple of logos that I did for some high schools back when I first started messing around with graphic design. I sent the money and went through the forms and stuff like that, but it was such a pain. And it’s like, I’m not an official graphic designer anyways, so yeah, I didn’t even think about it.

UW: Does the school still use the logo, even though you’re no longer there?

JK: No. So late in the spring of 2017, the there was a change in marketing directors at the school. And the new person wanted to unify the branding of the school under the block-C with the shamrock in the corner. And so she brought me in, because she knew that I was kind of running the football team’s Twitter page and was posting these things with these other logos on it. And she asked that I stop using my logo and start using only the official Cathedral logo. And from a marketing director’s perspective, trying to create a brand, I completely understand why she wanted to do that and respected it.

UW: So the the heyday of your logo, if you want to call it that of this logo was pretty brief. Like, the window in which it was circulating publicly was all pretty much in the early part of 2017, right?

JK: Yeah, that is accurate. I made graphics for all of our guys who signed letters National Signing Day, put their new school’s logo on it and then our logo with the block-C and the state of Indiana. You know, we’re posting videos that have the logo and we were trying to push this pretty hard. So there was a lot going on, because we’re trying to build a following. And just as we started to gain notoriety and get noticed, that’s when the new marketing director kind of shut it down.

UW: What connection if any, did you or Cathedral have with the Colts during this period?

JK: Obviously, we’re right there in Indianapolis. We have a former player of ours who plays for the Colts right now, Jack Doyle. We’ve used their practice facilities for practices in the playoff season. We use their indoor facility for seven-on-seven tournaments in the spring. You know, we’re constantly tweeting at them, because we’re trying to build notoriety and things like that. So the Colts were a pretty regular connection that we were trying to make.

Now, we weren’t always necessarily making that connection because, obviously, they’re a big NFL team and we’re just a high school. But yeah, we were constantly reaching out to them through our social media and they still do — I mean, the Colts are big supporters of high school athletics in Indiana. In fact, the state championship — when you get the big state championship trophy, it’s got a big Colts horseshoe on it, because they’re the sponsors of the Indiana High School football tournament, essentially.

UW: When you saw the Colts new secondary logo on Monday, what was your reaction?

JK: I kind of laughed out loud to my wife. Then I showed it to her and asked her if it looks familiar. And she’s like, “Didn’t you do something like that?” And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s essentially my logo.” I mean, the fact that it even has the little notch near the top of the C — I mean, it could be a coincidence, I suppose, but it has to be a pretty big coincidence.

I was definitely surprised and taken aback, and that’s why I decided to take to social media, because what other outlet do I have at this point?

UW: In your opinion, is there any chance that the Colts could simply have been unaware of your logo and come up with a similar design?

JK: Yeah, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that. But also, I don’t think would be far-fetched to say, you know, maybe they had seen it, since it was on social media so much. I mean, it definitely could have been out there for them to have seen at some point. I am not trying to pass judgment; I’m just trying to get the word out there that their logo may not be as unique as they thought it was, and that someone else may have created it.

UW: Have you been in touch with the Colts? And if not, do you plan to contact them?

JK: So I actually reached out to a lawyer first, just to see what steps, if any, I can take. I don’t want them to actually stop using the logo — I mean, it’s a great logo, it definitely speaks to their connection to the state and the city. But at the same time, it’d be nice to be recognized for it or, you know, be compensated for it if there was some type of infringement. And so, like I said, I’ve reached out to a lawyer. I do have a connection to the Colts’ marketing department that I could use, in order to take some steps that way. But I wanted to at least get some legal counsel first.

UW: What what did the attorney tell you?

JK: We actually have a meeting set up this afternoon, after I get off the phone with you.

UW: Have you been in touch with anyone back at Cathedral to see what they think of all this?

JK: Not any of the officials at Cathedral — just some old colleagues, some coaching friends of mine. It definitely feels like they got ripped off. A lot of them think I should be flattered — you know, imitation is the greatest form of flattery and all that. Which, obviously, if that is the case, then I am. I mean, I jokingly said to those people, “Obviously the Colts like my logo more than the officials at Cathedral did.” But again that’s unfair, because like I said, I completely understand why they unified their brand the way that they did.

UW: Last question, which logo do you think is better?

JK: I appreciated some of the comments out there in social media where people thought theirs was a little clunky, that mine was a little bit cleaner. There’s other people that thought that they didn’t really like either one. You know, in my defense, I was trying to use what Cathedral already had and just kind of enhance it, rather than trying to start something new, but I think they both have their merits. I think they’re both doing justice to the state of Indiana and trying to represent the good people there who support either the school or the NFL franchise. I think they’re both good logos in their own right.

UW: That’s very diplomatic of you.


The Colts did not respond to a request for comment. I’ll post an update if I hear back from them.

Update, 3pm: Colts VP of Communications Steve Campbell just sent me the following statement:

We have great respect for our friends at Cathedral, and we would never purposefully take an idea from them to use as our own. That’s just not how the Colts do business. The new Colts Indiana logo was an independent creation that was designed by the NFL, as are most team marks and logos, and was not designed locally. The Colts and the league were unaware of the other logo, and we wouldn’t have moved forward otherwise. But we will look into the matter. Nonetheless, both the Colts and Coach Kubuske had the same goals at heart – promoting athletics and paying tribute to our home state.

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Jackie Day: Today is April 15. Under normal circumstances, MLB would be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, with all uniformed personnel wearing No. 42 to mark the anniversary of Jackie’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Obviously, that won’t be happening this year, but reader Mike Wilson is nonetheless marking the occasion today with our Jackie-themed Uni Watch tee (which was the April design for the 2015 Uni Watch T-Shirt Club, don’tcha know), along with a Brooklyn Cyclones cap adorned with this month’s Pin Club pin. Looking sharp, Mike! And RIP, Jackie.

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Membership update: Sometimes we’ll see a spike in membership orders for a particular design motif. That’s current the case for the Patriots’ mid-’90s blue jersey, which in the past two and half weeks or so has been requested by three different membership enrollees: Nick Lower, Mike Tucker, and now Bert Ayers (whose card is one of 15 new designs that have been added to the membership card gallery). I’m assuming this is because there’s been a lot of chatter about that uni possibly being revived as a throwback. As I always say, the worst uniforms often make the best membership cards, and that’s definitely the case here.

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.

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 (now more than 2,500 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

Speaking of memberships: Our latest raffle winners are John Bakaysa, Mike Boscaljon, and Wayne Boardman, each of whom has won himself a new membership card. Congrats to them, and big thanks to readers Matt Kirby, Lindsay Resnick, and Steve Fidrych for sponsoring this one.

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Meet the Uni Watch Team — Lloyd Alaban: The Tickers you read on Wednesdays (including today!) are compiled and written by Lloyd Alaban, who joined the Uni Watch team in the fall of 2018. Lloyd’s work is aided by his special assistant, Captain, a two-year-old Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix (click to enlarge):

Here are a few words from Lloyd:

Hello from Milpitas, California, just minutes outside of San Jose (Go Quakes!). Ever since I got Captain, my room has become way messier than I’ve ever anticipated! I work here with my company-issued laptop (which is totally not being used for Uni Watch purposes, shhh):

I have a lot of collectibles, including a Joe Pavelski figurine, a few Giants giveaway bobbleheads, a free baseball I received from the 2007 MLB All-Star Fan Fest in San Francisco, some Warriors and SJSU memorabilia that once held margaritas, some 49ers memorabilia, and some Captain America memorabilia.


Lloyd is one of the Uni Watch team members who I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person. I hope to remedy that during my next trip to the Bay Area (or during his next trip to NYC!). Thanks for all your hard word, Lloyd, and stay safe.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: The Wilmington Blue Rocks, affiliate of the Royals, released a new alternate jersey. … The Korean Baseball Organization has a pandemic-themed logo (from Jason Lai). … Here’s the history of Salt Lake City’s minor league teams in pictures (from Kary Klismet). … Case Western Reserve University professor Lydia Kisley comes to us with an interesting Indians-related item: “A Cleveland brewery, the Jolly Scholar, is having a favorite Indians vendor, Les “The Beer Guy,” deliver their beer. You’ll know he’s coming with his signature “COLD BEER HERE!” during delivery.” … Reader Brad (who didn’t give his last name) was going through some old stuff and found three issues of a Padres scorecard/programs from the 1970s. … Here’s a good look at the “Star Spangled Banner” 150th-anniversary patch that the Orioles wore in 1964.

Football News: Reader Aaron Pinto found this alternate Falcons logo from New Era’s Instagram page. The logo wasn’t included with the Falcons’ new uni release last week. … Here’s a brief Falcons uni history (from our own Phil Hecken). … Also from Phil: Here’s a sportswriter’s ranking of the Patriots’ uniforms. … The Oakland Raiders were originally supposed to be named the “Señors,” with orange as part of their color scheme Here’s a backstory (from Roger Faso). … Reader Nate Mueller has 3D-printed a face portrait of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and is now in the process of painting it. Impressive work! … Ahead of today’s Browns unveiling, here’s a slideshow of the team’s uniform history (from John Flory). … The Madden video game is now filled with Pizza Hut ads. … Lambeau Field has the Packers logo at midfield, of course. But they used to have the NFL logo. That’s from a 1992 game (from Geoff Poole). … UCF is running a March Madness-style bracket to choose their best uni combo (from David Staples).

Hockey News: A sportswriter compiled a list of seven hockey trends — most of them uni- or equipment-related — that he thinks need to come back (from Wade Heidt).

Basketball News: New logo and uniforms for the New York Liberty of the WNBA. Here’s the old logo for comparison. More details here (from Geoff Magliocchetti). … After the Liberty’s unveil, the Atlanta Dream decided to take a swipe at the Phoenix Mercury on Twitter, and the Mercury responded back (from @HitTheGlass). … A sports store released the warmups the Kentucky Wildcats men’s team would have worn had there been a March Madness tournament this year (from Michael Kinney). … A reader mocked up some facemasks to match some NBA teams’ jerseys. Here are his treatments for the Central Division, the Southwest Division, and the Northwest Division (from Stephan Vasilev). … Pacers equipment manager Josh Conder recently bought a sewing machine, taught himself to sew, and has been making masks for the homeless (from @dbalke).

Soccer News: A Spanish company has made La Liga-themed facemasks. … The Republic of Ireland managed to wear a different shirt for every game in their qualifying group for the 1986 World Cup. One even featured a rare example of an ad — a small sleeve ad, and for a government agency — worn in a competitive international game (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag:The rebooted Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse are unveiling their new home unis today (from Michael Barkann). … Here are some livery changes for Kyle Larson’s eNASCAR team (from Nick Hanson). … Need to find a mascot from pretty much any Big Four (and more) sport at any level? Check out MascotDB (from Kary Klismet). … House Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) color-coordinated her mask with her blazer while she presided over the House pro forma session yesterday. … The Taiwanese internet went “pink” yesterday — an unofficial campaign to break gender stereotypes — following reports about a boy who refused to wear a pink mask to school for fear of being bullied (from Caleb Jenkins). … The Marines are rethinking their haircut policies during the pandemic (from Timmy Donahue).

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What Paul did last night: The Tugboat Captain sewed a few masks for a neighbor, who reciprocated by giving us some homemade sourdough bread, which made for a nice cocktail accompaniment yesterday evening.

We talked for a bit, and then headed inside because it was getting close to 7pm, which is when the Racket starts, and we didn’t want to be outside for that. The Racket is a bunch of our neighbors clapping, banging on pots and pans, blowing whistles, and so on for five-ish minutes each evening. It’s happening all over NYC (and maybe in other cities as well..?). The original intent, as I understand it, was to salute health care workers during the pandemic, but now it seems more like a broader gesture of solidarity and self-affirmation. Some people say it makes them feel really good during this difficult stretch.

The Captain and I aren’t opposed to the Racket, but we’ve never felt inclined to participate in it either. We go back and forth about feeling guilty about that and feeling “Eh, whatever” about it. Maybe it’s because we tend to be very selective joiners, or because we prefer the quiet of our porch time, or because we don’t have kids (kids really seem to like the Racket), or, in my case, because I’m lucky enough to feel connected to the comm-uni-ty all day long and also get to express myself on this website every day, so I probably don’t feel the same need for connection and expression that so many other people are feeling as they spend day after day cooped up indoors. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I’ve been asking myself what it says about me that I keep repeating, “We’re all in this together” but also don’t want to participate in the Racket (and also that I refer to it as “the Racket”).

Are people engaging in the Racket where you live?

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Enjoy the Browns unveiling today. I’ll have full coverage tomorrow morning, of course. — Paul

Comments (99)

    Good looking dog, the Heterochromia is great.
    Yesterday’s car parked off centered again… Have any chalk in your house you could use to draw some lines on the street to keep those cars parked in an ascetically pleasing manner?
    I bet someone in the Colts organization saw that logo, doesn’t actively remember it, but was in their subconscious and pitched it. Or they directly poached it. I find it hard to believe they never saw it given the apparent high profile nature of the high school’s football team.

    I suspect the people are instinctively centering their cars on the two driveways immediately fore and aft, and that they don’t even think about the trees.

    Interesting. Living in very close proximity to a beach town, but not in it, I spend most weekends on the beach, and needless to say, parking close to the beach, on what are all residential streets, is chaotic. As many of the houses closest to the beach are summer homes, said vacationers often purposely park their cars to prevent multiple cars from fitting in between driveways, to save spots for friends/family coming down (even though they have multiple car driveways as well).
    I’ve developed an excessive interest in parked car placement as a result.

    In regards to the Racket™, I can only speak for my own half-formed feelings on it, which is that as soon as something new transforms from spontaneous/organic to reflexive/compulsory, I don’t want anything to do with it. If enough years go by that it becomes “tradition”, that’s another story… but I certainly hope that we’re not doing this long enough that it becomes one.

    Along with that feeling, I’m really not into symbolic gestures at all; I’d rather “do something useful” than just “do something”. I mentally file this under the same classification as “thank you for your service” – meaningless feel-good-ism.

    A week ago, I learned about a neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin where neighbors organized a Badgers-style “Jump Around” block party, and the news video looked exactly like a street just around the corner in my neighborhood. I mean exactly. A four-way intersection with a spur to a cul-de-sac and houses with the shapes and colors and in the order of the houses on the street in my neighborhood. I was all set to reach out to folks I know on that street to see about spreading the Jump Around session up to my street. Then I learned the news report was from the other side of town, apparently in a development built to the same plan. Anyway, a week later, Jump Around is a statewide thing with a fixed time of day and it’s happening everywhere and I want no part of it. Temperamentally, I’m both a conformist and a non-joiner.

    “…which is that as soon as something new transforms from spontaneous/organic to reflexive/compulsory, I don’t want anything to do with it.”
    Absolutely. There is that obnoxious period where after something neat and original happens, everyone feels the need to get in on it, to be part of it. I guess it is just human nature to want to feel like you are a part of something that is liked? Like you, I have the opposite response. And I certainly don’t consider myself anywhere near hipstery, I have no problem liking things that are mainstream or popular. However stuff like this feels like the icebucket challenge to me. What started out as some people with good intentions quickly turned into people doing it just because everyone else on social media was doing it. Especially in the age of social media, so much of this stuff feels forced so that people care share to everyone that they are in on it too.
    Though even back in my 20s I was an elderly man telling the neighbors to keep the music down and the kids to get off my lawn. So what do I know?

    However stuff like this feels like the icebucket challenge to me. What started out as some people with good intentions quickly turned into people doing it just because everyone else on social media was doing it.

    I guess the difference for me is that the Racket doesn’t feel quite so performative. People on my block seem to do it as a collaborative effort, something to do together and not necessarily to be seen doing. Does that make sense?

    Then again, after decades of constant military and police fetishes, I’m so glad that doctors and nurses and health care workers are getting in on the action just a little bit. Not to mention the delivery people and grocery store workers and everyone else who is being designed as “essential” for the first time in our country’s history. Even if it won’t last, even if it doesn’t come with any tangible benefit.


    Once the “social media influencers” took over The Racket and The Racket became about people cheering for themselves for Instagram likes, I noped out.

    The article about the Falcons uniform history neglected to mention the first year jerseys with the falcon logo on the sleeve, nor run photos of them or the early-70’s plainer red jerseys that were mentioned.

    There was a unique photo, perhaps from a preseason game, of the offensive huddle in white jerseys – without the falcon logo or the later sleeve stripes. Instead the jerseys only had TV numbers on the sleeves. All the jerseys were short-sleeved, as opposed to the more prevalent long-sleeved jerseys of the day. Also the number font was slightly different from what the Falcons usually wore in those years. Probably a preseason thing.

    Browns uni reveal today! Christmas for Cleveland fans and especially for Cleveland Fans Who Get It! So happy no more BROWNS or HS sized CLEVELAND across the jersey!

    My gut feeling on the Colts logo issue is that it is probably a coincidence. Mostly because there’s no reason to think that the person or people who designed said logo are from Indianapolis or Indiana themselves and thus the chances they would have ever saw the high school version are slim.

    Actually, there’s also no reason to believe the Colts didn’t have their in-house design staff create the logo. (That’s what the Rams did.)

    That said, Coach K’s logo is the much better of the two. The outline allows better sharp recognition of the State image inside of the “C”. I like it 500% better.

    …or that a member of the Colts staff (where the odds are higher that they could’ve seen it) suggested the logo to the person or people who designed it.

    I guess we’re all just speculating…But Paul, you’d know better than most of us, is it common for teams to have their own in-house design staff? I was certainly under the impression that most of the time when a team decides to change uniforms and/or logos they hire an outside firm. And isn’t it also talked about here quite a bit how Nike, Addidas, UA, etc. often design uniforms and logos?

    *Every* team has an in-house design staff. Sometimes they just work on web stuff, scoreboard stuff, marketing stuff, etc.; sometimes they do more, including logos and uniforms.

    For example, the D-backs’ disastrous 2016 uni set was all done in-house; the Rams’ new logos were done in-house; etc., etc.

    Every redesign is different, and it all depends on how the team wants to handle it.

    Paul, that makes sense. Easy to forget about all the stuff that goes into scoreboard graphics and what not that would require a design team.

    I spent the bulk of my childhood in Indiana (Columbus) and have seen the state’s shape used as an “I” (Indiana State does this now) or superimposed on a “”C”, “O”, etc.for businesses, governments and whatnot. I am not saying the Cathedral design was not copied, but I will say the idea has been used many times.

    Coach Kubuske’s logo was in very limited use. Given that it’s not exactly a ground-breaking logo design, and in fact most of the reaction to the Colts’ logo yesterday was of the “meh, not very clever” variety, I think it’s quite likely that the Colts or their contractor and Coach Kubuske independently arrived at a very similar logo.

    That is by far the most likely scenario. However, from a marketing and public-relations point of view, it was malpractice not to have found the prior art before releasing the new logo. Shows that whoever did the prior art searches probably confined their search to a quick keyword examination of registered trademarks. The NFL has a notoriously excellent legal office, so this is a surprising failure.

    It’s also PR malpractice to let the prior art go un-recognized once it becomes known. The Colts (or the NFL) should instantly have reached out to Coach K, and made its outreach public, and alongside a message of “Wow, hey, we had no idea, that’s just an amazing coincidence! Great minds think alike!” shower the guy and both the old school and his current one with presents. A monetary grant for athletic fields or for new helmets or something, and something like an all-expenses-paid trip to some future Colts game in Indy. It would cost the team or league almost nothing, but you use a little marketing ju-jitsu to defang the potentially embarrassing news story and buy some community goodwill and create yet another platform for promoting public awareness of the new logos. It’s win-win-win, and it’s like literally the first paragraph of every corporate crisis-communications instruction manual.

    Exactly. This kind of recognition PR is quick, easy, cheap, and there is almost no down side.

    No disagreement here, however, and with all due respect to my fellow uni-watching community, the segment of the football fan population that is aware of this “potentially embarrassing news story” is vanishingly small. It will go away on its own by… well, last night.

    Not that goodwill for goodwill’s sake is ever a bad thing. I agree that reaching out to the Coach is a no-brainer. I just disagree that this story had or will have any actual impact.

    (Apologize for responding to myself, but I forgot to mention this)

    Making a big deal about accidentally copying a high school team’s logo would also have the unintended consequence of amplifying a very minor news story. I doubt the Colts want to Streisand Effect the fact that their new logo mimics an existing logo.

    That is the potential downside. But it’s also such small beans as a potential offense that it should be trivially easy to frame and present the whole thing as a positive, and in so doing the Colts would garner free/earned media to promote their new logo in an extra local news cycle or two. The only real danger would seem to be if Coach K were to rebuff the team’s outreach and actually pursue a legal remedy. But part of the deal with quick outreach is you build a relationship that has a good chance of getting a potential future litigant on your side.

    A major reason that big organizations fail to do this sort of crisis communication is that they consider small problems as beneath their notice. But big problems rarely appear all at once; there’s usually a “small problem” phase where it would have been possible to avoid the later big problem with strategic action.

    That Mascot database is a nice find, and a really nice reworking of the Expos’ logo, to.

    Late comment from yesterday:
    Someone mentioned the lack of an earhole on the bucking Colt’s helmet in the new version of their throwback logo.
    Also missing is the subtle, forward-looking iris in the little guy’s eyeball.
    A downgrade, IMO.

    Old version:

    New version:

    I agree…the version the colts released looks like it was made from a copy of a copy of a copy of the logo.

    I would bet cash money that it’s an automatic Illustrator trace.

    Dead giveaway – the white helmet and its blue outline have no relation to each other. That’s a common trace mistake, where the computer tries to mimic the two shapes in isolation without realizing that they’re supposed to have the same shape.

    Come to think of it now, my local firehouse has been cranking up its civil defense siren every night @7pm.

    I laughed to myself about you calling it the “Racket”. It’s an apt description, and I would not want to join in either. Those sort of things are interesting/funny to me – I can see your feeling of guilt by saying to yourself “we’re all in this together,” but then not wanting to join in. I would feel the same. But when salutes like that are objectively obnoxious, then I think you can cut yourself some slack. In a similar vein, I have been paying for takeout from restaurants I really love and don’t want to see go away, but that amounts to just 1-2 takeout meals a week. I’m disinclined to buy takeout for every meal for the sake of saving the restaurants in my town (as some on social media seem to call for incessantly). I don’t think it’s my burden to carry, nor do I think it’ll really change anything (hopefully the SBA loans come through). Instead, I’ve donated to some local charities because I think it will make more of a difference for low income families. Anyway, I think we can be all in this together, but at the same time do the things we really think make a difference / aren’t annoying.

    I cringed a bit when I saw Kyle Larson’s name appear in that Grab Bag item, given that today is Jackie Robinson Day.

    In my small-town corner of suburban Philadelphia, there was a convoy that when up and down my block last night…balloon/crepe paper-decorated cars, drivers honking horns and passengers spinning those New Year’s Day noisemakers. I had no idea it was ‘a thing’.

    When hockey comes back, I would would not be at all surprised to see many more players (and fans) with mullets-anyone else desperate for a haircut?

    My grandfather used to cut my father’s hair, my father always cut mine, and I cut my kids’ hair when they were small. Today I’m pulling out the electric clippers and going to get my wife to cut mine (something I would never consider under normal circumstances!)

    I figure that even if she mucks it up, nobody will care or even notice.

    Sidenote….wearing my UW Jackie Robinson shirt today.

    I pretty much needed a haircut when the barber shops all closed. That mullet is developing. Not in desperate need of a haircut though. Just going to go with the flow.

    Thanks! Got it at a book sale at the elementary school I used to work at. I was thrilled to find something so cool at an elementary school lol

    Thanks for marking Jackie Robinson Day, nice t-shirt! I was wondering this weekend, I watched Do the Right Thing with my teenage daughter and Spike Lee’s Mookie character starts the film wearing that great Jackie throwback jersey. The movie was made in 1989 and in my own consiousness that was the earliest throwback I remember seeing on a big platform. Spike Lee has always been a big (sports) gear-head and I wonder how much credit he deserves for helping to launch the throwback craze?

    My neighborhood in Colorado — and I think it’s city-wide and maybe even state-wide — has a version of the Racket called the 8 O’Clock Howl. At 8 people go out on their porches and, well, howl. Like wolves. Or shout, or otherwise make noise. Sometimes a gunshot or two too. I can’t seem to bring myself to join in.

    Probably a good idea not to go outside and join in if there are idiots firing off their guns.

    In my neighborhood in Denver we’ve had the “Howling” as well, and we have participated a few times, in addition to some others in the neighborhood. We’ve also been treated to some fireworks as well (these people must buy year-round because they go all out around July 4th every year). Haven’t heard plain gunfire at that time, but sadly sometimes do at other times (Another discussion for another time).

    Perry, I didn’t see your post until just now and posted my own comments about “the Howl” in a separate comment. I got a message saying, “Your comment is awaiting moderation,” which means I don’t think anyone else but me can see it right now. So I’ll add a few thoughts of my own here.

    I bristled at “the Howl” when I first heard it. But then I heard the story behind it and the Denver couple who started it, and I warmed up to the idea:


    My family and I have stepped out on our front porch and participated several times, although not necessarily every night. My pre-schooler son is both slightly wary of and fascinated by the ritual at the same time, but he likes to add his own cute little howl to the mix. Thankfully, the participants in my neighborhood keep it mostly vocal, so it’s not too noisy.

    Pidgeon has a great card design! Pidgeon, can you tell us about it?? If I had “x” number of wishes, “x-1” would be for descriptions of all the membership card designs. Some of them are really unique and cool, and I don’t think a random person has an easy way of figuring out their story, do they?

    I’ve heard of the Racket, but never heard the Racket. Austin, TX doesn’t have it, yet.

    It was nice to see Coach Kubuske wearing a vintage Asheville Tourists hat. Best Minor League logo and mascot in my own opinion. Go Tourists!

    Thanks again for donating Uni-Watch memberships!! I’m so glad I can now be a card carrying member!! Now I can officially Get it!

    This Milwaukeean cannot say he’s heard of “the racket,” but I’m glad it hasn’t come this direction and I hope it doesn’t.

    I’ve made the point to say that something I really feel a lot people don’t “get” about all of this is how, for some of us card-carrying introverts, we actually kind of like the fact it’s been wholly OK to withdraw from the world to get some peace and quiet. As such, when I hear about all of these “show you’re still there” gestures, like the people singing out windows or “the racket” or whatever, I kinda want to tell the people that think these are good ideas, “Um, no, really, a lot of us are just fine being left alone.”

    When I’ve had the chance to stay home, I’ve been perfectly content. My wife, unfortunately, works in an industry that’s been deemed essential in our state (childcare, which is silly that it is), but she’s the same way. My older, stroke-victim dad has needed some things for his care that have forced me to drive to his apartment, and I’ve gone out to get take-out every once in a while, but other than that, I kinda like this life. Quiet. Peaceful. Less hectic hustle and bustle. It’s nice.

    But there have also been a lot of times I’ve been reminded that we live in a world moreso built for extroverts, and that extroverts often don’t understand that, really, there are people out there who just want to be left alone. So they feel the need to sing out their windows, or bang pots and pans, or whatever. They call it solidarity. I just call it annoying.

    My two cents.

    You are not alone in your introversion (is that a word?).

    I am the original self-isolator, and I can honestly say I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life.

    Fellow introvert here. I have learned that *a lot* of friends and neighbors are extroverts. They feel the social distancing in ways I can’t empathize, though I am trying.

    While I’m mildly annoyed at birthday car parades and other gestures like The Racket, I have to tell myself that these gestures are not about me. These gestures don’t need my approval. These gestures are not harming me. The gestures make others feel less isolated, feel loved, feel appreciated, and, yes, feel attention being paid to them.

    It’s small beans in the big scheme and it might make someone’s day brighter in these unsettled times. The faster I learned it’s not about introverted me, the better off I felt.

    I have to say, all these comments about introversion are fascinating!

    Having happily worked at home for nearly a quarter-century now, I guess I’m an introvert too — at least some of the time. But I also like socializing with my friends, and I do miss that these days.

    But I’m still not gonna take part in the Racket.

    Of course being an introvert doesn’t mean not liking socializing. What I’ve discovered (for me) is that many folks just *need* to get out and be with friends and family all the time. It’s like oxygen.

    And that’s . . . okay!

    My oxygen levels aren’t pumped in the same fashion. It took me a long time and a lot of wasted resentment to understand that not everyone operates the same way I do. As long as no one is putting anyone else at risk, let The Racket roll on. I’ll just turn up my stereo louder until it ends.

    Some hockey fads I’d like like to see return: 1) Big gloves. 2) Yellow sweaters in lieu of white ones (team colors permitting). 3) Old-fashioned V-necks. 4) Stan Mikita helmets. 5) Fat stripes around the waist. 6) A moratorium on shoulder insignias. 7) Helmetless players (A stretch, but a guy can dream, can’t he?)

    Always count on BarDown to muck things up: “and who could forget…. Arturs Irbe!”

    (shows picture of Tommy Soderstrom)

    SIGH…. Soderstrom had a very distinctive cage for his helmet (which, to be blunt, isn’t even the same helmet that Archie wore. Maybe not immediately apparent to most people, maybe even hockey fans, but to a goalie with a history in the equipment business?

    Also, Cooperalls (and whatever CCM called their version of it) were banned from the league for safety reasons. The nylon will slip on the ice, so a skater that can’t get their feet under them has no control when they lose an edge. The texture of a knit sock (even a polyester knit) will provide a modicum of resistance to slow them down. Too many guys got hurt sliding uncontrollably into the dashers. Plus, they were hot as blazes! The girdle (a separate piece that held the padding above the knee) was a Spandex-like material that didn’t breathe.

    Despite all that, Cooperalls were worn by every OHL, WHL, and QMJHL team in major junior hockey. I remember all WHL teams were still wearing Cooperalls in 1986-87. Then all teams made the switch to Cooperall short pants for 1987-88. Some of those uniform designs at that time had not been worn with the short pants and socks before the change.

    One should never underestimate how much money Cooper poured into the CHL back then. The players wore what the teams gave them, and Cooper gave it to the teams. Remember the XL7 helmets? I’ve seen tougher eggshells, but everyone (including the goalies) wore them.

    Yes, the XL7. Never wore one playing minor hockey but teammates did. CHL teams switched from Cooper SK2000 to XL7 but then switched back to the SK2000. XL7 does not have great reputation.

    When it comes to goalies, I loved what you would see in the early 1980s. A team in the NHL might have one goalie who wore the helmet and cage while their other goalie wore a face hugging goalie mask with the eyeholes. A unique aesthetic that is gone forever.

    Like Moog and Fuhr with the Oilers or Brodeur and Garrett with the Canucks.

    Had the XL7 as a goalie for a while when I started out playing goal in my 20’s before upgrading to a Jofa 390 helmet With a Cooper GL100 cage.

    The only good thing you can say about the XL7 is the side clips made it very easy to adjust the size.

    The Racket has being going on pretty loudly here in Metro Vancouver since March. It is the 7 o’clock salute. I hear it every night but have not done any cheering myself.


    The 9 O’Clock Gun in Stanley Park has been going off at 7pm now for a while.


    In fact, the 7 o’clock salute has caused some tension here. For good reason. A number of people have been gathering across the street from St. Paul’s Hospital downtown for the cheer. Breaking social distancing rules because the crowd is too large on the sidewalk. If you want to cheer – stay in your homes people.

    Nothing going on like ‘The Racket’ here in Thunder Bay.
    We’re often “late to the party” for trends; here’s hoping we’re a no-show.

    We’re making a racket here in Washington Heights every day. Some days are louder than others. I feel compelled to stick my head out the window and clap for a few of reasons. 1) I don’t feel the same sense of community here that you described. I feel it when 7pm comes around, and a few people on the street have begun waving to each other every day. 2) My neighborhood seems to be a little quieter compared to other parts of Manhattan that I’ve seen on video and I want to do my part to take our street up a notch. 3) I would feel a little sad if I stopped because of reasons 1 (mostly) and 2.

    Whichever anyone chooses, we’re definitely in it together.

    Since I knew the traditional look was coming in some form, I’m a little underwhelmed because there’s no orange pants. Still much better than the previous ones.

    I was glad to see them going with the more traditional sock option (White topped with brown pants and brown topped with white pants *at least on the home option). According to the entry from the other day, the mockups showed the opposite to be be true.

    I’m okay with the use of brown pants rather than orange. Orange pants have a way of visually overwhelming the helmet and making it look less important.

    Whether it was deliberate or not, it can still be infringement of a copyright or trademark. I think that is important to remember that the Colts could infringe even if they didn’t mean to.

    I am not dissing the creative effort to make the design. I like Coach K’s design! It definitely took some artistic ability. As a former student at rival Center Grove, I’m a bit jealous. BUT!…

    I don’t know if the negative space of a ‘C’ to create the shape of Indiana is enough for intellectual property protection. If we dis-aggregate the original design, it is a stylized C and the shape of Indiana, and a shamrock where Cathedral is located. I just don’t see any of those elements significantly unique to qualify for copyright protection. It’s an architecture case, but for those who want to read a case, a good one might be Bonazoli v. RSVP Intern, 353 F.Supp.2d 218, D.RI (2005).

    As for a trademark, it’s abandoned. Coach K mentioned that the school stopped using it. So there isn’t going to be any protection there. Which brings me to my last point…

    For readers out there, I would advise talking to an attorney BEFORE talking to anyone else about a possible case. You might say something potentially damning. Admitting that a mark is abandoned, for example, or that someone could have created the logo independently, might cause headaches if a claim is pressed.

    Let’s see what happens with Tom Brady’s “Tompa Bay” trademark filing and the Dan Patrick Show already selling “Tompa Bay” t-shirts, which supposedly predates the trademark filing.

    I’m not up to speed, but if Dan Patrick beat Tom Brady to it first, the trademark should be his. There might be a question on an individual’s right to make money off his own likeness, though

    Is it just me… or is the “Racket” eerily reminiscent of the “Two Minutes of Hate” discussed in George Orwell’s 1984?

    I know this noise is for love and support instead of hate, but it seems to me that it is accomplishing the same purpose. It is allowing people to blow off steam to drain emotions out.

    On a side note…I have read 1984 at least once a decade since I was in HS in the very late 1980’s. Every time I read it, Orwell’s predictions are more a part of society and life.

    RE: “The Racket” – My daughter is a nurse in Manhattan, attending to COVID-19 patients in the ICU. We applaud her and her colleagues for two minutes each night at 7 PM, even though we’re a few miles away in Queens. I feel it’s just a small gesture of solidarity and support, and completely voluntary. Also, it’s nice to see some of our neighbors at the same time.

    What’s really cool is that my daughter has sent us video of NYPD & FDNY members applauding outside the hospital. It’s always uplifting to feel appreciated by others.

    Paul, the Browns, Bucs, Colts, and Falcons have released their new uniforms. The Chargers and Rams have revealed their new logos and colors. From what I understand, the Chargers will reveal their new uniforms on April 21. The Rams after the draft. Do you know the timeline for the Patriots?


    This is Seattle. They don’t bang a pot. They smoke it. :-)

    Here there’s little difference in the quarantine and that grey period between October and May.

    We don’t have a “Racket” per se in Denver. Instead, we have “the Howl.” Every night at 8:00 PM MDT, people come outside on their porches or balconies and howl like wolves. A few people clang pots and pans or set of fireworks, but that’s more the exception than the rule. It’s overwhelmingly a vocal serenade. It usually lasts for about two or three minutes, then all goes quiet once again.

    A couple in the Denver arts community started back in late March, and it spread quickly through the city and across the state:


    Apparently, it’s catching on beyond Colorado now, too:


    Personally, I like this better than just making a lot of clanging noise. There’s something more visceral, more pack-oriented about it that nicely captures the sentiment that “we’re in this together.”

    It seems to me the coach himself poached the idea of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers logo for his logo, so him saying the Colts ripped him off is ironic.

    Actually, (a) the idea of putting a state shape inside a letter predates the Gamblers, and (b) there’s a big different between (i) using a similar concept or idea and (ii) basically replicating the same design.

    The Colts (or NFL) may have just come up with the same unoriginal concept that this guy did. Either way, it’s a derivative logo.

    Respectfully disagree, design is not entirely similar. You can see the horse shoe is slightly different than the C, it’s more blockish than the C.

    The only thing replicated is using the negative space in the C for the state of Indiana. But why should that idea be out of the public domain? I’m asking sincerely. Is it on intellectual property grounds? Is it on moral grounds?

    That mid 90’s Patriots uniform was pretty bad, it’s just the first one that I remember really noticing all of the (terrible) details of. That was also the first jersey I got, a Curtis Martin, that I promptly never wore.

    I generally require a couple of pops to become an extrovert. Either that or be at work.

    RE. “the racket”… On the one hand, I feel it was legitimately inspired and an effort to echo the Italians singing out their windows. I know people who are moved by this, inspired by this. One friend tears up when talking about it. ON THE OTHER HAND, a friend describes how in their building a sign went up saying..”We work at the hospital on the midnight shift and are trying to get much needed sleep at 7. Please don’t wake us!” Apparently it did not stop the noise….One nurse friend said, “NO cheer, just get us adequate personal protective equipment”…..

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