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The 2020 Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 year-end holiday season, like everything else this year, is probably going to be unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Despite that — or maybe because of it — people tell me that they still want to send gifts to their loved ones.

With that in mind, all year long I’ve been dutifully bookmarking items for my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide. Here are the best and most interesting items I’ve found, any of which would be good for that uni-obsessed person on your gift list — or just for yourself (for almost all of the images, you can click to enlarge):

Sports Jersey Pillows

Why sleep with something special under your pillow when the special thing can be your pillow? Very cool concept, and customizable with your choice of number and NOB to boot! Available here.

Cowboys Dymo Tape T-Shirts

I’ve hated the Dallas Cowboys for half a century now. But I love their longstanding use of Dymo Tape labels on the back of their helmets, so I can totally get behind this Dymo-themed line of tees. In an era when so many team T-shirts are just cookie-cutter templated slop, it’s great to see something so team-specific. Available here.

Tequila Sunrise Golf Head Cover

Ah, the classic tequila sunrise design — is there anything it can’t do? Apparently not, judging by this golf head cover. I don’t even play golf myself, but I might have to rethink that now! Available here. (And the same company that sells this also sells a line of NHL-themed head covers.)

3D Team Logos by Kevin Cearfoss

Kevin Cearfoss’s custom-made 3D team logos were featured on Uni Watch back in July. He can do pretty much any logo (including the winged stirrup!). To discuss possibilities with him, check him out on Twitter or Instagram and shoot him a DM.

Goalie Blocker-Style Key Rings

The great Wafflebored tipped me off to this one (of course). If you’re a fan of the old-style waffleboard blockers, you can’t go wrong with these key rings — brilliant idea, excellent execution. Available here.

Hockey Goalie Cards by Stick Save Sketch

Speaking of hockey goaltenders, Canadian artist Jason Raso, operating under the name Stick Save Sketch, has created a bunch of very cool 5″ x 7″ NHL goalie trading cards, plus he also sells his original goalie artwork. Available here.

Fabric of the Game, by Todd Radom & Chris Creamer

As I’ve already already said, Todd Radom and Chris Creamer’s new tome about the history of NHL team names and uniforms is the essential uni-related book of the season. Not to be missed! Available here.

Baseball Card Placemats

Now you can have your cards and eat off of them too! Enjoy the photos on the front or the stats on the back. Available here.

College Football Logo Grill Racks

Want to sear your favorite school’s logo into your steak? That’s pretty fucking weird Well now you can! Thirteen schools available, each in a variety of sizes and configurations. Available here.

Un Maillot, Une Légende, by Matthieu Delahais

Okay, so I don’t speak or read French. But if you do, and if you’re interested in the history of the French national team’s blue jersey, I’m told that this book delivers the goods. Additional info here, and the book is available here.

Stadium and Arena Blueprints

If you’re an architecture buff, these blueprints of notable sports facilities should be right up your alley. Golf courses, too! Available here.

The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, by Anika Orrock

This isn’t a uni-related item per se, but it features absolutely spectacular artwork by the great illustrator Anika Orrock (who was profiled on earlier this year). Very solid historical info, too. Appropriate for kids or adults! Available here.

The 99% Invisible City, by Roman Mars

This one isn’t even sports-related, much less uni-related. But this guide to small design details lurking in the urban environment, and the stories behind them, fits perfectly with my mindset — and, I suspect, many of yours as well. Additional info here, and the book is available here.

Honorable Mentions and Old Favorites

• Want a Gillette razor emblazoned with the logo of your favorite NFL team? You can get that here.

Old School Shirts sells an astonishing array of T-shirt designs featuring old or retro logos, including a huge slew of sports-themed designs.

• If you’re a Wiffle Ball fan, you’ll dig these Wiffle tees from Streaker Sports.

• Artist Dan Duffy, who’s been interviewed on Uni Watch in the past, created amazingly detailed sports posters that consist entirely of lettering (shown at right; click to enlarge).

• If you’re looking for college basketball shorts, 19Nine has you covered.

Gridiron Memories remains the go-to source for anything involving old-school college football helmets.

• The latest edition of Bill Henderson’s Game Worn Guide to MLB Jerseys is an absolutely essential resource that I refer to almost every day. A must for any Uni Watch reader.

• The Mitchell Bat Co. and Pillbox Bat Company turn baseball bats into bold, cleverly conceived conversation pieces.

• And longtime Uni Watch favorite Sean Kane produces spectacular one-of-a-kind artwork on baseball gloves.


That should be enough to keep you busy for a bit. And of course, I’d be grateful if you’d also consider some Uni Watch merchandise for your shopping needs. Thanks!

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Mixed message: This is the team portrait for the 1976-77 University of Detroit hoops team. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team portrait in any sport where half the players wore the home uni and the other half wore the road design! (Update: Reader/commenter Ryan points out that the NHL’s San Jose Sharks routinely do this, which I was not aware of!)

And yes, that’s a young (or at least younger) Dick Vitale in the front row, far-left.

(Big thanks to Brian Weingartz for this one.)

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Too good weird for the Ticker: Carver Bible College is a school in Atlanta whose men’s and women’s basketball teams play in the not-a-typo NCCAA — that’s the National Christian College Athletic Association.

As you can see above, their men’s uniforms are highly unusual, with tiny, oddly positioned jersey numbers and a bizarre crotch wordmark on the shorts. (Well, except for guard Tyler Thornton, wearing No. 1, who has a completely different uniform from everyone else.) Not sure if the logo opposite the jersey number is a maker’s mark, a conference logo, or what. Anyone..?

(Big thanks to Timmy Donahue for this one.)

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ITEM! New raffle: Reader Carlos Jalife has generously provided funds for two memberships for me to raffle off, with a pair of interesting stipulations: He wants one membership to go to a reader outside the United States, and another to go to a reader who’ll choose an auto racing-themed card (like, say, this one or this one or this one).

This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. Your email should include either (a) your non-USA mailing address or (b) your auto racing-themed card request (keep in mind that we can show the car’s number and striping but will not show any ad logos). One entry per person. I’ll announce the two winners on Monday. Big thanks to Carlos for sponsoring this one!

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If anyone needs me, I’ll be eating leftovers: We had an insane amount of food yesterday. Our landlords gave us a goodly amount of their turkey, and then we made stuffing, scalloped potatoes (which for some reason look very dark in the photo shown above, but here’s a better view), two kinds of cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, and gravy (plus Mary made two pies, although they’re not shown in that photo) — all for two people! That should hold us for a while.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as much fun and bountiful as ours!

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Manteo High School in North Carolina still calls its teams the Redskins (paywalled) — and wears Indian headdress-themed helmets! — despite calls for the name to be changed (from Patrick Lasseter and Josh Claywell). … The Des Moines Register is calling on Iowa high schools to stop using Native American iconography (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Saanich Predators, a junior hockey team from British Columbia, have unveiled their new logos and uniforms after having switched names from “Braves” earlier this summer. … Raub Middle School in Pennsylvania announced in September that it would no longer call its teams the Indians. Now a new team name has been chosen: the Ravens (from @spiders_six). … A state legislator in Utah is proposing a resolution that would call on schools to retire Native-themed team names, mascots, and logos (from John Ewanowski). … Carthage College in Wisconsin decided in August to retire their “Red Men” and “Lady Reds” team names and have now released the semifinalist choices for their new identity (from Geoff Poole). … The latest episode of the Colorado-centric Lost Highways podcast provides an updated look at the use of Native American-themed team names and mascots by Colorado high schools (Kary Klismet again).

Working Class Wannabes™: A high school football coach in Maryland says one of his former players was a “hardworking, blue collar, smash mouth football player.” Bingo! … An article about the Arkansas football team says coach Sam Pittman is “doing a great job of creating a culture of winning with blue collar players,” and also says Pittman’s staff has built “a tough, blue collar approach to football,” and also says the team’s success this year “goes back to that blue collar mentality,” and also says the coaches “have the defense rolling in the right direction, albeit in their blue collar way,” and then concludes by saying, “The blue collar mentality is working in Fayetteville.” Someone get that writer a fucking thesaurus already! … Missouri tight ends coach Casey Woods says a team can present sophisticated offensive schemes “while still keeping the fundamental techniques of a blue-collar football team.” … Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn says his team needs to play “good, hard-nosed, blue-collar, physical Auburn football.” … Marquette women’s soccer coach Frank Pelaez says former player Alison Loughrin was “the true definition of a blue collar worker!” … Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett, discussing his approach for the new season, says, “We always say, blue collar, not blue blood. This is blue collar, in terms of how we have to play.” … Mississippi State basketball player Tolu Smith says his teammates are “guys who are just willing to work. Blue-collar athletes. I realized that from the jump. Just people who want to come in and work every day.” … An article about last Sunday’s Denver Broncos game says, “[Offensive lineman Dalton] Risner revealed after the game that the team’s ‘lunch pail’ mentality and blue-collar work ethic came through in the game plan. ‘(We) put on the work gloves before we came to work today.'” Bingo! … An article about the Alabama basketball team’s season-opening win says, “For the Crimson Tide, it was a successful blue-collar night” and also quotes coach Nate Oats thusly: “All in all, we set a record here for blue-collar points.” … Another article about Alabama basketball says the team has a “blue-collar, fast-paced system.” … A high school hoops coach in Texas says, ““The kids we’ve got coming from football are going to bring the gritty football edge with them, that blue-collar mentality that’s missing from this bunch.” … An article about Oklahoma State basketball coach Mike Boynton says, “Fans appreciate his blue-collar mentality. ‘Let’s work’ has been his mantra.” … Virginia Tech women’s soccer coach Chugger Adair says one of his new players “has that blue-collar mentality that we like to have on our team” and adds that “she’s a hard-nosed player, who’s committed to doing the work.” Bingo!

Baseball News: New Mets owner Steve Cohen is considering bringing back the BFBS uniforms. … Gross: Here’s what the Brewers’ ballpark will look like with its new advertised-name signage. … Love the uniforms in this old Life Savers ad that appeared in the March 7, 1937, edition of The Rochester American (big thanks to Joe Werner).

NFL News: Thanksgiving roundup: The Lions wore their throwbacks, while the Cowboys wore the mono-white Rash and added an “MP” memorial decal for strength and conditioning coordinator Markus Paul, who died on Wednesday. … Here’s recent postgame footage of Colts DL Justin Houston asking Packers QB Aaron Rodgers for a jersey. … Players on the Giants scout team wore jerseys featuring the numbers and NOBs of the team’s Ring of Honor players at a recent practice (from Ryan Kelly). … Texans QB DeShaun Watson and Nike have donated uniforms to police brutality victim George Floyd’s former high school.

College Football News: Due to the pandemic, this season’s New Mexico Bowl will be played in Texas (from Kary Klismet). … UNC will wear “Equality” NOBs for today’s game against Notre Dame (from James Gilbert). … USF will wear “slime green” (their term!) this weekend (from Kary Klismet). … Oregon and Oregon State are going yellow vs. orange today. … Virginia will wear navy-white-navy tomorrow (thanks, Jamie). … Ohio appears to be teasing a 1960 throwback for tomorrow (thanks, Alex). … St. Mary’s High School in Arizona has a tradition of wearing gold pants for playoff games (from @GoinRounds). … Texas State will wear gold-maroon-gold tomorrow. … Utah State RB Devonta’e Henry-Cole, who wears No. 7, wore a No. 32 balaclava last night (good spot by Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: An Ontario art gallery is seeking an artist to create a portrait of Wayne Gretzky (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … New pads for Maple Leafs G Aaron Dell (from Wade Heidt).

College and High School Hoops News: Illinois has added a really great memorial patch for former coach Lou Henson, who died in July (from Ross Drucker). … Julian High School in Chicago had prison stripe-style jerseys back in 2005 (from J.P. Young). … Virginia is the latest school to add “Unity” below the back uni numbers, and Iowa has “Equality” in that same spot. Iowa also has new shooting shirts that say, “Peace Love Equality.” Additional info on the Iowa initiative here (from Jamie Rathjen and Kary Klismet). … Syracuse also has “Equality” below the back numbers (from Jakob Fox). … Georgetown, instead of having one message below the numbers, is letting each player choose his own statement to go in that spot (from @bryanwdc). … UMBC, meanwhile, has a variety of social justice statements above the numbers, in place of traditional NOBs, and also has a raised-fist patch on the front. … McNeese State G Ra’Shawn Langston wore a cloth mask on the court the other day (from Eric Jeanneret). … After teasing its new uniforms earlier this week, Wyoming has now officially unveiled them (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: New uniforms for Indiana State women’s. … New uniforms for Temple (from @_RF30). … Memphis F D.J. Jeffries entered Wednesday’s game against St. Mary’s with his jersey on backwards! (From Mike Chamernik.) … Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing wore a Kente cloth-patterned mask on Wednesday (from @bryanwdc). … Arizona has added a memorial patch for former coach Lute Olson, who died in August (from @JayLow32). … Just like with UCLA’s football uniforms this season, the basketball team is putting its social justice patch over the Under Armour maker’s mark (from Mike Smith). … Absurd color-vs.-color game the other night, as Arkansas and Oral Roberts women’s teams went black vs. navy (from @Starkman55). … Purdue has added an “MJB” memorial patch (plus cringe-y slogans) for former athletics director Morgan Burke, who died in June (from @Jffdmrly). … Here’s an article about why Kansas players decided to add a “United We Stand” patch this season.

Soccer News: Due to an equipment snafu, a player for the Russian second-division team Fakel had to a wear a shirt with a handwritten uni number (from Ed Zelaski). .. A Welsh soccer fan builds models of English soccer stadiums out of Legos (from Kary Klismet). … SSC Napoli’s stadium, Stadio San Paolo, is being renamed in honor of Diego Maradona (thanks, Anthony). … New logo for the Portland Timbers’ supporters’ club (from Jeremy Brahm). … New third kit for Indonesia (from Trevor Williams).

Grab Bag: DC Comics may sue the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys over a trademark violation. … The designer who created the logos for the TV shows The Partridge Family and The Young and the Restless has died. … Michael Hochman has just discovered the Dallas Box Lacrosse League and really likes their uniforms. … Police officers in the UK county of North Yorkshire may now wear a hijab as part of their uniform. … The city of San Diego is selling seats from Jack Murphy Stadium ahead of the facility’s demolition (from Kary Klismet). … New 25th-anniversary logo for Pokémon.

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Comments (36)

    “Want a Gillette razor emblazoned with the logo of your favorite NFL team? You can get that here.”

    Unless you are a Washington Football Team fan…

    I wonder if there are many instances of WFT co-branded merch being unavailable. Strictly speaking, that’s not Uni Watch’s beat.

    Anecdotally, in Northern Virginia, there isn’t a lot of WFT gear being worn that I can see. There is still a smattering of previous brand around, but it’s far below the Nationals and Capitals and has been for a number of years.

    Like Dickie V’s 76-77 Detroit squad, my middle school basketball team some 20 years ago wore half home, half road unis in our team picture. However, the execution was not as successful as Detroit in my opinion, as our coach decided we should alternate blue-white-blue. The result looked like half the team wearing the “wrong” jersey on accident.

    In regards to half home half road uniform team portraits, the NHL’s San Jose Sharks have been doing this since their inception.

    Not sure how to embed a link

    The grill covers with the logos have 2 major design flaws.
    1. Very few cuts of anything grillable are large enough to have the design be visible. You’re not going to make out what the logo is on a single burger, hot dog or steak.
    2. The logo needed to be designed backward, so that it shows the right way on the meat.

    Do you ever fake the porch photo? I can see myself just posing for it to keep the streak going some days, especially after all this time! You know, just quickly pose and then come straight back inside…

    Nope! Each Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ session has been a genuine porch hang. Some have been longer than others, of course, but all have been legit — none have been quickies that were staged just for the sake of the photo.

    If the Brewers must have another corporate advertiser name, they sure can do a lot worse than American Family Field. White Sox fans would be jealous!

    If the Brewers HAD to have a sponsor, why not Harley-Davidson? Milwaukee to the core. It could be worse–Selig Park.

    And I hope Steve Cohen’s talk about bringing back BFBS didn’t give you unnecessary heartburn, Paul. I just took Alka-Seltzer to make sure it didn’t happen to me.

    People keep saying “If they must…” and “If they had to…”

    These conditionals are moot, because the Brewers actually do *not* have to sell their stadium identity to an advertiser. Rather, they have *chosen* to do so. And it is a bad choice, regardless of who the advertiser is.

    I was sure I’d seen a soccer team do a uniform-mixed team photo like that before, and sure enough link.

    Also, a different kind of mixed team photo: for the past few years, link have had the men’s and women’s team pose together in one photo.

    Ugh; this again.

    New Mets owner Steve Cohen is considering bringing back the BFBS uniforms.

    Cohen: “[M]aybe we do it on a night every once in a while or something, just to shake it up.” Fine, whatever. Just don’t mess with the primary uniforms.

    New identity for the Saanich Predators an interesting marriage of a few NHL team identities. The logo a fusion of the Sharks and Canucks with the orca biting through the hockey stick. The colour scheme of the Sharks on a Blackhawks’ jersey template. Diagonal letters across the front of the jersey like the Rangers. The team using Predators as a name.

    What is your opinion on Steve Cohen’s idea of bringing back the BFBS for the Mets? I am faaaaaaarrrrr from happy. I was hoping that nightmare was over for the Blue and Orange.

    As a lifelong Mets fan, I never liked the BFBS. My preference would be that those uniforms never reappear on the field, but I also understand that a younger generation of Mets fans grew up on those uniforms and therefore feel nostalgic about them.

    I don’t think it was Steve’s idea. He is a Met fan from the early days and is probably a blue and orange guy. Will he be influenced by the younger generation and current players? It seems very possible. He will be able to make some money off it for sure. I could stomach it on a limited basis if the Mets stop being a laughingstock in other ways.

    I have to agree with you both on all counts. I loathe it see black return, but if a series appearance or two comes with it, I can live with it.

    The red trim on the 3rd floor windows of the house across the street bugs the shit out of me.

    Since the Wilpons inflicted the black uniforms upon us for so long, many Met fans believe it is part of Met tradition and it is actually hard to argue against that point. I am trying to tweet things to certain people to influence against it, but I am guessing they bring it back as an alternate to placate both sides a bit. I could live with it once a week if that means it is not brought back as the primary.

    I am also lobbying, though on deaf ears so far, to restore the Met logo to its true art. I welcome all to join me. I feel now may be the last chance to get this fixed. Cohen is a fine art lover and maybe can see the point. The great Mr. Radom once wrote about the defacement, and I commented quite a bit with him:


    For those interested even more on the original logo, Paul once took a find from me and wrote another amazing piece:


    Oh, I don’t think the black will ever come back as the primary. And even a once-a-week alternate would be *waaaaay* too much. If they do it a couple of times per year, tied to some promotion involving a player from the BFBS era, I could live with that.

    Twice in 2024 vs. Atlanta (one at Citi, one at Truist) for the 25th anniversary of the 1999 NLCS, and once in 2025 vs. the Yankees (preferably in the Bronx) for the 25th anniversary of the Subway Series. Then the Mets should bury black forever. Never again. No more. Bye bye bye.

    The 1978 Topps baseball Oakland A’s team card has the players alternating the yellow and green jerseys, with most of the coaches and manager wearing white jerseys. I’m sure there are more examples of this type of team portrait from that era.

    I’m a fan of the black (and I have the hats to prove it). But then again, I’m not what anyone would refer to as a “true believer”.

    I think of a new name for Washington NFL Football almost every week. What influence would I have if I put these all on a list and mailed it to the NFL? I’m guessing, not very much.

    Odd imo the Detroit team photo is around the sideways view of center court as opposed to the intended view.

    Orange jacket is appropriate for Illini – but what about a rendering of the Lou-Do ???

    Is there a requirement that any and all teams moving away from Native American names/mascots/imagery must at least consider an option involving Hawks or Wolves? I didn’t even have to click on the Carthage link to know what two of the semi-finalists would be.

    Funny, in the early 2000s, when UMass was exploring ditching Minutemen, presumably because of its gender specificity and portrayal of violence, Gray Wolves was among the names being considered. UMass had already dropped the Redmen name in the early 1970s.

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