A Very Merry Vilkmas, 2021 Edition

By Phil Hecken, with Jimmer Vilk

A Good Saturday Morning Uni Watchers! How are you today?

Although I’m a bit under the weather today, I hope everyone else is doing well and anxiously awaiting the end of 2021. But all is right with the world when we celebrate a little…

♫ It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Vilkmas…♫

Readers of Uni Watch know that our own Jimmer Vilk is a tremendously generous friend and contributor. Since the beginning of this annual tradition back in 2015, Jim has gifted some of his most prized possessions to our readership (including shipping!). “Vilkmas” is based roughly on Paul’s annual reader appreciation raffle, which you can read about below, and once again he returns to bestow his ephemera to some lucky readers. Some years, like 2020, we’ve actually had more than one Vilkmas (Jim offered up a bunch of his stuff back during the pandemic’s first months). If you’re not familiar with Vilkmas, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Jim’s annual gifting works very much like Paul’s raffle (and the deets follow, so be sure to read all the way through). On that note…

Take it away, Mr. Vilk!

• • • • •

Merry Vilkmas 2021
by Jimmer Vilk

This year I’ll be spending Christmas in a place where they don’t get snow. Despite that I’m not in a humbug mood, so let’s get in the holiday spirit and give away some more stuff!

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Item #1:

Rest easy, baseball fans…at least you haven’t been locked out of Vilkmas. Hopefully this late 80s/early 90s Pirates plastic lunch box will keep the pilot light in your hot stove burning.

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Item #2:

Next, with the Winter Olympics just around the corner, here’s a Salt Lake 2002 visor. I really wanted to hang on to this one, but I don’t have enough hair to be a visor person anymore.

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Item #3:

I used to have two regular sized Terrible Towels in the house. Apparently they got together and had this adorable Terrible Toddler Towel, so I’m putting it up for adoption.

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Item #4:

The next one is for my Canadian friends only. In the midst of my recent paper football making binge, I made ones for all the current CFL teams, along with nine Grey Cup matchup balls (various games I liked from the early 70s up to a few years ago), and I threw in the old Concordes, Renegades and a retro CFL ball.

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Item #5:

And finally, remember that Monday Night Football calendar I wrote about recently? I decided to keep it intact instead of giving out just certain photos. I’m running out of wall space anyway. Fair warning: it’s not in mint condition. The pictures are absolutely fine, but the previous owner wrote the 1981 Milwaukee Brewers schedule in the calendar grids. This must have been done before the strike, because it’s not the revised split-season schedule.

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Due to my travel plans I won’t be sending out the gifts until January… when I hope to find several inches of snow waiting for my return. We’ll draw the winners this coming week, though. Good luck, Merry Vilkmas and a Happy Vilking New Year!

• • • • •

Thanks, Jimmer! Your generosity never ceases to amaze.

OK, this is very similar to Paul’s once-yearly raffle so here is how you enter:

1) Send an email to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com and put in the SUBJECT “Vilkmas 2020”

2) In the BODY of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 3 prize choices, in order of preference, by description. If you’re only interested in, say, one or two items, then just list your top one or two choices. Jim will do his best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.

3) Normally we limit this raffle to readers with USA addresses (since Jimmer foots the shipping costs), but as mentioned in the fourth item, he’d like that to ideally go to a Canadian reader. So, if you live in Canada and would like Item #4, please indicate that (this applies only to the fourth item).

4) One email per person. Entry deadline is this TUESDAY (December 21), 8:00 pm Eastern. The winners will be announced next weekend (on Boxing Day/Kwanzaa).

OK? OK!

And please, everyone please give Jimmer a nice round of thanks in the comments below. Thanks, Jimmer — you’re still the best.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Trent Boyette.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • • • •

Today’s concepts come from Ed Westfield Jr.:

It’s been a topic since the dawn of this millennium that the New York Football Giants keep missing the mark with their white uniform set. This season was no exception… It makes little sense for a team nicknamed “BIG BLUE” to go on the road in all red & white save for their helmets.

Here’s what I suggest…

The Jersey: I would keep the red on white look mostly intact—those colors really pop! I would just add some blue accents to balance it out it, changing (a.) the small ‘NY’ logo on the chest, (b.) the maker’s mark (Nike swoosh) on the sleeves, and (c.) the NOB to blue (very similar to the 2000-2006 white jersey sans blue outlines on the numbers & blue collar)…

The Pants: Aside from having no blue, the Northwestern-style stripe looks horrible going down the side of a pant leg… I’ve said it before… BLUE PANTS would go great with the red on white jersey and red socks! A single red stripe to match the helmet design and it’s another instant classic… And if blue pants are too “out there” for the G-men, then just go with the Color Rush/1980-1999 white pants. The blue accents on the jersey would make that look work. They could even alternate between the two…

In fact, they should wear the Color Rush/1980-1999 white pants with their blue home jersey as well. No team needs more than one set of white pants.

• • • • •

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Click to enlarge

And now a few words from Paul: In case you missed it on Friday, my latest Bulletin column is bout my favorite uni-related creative project of recent months, which is a series of illustrations that show Dr. Seuss’s Grinch character in various (mostly bad) NFL uni combos. You can read all about it, and see my interview with the guy who’s behind it, over on Bulletin. Enjoy!

Speaking of things you don’t want to miss, our annual year-end raffle, featuring all sorts of cool stuff I’m giving away — including several one-of-a-kind prototypes for Uni Watch products I decided not to put into full production — is now in full swing. Full details here.

Now back to Phil with the rest of today’s content!

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

NFL News: These officially licensed Patriots action figures feature inverted shoulder stripes — blue-red-blue instead of red-blue-red (from Tim Donovan).
 

College/High School Football News: It looks like Fresno State will have a new helmet for the New Mexico Bowl (from Jared Buccola). … Toledo added the design of the Bahamian flag to their helmet logos for last night’s Bahamas Bowl (from @Wilds_Lee). They also honored Oxford High shooting victim Tate Myre, who visited UT just days before his killing, with a helmet decal (from Chris Buttgen).

Hockey News: Wade Heidt sends along this article about the few remaining goalies who still use wooden sticks in NHL games. … Michael Blake Raymer sends along the jersey for the “ELPS” team in Western New York, an amalgamated hockey team made up of students from Eden High, Lakeshore High, Pioneer High and Springville High. The crest incorporates the colors of all four schools (two schools use green as their primary color). Michael asks for other instances of this happening — I can state that my hometown of Portland, Maine has two high schools (Portland High and my alma mater Deering High) with one joint hockey team between them, with Portland/Deering adopting a primarily blue uniform (Portland’s color) with purple accents (Deering’s color) at home with a white sweater and navy yokes with a navy-white-purple hem striping on the road. … USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary with late-90s throwbacks and personally, I think they nailed the vibe to perfection (from @bruceleememes). … The Rangers wore warm-up jerseys to promote the Garden of Dreams Foundation last night (from Wade Heidt).

College/High School Hoops News: UNC will go BFBS for their game against Kentucky tonight (from multiple readers). … Kansas is bringing back the “circus font” tonight (from Mauricio Gómez Montoya).

Uni Tweet of the Day

LOVED the Supe I throwback. They need to wear this every road game!

And finally… that’ll do it for today. Big thanks to the one and only Jim Vilk for once again sharing his generosity with the UW readership. So, you’ve got Paul’s raffle AND Vilkmas almost back to back again this year (not something we planned, it’s just how the calendar worked out). Please give Jimmer a big thanks down in the comments below. Good luck in this (and Paul’s) raffles!

I’ll be back tomorrow with TJ as we get you caught up on the Bowl action so far (there were two games last night and another SEVEN today, starting at 11:00 EST). There’s also one NFL game today, Pats/Colts (there were two originally scheduled, but the early game — Raiders/Browns — was moved to Monday due to COVID; two Sunday games were also postponed, and those will be played Tuesday). So if you like football (college or pro), there are a LOT of games to be played heading into Christmas. Till then…

Peace,

PH

23 comments to A Very Merry Vilkmas, 2021 Edition

  • Tom Pachuta | December 18, 2021 at 8:00 am |

    1994 week 16. Green Bay 21, Atlanta 17. Packers’ last game at Milwaukee County Stadium.

    • Don Morgo | December 18, 2021 at 9:23 am |

      I think that this was Sterling Sharpe’s final game due to the injury he suffered.

      • Brian Anderson | December 19, 2021 at 12:22 am |

        I was there in the corner where Favre dove for the winning TD.

  • Paulie | December 18, 2021 at 8:27 am |

    Jimmer, kind thanks for the outstanding items once again. As a Canadian, I especially love those CFL helmets.
    A very merry Vilkmas to one and all!

    • Wade Heidt | December 18, 2021 at 9:59 am |

      Yes thank you Jim! The paper football helmets would make for a cool standings tracker during the season.

      Some of the retro ones you have made there better for some of the teams than their current models (Ticats yellow helmet).

      I hear a lot of people wanting the Roughriders to go back to the vintage look full time with the vintage helmet in the photo there. I think it is nice but I cannot agree fully. Still in love with the best Roughriders helmet of all-time IMO with the wraparound helmet logo. I would not be sad if my green and white Riders brought back a little silver and black trim again.

      https://m.psecn.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000SSQNCHiSb6I/s/860/860/Tom-Burgess-Saskatchewan-Roughriders-1987-10.jpg

      • Paulie | December 19, 2021 at 12:47 am |

        Agree that Saskatchewan should bring back silver pants and their look from the late 80’s. I long for the days of wider pant stripes. Speaking of the Roughriders, how great does Ottawa look in that photo? Very clean, simple and that larger “R” looks so much better than what they wear today.

  • Rex (ACC Tracker) | December 18, 2021 at 8:39 am |

    Thanks for the Scoreboard pic. I read up on the history of County stadium and had no idea the Packers played there, kinda like the Celtics when they played games in Hartford.

    • Scott | December 18, 2021 at 12:25 pm |

      As you can probably infer from the message on the scoreboard, the Packers played at various Milwaukee venues since the 1930s. Several postseason games were played in Milwaukee, as well, including the 1939 NFL Championship. No postseason game was played in Green Bay until 1961.

  • Tenz | December 18, 2021 at 8:42 am |

    I’ve actually always liked the way the ’50s / early ’60s Giants road uniforms brought out the red in their color scheme and gave the team such a different feel versus its home blues. And as some have noted in the past, the Giants had earlier in their history included a lot of red in their designs. Yes, this means the nickname “Big Blue” somewhat misses the mark, but for my part, I wouldn’t abandon team tradition to fit a nickname one occasionally hears. That said, other than conflicting with a minor team tradition, these are solid designs.

  • Tenz | December 18, 2021 at 8:52 am |

    I’ve got to say, I do like the all-white Chiefs road unis, in part because my tastes were formed in the mid ’60s when every single pro team wore the same color pants with both jerseys. So to this day, Kansas City’s red pants seem to break the “rules” to my eye. I’ll acknowledge that the all-white Chiefs need red socks — the all white socks they wore in earlier years created the dreaded “leotard” look.

  • Dave | December 18, 2021 at 9:27 am |

    Scoreboard pic is the last Packer game in Milwaukee & I was there!!!
    I was slightly underdressed, and was cold the entire game. I sat along the third base side, and the Favre TD occurred in the far end zone along the right field foul line. Most people don’t realize that both teams stood on the same sideline (left field), as did the teams that played the Vikings at The Met. Milwaukee was great. Took a tour of the Miller Brewery plant (sampled their new beer Red Dog), checked out the Harley plant, & hit a bunch of cool bars. I’ve been to Green Bay a few times since, and it is awesome, but Milwaukee was special in a different way.

  • MJ | December 18, 2021 at 10:11 am |

    GTGFGS: beat me to it.
    GIANTS CONCEPT: I like the blue NOB. it the blue pants are a no for a team like the Giants (and I say that as a Giants hater and Eagles fan). Also, pairing the Simms/Taylor pants with the current white shirt is going to be a no – the jersey has Northwestern sleeve stripes, so the older pants definitely don’t go with the current jersey. I don’t like the lack of blue in Big Blue’s current road uniform, but neither concept fixes it. (Sorry.)

    • walter | December 18, 2021 at 6:32 pm |

      So many teams with blue pants in college and pros, adding the G-Men to the pile is superfluous. But I would recommend making the names blue on the white jerseys.

  • RICKAZ | December 18, 2021 at 10:24 am |

    I like the blue additions to the white Giants jersey, and I really like the blue pants to mirror the helmet. However not a fan of the white pants option shown here. I like that the current red stripes on the white pants match the red stripes on the sleeves, and it already has the blue Nike swoosh. Either stick with that, or just drop stripes all together and just have plain white pants.

  • Ron Ruelle | December 18, 2021 at 10:40 am |

    I used to go to elementary school with a kid named Trent Boyette. Then he went to juvie for several years on a bad rap. Glad to see he’s a uni-watcher now.

  • Tom J | December 18, 2021 at 11:12 am |

    I like the idea of the Giants just wearing their 1969 uniforms with white facemasks.

    Same jersey at home. Helmet stays the same except changing the mask to white. Wear the color rush on the road but with plain blue numbers instead of red outlined ones. Color rush white pants for home and away. Blue socks every game.

    It’s simple. It’s coherent. It’d be a home run.

  • Kek | December 18, 2021 at 11:34 am |

    Scoreboard is from the last time the Pack played at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

  • RICKAZ | December 18, 2021 at 11:39 am |

    I really like the blue additions to the Giants white jersey, and love the blue pants to mirror the helmet. However I’m not a fan of the white pants with the blue and red stripes. I prefer the current red stripes that match the arm stripes on the white jersey. Otherwise just drop stripes altogether, and just go with plain white pants.

  • Ray Barrington | December 18, 2021 at 12:30 pm |

    A little history about the Packers in Milwaukee… In the mid 1920s, the Packers started playing there to A. keep another team out of there and B. get fans in the southern part of the state. Later, there was a third reason: Milwaukee had a larger facility with the grandstand at State Fair Park holding 25,000, many more than City Stadium. That continued to be the case with the opening of County Stadium in 1953 at 41,000 capacity. Many visiting teams preferred to play in Milwaukee rather than Green Bay’s old stadium. In 1957, Lambeau Field opened, but it didn’t have a larger capacity than County until 1965. In 1967, the Packers played a playoff game in Milwaukee against the Rams to save Lambeau turf for what would become the Ice Bowl. By the 1990s talk was starting about a new ballpark in Milwaukee, smaller but with more comfort than County, and the Packers decided to end the sharing of games. They did, however, allow Milwaukee game season ticket holders to keep their tickets in a separate package for games in Green Bay.

  • Ryan M | December 18, 2021 at 2:53 pm |

    Is it ok if I use “Vilkmas 2021” for the email subject?

    • Phil Hecken | December 18, 2021 at 3:35 pm |

      Yes.

  • walter | December 18, 2021 at 6:27 pm |

    “The combined Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Edgemont (ETBE) hockey team opened the season 1-1, defeating Rye Town/Harrison (RTH) 7-3 on Thursday, Dec. 16.” —Scarsdale News

    Here are at least two examples of combined high school hockey squads in Westchester County, NY.

  • Humberto Sanchez | December 19, 2021 at 3:59 am |

    Let’s go Brandon