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Treasures from the Ripon Vault: More on the Suns’ Shorts

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Good morning! I received lots of very positive feedback in response to my recent post about the Suns still wearing zipper-fly shorts as late as the mid-1980s. The most interesting response came from Robert Martin, who works for Ripon Athletic, the venerable uniform manufacturer in Berlin, Wis.

Robert, it turns out, is a longtime Uni Watch reader and particularly enjoyed Wednesday’s post because Ripon made the Suns’ shorts, under their Sand-Knit brand, for the 1986-87 season — the first year the team stopped using the zippers and snap buttons (and also the year they stopped having their uniforms made by Spanjian). What you see above are some templates and guides that the company used for making the team’s shorts. “According to my records, we also did the Bullets, Clippers, Hawks, Kings, Lakers, Mavs, Nets, Pacers, Spurs, Rockets, and Warriors that year,” says Robert. “They all wore rib-knit waistbands with a drawstring.”

Here’s a great spec sheet from Robert’s files, showing the Suns’ old shorts with the buttons and zipper:

Isn’t that awesome? I love old stuff like this! And then here’s the order for a prototype set of Sand-Knit shorts without the zipper:

Check out the little handwritten note at the bottom: “Theirs [i.e., Spanjian’s] is a zipper fly front with flat-knit waistband, vs. our 2×2 rib waist — no fly. We used a 2-panel pant, and theirs is a 4.”

It’s hard for me to express how completely geeked out I get over this type of paperwork. It’s like see the original Rosetta Stone or something like that. So cool!

Now that I know Ripon still has lots of old records like this, along with an enthusiastic Uni Watch reader on staff, I’m thinking it might be time for me to pay them a visit (which is something I probably should have done a long time ago). I proposed that to Robert, he passed the request up the line, and the response was favorable. So while we still need to work out the logistics, it looks like I’ll be making a field trip out there sometime soon-ish. Exciting!

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ITEM! New coaster design: My coaster supplier ran a sale, so I put in an order and decided to go with a different design this time around. I’m really happy with the results — they look so great!

I’m selling these in sets of three and am already down to just 11 sets remaining, so move fast if you want in! The price is $9 per set, plus $1 for USA shipping or $2 for non-USA shipping.

To order, send me the appropriate amount via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (, or PayPal ( If you want to use Apple Pay or a paper check, get in touch and I’ll give you the appropriate info.

After paying, email me with your shipping info. Thanks!

If you want to combine your purchase with an order for a Uni Watch koozie, a trading card, a seam ripper, a magnet, a chain-stitched patch, or some pins, please email me and I’ll give you a price that includes a combined shipping fee for the whole shebang. (Sorry, these are the only Uni Watch items I can combine into one shipment, because our other items ship from separate locations.)

Finally, if you like the look of that Uni Watch pint glass in the photo at the top of this section, it’s available here.

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Shame revisited: About two years ago I wrote a piece that was sorta/kinda about the Astros’ cheating scandal but was mostly about the cultural role of shame. Many of you told me it was one of your favorite Uni Watch entries ever (thank you!). In it, I mentioned that shame is an important societal structure but can sometimes be weaponized by the powerful against the less powerful.

Since then, I’ve continued to think a lot about shame, and I’ve been thinking about it even more lately because of two books called How to Do Things with Emotions: The Morality of Anger and Shame across Cultures (which was published last fall) and The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation (which came out just last week). I haven’t read either book, but I’ve read a fair number of reviews of them and articles inspired by them, so you could say I’ve had shame on the brain lately.

One thing that really stuck out to me was a passage from this article, as follows:

[Cathy] O’Neil [author of The Shame Machine] distinguishes between shame that “punches down” and shame that “punches up.” To punch down is to deride and shun people for things that O’Neil says are largely shaped by forces beyond their control; for her, these include addiction, obesity and poverty. To punch up is to hold the powerful to account for their deeds — “police chiefs, governors, CEOs.” [Maybe we could add sports commissioners and owners to that list. — Paul]

This is sort of like my description about the risks of shame being “weaponized,” but I think the idea of punching down vs. punching up (or even vs. punching laterally) is a much more effective way to phrase it. Moreover, I think punching up vs. down is a good thing to keep in mind regarding all sorts of social interactions, not just regarding shame. We should all try to punch down as infrequently as possible, because there’s almost always a better option available to us (usually just having a bit of empathy). I’m going to try to keep that in mind going forward.

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Home is where you find it: We have one of those suction-cup bird feeders mounted on one of our windows here at Uni Watch HQ. Lots of birds come by for a snack, but the doves, due to some combination of stupidity and gluttony, often plop themselves down in the feeder instead of perching at the edge. We usually shoo them away because it’s not fair to the other birds.

Lately, though, we noticed a pair of doves gathering twigs in the feeder. Were they really building a nest? We didn’t know whether to stop them (they were basically hijacking the feeder from all the other birds) or let them proceed (because it was so intriguing). We ultimately chose the latter, mostly because of our own laziness.

Sure enough, a few days ago one of the doves settled in pretty much permanently. And then, on Saturday, a little miracle:

Laying eggs in such an exposed spot seems pretty dumb (especially when other birds already associate that spot with food), but it’ll be interesting to see how things proceed. We’re hoping for the best but prepared for tragedy. I’ll post updates as developments warrant.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball and Softball News: Reader Zach Pearce notes that Mets SS Francisco Lindor has been wearing white crew socks over high blue socks, a very NFL-ish look. … In that same photo, you can see that Mets third base coach Joey Cora had a little “KB” sticker on his helmet. Anyone know what that’s about? … Speaking of the Mets, 1B Dom Smith and 2B Wyatt Young were both wearing No. 2 late in yesterday’s Grapefruit League game. Young is a minor leaguer invited to the big league camp (from Ryan Bowman). … New Rockies and Blue Jays OFs Randal Grichuk and Raimel Tapia were traded for each other last week and both wore No. 15 last season. After the trade, they’re both still wearing No. 15 with their new teams (from @NumbersMLB). … A Tigers fan started a petition to bring back the pre-2018 home jerseys that had a different “D” than the cap logo (from Brandon Weir). … The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds plan to wear Iron Man-themed jerseys for a Marvel promotion on Aug. 5 (from Marcus Hall) … Division III Endicott and Maine-Farmington softball played a white vs. white game yesterday (from @djkufo).

Football News: Cross-posted from the ice hockey section: The AHL’s Rochester Americans wore Bills-themed uniforms yesterday (from multiple readers). … Champions Indoor Football’s Salina Liberty’s new jerseys have red numbers on an American flag background, which is not the best idea (from Ben Underwood).

Hockey News: The Capitals celebrated C Nicklas Bäckström’s 1,000th NHL point with a squeezy apple giveaway on Saturday. After he scored a goal, a lot of them were thrown on the ice. … A Twitter user DIYed a rainbow-numbered Wild jersey for the team’s pride night this week (from Topher Davis). … The AHL’s Rochester Americans wore Buffalo Bills-themed uniforms yesterday (from multiple readers). … A Reddit user responded to the Leafs’ new reversible jersey by making their own inside-out Sharks design (from Will Scheibler). … The Predators auctioned off wallets made from G Pekka Rinne’s pads yesterday (from @Wilds_Lee).

Basketball News: The Wizards are teasing something cherry blossom-themed for tomorrow. MLB’s Washington Nationals will also be releasing a cherry blossom-themed uni that day (from Faisal Hassan). … Multiple readers pointed out that all of this year’s men’s Final Four teams have blue as their primary color. Reader Steve Rausch says that’s the fifth time the men’s semifinalists have all shared the same color. … This 1950s shot shows the entire NC State men’s team wearing uni numbers in the 70s and 80s. Anyone know what that’s about? (From Robert Greist.)

Soccer News: England’s men’s team played the second half of Saturday’s friendly against Switzerland without NOBs to support the Alzheimer’s Society, also wearing a sleeve patch for the charity (from Rich Fuller). … Scottish club Inverness Caledonian Thistle already released next season’s first kit last week. … Meanwhile, new shirts for Sweden’s AIK and IFK Norrköping and Norway’s Vålerenga. … AIK’s men’s team moved to a new stadium, Friends Arena, in 2013 and since then fans have preserved some of the grass from the old Råsunda Stadium, which is to be planted in the center of the Friends Arena pitch at this year’s home opener. … New second kit for the Canadian Premier League’s Valour FC (from Wade Heidt). … The new USL W League team run by USL League One’s Greenville Triumph is called the Greenville Liberty. … Several English and Scottish women’s teams have recently played at their men’s teams’ stadiums for the first time, or in Manchester United’s case, for the first time with fans yesterday. Birmingham City also committed to doing so for another entire season, even in the likely event of relegation from the Women’s Super League. … A new league primarily for MLS reserve teams, MLS Next Pro, started playing over the weekend. Its number/NOB font is unusually wide (from Brandin Sparks).

Ukraine News: The Netherlands’ men’s soccer team added a Ukrainian flag to their shirt next to the Dutch and Danish ones that were there for match info purposes. You can also see that they have a Ukrainian flag captain’s armband, which quite a few other teams have done recently (from Moe Khan). … Russian tennis player Vera Zvonareva wrote “No War” on her visor at the Miami Open (thanks, Brinke).

Grab Bag: Athletes Unlimited volleyball players wore Women’s History Month-themed warm-up shirts this weekend. … Red Bull’s Formula One drivers, Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen, have their national flags on the brims of their hats. However, they’re striped the same way even though the Netherlands uses horizontal stripes and Mexico uses vertical stripes, so Verstappen’s looks like a reversed French flag instead (from Jeremy Derr). … The AFL’s Gold Coast auctioned their guernseys from Saturday’s men’s team match to support the charity Givit after recent floods in New South Wales and Queensland, and also wore a patch for the charity.

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What Paul did last night on Friday: The object shown above reminds me so much of how we’d all draw turkeys for Thanksgiving by tracing the outlines of our hands. But it’s actually a primitive battery!

That’s one of several dozen improbably beautiful and intriguing found objects I saw at an oddball gallery show that two friends and I checked out on Friday afternoon. Some of the objects, like the battery, were very specific (a diver’s helmet, a drainboard for making cheese, a kewpie doll, an anatomical model of a pig), while others were more abstract or random (a piece of styrofoam, a rotting bicycle seat, a battered ploughshare that looked more like a piece of driftwood), but all were interesting and most were very aesthetically pleasing.

It was a really fun, thought-provoking exhibit. You can read a few more notes and see about 75 more photos here.

Comments (45)

    Hope the dove eggs have a happy ending. Maybe then we can get a team for the Brooklyn Branches to play!

    Hey Paul I was thinking about getting a feeder like that one. Are you happy with it? (Seems like the doves are.) My main concern is the suction cups, as I’m on the fifth floor so if it comes off even once it’ll be dashed to bits.

    PL and Bob – I second Paul’s comments about the feeder. We have one out here in Chicagoland, and the suction cups hold up quite well year-round.
    AND…for Paul – we have TWO doves that park themselves in and on top of the feeder (no eggs, though)

    Maybe the Nests can be a farm team for the Branches. Get a new jersey design in the works!

    Is that a poorly-designed bottle opener in the top right corner of that photo? ;)

    As a Uni-Watcher and novice bird-watcher… my “scorching hot bird take” is that Mourning Doves are my LEAST favorite bird. Here is an overly extensive breakdown of why they sit at the bottom of my bird power rankings:
    1) They love nesting in the most obtrusive spots. I have found them in planters, my landscaping and all sorts of other areas that most other birds would not touch.
    2) They are always sitting on (and pooping on) my house, deck, shed, etc. Way more so than any other birds in my area. And I do not put out bird feed so I am not deliberately attracting them that way.
    3) Some people seem to find their call soothing in a melancholy way, but it just sounds mopey and annoying to me. They are like the emo teenager of birds!
    4) They seem to be relatively unaware of their surroundings. I often find that they do not even think to fly away until you are literally close enough to just grab them. Unclear to me how they manage to evade avian predators.
    5) I feel like they get a free pass because they have the word “dove” in their name. They are basically pigeons with good branding.

    Thank you for this! In Pittsburgh, I have Mourning Doves at my feeders and around my house all year round, and you’re right, they nest in the worst spots, throwing two sticks together and pretending that they built something. Your fifth point caps it all off. Team Anti-Mourning Dove!

    Not saying you’re wrong for having an opinion, but starlings are FAR worse than doves, in my opinion. They’ll nest in virtually any cranny in any development and are 100 percent invasive. The fact that doves are so plump and slow and yet haven’t been hunted to extinction by other birds is pretty charming.

    Ha… I’m totally on Team Anti-MD.

    Starlings can be annoying too but they at least have murmuration going for them. I feel like Paul L. would appreciate murmuration.

    I agree. Some sort of casual neighborhood bird ranking would be a great uni watch topic. Obviously their visual aesthetics would be a big factor, but behavior, noise, etc. can certainly make a visually appealing bird drop in the rankings.

    The KB on Joey Cora’s helmet may be for Kimera Bartee who died in December 2021. He and Cora were both coaches with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2017-19.

    I live in Ripon, WI (about 15 miles from Berlin) and have always wanted to tour the Ripon Athletic facility or go to a warehouse sale! Would love to meet up with Paul when you come for a visit!

    As someone who’s waited patiently for 20 years for the Wizards cherry blossom unis, I’m a little pissed the Nats couldn’t just wait a little longer. The festival’s ongoing, they coulda picked any other day.

    I was under the impression that Sand Knit made all NBA teams’ uniforms from 1986-87, as that’s when they took over as exclusive suppliers for the league.

    I have long been interested in the Sand-Knit story! I wrote a piece over this past summer that Phil ran regarding Sand-Knit’s famous football number font. If you do get to go to their site, this could be something to follow up on.


    I had a couple mourning doves nest on the window ledge outside my kitchen a couple years ago, and it’s the best thing I’ve experienced in like the last five years. There’s so much interesting stuff about mourning doves; they’re one of few species that mate for life, and the parents share incubating duties (I noticed that there was a changing-of-the-guard every morning around 10). Once the squabs (great word) hatch, they’re cute in a cute-like-a-baby-alien kind of way. Watching them being fed by their mother is wild. And then, when they’re old enough to fledge, it’s kinda heartbreaking when they leave. Really excited for you!

    I have a couple of those types of feeders – and the mourning doves are difficult to contend with. Just yesterday I counted 8 around the yard and stalking the feeders.

    My wife and I try to run them off when they perch in them. We’ve tried gluing larger plastic sheets to the roof which cause a larger overhand – as they are not very agile – they sort of help – but not really.

    I really do wish I had a better way of keeping them off the feeders as they are gluttons and bullies towards the other birds here.

    Keep us posted on the eggs!

    Re: Punching up vs. punching down… I’d rather focus more on the message than the messenger. Also, it’s often a big gray area to even determine if one is punching up or down, anyway.

    Precisely. If you’re even in a POSITION to help see that someone never works again or is welcome in polite society again, then that alone radically calls into question who’s relatively “up” and who’s relatively “down.” And before long, the ambiguities of such cases should maybe persuade us it’s not that good a question.

    (Besides, if what I do to my native manservant is “punching down,” then I don’t wanna be right.)

    Wouldn’t it be something if those dove eggs hatched on Easter? Some sort of synergy with Dove chocolate eggs!

    I generally agree with Paul’s take on “punching up verses punching down” with the small caveat that we probably shouldn’t assume that the problems mentioned that are generally faced by the lower social classes are totally “beyond their control”. It implies that people have no agency of their own or that lower-class folks can’t be expected to make good decisions for themselves. Obesity,especially, requires people to put short-term pleasure over long-term well being and there are almost always lifestyle choices that they are willingly making that add to, if not cause, the problem.

    That said, I will give Paul kudos for being thoughtful enough about these issues that even when I don’t agree totally, I usually can see where he’s coming from. We need more social commentators like that.

    Looks like that could be from 1956-57, per this link to a game program from NC State’s archives.


    However, there’s also evidence of All American Center Ronnie Shavlik (84) in 1955


    Some awesome color video of the mid 1950’s Wolfpack from Shavlik’s induction to the NC State HOF.

    And I found the reason for the NC State Jerseys


    Officiating also played a part in Everett Case’s bizarre idea for jersey numbers that he brought to N.C. State from his high school coaching days in Indiana. From 1946 through 1957, Case’s Wolfpack players all wore non-traditional basketball numbers in the 70s and 80s.

    He said he wanted the high numbers because, at the end of the game, those officials in no way would want to blow the whistle, put the ball between their knees and try to hold up to the scorer number 87,” says Bucky Waters, who wore No. 75 during the 1956 and 1957 seasons. “If you’re an official in that situation, trying to (signal) 87 or 88 or 92, that’s four hands full.”

    Mourning Doves are notorious for building nests that are poorly-constructed and/or in a terrible location, and their egg/young mortality is very high. For example, very often their nest is nothing more than a few twigs tossed helter-skelter at the base of a tree branch, and it’s common for the eggs to literally fall through the nest and splatter on the ground.

    But, conversely, they also have one of the highest reproductive rates of any bird and may be the only temperate bird in North America that can potentially breed year-round. (Most birds only breed in the spring and summer.) So that ability to produce an enormous amount of offspring offsets their horrible parenting skills and keeps the species as a whole in the black.

    O’Neil’s dichotomy between “punching up” and “punching down” is a useful start, but I think it needs a lot more nuance. It feels a bit superficial and doesn’t cover a lot of common areas of life in which shaming happens.

    For example, if I catch one of my students cheating on an exam and shame them for it, it’s not really “punching down” by O’Neil’s definition because the student is being shamed for something that was entirely within their control. On the other hand, it’s not really “punching up” either because I’m punching from a position of power at a person who isn’t in a position of power.

    Now of course, the more interesting and relevant question about shaming a student for cheating is simply whether applying shame in that context is moral/ethical, regardless of where it fits in O’Neil’s framework. And I would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on that topic.

    I have more to say on this issue, which I’ll put in a separate comment (if the spam safeguards on this blog will let me comment three times in a row), as I suspect it will elicit a different reaction.

    Since shaming is, by definition, a public act, I don’t see why you have to shame your student at all. If you have proof that they broke the agreed-upon rules, sanction them for it (i.e., give them a failing grade). That’s not shaming; that’s the simple dynamic of crime and punishment.

    But your larger point about this issue having a lot more nuance than can be captured in O’Neil’s quote (or in my little blurb about same) is, of course, well-taken.

    I think the notion of shaming in general is mostly incorrect. Shame is something we feel when we know we did something wrong. So I cannot shame someone, I can point out where they are wrong, I can correct them for being wrong, I can criticize their wrong acts. The shame can only come if said wrong-acting person actually knows they are in the wrong and they have some sort of moral compass which triggers their shame. And the calling out of bad behavior is critical for a functioning society.
    So the question is, to what degree we should we publicly call out bad behavior, which then would relate to level of shame the person might feel; a public embarrassment versus a private level of shame.
    We end up with various categories of appropriate public rebukes. Certainly a public figure like an elected official should be publicly rebuked for wrongful actions in their duty. Then you have all manners of public figures who exist in the digital media celebrity culture age. I’d say depending on the nature of how actively they choose to make their lives public, you wouldn’t be wrong to publicly rebuke them. When it comes to every day people, it is probably not best to publicly rebuke them, unless their actions have the potential to spread to others if not properly corrected.
    So that would probably be where your cheating student falls. There is a gray area here; do you think a private rebuke will be sufficient to correct them or do they need to feel the shame of public embarrassment to learn their lesson? Do you think the student can handle the public rebuke and that it would be worthwhile for other students to learn from this?
    But we live in a world where 1) so many every day people choose to make their lives public, including often times bad behavior. And 2) where it is important to call out just general bad behavior and traits (various unhealthy habits, etc.) even though it will cause individuals who do such things to feel publicly shamed via an indirect rebuke.
    Shame is a good thing, without shame it means we have either lost our sense of what is objectively right and wrong, or that we have become narcissists too in love with ourselves to acknowledge we could be in the wrong. Punching up and punching down to me are really more about are you calling out a person/action just so they feel bad, or are you doing it so they can correct themselves and get on track.
    The more I think about this the more the issue is so incredibly tied to the influence of social media platforms on people’s lives.

    The Amerks – Bills unis represent the new one year agreement for Bills training camp back in Rochester for 2022. First training camp at St John Fisher since 2019.

    I’m signing that Tigers petition and all of you should too. Since we all “get it”.

    Hear, hear. The link’s write-up is right…the Tigers’ excuse for the change was bunk.

    Funny that Nike is still selling this:link

    Must still need to get rid of the old Majestic stock. But also shows how the correct and proper jersey would look today.

    I am a biology professor at a Christian liberal-arts university, but I also have a background in Biblical studies, so one of my teaching duties is a class with a long name that we informally shorten to “Science & Theology”. The course essentially looks at the intersection of science, logic, and the Christian faith.

    I give that background as a way of explaining where I’m coming from, to provide background for what I’m about to say next.

    I left the following comment on Paul’s original post about shame (which I found EXTREMELY thought-provoking), and I’m going to leave it again here because I’m curious what others will have to say about it…


    This post mentions that what’s considered shameful is constantly in flux across different eras and cultures, and this is of course true. I think this flux comes from the fact that people naturally tend to define morality based on what the surrounding culture finds acceptable. Since every culture/era has its own unique societally derived moral codes, what one culture/era considers shameful another culture/era may consider laudable.

    So what do we do with this? The key question is, is there a genuine absolute moral code that applies to every human being on the planet? As a Christian, I would say yes, there is. It’s the moral code defined by God in the Bible. Since he made the universe, he has the right to make rules for us, and those are the rules we need to be following. Cultural standards matter only to the extent that they align with God’s rules. On the other hand, many people would say that there is no absolute morality that should govern everyone (for example, because there is no God or because God doesn’t care). If this is true, then no human really has the right to shame any other human for anything because no one person’s moral code is objectively superior to that of any other person.

    As a Christian, I believe God hates greed. So I can go to a greedy person and say, “You need to stop being like this because the God who made you doesn’t like it.” But if there is no God-given absolute moral code, I really have no right to do that. All I would be saying is, “What you’re doing is bad because I said so,” to which the greedy person could very justifiably respond, “Well, why should I care what you say?” If the culture surrounding me also believes that greed is reprehensible, then I could bring that into my argument (“Greed is bad because a majority of people in our culture think it’s bad”), but that’s a slippery slope in its own right. (Is the majority, by definition, always correct?) At the end of the day, if you’re not willing to base your morality on something greater than yourself or other humans, I believe you forfeit your right to shame people who don’t follow it.

    Doves don’t seem to be particularly bright birds. We had one lay eggs in a hanging fern plant on our back porch. Wasn’t long after the eggs were laid that they were stolen by a crow.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think Francisco Lindor’s socks are a sure sign of the apocalypse.

    Lindor’s sock look is also fairly common in soccer, to the point where many clubs simply get supplied sock sleeves with no foot.

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