Good morning! Hope everyone had a good weekend.
The WNBA All-Star Game was held yesterday in Chicago. With Brittney Griner still being held in Russia, both teams in yesterday’s WNBA All-Star Game showed their support by coming out for the second half wearing Griner’s No. 42 and “Griner” NOBs.
Other notes from the game:
• The uniforms’ orange-centric color scheme was based on the WNBA logo, and the game’s logo was based on the six-pointed stars in the Chicago city flag.
• The jerseys featured each player’s regular team logo on the upper-left chest (click to enlarge):
• Each half of the court had two circles near the half-court line. Shots made from these circles — which also had a six-point star motif — were worth four points, which was one of the game’s several experimental rule changes. This next video, in addition to showing a successful four-point shot, also shows the 42-fest effect in the second half, similar to MLB’s Jackie Day:
Candace Parker pulls up for 4 🔥#TeamWilson leading late! #WNBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/H1ZSsHdYIn
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 10, 2022
• ESPN writer Nick DePaula tweetd photos of some of the players’ custom shoes, which you can see here, here, here, and here.
• Is it just me, or does the game’s MVP trophy, won by Las Vegas Aces point guard Kelsey Plum, seem a bit on the small side? Take a look:
• Much like in the NBA, players wore their regular uniforms for the Skills Competition, which took place on Saturday. You can see photos here, here, and here.
(Special thanks to Julie Streeter for contributing much of the info and impetus for this entry.)
Photo by Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports; click to enlarge
Speaking of All-Star Games: One of the oddest things about this MLB season is that the Dodgers — hosts of this year’s All-Star Game — chose not to wear an ASG patch. Even more oddly, as you can see above, they suddenly started wearing such patches on their jersey sleeves and caps yesterday.
Why would you wait until nine days before the All-Star Game to add the patches? And why would you do it in the fourth game of a four-game series? I asked Dodgers designer Ross Yoshida for more info — no response yet, but I’ll let you know if I learn anything more.
Deadline fast approaching: The deadline to enter our latest design contest (to create MLB All-Star uniforms that don’t suck) is this Wednesday, so get those entries in while you still can! Full details here.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: Reader Matthew Glidden tells us that the ongoing Honkbalweek Haarlem international tournament in the Netherlands had the host country, using the extra-long name “Kingdom of the Netherlands,” wearing powder blue for what the broadcasters said is the first time, including “Kingdom” on the front of the jerseys. … The Phillies’ TV broadcasters were talking about the City Connect uniforms yesterday, saying that they think the more traditional teams don’t need them (from @PhillyPartTwo). … MLB has a video from last year on its YouTube channel about how its teams got their names (from Doug Benson). … Here’s a good article on the Pirates’ grounds crew (from our own Jerry Wolper).
Football News: The Commanders revealed their 90th-anniversary patches on Saturday, which was the team’s actual 90th anniversary. There’s a matching version for each of the team’s jerseys. … Surprising news out of Pittsburgh, where the Steelers’ stadium name will no longer be a condiment ad. A new advertiser — reportedly an insurance company — could be named as early as tomorrow (from Mike Chamernik). … Reader Kurt Rozek tells us that the second part of the A Football Life documentary about Vince Lombardi appears to show a Packers helmet with reversed white-green-white helmet stripes. … If you’ve ever wanted to see NFL rookies attempt to paint their teams’ logos, you’re in luck, I think (thanks, Phil). … A collector who has over 400 full-size helmets from varying levels of college football laid them all out on his front yard this weekend (from multiple readers).
Hockey News: The new Red Wings players at the team’s development camp were assigned numbers, which of course might only be temporary (from Brandon Weir).
Soccer News: The Copa América Femenina started on Friday. It’s hosted by Colombia, whose team protested their federation’s lack of support for them by punching the air during their national anthem. … Appropriately after my piece on how we talk about women’s sports, Volkswagen is running a Euro 2022 adboard saying, “Women play football, not ‘women’s football.'” … One English club that needs to hear that is Sheffield United, a Euro 2022 host that said on Friday their women’s team is playing all home games at the men’s home of Bramall Lane next season. They’re one of many UK clubs that refer to their teams as “first team” and “women’s team,” which is slowly being replaced by “men’s first team” and “women’s first team.” … Still at Euro 2022, I’m stumped as to what the Netherlands’ captain’s armband, which has what look like diagonal stripes in multiple colors with a white portion, is supposed to represent, if anything. They also have a European champions sleeve patch. … New shirts for Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and Scottish clubs Queen’s Park and Ross County.
Grab Bag: The indoor lacrosse Western Lacrosse Association’s Langley Thunder wore black purple-trimmed jerseys on Saturday to support the Tessa Beauchamp Foundation, a local charity founded in memory of its namesake, a British Columbia high school basketball player. “Notable that Langley’s wearing their usual dark shorts (which are trimmed in blue) with this jersey,” says Wade Heidt. … Since last week was National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee Week in Australia, some national teams, including the men’s rugby union team and women’s field hockey team, as well as club teams in various sports wore Indigenous designs. … A small museum in Oakland, Iowa, has some uniforms — primarily baseball — from local sports teams displayed on the walls. At the far right of this picture is one from the girls’ basketball team at the no longer extant Oakland HS that was mysteriously white and green when the school colors were purple and gold (from Todd Wolverton).
The WorldLacrosse Women’s World Championship finished last weekend in Towson, Md.
The United States team were issued three uniform tops but often wore a BFBS jersey with grey letters and numbers:
The States did wear white for the final.
The four point shot is something that is probably worth mimicking in other all star games. Thought before my time, I always hear the MLB all star game used to be great because as a fan you’d only see players from the league your team was in, and it was treat to actually see all the best players since there wasn’t national coverage of sports. With the instant access to any game and highlight, and no real incentive to win exhibition all star games, you need something to get people to watch.
Creative rule tweaks that don’t fundamentally change the nature of playing the game, but add something new and fun on a one time basis could be the way to go.
Tell me the Pirates groundskeeping crew doesn’t have any brown or black people on it without actually telling me the Pirates groundskeeping crew doesn’t have any brown or black people on it:
“The feet are bare white,” said Seth Whitehill, 36, manager of field operations. “If you see someone wearing flip-flops and they have a shoe tan, they’re most likely a groundskeeper somewhere.”
Or a mailman.
My sock tan line is legendary!
Great to see the ticker submissions make the lead post today Paul!
Will be curious to see if the league continues with the orange/white uniforms for its all star game or switch to host city colors as they’ve done in the past. The orange logo hoodie has become quite popular in the last few years so I can see why they would want to capitalize on the brand recognition.
Thank *you* for the contributions, Julie!
I had already written up the Griner/42 thing as a sub-lede. When I saw all the additional info you contributed for the Ticker, I decided to gather a few more items (about the trophy and the Skills Challenge) and cobble it all into today’s lede.
Oh my, that Heinz Stadium news… oof. It should go without saying that no corporate advertisement would be best, but there’s at least something to be said for the corporate advertisement having some sort of a connection to the city in which the ballpark was situated.
Pittsburgh has always been a good city for this. Heinz, PPG, and PNC Bank are all Pittsburgh companies with strong ties to the city and its history. There’s a lot of pride in Pittsburgh for Heinz ketchup and the Heinz family, and so Heinz Field worked.
And now if reports are to be believed, the Steelers stadium will be named after an insurance company that I’ve never heard of in my life. I live in Pittsburgh and work in insurance, and I have no clue who this company is! How bizarre.
Based out of Grand Rapids Michigan apparently, but seeming to be aggressively pushing their brand, having a southern California arena named after them as well.
I live in Pittsburgh and work in insurance, and I have no clue who this company is!
You do now. That’s the point, right?
Quick question: Certain sports facilities (Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Lambeau Field, Dodger Stadium, Madison Square Garden) have resisted the siren song of renaming windfalls. Is this because they have actual integrity; want to avoid the public black eye of renaming a venerable stadium; or because their leagues have actually prevented them from taking the easy money?
It’s because their owners believe that the value of the current facility names is greater than the monetary value of selling off those names.
Green Bay considered it with the 2000 referendum for the first big remodeling and adding the atrium. Polls showed a close vote (I think it passed 53-47), so naming rights as a way to reduce the cost was floated. That said, the team thought better of it, and IIRC, advertisers were said to skittish of backlash.
Of the examples given, aside from Green Bay, all are very large market teams, and thus have access to larger local revenue streams as compared to smaller market teams.
The the Green Bay exemption, given the ownership structure of the team and stadium, there is not one or a handful of ultra wealthy that get to pocket that naming rights fee. So clearly the shareholders and voters see that from a revenue vs operational cost perspective, that potential new revenue isn’t enough to justify it. That says to me one of two things:
Place names mean a lot to people, or in the overall scheme of things the additional revenue isn’t substantial. If it is the latter, it is more evidence that these rights deals aren’t essential to “be competitive” and are just squeezing as much money as possible from their franchises.
– Paul Brown Stadium is in Cincinnati — not a large city.
– Fenway Park is in Boston — not a large city.
– Camden Yards is in Baltimore — not a large city.
And so on.
It strikes me that corporate names for ballparks & stadiums have a long, not wholly DIShonorable history in American sports. The two things that bother me more are a) the rotating door of names that’s inherent to limited-period naming contracts, and b) the names that modern corporations tend to go by.
I mean, leave aside what the company does or where it’s based: there’s something almost deliberately inhuman about naming your business something like “Acrisure,” “RingCentral,” “Vivint,” etc. And there’s something about the practice that seems to go deeper than caution about copyright/trademark laws alone can justify, and that speaks to something uglier it’s hard to put my finger on.
Right, a name like Heinz Field is always going to be more palatable (pun intended) simply because it is a human sounding name. These newer corporate names just create a soulless vibe. Something created by focus groups or perhaps just a naming algorithm. Lumen, Allegiant… those make names like Lucas Oil sound quaint.
I guess you can imagine yourself being able to, at some point in history, talking to THE person that founded a company called Lucas Oil. It is hard to imagine one person founding Allegiant or Lumen, they sound like corporations founded by other corporations.
“This next video, in addition to showing a successful four-point shot, also shows the 42-fest effect in the second half, similar to MLB’s Jackie Day”
Wow, what a dichotomy. Seeing 42s on Jackie Robinson Day reminds me of a civil rights hero who helped integrate baseball. Seeing 42s during the WNBA All-Star game reminded me of someone who once slugged an opponent during a game and who, much like the oft-criticized LIV golfers, took the money to play in a country that has a horrible track record of human rights.
…and who was arrested for having drugs in her possession, admitted to it in court and now faces jail time.
…and you believe what the Russian government is telling you…why?
Griner is one of the WNBA’s highest paid players at $227,000/year. For comparison, the minimum salary in the NBA starts at $925,000. Griner was being paid $1 million to play in Russia. The LIV tour players are making hundreds of millions just to show up. Now that is a dichotomy.
“indoor lacrosse Western Lacrosse Association’s Langley Thunder”.
Something more about those photos. May be more obscure to most Uni Watch readers but notable.
Since this season, many WLA teams have started wearing white shorts with white jerseys. 2 sets of shorts instead of the usual one set for both white and dark jerseys.
The opponents in that game are the New Westminster Salmonbellies. The Salmonbellies jersey has been relatively unchanged for decades and they always wear red shorts with white jerseys, including earlier this season.
Was red shorts whether it is the more baggy style of today or the short shorts of the past.
The Salmonbellies were wearing white shorts on July 9 which is strange looking and a downgrade compared to the red shorts.
Tigers broadcast team spent the bottom of the 4th of the first game complaining about the ASG unis. They were willing to compromise with a special hat or a modified jersey, but there were dead set against ASG uniforms.
MLB Jersey’s per the MLB release look awful.
This quote from today’s Ticker: “Appropriately after my piece on how we talk about women’s sports, Volkswagen is running a Euro 2022 adboard saying, “Women play football, not ‘women’s football.’”
This suggests that Volkswagen is running the ad BECAUSE of Jamie’s recent article. Has this been verified?
No, it just suggests coincidental timing.