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Team Green: Why It’s Always St. Paddy’s Day at Uni Watch HQ

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Good morning, and happy St. Patrick’s Day! Many teams across the uni-verse will be wearing green today, and perhaps you’ll be wearing some emerald attire yourself. Maybe you’ll even get yourself a shamrock shake at McDonald’s or a green beer at your local bar, or read Green Eggs and Ham, or find some other way to engage with the world’s greatest color.

Here at Uni Watch HQ, however, we don’t need a holiday to go green-themed, because green has been my Very Favorite Color for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but I do know that I got my first bicycle as a present for my fifth birthday, and I had made it very clear to my parents that the bike had to be green (they happily complied), so I know I was already on Team Green by then.

Fifty-odd years later, my love of green has not diminished one iota. It’s hard to explain why I love green so much — it just pushes my buttons and makes me happy, the same way a certain smell or a certain flavor can make someone happy. Around the same time I got that first bike, my mom would sometimes sit me down in front of an easel and encourage me to paint, and I remember very clearly the day she taught me how mixing yellow and blue would produce green. It was like magic — instant green, spontaneous green! I sat there for what seemed like hours (although it was probably just a few minutes) varying the blue/yellow ratios to create different shades of green.

Nowadays, I don’t have to rely on birthday gifts or paint-mixing to surround myself with my favorite color — I can simply decorate my home with it. For example:

  • I have a green sofa and several green-inclusive pillows:
  • That sofa lives in the living room, which has a green rug:
  • There’s also a green rug in the dining room:
  • And there’s yet another green rug in the bedroom:
  • Speaking of the bedroom, I have a wide assortment of green sheets and pillowcases. Here are the ones currently in use:
  • Moving on to the bathroom, I have green bath towels (and mint-green walls, although I can’t take credit for that, as they were already painted that way when I moved in):
  • And, of course, green hand towels:
  • My love of green extends beyond home décor. For example, I have a lot of green plaid short-sleeved shirts (these photos originally ran on Uni Watch in 2020, as a pandemic project):
  • And I also have a lot of green long-sleeved shirts (and I’ve acquired a few more since these photos were taken in 2020):
  • I also have a few non-plaid green shirts:
  • Then there are the green sweaters:
  • Moving on to outerwear, I have some green plaid jackets:

And so on. I also have green T-shirts, jerseys, hats, scarves, shorts, blazers, blankets, pot holders, dish towels, tchotchkes, and more, but I won’t bother with photos of all of those. You get the idea.

Expanding our scope to look outside the home:

  • I have a green phone case:
  • The header images for my Twitter and Facebook accounts are just plain green bars.
  • This website that you’re reading right now is very green-themed.
  • From 2010-ish through 2017, I had a green car, which was really satisfying. Unfortunately, when it came time to replace that car, I wasn’t able to get another green one. But maybe one day. (Speaking of transportation: Oddly enough, the only green bike I’ve ever had was that first one that I got when I turned five years old. My current one, which I’ve had since 2010, is sort of nickel/brass-colored.)

I should point out here that I also own a lot of non-green clothing and home accessories. I don’t even think a visitor to Uni Watch HQ would necessarily think that the place is overwhelmingly green — I’d say the primary aesthetic is earth-toned, not viridescent. But maybe that’s just because I’m used to it.

As for green uniforms, I did a ranking of the all-time best green uni designs last year. That piece was originally paywalled, but I’ve now made it available to all — enjoy.

Thanks for letting me express my love of my favorite color, and have a great St. Paddy’s Day!



And Speaking of Green ...

I spotted this beautiful vintage jersey on eBay the other day. As you can see, it has No. 53 on the front (and also on the back) but has No. 4 on the sleeves — weird! Is there any sport whose rules would call for such a jersey?



Can of the Day

In keeping with the rest of the content in today’s post, I thought this can would be a color-appropriate choice for our daily can showcase. What a beauty!


What Paul Did Last Night

True story: Last April I was looking up something on the website of the Brooklyn music club Barbés. While doing that, I noticed the photo shown above, for a band called the Pre-War Ponies. I’d never heard of them but whatever — that guy’s shirt totally caught my eye. “Hmmm,” I thought, “there’s a green plaid shirt I haven’t seen before!” I clicked on the photo to learn more.

As I quickly discovered, the Pre-War Ponies are a ukulele/trombone band that plays lesser-known songs by famous 1920s and ’30s composers. The band was conceived as a way for Daria Grace (the woman in the photo) to make use of her large collection of vintage sheet music. They’ve been playing at Barbés on the third Thursday of the month for more than a decade, but I was late to that party. I went to check them out a week or two after seeing that photo and have been back to see them on the third Thursday of nearly every month since then, including last night. Along the way, I’ve become friendly with the band members, who are wonderful people. It turns out that we have lots of friends in common, so it’s one of those “How did I never know about you until now?” kind of things.

Here are some of the songs they played last night:

The funny thing is that the photo with the green plaid shirt was taken like a million years ago (as you probably noticed, frontgal Daria Grace and sideman J. Walter Hawkes both look a bit different now). But that photo is still why I stumbled upon them, and why they’re now my friends. Green for the win!

• • • • •

Happy Birthday to longtime reader R. Scott Rogers. Enjoy your special day, buddy! —  Paul

Comments (48)

    Thank you for sharing the ranking. What about Michigan State? I say this as a Michigan alumni, but surely older kelly green State football and basketball uniforms, especially those with Gruff Sparty, are better than some of those you listed.

    Agreed that their current typography is not good, but the Magic jerseys – the 1979 script State unis that they’ve brought back as throwbacks from time to time – are great.

    (And as a lifelong Michigan fan, it pains me to use the word “great” with anything Michigan State!)

    I love all the green! I’ve always partially defined myself as green being my favorite color, too. Oddly, I prefer to wear a lot of blue in my clothing. It’s a close second! But, for me, the color scheme of Uni Watch couldn’t be more perfect!

    Carolina blue is my favorite color but green is a fair second. (Full disclosure: purple is underrated; I said it.) And while only 75% Irish, that 75% is fully represented on the outside, so I am good with wearing the green today, and every day. Especially Eagles kelly green. And late last year, my wife (a fellow ginger whose closet is heavy on the green too!) and I started de-graying the rooms of our house. The living room is now a nice sage. Almost went green for the dining room but went for more of a muted teal, so it is green-adjacent.

    Your recent room re-paints probably make “it looks the way all the Irish cottages should…and so seldom do. And only an American would have thought of (emerald) green”.
    On the notion that “Red is more durable”, I’ll play fair and keep quiet : )

    We weren’t consciously going for Irish cottage, but we would be fine with it. More than anything, we wanted to get away from gray. And to avoid all-green monotony, the upstairs office is probably going to be something resembling terra cotta, and the accents in the new dining room are a pale coral color…
    We thought about a red dining room but ultimately went the other way.

    Wow – nice references to “The Quiet Man”…not just the quote about the cottage color, but the subtle sneaking in of the Reverend’s & his wife’s name…who actually said the line in the movie.

    Amen. Love green too. From Wisconsin, so I’m partial to the Bucks and Packers. Although I wish the Bucks wore it more often and removed their BFBS (black) and BFBS (blue) uniforms from the rotation. Also remember loving the A’s uniforms in the 1970’s. Kelly green all day.

    My favourite Bucks look was when they wore the double-green. 1980s uniforms

    The Jets will read this and make an attempt to lure you away from the 49ers!

    Neat story today.

    Thanks, Dave. It’s funny — despite loving green, I’ve always rooted for the Giants, not the Jets, because I was raised in a Giants household.

    Mexico usually does something great with the green national kit but they have a particular kind of love/hate relationship with the “power rangers” kit.


    Most Mexicans I know love it, but there is a vocal group in the hate camp. It seems to be akin to the tequila sunrise unis. I suppose you could call them infamous. They’re loved or hated but there’s usually an opinion.

    From this Mopar guy: Dodge offers Challys and Chargers in F8 Green, Paul.
    FYI …

    I love green. Think it has to do with where I am from. Though I live in Vancouver now, I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. I love green as it was identified as our Saskatchewan colour. There is green in the provincial flag. License plates have green letters and numbers. The 2 universities use green as their colour. As well of course, the most popular sports team there wears green (Saskatchewan Roughriders).

    Though the Roughriders’ change to the iconic green and white wasn’t really by plan. In 1948, they ditched the black and red simply because they has to get rid of the old wool uniforms. A team executive found a deal on a set of uniforms in a surplus store based in Chicago, The switch to green and white simply due to a cheap price they could not pass up for new 1948 state-of-the-art uniforms.

    Fun piece! Good to see a, “What Paul Did Last Night” segment. Usually introduces me to a new band to look into.

    Paul, do you have a favorite shade of green?

    Not the biggest fan of the color green just as any one else would or wouldn’t like a color. Can’t explain it. However, in no order green is on my short list of of favorite uniforms, Oakland A’s, Packers, North Stars, and Whalers.

    A fun side topic, I see the Packers as a yellow team not a green one. Yellow helmets, cheese heads and so forth w green accents. But does the home green jersey make them a “green” team? Does anyone else see it this way or any other teams that have a dominate color like red but they aren’t a “red” team say 49ers where they have a gold helmet and pants but that red jersey at home sticks out so much that one would see a “red” team. Or Red Sox where I see a “blue” team not a “red” team but think they should be more red.

    Fun side topic – for my part, I tend to think of a football team’s colored jersey as showing their ‘primary’ color, so to me it does sound right to an extent to say that the 49ers are a red team, the Packers are green, the Raiders are black, etc.

    Oh… That’s a tought one… Silver-and-blue? Can’t decide on just one color…

    Good question – the Cowboys really throw a monkey wrench into this! It’s hard to think of them as primarily a blue team when they will only ever wear the blue jersey begrudgingly.

    Re: the vintage 53 jersey.

    I believe that Jai-Alai players used to wear different numbers on the same jersey. The front and back was to identify the person, and the sleeve number for the pairings for a particular game. It’s all for betting purposes.

    Ah, interesting! Thanks for that info, Fronton.

    That doesn’t automatically mean that this was a jai-alai jersey, of course, but it’s an intriguing possibility.

    Jai-Alai immediately came to mind, but what little Jai-Alai I’ve ever seen – mostly clips from Miami-involved cop shows or movies, never had the players wearing anything resembling a UCLA-striped football jersey. But who knows – maybe back in the day football-style striping was part of the deal?
    Adding to the mystery, it appears well-worn, not a factory misprint that survived whatever wardrobe purges that had befell it over the years. Love to know the answer ….
    Very curious.

    OBTW – Thanks for volunteer answering the Jets-Giants question. Good portion of the great Joe Namath biography by Mark Kriegel explains how Sonny Werblin was born on March 17 and chose Green and White for the Jets reboot from the former Titans.
    Awesome biography if you haven’t yet read it, with tremendous detail about events big and small in Namath’s life and that entire era. Most impressive is how someone that young – Kriegel – was able to touch so many sources and recreate so many events in such detail, particularly given so many of the principals long gone. Truly a great book.

    Purple is my favorite color. Orange is #2, mostly because it looks so good with purple, but #3 is GREEN…

    Thanks for the birthday wishes! And happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody! In the words of the old Irish blessing, May you escape the gallows and be as healthy as a trout.

    I loved revisiting the green uni rankings. I’m not sure “ranking” is even possible with so many uniforms and uni traditions that are so beautiful. If I had to choose a number one, I’d be torn between the Packers and the Masters green jacket, with Mexico national soccer team a strong dark horse. The one thing I’d change on the list is I’d include Hibernian FC, whose green-body, white-sleeves home kit is among my favorites in all of sport. link

    Viridescent…good word. I like when Uni-Watch introduces (potentially) new vocabulary to the readers. Well done.

    I understand the reason green is used in night vision goggles is because the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color!

    I favor Columbia Blue, especially when paired with Sheridan Red, but I like greens too.
    Kelly is great, and I don’t consider the Eagles use of midnight green to be all that bad as many UWers do. Even the touch of neon the Seahawks employ is alright by me (but going full or even half highlighter is not OK).
    Love seeing that Mike Bliss faux-back paint scheme again, and with such a high ranking.
    Happy St. Patricks Day everyone…and Happy Birthday to R.Scott!

    Ditto on the Eagles’ midnight green! Although it could be because that’s how I’ve always known them to look.

    Midnight Green would be so much better if the color was not so often paired with Black.
    More Silver and less Black in the Eagles unis would help a lot.
    While we’re at it, how about getting rid of the motorbike handlebars Winged helmet logo ….

    My best guess for that vintage jersey, it could be a jersey for a company/rec/city league. The 53 is obviously the players number, and the 4 is because that jersey was for “team number 4” or “district 4”. Things like that aren’t unheard of (the Mighty Ducks started out as the District 5 Youth Team in the movie) but I’ll admit I don’t know how much recreational football leagues had proliferated at that time, let alone using durene jerseys.

    Like I always say, “When life gives you lemmings, make lemmingade.”
    I think you got one of those plaid long-sleeved shirts at my house. It belonged to Holly’s great grandfather.
    Wire shirt? Green.
    I’m done patting myself on the back for today, folks.
    Or on this day of days, is it padding myself?

    That is exactly what it is! Got it in 1989 and still love it. Only sofa I have ever owned (although I’ve gotten new cushions a coupla times).

    Here’s a neat article from about St-Patrick’s day :

    It’s mostly a day in the history of the league thing, along with the NHL’s irish-born players and a couple of amazing pictures.

    I mean mean, what there not to love about this : link

    Of course, the Leafs will wear their great St. Pats jerseys Tonight : link

    Finally a promotional T-shirt for St Pat’s :

    Says Corktown to Cabbagetown, which are 2 Irish neighborhoods in Toronto.

    Color me green with envy on the coffee table and barber chair combo. You’re going to have to have me over more often.

    My workplace does charity raffles for employees every year with each department doing something different. Today of all days I won the luck of the Irish basket containing Guinness, Bailey’s, various lottery tickets, gift cards, Lucky Charms and of course a green T-shirt.

    Did the Uni Watch main colors change from green & yellow to green & orange, or is that temporary? I must’ve missed it when it happened, but looks good!

    You’d think after reading the post and the ticker today I would have picked up on that, haha.

    It went down a notch when the J-E-T-S of Jersey dumped the Sonny Werblin Kelly green.

    Despite my green-red color blindness, green has always been my favorite color, too. Perhaps it’s the way blue and yellow are entirely transformed when mixed, whereas the other secondaries bear a more obvious resemblance to their component primaries. Isn’t it so much better to discuss the color you love than the one you hate? BTW, blue is the dominant color of my vision: I can perceive dozens of different shades.

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