Can’t make this up: Look what was parked directly outside of Uni Watch HQ the other day! It was surely a harbinger of Purple Amnesty Day, Uni Watch’s annual grudging celebration of the world’s most accursed color, which is now officially underway. For the next 24 hours, it’s all purple, all the time!
Today’s festivities will take place on several fronts, as follows:
1. Live Events in
I’m currently in
Greenville Purpleville, N.C., where we have a big day planned. Here’s the scoop:
- I’ll be throwing out the first pitch at Tuesday evening’s ballgame between East Carolina University and Campbell. ECU will be wearing purple, and so will I! The game begins at 6pm and will be streamed on ESPN+ (although I doubt they’ll show the first pitch). Uni Watch readers who want to attend the game can purchase discounted tickets for sitting in ECU’s outfield “Jungle” seating area.
- Shortly before 8pm, I will leave the game and go to a nearby bar, Coco’s, to host a Uni Watch gathering. Readers attending the game can go with me, or they can stay until the end of the game and come to the bar later. It’s also fine if you want to skip the game entirely and just attend the party. The bar has promised to come up with some sort of purple drink special for us.
- ECU’s live purple-costumed mascot, PeeDee the Pirate, will visit us at the ballpark. I’m hoping he’ll come to the Coco’s gathering as well, although that’s not yet a certainty.
- I’ll have a bunch of these amethyst stones (generously provided by reader Will Scheibler, who procured them from a shop called Precious Purple Gemstones!) and will be giving a few to anyone who attends the ballgame and/or the party:
Should be a great day! Looking forward to meeting everyone who comes out.
2. Lots of Purple Uni Watch Content
We’ll have purple-centric content here on the website all day long. I expect to publish at least six more posts today, and all of them will be purple-themed. One of them will be Kary Klismet’s latest look at teams that wear mismatched shades of purple, which has become an annual Purp Walk tradition.
3. Today Only: Get Yer Purple Membership Cards!
The usual ban on purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership cards has been lifted until midnight Eastern tonight. So if you’re a fan of the Vikings, Rockies, Ravens, Sun, LSU, Northwestern, or any other purple-clad team, today is the one day this year that you can order a order a membership card with a design motif that includes purple. But don’t delay — at midnight the one-day window will slam shut and you’ll have to wait until next year!
4. Today Only: Purp Walk Merch
I’ve once again collaborated with designer Bryan Molloy on a Purp Walk T-shirt. Since ECU’s teams are called the Pirates, we decided to have a purple pirate making me walk the plank over a purple sea (infested by purple sharks!). Here’s a mock-up, along with a closer look at the design:
This shirt is available only until midnight Eastern tonight. You can order yours here.
In addition, we’re offering the first-ever Purp Walk poster, based on the T-shirt design. It’s available here:
And we’re also we’re offering a purple snapback cap, which is available here:
You can access all three products on this landing page.
5. Hashtag It!
If you’re engaging in any purple activities today, share your photos on social media and use the hashtag #PurpWalk2023 so we can all see what you’re up to. Thanks!
In case you’re new to this (or just need a quick refresher), the idea for Purple Amnesty Day came from reader Tim Cox, who lives in Denver and is a big Rockies fan. On the blog’s fourth birthday — May 17, 2010, which is 13 years ago tomorrow — Tim posted the following comment:
Congrats on 4 entertaining years, Paul & company. I’m a daily reader but not a member because I can’t do a Rockies membership card without purple. The 4th anniversary seems like the perfect occasion to grant amnesty to all the Rockies, Vikings, LSU, Northwestern, etc. fans out there.
I then responded:
[Y]our idea for a one-day purple amnesty program is a good one. If anyone wants to sign up for a purple-inclusive membership card, today — and only today — I will honor all such requests!
And just like that — very informally — Purple Amnesty Day was born. It has traditionally been observed each year on May 17, which is the anniversary of the very first post on this blog (not to be confused with the very first Uni Watch column, the 24th anniversary of which is coming up next week), but this year we’re observing it a day early to align with ECU’s baseball schedule.
Along the way, Purple Amnesty Day has evolved and grown:
- In 2015, membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner came up with the ingenious slang term “Purp Walk,” which is a nice counterpart to the more formal “Purple Amnesty Day.”
- 2015 is also when designer Bryan Molloy and I began collaborating on Purple Amnesty Day merchandise (all available for only 24 hours, of course).
- I believe 2015 was also the first year that I changed all of the website’s green elements to purple for the momentous day.
- In 2020, reader Kary Klismet began what has become his annual habit of writing about teams that have worn mismatched shades of purple. (His latest installment will be posted later today.)
- Last year I convened the first Purp Walk live event in Denver, which was so much fun that I’m doing the ECU event this year.
I love how the culture of the annual tradition has continued to grow and take on a life of its own. It’s now one of my favorite days on the Uni Watch calendar, even though I hate looking at all that purple!
Speaking of which: People sometimes say I have “purplephobia.” But as I always explain, that’s not accurate, because “phobia” means fear. Folks, I don’t fear purple; I loathe purple. If anything, purple should fear me.
Why do I detest purple so much? As I always explain when people ask me that question, I actually think purple in nature is quite nice — violets, plums, eggplants, etc. But purple as a human-imposed design element almost always strikes me as tasteless and tacky. It’s the diva of colors, the Celine Dion of colors — loud, grandiose, never content to do just enough when it can do way too much. There’s a darn good reason why you rarely see a purple house or a purple car (except outside of my house!). Now if we could just eradicate purple from the rest of the built environment. Grrrrr.
Okay, that’s enough to get us started for Purp Walk 2023. Enjoy the rest of the day as we continue to celebrate the world’s most accursed color!
Greatest day of the year. Happy Purple Amnesty Day.
My kids’ daycare also informed me that today is “Wear Purple for Peace Day.” Is this conspiracy, coincidence, or kismet?
From what I gather via pretty sketchy internet sources, it was originally meant as a way to entice aliens to visit earth: link.
Happy early Purp Walk for us West Coasters!
Beware of telling too many people in Greenville about your loathing of purple. Turns into fightin’ words for some (not me … I dislike it and will not wear it, not even on Purple Amnesty Day though I like your concept).
Have a great day out there, Paul and the Purple Gang!
Enjoy, erm, Purpleville.
As a native Michigander, I’m shocked…SHOCKED…to see Faygo market grape “soda” when that is quite obviously pop. Surely that can would never have been sold in Detroit.
Probably not in Pittsburgh, or anywhere else in Western PA either! When I went away to college in Rochester, NY, after living in Western PA my whole life, I found myself firmly entrenched in the whole pop/soda debate for the first time in my life! I ended up settling in Rochester after college, and have been here for over 25 years. Rochester is kind of on the fence with the whole pop/soda debate. Hardcore Rochesterians say pop, but with lots of transplants, especially from downstate, there is also plenty of traction for those who say soda. Interestingly, my wife and her family have lived here their whole lives, and my father in law says pop, but my wife says soda (and has also gotten my kids on board. Grrr!!!!)
It’s interesting that Rochester is the line. I am firmly within Soda Nation (Philadelphia/South Jersey) but my in-laws are from Buffalo and are Team Pop. I wasn’t sure where the line is, and our neighbors growing up were Pittsburghers who went with pop (as does one of my partners, also from the ’Burgh). Gotta be somewhere, right? Rochester seems a lot farther west than I would have expected.
Grew up in the South and when I was a kid everyone called soda “coke” and never pop or soda.
I’ve seen people ask for a coke and happily accept a Mountain Dew.
“I’ve seen people ask for a coke and happily accept a Mountain Dew.”
Phil … I’ll just cryptically say “Welcome to the South” and leave it at that.
I understand in the region (near the birthplace of Coca-Cola) a coke is the general term for a cola drink. Coke is often used to explain this phenomenon of a specific brand being so universally well known that it can become the item or category, other famous examples are Lego, Kleenex or Xerox. There is a term for this, like a synonym, but I honestly forgot it.
When someone asks for a Kleenex, we know what they mean. When people of certain age were asked by their teacher to go to the office and make a Xerox, we knew what to do. But ordering a coke one should get a cola, like Pepsi or RC, right? Not another flavor Mt. Dew or Sprite or a ginger ale or a grape
No idea as to why. I don’t drink soda myself so have never had to pick a term. I call a drink by whatever it’s name actually is.
But coke was the generic term for a soda or pop when I was younger. It never made any sense to me.
There might be another term for it, Mic, but the one I’ve heard is genericization.
Speaking of Rochester, Purp Walk happens to fall as the annual Lilac Festival is in full bloom! Maybe Paul can do a Purple Amnesty Day event at the festival one of these years.
Ooooh, that would be an awesome idea! Get a picture of Paul standing on the giant purple crosswalk on Highland Avenue!!!
Not sure if this link will actually display correctly or not, but this is supposed to be the street view of the crosswalk, albeit with faded paint.
6 facts about the greatest color in the universe.
Purple is also the least-used color in flags. It’s currently used in just three national flags, and you have to kind of squint to see it at all in those three flags. Fun Wikipedia article on purple in vexillology: link).
I look forward to this every year!
Paul, you’re such a good sport about Purple Amnesty Day, and you’re right, it has turned into a very fun day on the Uni Watch Calendar!
As an LSU fan with a birthday that comes two days after Purple Amnesty Day, this day always marks a streak of me wearing gorgeous purple shirts for almost a week straight! Happy Amnesty Day to everyone! Can’t wait to catch all the planned content!
While I didn’t grow up with those cans specifically, today’s cans of the day brought back memories of summer bbqs during my childhood, drinking grape soda by the pool.
Happy Purple Amnesty Day to all who celebrate!!!
The searing pain of the header color. Scorches the retinas. Happy Purple Amnesty Day all.
Two things: completely forgot it was Purple Amnesty Day when I got dressed this morning but happened to throw on my Rockies hat–notable because it hasn’t quite made it to my regular rotation. (Probably because purple is such a tricky color to wear other colors with.)
Secondly, an important question: Paul, are you wearing those purple pants you debuted last year?
Happy Purp Walk Day! Enjoy NC. Wish I could join (like many, I’ll be there in spirit…wearing my purple today).
That stacker of soda cans left space for a Frank’s Grape – a top-tier offering, though an also-ran when compared to their Black Cherry Whisniak and Cream Soda.
PS – I love my purple snapback (worn proudly, and not just on PA Day), but I really missed out by not ordering that 2018 Purp Walk cap.
Hi – I want to order the shirt and had but I don’t have the discount code for subscribers. Any chance somebody knows where I can find it?
IIRC, discount codes are for TeeSpring merch only.
My ‘gift codes’ show up after I log in (under “Account”).
Wow, I think the last time I saw a pull-tab pop can was when I was in Indiana overnight back in 1985. Stay-tabs had been commonplace in the Detroit area pretty much my whole life, as far as I can remember – pull-tabs were still in use on juice cans, but that was about it.
On a side note, assuming PAD goes back to its regularly scheduled May 17 next year, we’ll have to wait an extra day on top of the extra day we already get for Leap Year, or 367 days!
I’m not a purple fan either, but love Purple Amnesty Day. I have a son at Kansas State and have adjusted to that purple town somewhat. At least their version (at least for football) is a pretty dark version, which I prefer.
Paul, I imagine you’ve heard this before… if not, today is your chance. For all those who haven’t been exposed, give a listen to Ken Nordine’s “Purple” from his 1966 word jazz album Colors. It’s purplexing, and may permanently change your previous opinion of purple.
Happy Purple Amnesty Day (observed), everyone!
Need some ideas about how to celebrate with an appropriately purple adult beverage of your choice? Check out these ideas from the Denver Post:
What kind of car is that? I can’t make it out. Maybe a Mazda or Hyundai?
Looks like an Infiniti Q50
That’s correct, Phil. Terrible thing to do to a Q50. Seems to be a fun sedan. Mash the accelerator and drive that down the road if you want attention … don’t paint it like this, though if ever a harbinger of Purple Amnesty Day …
No grape Nehi. Radar would be unhappy. I used to love grape soda. Too sweet for me now.
How long until there’s a TM after “World’s Most Accursed Color?” Happy Purple Amnesty Day, all!
As I read this, the sidebar ad is for a purple Delta Amex card. Auspicious!
It seems to me that Minneapolis would be the ideal location for a Purple Amnesty Day gathering seeing as it’s the hometown of Prince and my beloved Purple People Eater Vikings. I would certainly do my best to make the trip to attend from an hour north of the border. Make it happen, Paul!
I heartily agree, name twin!
ACKSHUALLY, purple is a pretty unique and cool color for sports uniforms, especially a nice deep violet.
Our high school is purple-based and all of my kids’ athletics gear is purple. We are the Royals, so it fits with gold. I love it and we’re proud of it, so this day helps a lot.
I have the Uni-Watch Universary/Purple Amnesty Day/Purp Walk set in may phone so I don’t miss out on ordering whatever beautiful item(s) are made available on that special day.
Now, the ONE YEAR I don’t regularly check the Uni-Watch website daily, I find out I missed out on the best merch of the year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Purp Walk and I’ve learned my lesson for next year.