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Kings Unveil Sensational 100th-Anniversary Logo

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Although the NBA was founded in 1946, several of its teams can trace their lineage further back than that. One such team is the Sacramento Kings, who originated in 1923 as the semi-pro Rochester Seagrams. That means the franchise is marking its 100th anniversary this season, which they’ll be commemorating with a new logo — the first centennial logo in NBA history.

The design was created by longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom, in collaboration with the Kings’ creative department. The five rubies in the crown symbolize the five cities the franchise has called home over the past 100 years: Rochester (where the team was known as the Seagrams and then the Royals), Cincinnati (Royals) Kansas City (Kings), Omaha (Kings), and Sacramento (Kings).

Todd tweeted some visual reference that went into the design, along with a graphic showing how the anniversary logo fits in with the evolution of the team’s primary logo:

Granted, I’m a bit biased because Todd is a friend, but I think this is one of the nicest anniversary logos we’ve seen in a long time. The only downer is that it will not appear on the Kings’ Icon, Association, or Statement uniforms. Could it end up being appearing on, or even being the visual centerpiece for, this year’s City uniform? We’ll find out in about a month, because the Kings also announced that they will unveil this season’s City design on Oct. 21.



New Substack Column: 10 NFL Throwbacks I'd Like to See

We’ve seen a bumper crop of new NFL throwbacks over the past two seasons, but there are still plenty of worthwhile designs that have never gotten the throwback treatment. So for this week’s Uni Watch Premium article on Substack, I ran down my top 10 choices for throwbacks I’d like to see.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you access to my full Substack archives). My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



Can of the Day

This was apparently an insecticide. Hey, if you can’t beat those nasty bugs with science, you might as well try witchcraft!



What Paul Did Last Night

I generally don’t care for musical theater, but I make an exception for the bizarre sub-niche of industrial musicals, which are very strange song-and-dance films that were made mostly in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s and screened at corporate sales conferences and trade shows. A former David Letterman writer named Steve Young (no, not that Steve Young) has become industrial musicals’ foremost expert and cultural ambassador/cheerleader in recent years, and last night he hosted a screening of some of the best footage from his collection at a movie theater near Uni Watch HQ, so my friend Anne and I went to check it out.

If you’ve never seen industrial musicals, it’s hard to explain how absurdist they are, and how perfectly they capture the simultaneous appeal and repulsion of midcentury capitalism. The production values were generally quite good, because corporations hired legit professionals — often with Broadway résumés — to write, score, and choreograph the musical numbers. But bringing genuine showbiz glitz (complete with jazz hands, hip shakin’, and toe tappin’) to a song about, say, chemical polymers or the latest blend of gasoline, bulldozes right past kitsch into the realm of the surreal.

My favorite segment in last night’s program was this one — a musical number (preceded by some sober sales talk) for the 1959 Ford Edsel. The ’58 model had been a huge flop and an object of national ridicule, so you might say Ford took a rather unsubtle approach with the sales song:

So that was my Tuesday night. Hope yours was just as much fun as mine.


Comments (33)

    Whoa, that was actually a THING? In the end of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the main character finds herself in a corporate shill musical gig. I should have assumed those writers wouldn’t have just made that up, but it’s insane that it was so common! Wow!

    Mr. Young was involved in a (light) documentary called “Bathtubs Over Broadway” that goes into detail about the whole industrial musicals phenomenon. I liked it.

    Now there’s a plug.
    If this streaming service plastered its name on a jersey or helmet would you still refer to this company by name? Or Mr. Yuk

    Um, I recommend things by name (books, records, movies, restaurants, products, eBay, etc.). This is no different.

    I trust that you can see the distinction between a personal recommandation and a transactional advertisement. Jeez.

    I went to school with Steve Young. Dry wit and great thinker, too. Was my teaching fellow in a class called “Space, Time and Motion.”

    Folks, watch that Edsel video all the way to the end. You will not be disappointed.

    Also, I had no idea that “obsoleting” was a verb.

    As an English composition instructor, I can assure you it’s not a word. That’s a symptom of corporate bastardization of the language which results in words like “onboarding” and using “effect” as a verb rather than the noun that it is.

    Merriam-Webster says “obsolete” as a verb dates back to 1640, and “effect” to 1533. It might be time to accept them.

    That Kings commemorative logo is very nice. For some reason, the purple bit at the top of the current Kings logo has always read to me as a mountain range standing in for the top of a crown. Are there mountains in Sacramento? I dunno! So maybe? So seeing the prior logos next to it, with a similar pattern of diagonal cutouts in the crown device at the top is instructional. And of course Todd using the current logo’s crown-top pattern for the literally depicted crown in the anniversary mark helps me see the main logo more as it’s intended.

    Nope. Sacramento sits in the middle of California’s Central Valley. It’s all pretty flat but there are mountains both to thr East and West. Not being able to see those mountains was actually a bit of a problem when I moved away from there. I lost my sense of direction for almost a full year.

    Thanks, Paul.
    I’ll be singing “sell the car!, sell the car!” all day in my head. Lol!

    Don’t like musical theatre? Paul, I thought I knew you!

    Thanks for the excellent Edsel song.

    “Todd tweeted some visual reference that went into the design…”
    Very cool to see the reference frames…but what’s the modified “Leo’s World” logo doing there at the bottom?


    ; )

    The ’59 Edsel was a stylistic retreat from the ’58s. More of a dolled-up Ford than anything new or bold. Dealer incentives and rebates were being offered in a desperation move to keep the marque alive. As a result the ’59s are more visible today than the bold, edgy ’58s.

    First prize for selling the most 1959 Ford Edsels is a Cadillac Eldrorado Ford Edsel. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.

    I love the logo, but if they were the Seagrams for 22 years, wouldn’t it technically be 78 years of Royalty?

    I was born the year that Edsel ad was produced. It just blows my mind. The 50s was another universe.

    This is more a question for Paul, or anyone on here. Apologies in advance if its been covered or a dumb one.

    Is there any significance to the outlines/shape of the crown on the kings logo? I never noticed that it was consistent through the years. Is it meant to be initals? I can barely see a VNI, but maybe I’m overthinking it? It just seems like an unnatural shape to stick around for so many versions. Thanks in advance, and again, sorry if I’m stupid here.

    I don’t know if the original crown was meant to signify anything, but the subsequent versions have clearly been intended to maintain continuity from the first version.

    Hot take here, but I don’t think it counts as 100 years if you’ve played in five places. Exceptions may exist (Golden State Warriors maybe), however I’m of the opinion that once you move cities your clock should start again. It’s a bit embarassing that the Phoenix Coyotes have (or had) Thomas Steen’s number retired among others. And that the LA Dodgers own the Brooklyn Dodgers history (or are even called the Dodgers!). Nice logo, bad counting.

    WFMU has some of the best 50s industrial musical sound clips in its archives (or at least they used to have them). Along with lots of other fine, weird songs.

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