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Important News About Uni Watch’s Future

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Good morning, and happy post-New Year! I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend and that your 2024 is off to a good start.

New Year’s Day is always particularly resonant for me because of its role in Uni Watch’s origin story. As I’ve mentioned a few times over the years, the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made was in 1999 — 25 years ago yesterday — when I resolved to create a sports column about uniform design. It was a project I’d been thinking about for a while and had even mentioned to some of my friends (“So here’s this idea I’ve been kicking around…”), but I hadn’t really done anything about it. Turning it into a New Year’s resolution was my way of giving myself a kick in the pants so I’d finally get moving and make it happen already. And it worked: A little less than five months later, on May 26, 1999, the first Uni Watch column appeared. Resolution achieved!

Yesterday, however, I made the second New Year’s resolution of my life: I resolved to step away from Uni Watch on May 26 of this year — exactly 25 years after that first column was published. Uni Watch’s silver universary will also be my last day.

Let me repeat that: I’ll be leaving Uni Watch a little less than five months from now.

Obviously, this is a big move, and I’m sure you have many questions about it, so let’s shift into FAQ mode:

Why are you doing this?

Let me be clear: Working on Uni Watch is a privilege and, most of the time, a major pleasure. But for a variety of reasons, I’ve decided that it’s time for a change. Here are the four primary reasons why:

  1. Covering a news beat on a 24/7 basis can be exhilarating, but being on that hamster wheel is also exhausting. The news never stops, there’s never any “off” mode, and the need to constantly be “on” has taken a toll on some other aspects of my life. After so many years of working 60 to 70 hours a week on Uni Watch, including during weekends, holidays, late nights, and vacations (and that’s not counting the additional hours when I’m thinking about Uni Watch or even dreaming about Uni Watch), I’ve decided that I don’t want to live that way anymore. Basically, I need to get off the hamster wheel.
  2. I’m at my best, creatively and emotionally, when I learn something new, get excited and enthusiastic about it, and want to share that enthusiasm with other people. But I don’t learn as much from Uni Watch as I once did. I don’t just mean that I’m not learning as many things about uniforms (although that’s also true); I mean that I’m not gaining as many insights about how design works, how the world works, even how I work, as I once did. There are still moments of revelation and discovery, which are awesome, but they’re fewer and farther between. I feel like I mostly keep learning the same lessons, or the same kinds of lessons, over and over, and that makes me feel a bit stuck. If I want to keep growing as a creative person (which I definitely do!), I don’t think Uni Watch is the best way for me to do that anymore.
  3. The uni-verse has been moving more and more in directions that I find disappointing (the spread of ads on uniforms, the proliferation of pointless alternate designs, etc.). Covering the bad along with the good comes with the job, of course, but writing so often about things I dislike requires a lot of laborious compartmentalization at best, negative energy at worst. As I explained last summer when I launched Uni Watch Positivity Week, all that negativity wears me down. I’d rather pursue projects that don’t put me in a negative frame of mind so frequently.
  4. I’ve been doing Uni Watch for nearly a quarter-century now — that’s a long time! I’m very proud of this project, but I feel like I’ve said most of what I need to say here. In short: It’s enough. Moreover, I’ll be turning 60 in a couple of months. Do I really want to be writing about sports uniforms in my 60s? There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I’ve decided that it’s not how I want to spend the next phase of my life. Those two milestone numbers — me turning 60 and Uni Watch turning 25 — make this seem like a good time to move on to other things.

So you’re retiring?

Only from Uni Watch. I will continue to work on various creative media projects. I’ll explain a bit more about that in a minute.

So instead of retiring, are you pretiring?

Sort of — that’s not a bad shorthand term for what I have in mind. But the term I’ve been embracing lately is post-career, which I recently learned from the longtime indie musician Ben Vaughn. I heard an interview with him where he explained that he’s still making music, still embarking on new projects, and so on, so he’s definitely not retired, but he’s reached the point where he can get off the hamster wheel and do things on his own terms without worrying about the endless hustle, the endless career ambition, the marketing, the sales pitch, or the size of his audience. That’s pretty much where I am, too (or, rather, where I’ll be after May 26): not retired, but post-career. I like that term.

How long have you known you were going to do this?

I’ve been thinking about it and laying the groundwork for a while, but I was second-guessing myself as recently as Thanksgiving. I didn’t make the absolute final decision until about a month ago.

It’s kinda whiplash-y to announce this news the day after you unveiled the 25th-universary logo.

I know. Sorry about that — it’s just the way things worked out.

What will happen with Uni Watch from now through May 26?

It should be business as usual. We’ll still have daily content here on the blog, I’ll still have my weekly Premium articles on Substack, I’ll do one last Purp Walk on May 17, and so on. My goal for these last five months is for Uni Watch to keep being what it’s always been: the go-to source for uni-related information and commentary. I want to go out with a finishing kick, not coast to the finish line.

One caveat, though: E and I are planning a trip for the last week in March. For a variety of reasons, that’s the only week that works for this particular trip. The timing isn’t ideal, because the MLB season begins that week, but I’m determined to publish my annual MLB Season Preview a few days before Opening Day, as usual, even if that means I’ll be revising the article during our flight and putting the finishing touches on it during our travels. Daily blog content, however, will probably be lighter than usual that week.

What will happen to this blog after May 26?

Unless someone comes along and purchases Uni Watch from me (more on that in a minute), the current plan is that Deputy Editor Phil Hecken will be promoted to Editor and will take over the weekday duties I now have. This will be on a trial basis for a few months, after which we’ll re-evaluate things and see whether we want to make the change permanent.

I will retain ownership of the site but will not be involved in its day-to-day editorial operations. It’ll be Phil’s show, and he’ll be free to run things however he chooses, make changes if he likes, and so on.

Web developer John Ekdahl will remain on board to assist Phil with tech issues and logistics.

With Phil moving to weekdays, what will happen to weekends?

Longtime reader/contributor Jim Vilk, who’s already a strong presence on the weekends, will be taking over our Saturday and Sunday content starting in June. With Phil handling weekdays and Jim on weekend duty, I know Uni Watch will be in good hands.

What about the Ticker?

Phil plans to continue running the Ticker. We may have some additional staff turnover on that front, but it’s too soon to know exactly how things will shake out — stay tuned.

What will happen to your Substack?

Up through May 26, my Substack will be the same as it’s always been, with four feature-length Uni Watch articles per month.

After that, I will keep writing and publishing on Substack, but not about uniforms. Starting in June (or maybe July, because I may decide to take a little bit of time off), my Substack will get a makeover and become, for lack of a better term, a Paul Lukas zine, probably under the name Inconspicuous Consumption (which is the name I used for a lot of my work in the 1990s and 2000s, including my 1997 book, shown at right). I will use that platform to focus my usual obsessive gaze upon various detail-driven and minutiae-centric topics, along with object-based storytelling, personal storytelling, probably some stuff about food, collectors, maybe some travel, and so on. This will include a new regular feature about people’s favorite objects, along with other content that may be similar to some of my past projects, like Permanent Record and Key Ring Chronicles. I also suspect there will be some stuff I haven’t thought of yet. I mostly want it to be a place where I can connect with an audience by expressing curiosity, enthusiasm, delight, and deep thought. I’m still figuring out the contours of it, but I’m excited by the possibilities.

My Substack will become my “home base” — the center of my creative activities. If you want to keep tabs on what I’m up to, that will be the place to do it.

Will this new version of your Substack still be paywalled?

I’ll probably let it be free for the first month or so of non-uni content, so people can get a sense of what I’ll be doing. But after that, yes, it will be paywalled.

Will the blog be paywalled when Phil’s running it?

We have no plans for that.

Will you also be writing articles for magazines, websites, and so on?

Yes, I’ll still be a freelance writer. I’ll probably be pretty selective about taking on outside work, but I’m definitely open to pursuing interesting assignments. So if you’re an editor in search of a writer, an inexperienced author in search of a ghostwriter, or anything along those lines, feel free to be in touch.

Will any of that freelance writing be about uniforms?

Maybe an occasional article here or there. But I wouldn’t want to do anything that would compete with what Phil’s doing here on Uni Watch.

What about non-uni sportswriting?

Maybe! There’s a non-uni sports topic that I’ve been kicking around in my head for a few years. I’ve never had the time to pursue it, but it would make an excellent post-career project. If any sports editors out there are curious, feel free to drop me a line.

Will you write some sort of Uni Watch book?

I have no plans for that. But never say never! If a publisher or editor came to me with a particularly fun idea, I’d consider it.

Do you think you’ll do another podcast?

Possibly! I have an idea for a project that I think could work really well in a podcast format, and it’s easy to integrate podcasts into Substack, so we’ll see.

Would you be open to consulting with teams or leagues about their uniform programs?

Sure — that type of consulting work would no longer be a conflict of interest if I’m not writing about uniforms, so I’m open to it. I don’t know that any teams or leagues would be interested in having me work for them in that capacity, but I’m always happy to discuss possibilities.

Will you be making occasional cameo appearances here on the site while Phil is running it?

I’m not sure yet. We’ll see.

What will happen to my Uni Watch Plus subscription after May 26?

Like I said, the site will continue to operate under Phil’s direction, so your UW+ subscription will still be active, with the same benefits as before.

What will happen to my Substack subscription after May 26?

Full details on that can be found here.

What was that you said a minute ago about someone possibly purchasing Uni Watch from you?

I’m open to the idea of selling Uni Watch. If anyone out there is interested in purchasing it after I step aside, feel free to be in touch.

Why don’t you just sell the site to Phil?

I proposed that to him, but he’s more comfortable with the idea of working for the site instead of owning it.

What if a bunch of us readers wanted to pool our resources to buy the site and make it comm-uni-ty-owned?

I would love that. Again, feel free to be in touch.

Aren’t you worried that someone might destroy your legacy by buying the site and turning it into some sort of Nike-worshipping grossness?

My legacy, such as it is, is about my ideas. It’s not bound up in the words “Uni” and “Watch.” By now you probably know that I take a pretty dim view of branding as a cultural phenomenon, so the ultimate fate of Uni Watch as a brand isn’t that important to me. I’m much more interested in the fate of Uni Watch as a set of ideas and ideals.

Think of it this way: Uni Watch is like a house that I’ve built. For many years, I’ve been inviting you folks to come over to play uni-related games with me in the house every day. But now I’ve decided that I need a change of scenery, so in five months I’m going to move out of the house and, most likely, let Phil live there, so you can keep coming over and playing the same sorts of games with him.

But I’m also willing to listen to offers if someone wants to buy the house. Would I prefer that the buyer be a friendly neighbor who already admires the house? Sure, in a perfect world. But once someone buys the house, it’ll be, you know, their house, not mine. They’ll want to set up their own furniture, and maybe they’ll also want to make some renovations, add on a new wing, change the landscaping, and so on. Maybe the new owner will even want to tear down the house and build something new on the property. That’s up to them — it won’t be my house anymore.

Meanwhile, I’ll be building a new house over on Substack. Again, you’ll all be invited to come and play over there. I realize this new house might not be as appealing to some of you, because the games we’ll be playing won’t be uni-related, so we might not have as many people coming over to play there. But that’s okay — I’m still excited about the new house!

If nobody purchases the blog, and if Phil tries running it for a few months and then decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore, what then? There’ll be no Uni Watch house for us to play in!

Phil wants to make this a full-time gig, but a lot of that will depend on how you folks respond to his stewardship. He’s always enjoyed working with readers to showcase their thoughts, expertise, and uniform obsessions in his weekend posts, and he’s hoping to continue that after I step away from the site. He’ll need your continued engagement and participation to make this work, and we’re both hoping that that’s what happens.

Won’t all of this put a dent in your income?

Almost certainly, yes. But I’ve gone over this plan with my financial advisor, and she says I can afford to do it. I’ve saved and invested well, I don’t have any debt or dependents, and I don’t live extravagantly. I can’t afford to have no income, but I should be okay having less income. And I think I’ll do well enough in my post-career phase to stay afloat.

Won’t you miss being “the man” when it comes to uniform stuff?

Honestly, no. I’m proud of Uni Watch, but being “the uniform guy” has never been that important to my identity or sense of self. I’m more like the details guy, the minutiae guy, the obsessive guy. Uni Watch has always been just one facet of that larger sensibility, and I’ll keep harnessing that sensibility in my post-career phase.

Won’t you miss the sense of shared comm-uni-ty that comes with Uni Watch?

Yes, I expect that I will miss that very much. But I’m hoping that my new creative projects will develop followings and communities of their own, and that I’ll be able to forge new connections and make new friends as I go along. And of course I hope that many of you who’ve enjoyed Uni Watch will continue to read my post-Uni Watch work on Substack.

Couldn’t you just scale back your uniform writing instead of abandoning it altogether? Like, you could leave the daily blog but still do your weekly uniform articles on Substack. Or you could at least keep doing the Big Four season previews.

I’ve considered those options (and others). But as I mentioned earlier, I feel like I’ve said most of what I need to say with this project. Also, doing the season previews would require me to keep up with every little uni-related development that’s going on in the Big Four leagues, which is exactly the kind of thing I’m trying to move away from.

Believe me, I’ve gone over the various options quite a bit in my mind, and I’ve concluded that a clean break is the best approach.

If you find that you don’t like life without Uni Watch, is there a chance you could come back?

Ah, like Ryne Sandberg? I don’t think it’s likely, but I suppose it’s possible. Never say never!

You mentioned earlier that Phil can make changes if he wants to. Can you explain more about that?

I’ve told Phil that he’s free to do whatever makes sense to him editorially, except for turning the site purple. He’ll weigh in soon about what he has in mind, how you folks can provide input and feedback, and so on.

You mentioned that you’ll do the MLB Season Preview this spring, but what about the NFL/NHL/NBA Season Previews in the fall — will Phil do those?

The long, in-depth season previews that I’ve produced over the years are extremely labor-intensive. While there may be some version of them on the blog after I step away, they likely won’t be as lengthy or detailed as mine have been.

What does this mean for the 25th-universary tour that you were planning to do?

I’d still like to do it. In addition to being Uni Watch’s silver universary tour, it will now also be my farewell tour. I’ll talk more about those plans in the next month or so.

I’m experiencing a lot of mixed feelings here. I mean, I guess I’m happy for you if this is what you want, but I also feel a bit betrayed. All that talk of “comm-uni-ty” and Getting It™ rings pretty hollow if you’re gonna just abandon us and walk away from Uni Watch.

I understand why you might feel that way. That’s something I’ve been wrestling with myself: What are my responsibilities here? What do I owe Uni Watch? What do I owe my readers?

The main things I feel I owe you are, as always, honesty and transparency, and that’s what I’m trying to provide with this Q&A. It’s also why I’m giving five months’ notice, so all of us — myself included — have plenty of time to get used to the idea that some significant changes are coming.

Obviously, I can’t keep doing Uni Watch forever, so the question has never been “Will I stop?” but, rather, “When will I stop?” And I’ve decided that this is the right time. As Uni Watch’s footprint has grown over the years, I’ve felt like other aspects of my life and work have increasingly been pushed aside and crowded out of the picture. Lately, that has started to feel like an unhealthy situation, and that’s the biggest factor driving this decision: my desire to choose a healthier path for how I live and work.

I’m thinking about it like this: In 1996, I quit my job as a book editor to go freelance, which was a leap of faith that gave me less security but more freedom to be my best creative self. I’m basically doing the same thing now — quitting my main gig and sacrificing a bit of security in return for some additional freedom. It was the right move for me in 1996, and I know it’s the right move now as well.

Honestly, the easiest choice would be to stay on the Uni Watch hamster wheel — it’s familiar, it’s successful, it’s a known quantity, and so on. But that familiarity has started to feel like a negative instead of a positive. Like I said before, I’m not learning as much as I used to and don’t feel like I have much more left to say. That tells me it’s time for me move on to new projects, new challenges. The 25th universary feels like the right time to start off on that new path. I understand that some of you may be disappointed, or even angry, but I hope you can understand and accept that I need to make this change.

You’ve been past your sell-by date for years now, and I’ve always liked Phil better than you anyway, so this is great news. Good riddance!

I realize that I can be an acquired taste for some people, and that some of you probably read Uni Watch in spite of me, not because of me. If you’re one of those people, congrats — you won’t have to deal with me much longer!

I’m not mad, but I’m definitely sad. Please don’t do this — Uni Watch is a big part of my daily routine!

I’m heartened and humbled that so many people have welcomed Uni Watch into their lives, and that it appears to have made a difference in their lives. No writer could ask for a better affirmation than that! I’m sorry that this phase of our relationship will soon be ending, but it’s not so bad. If you’re really into uniforms, Phil will still be covering them here on the blog. And if you’re really into my oddball way of looking at the world, I’ll still be doing that on Substack. Those two things just won’t be joined together anymore.

Meanwhile, we still have nearly five more months to enjoy each other’s company here on Uni Watch. And hey, 2024 is a leap year, so those last few months will have an extra day! I promise to do my part to help make my final stretch of Uni Watch a good one.

———

I think that’s it. If you have other questions that I didn’t address here, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond.

Thanks for listening. Peace. — Paul

 
  
 

Mascot Watch

Someone lost his balance on the lip of the bathtub.

 

 

Can of the Day

Super-handsome design, and I love the bar over the small-cap letters.

• • • • •

No Ticker today, sorry. I’ll have a few other posts today, but I realize this one is probably the one we’ll be talking about the most. Peace. — Paul

Comments (260)

    Wow. Congratulations to you Paul. And thanks for everything you’ve created here!! Thanks for sharing your plans and your thinking with us about this decision…

    Paul—thank you for giving us 5 more months to enjoy with you instead of up and quitting today. We’ll all be sure to enjoy this ride until it ends. We fully support you!

    Two things:

    1) Let’s all—all of us who read and comment—try and keep things positive today. It’s a big day with big news, but let’s not start attacking Paul and Phil for it.

    2) I’m especially dismayed by your comment because your statement is incredibly misguided. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you simply do not say that to a man who is retiring (or, in this case, announcing his pretirement)! And, secondly—and even more importantly—your statement is factually WRONG. To say that Paul is a boomer is a valid argument—that is your opinion, and, even if no one shares it, then that is your opinion to have. The nice thing about opinions is that their like mouths—everyone has one. But to further state that no one will miss Paul?? That is a factual falsehood. Look at every single comment other than yours, and you will see nothing but praise for the work Paul has done, and expressions of those who will, in fact, miss Paul and his great contributions to the Uni-verse. His opinions were sometimes incredibly stodgy, but there are still hundreds, thousands, maybe even HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people who read them.

    Thanks for having my back, Ian, but it’s OK. This guy has been calling me a “hayseed” for many years, to the point where it’s become an amusing form of performance art. And like I wrote in the FAQ, I know there are some people who’ll probably enjoy Uni Watch more without me! It’s all part of the mix.

    One of the many aspects of UniWatch that has always impressed me is your ability to be fair and diplomatic with the worst kind of jerkoffs and idiots. I could never do it.

    I agree with Rob, you’ve always been even handed with jagoffs who didn’t deserve it. You’ve always taken a very fair approach with good and bad news and that’s something I’ve always admired about you and those that contribute to the site.

    I’m not familiar with the backstory, so I actually read the original comment as sarcasm. I guess it’s as hard to identify genuine expressions as it is to identify sarcasm on the internet.

    I don’t think Paul’s boomer status can be an opinion. If he’s turning 60, he’s one of the youngest of his generation, but still not young enough to be Gen X.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    I would also add the use of the sobriquet “Boomer,” is extremely lazy. Lumping Paul (or myself for that matter, as I am slightly older than Paul) with people who are old enough to be our parents due to the post-WWII increase in the birth rate. Pretending that people born between 1945/6 and 1964 are some sort of cultural monolith is factually and culturally inaccurate. As I’ve always understood the origin of the term, the so-called baby boom was the result of the pent up hormones of those who returned from WWII and lived through the Great Depression.

    Those great cultural issues of the post-WWII era, civil rights, the Vietnam War, the rise of television, pop/rock music as a significant force in society all came before the likes of Paul or I having any awareness or if we were aware, any ability to meaningfully impact. It would have been more accurate for historians and demographers would to use the era between the late 1930s and the mid 1950s as the Vietnam or Television Generation, as this group would be more closely aligned than those born in the twenty years after we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.

    Many of the people who significantly impacted the so-called Baby Boomer Generation were contemporaries of my parents, who were born in 1938/39. My mother protested for civil rights and against book bans (everything that’s old is new again apparently) as a college student. My step-father hired Jerry Garcia to play at the coffee shop he owned when he was in college and Jerry was a student at the high school my grandfather taught at. Tommy Smothers, who died a few days ago, was a year or so older than my parents and step-father. He played on bloody Give Peace a Chance, for crying out loud! (He also lived for many years down the road from my family and I’m pretty sure my mother and step-father knew each other, as they were all part of the same scene in the early ‘60s.) Smothers and my parents were certainly more aligned with what is considered “Baby Boomer” interests than Paul or I.

    With that Paul, I congratulate you on your decision. It’s one that I find myself increasingly wrestling with, as I try every Monday-Friday to muster up the emotional strength to sit at my desk and answer ultimately pointless emails etc.

    Oh and to you Mr./Ms. Leave Here, kindly get yourself off my metaphorical lawn! :-)

    What satisfaction do you gain from that comment? Please enlighten the rest of us. -C.

    Somebody needs to read Paul’s interview with Rob “Big Cock” Johnson. What an amazing piece! To witness a troll having to come to terms with their cowardice was truly sublime.
    And I haven’t met too many hayseeds from NYC? Then again, when your last name is Now and your parents name you Leave, I guess one is destined for wackness.

    I feel sad for a person who feels the need to write a comment like this. Like , what else must be going on in that person’s life to come here regularly, apparently not liking the person who runs the site, to stay engaged over time and say good riddance once the founder moves on? So strange to me.

    And it also makes me happy to know that people like Paul exist who can even show people grace, even when acting in that manner.

    Well, here’s why I regard this as very good news: I’ve been afraid for a few years now that Paul might suffer acute burnout and make a sudden decision to walk away and shutter Uni Watch. That kind of burnout is a not-uncommon phenomenon in the current media market! So a careful and planned exit is the best we Lukas devotees could hope for. And the teasing promise of a return to some of the non-uniform projects that drew some of us to Paul’s work in the first place, what an exciting prospect! Best of luck to Paul, Phil, Jimmer, and everyone involved in the transition, and I’m thrilled to follow Paul’s post-career career wherever he wanders.

    This is the correct take.

    The only thing more impressive than building UniWatch for 25 years is being able to leave on your own terms.

    Much like an athlete, the goal is to walk away while on top, not being forced. The site has changed over the years, for better or worse, and the fear is always that engagement and revenue declines so much that he’s forced to shutter the site. There was a close call as while back when the bills just weren’t quite being paid. That led to the ads, and the paywalls. For us, this site is entertainment that takes up a few minutes each day. But for Paul, it’s practically his entire existence.

    To be able to walk away without being forced to sell, or sell out, or just give up, is more than we could ask for.

    The great thing about a community driven site like this (readers have taken over many roles over the years) is that this transition has been in the making for a long time now. Paul at this point is just one writer in the stable, as opposed to the earlier days when he did it all.

    It’s an end of an era, not the end of the site. And for that, I’d say we’re all thankful.

    Even if it does feel a bit like a breakup.

    Reading Uni-Watch is part of my morning routine (and still will be when Phil takes over), but some of my favorite posts are the “off-Uni” posts. I mean this in the most complimentary way possible: I see this as a win-win. We still get Uni-Watch, with a trusted editor, plus we we get see you flourish creatively, which will undoubtedly lead to some terrific content. I’m sad, for sure, but mostly I’m excited. Wishing you nothing but the best. 2024 is going to be great, I’m sure.

    I can’t say about the weekdays, but you’ll still get the occasional off-uni post on weekends.

    Congrats on the next phase of your life, Paul, and thanks to you and Phil for the next phase of mine!

    Agreed on this. As much as I loved all things uni. Some of my favorite posts were Paul’s non-uni-related entries. Very excited for more non-uni content from Paul.

    Paul, we can never thank you enough. It’s truly incredible to think that I’ve read uni-watch for 20+ years! Thanks again and best of luck on your next adventure.

    Sounds like you have carefully thought this out, and that it’s the right move for you. Good for you, Paul. Very few people will ever have the ability or courage to get off that hamster wheel at the height of success. Congratulations!

    Paul – I’ve been following the site for years and I have to say thank you for the time you’ve spent on it.

    I ran a professional basketball reseach group online for about 10 years, and I know these things are a lot of work. The people you deal with are great for the most part, but that doesn’t mean the work is any easier. And being about the same age (I turned 60 myself last year and retired in November) it makes you reaccess how you want to devote your time, especially if you’re spending 60 hours a week on something.

    Good luck to you in the future, I home you have the opportunity to work on a lot of things that you love doing, and if that includes things here for Uni-Watch, so be it.

    UW is such a big daily part of my life I’d have a huge hole to fill if it went! So I’m so glad you’re handling the transition in a well-thought out and considerate way and I’m not worried at all for the site’s future when the new team take over in May. As someone who has written quite a bit for the site I know what incredible hard work it is and how it can take up all your time and leave not much free for anything else. You’ve contributed so much with the site and you deserve to get back the balance in your life you feel you need. Good luck and best wishes for all your future projects Paul!

    All the best to you in what comes next. Uni-Watch has always been one of the first sites I look at every day, part of my morning routine. I don’t always agree with what you write, but I respect what you do. Best of luck to Phil in filling the big shoes.

    Well done on everything you have achieved with Uni Watch Paul. I started reading the blog in around 2010, alongside my sister Jo, taking breaks from late night university study to read that day’s post (Australian readers). In many ways, that feels like a lifetime ago and it’s hard to imagine you on the hamster wheel all that time and then some! A sad but inevitable day. The Comm-Uni-ty won’t be the same without its founding father

    Wow Paul! Big news!
    A huge CHEERS to you for all these years of great content!
    I’ll keep reading every day…and good luck to Phil & Jim, the perfect guys to take over the reins of Uni Watch!

    I’ve been a long time reader and, in recent years, a decently frequent “Hey, did you see this?” contributor. I have enjoyed your perspectives on all things uni and non-uni. Your specificity in explaining your thoughts, feelings, and perspectives have helped me in my own writing (both in grad school and in my leisurely writings). I will definitely miss your perspective and I look forward to hearing more from Phil. The site will be in great hands! Hopefully this means that you can take a few more on-screen gigs here and there as well.

    This won’t be the only time I say this: thank you for 25 years of happiness. I cannot tell you how much Uni Watch and your work has meant to me.
    May your farewell tour be glorious!

    Hi Paul. I’ve visited the site pretty much every day going on two decades now. After those first few weeks of reading, you taught me I had been rooting for laundry my whole life. I’ve enjoyed every minute of what you have contributed to this site ever since. Our similarities, outside of the love of the small details, included our cats, and watching our Mom’s march on in to their nineties. I’m just a couple years older than you so you’ve been sort of the surrogate little brother I never had. I’m happy that Phil and Jim will continue to carry on the daily postings here. Big decisions are not easy, but make them we must. You will be missed, but not forgotten. Cheers to you and best wishes for your continued success.

    I understand the need to move on. Sometimes change is good and needed to see what else is out there that may bring more diversity to your life. Things can get stagnant at times. Wish you the best of luck, Paul! Been a daily reader of Uni-Watch for many years now and have really enjoyed it.

    Paul – As much as I’ve enjoyed and learned from your uniform coverage, what I have enjoyed and learned from even more are your worldview/perspective and opinions (which I don’t always agree with); your willingness to share many aspects of your personal life and; as a part-time writer myself, the insights into your process, the media industry, etc.

    Although we’ve never met, I often talk about you to my wife as though you are a friend: “You know what Paul Lukas did…” “Paul Lukas said…”

    I will happily continue my Substack subscription to read your writing on whatever topics you choose. My only quibble/request: Instead of, “probably some stuff about food, collectors, maybe some travel,” please definitely include that content. “Culinary Corner” and your travelogues have been some of my favourite recurring features over the years.

    All the best in your post-career. I look forward to continuing to read your work.

    Matthew

    Long, long time reader – rare commenter. Best to you in future endeavors and thanks for providing a landing spot for those of us who obsess over unis. That said, I’ll share this. While watching the Penn State v Ole Miss bowl game, my five year old grandson asked about Penn State uniforms – “Pops, why isn’t there a ‘P?’” A new generation to bring into the fold.

    Congrats, Paul! I’m really going to miss you, but am so happy you have the ability to take some time for yourself. I’ve been reading UW for probably 20ish years now, and you’ll definitely be missed!!! Thank you for all that you’ve put into this over the years. I appreciate it. Cheers!

    You have well described the feelings of being self employed, especially as you get older.
    Like you, I am approaching 60, self employed (family business with associated headaches), and I’ve seen what happens when someone can’t walk away. It’s sad to see someone go through the motions without enthusiasm (not my accusation to you) and bring down the daily vibe of the business.

    Best of luck to you on your next adventure.

    Just wow. A little shocked and a little sad, I start off every morning with Uni-watch and the ticker. The personal things you sometimes write about in addition to the uni stuff makes me feel like you’re an old friend. A friendship that started for me in the early 2000s.

    I’m happy that you’ve decided to do what’s best for you in this stage of your life, and I’m certain this decision was well thought out and not an impulse move. I wish you nothing but happiness and success going forward. And I’m rooting for Phil.

    Will you at least come back and give your take on the Mets city connect uniform if it’s released after your semi-retirement?

    I have been reading Uni-Watch for many years. I remember sharing a link to a gallery of bicycle head badge pictures with you. You turned it into a lede article which made my day. That was way back in 2011 according to my save file of the page, but I had already been reading the site for years at that point. Thanks for your work, it has always excited my curiosity.

    I started reading today’s post and said “Aw damn; it’s happening”. You’ve given us 25 years of insightful, informative, and often intriguing content about athletic aesthetics and so much more. You’ve opened my eyes to details I would have missed, both in the sports world and elsewhere. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and look forward to discovering what else I can learn from you. Since I am your contemporary (turning 59 in March), I hope my exit from the stage is as graceful as yours.

    Thanks for everything, Paul! Regardless of the change, you will always be “The Man”…

    PL,

    Congratulations, I’m really happy for you. Your free wheeling attitude has always been inspiring to me.

    Congrats Paul. I know we will all miss the leader/creator of this comm-uni-ty. A few thoughts as you prepare to turn the page on this chapter of your life:
    1. I totally understand your thoughts on covering the uniform world as it gets bogged down with ads, pointless alternates, merch industry making it a tail wagging the dog, and just really awful designs. It is hard to maintain joy in covering something you love when that thing heads on a downward trajectory year after year.
    2. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into discussion of uni watch issues that crossed over into other, often polarizing topics. I think 99.99% of the time you were able to maintain a fair assessment and keep a civil discourse in the comments sections. Likewise times when you probably were less than charitable with those who disagreed (on just about any topic) you were willing to admit if you didn’t respond fairly. In today’s hyperpolarized world, especially today’s online world, you are a rare model of integrity.
    3. On the flip side I always enjoyed when you had zero time for nonsense takes, like justifications or market speak about uni ads.
    4. I hope you walk away proud knowing two things;
    a. this project of yours created an awesome community of likeminded people, and also probably spawned mini communities for all the little non-uni or uni-adjacent niche topics you have explored
    b. that nobody has come close to covering the uni beat as well as you.

    Paul, best of luck and thank you for all your years of this wonderful site. I can’t imagine anyone would feel betrayed, I can only speak for myself but I wish you happiness moving forward.

    Very sad news!
    I started visiting the site five years ago, and it quickly became part of my daily routine. At first, I would just check in for the morning update, but I soon started visiting multiple times a day to check the comments and see how things were developing. When Paul made the decision to split up the posts into separate entries, Uni Watch became something I was checking as frequently as my work email.

    I used to treat Uni Watch like any other website/social media platform, which in my experience are mostly antagonistic and negative. I quickly found out that my approach wasn’t welcome here, and I was upset. Paul took time out of his day to chat with me on the phone for about an hour, after which I gained a new perspective and a deeper respect for him and the community. He gave me the chance to hear my thoughts on the site and explain why I acted the way I did, and then showed me why I had the wrong idea about him and the community.

    Paul, thank you for everything you have done for this site, the greater comm-uni-ty, and for me personally!

    I’m happy for you, Paul….completely understandable and relatable.

    Here’s to your next chapter!

    Paul
    As someone who has followed you from your days at ESPN, congratulations. 25 years is a long time to do anything, especially a job that requires 24/7 focus (spoken from someone who did 27 years in the Army). Uni-Watch (in it’s various forms) has always been on of my first reads in the morning. I look forward to this farewell season and to the future of both Uni-Watch and your Substack. Thanks for all the work you provided to the Uni-Watch community.

    That makes sense, Paul. Many thanks for your eye and your voice. Congratulations on well-done writing, relationships, social commentary, and career transitions.

    Paul,

    Thanks for all of your work over the last 25 years and best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

    Congratulations, Paul!

    Thanks for getting me into uniforms and really reigniting my love of sports. I love noticing the little things that are new/different every time I watch a game—like last night, my father and I had a chat about how much better the Michigan Wolverines looked with the shoulder logos on their football jerseys. Fairly small changes can have a big impact, and I learned that from you.

    May your pretirement be joyand your last few months on the blog be filled with

    I don’t know why that comment posted before I was done writing it. Anyway: may your pretirement be joyful and your last few months on the blog be equally so.

    Words fail to adequately describe my feelings, so I’ll just say thank you for the quarter century of joy.

    Not sure how I stumbled on this site years ago, but it has been a part of my morning read for as long as I remember. Thanks, Paul for all you have done and wish you the best and good fortune in the next chapter of your life.

    Wow. Reading Uni Watch has been a staple of my mornings for more than a decade. I started reading UW my sophomore year of high school, sneakily reading it during history class instead of taking notes, and now I’m reading it before my morning meetings instead of checking emails. So thank you for all the distractions/memories!

    I don’t remember when or how I heard this, but here it goes:

    “The best compliment that can be given to a working man, when his labors are completed and his energy is exhausted, is to tell him the job was well done.”

    Well done, sir.

    Congrats Paul!

    Thank you for making the internet a better place for all of us (even those who’ve never been to this website)! Also for that derby pie recipe.

    I’ll miss the travelogues and other interesting non-uni tidbits here and there the most, I think!

    I’ve been a Uni Watch fan since around 2006. I will definitely miss reading your perspective on the uni-verse. However, considering that I’m exactly 1 year + 1 day *older* than you, I also understand how you feel as you enter this next phase of your life. Thanks for the years of enjoyment you’ve provided and I wish you the best on your new journey. I look forward to reading about it on your Substack.

    Congrats Paul. I hope this shift is what you need (sounds like you’ve put ample thought into it to ensure it will be). Best wishes always, and I’m glad to hear the blog is continuing, and isn’t just ending. Like most here, I need my Uni fix! You’ve mentioned before you thought this project had a shelf life and that eventually it would run its course for you, and honestly, I’ve wondered here and there if a particular year would be your end point. So glad it’s taken so long!

    It’s funny how we connect with things in life (music, art, sports, etc.), and I feel very fortunate to have found your blog many years ago. I used to feel like my focus on uniform design, colors, etc. was seen as a little strange by others (like, “why do you care how that stipe on their pants looks?? watch the damn game!!!”) and I have been so pleased to find I’m not the only one.

    The strangest part might be this: now, when my wife says, “what do you think of those uniforms; what would the Uni Watch guy say about them?” I won’t know (although I’ll have a guess). HA!

    Again, best wishes, and I’m interested to see what you write about going forward!

    Congrats of Uni Watch. I remember reading some of the early columns in the Village Voice and happy to see someone do it. I love what became of it, including the uni world in general.

    Happy to see its continuing under Phil until you sell to Steve Cohen.

    Thank you Paul!! The thing I always admired about you is that Uni-watch is a labor of love.

    Congrats on moving to your next phase!

    As someone who has been checking the site daily since 2008, I’m sad at the thought of you leaving, but glad to hear you won’t be completely gone. I can only imagine how hard it’s been to keep the hamster wheel spinning when you’re craving for something new to write about. No one should feel like you’re abandoning the comm-Uni-ty, you created something, put everything you had into it for 25 years, and should appreciate the group you created for those Who Get It to continue to share their thoughts on their interest.
    I look forward to seeing what new projects you throw yourself into and hope you stop by the site from time to provide some of the hits from time, ie Culinary Corner, What Paul Did Last Night, Holiday Traditions

    Paul,

    I have followed you since day one in all your various posts. I read everyday and, although I don’t agree with you all the time, big purple fan here, I love your insights and knowledge.

    I’ve been at my job thirty years this year. I still love it and will continue to do it and it is self-employed like you. But, I 100% understand your decision and logic.

    Enjoy your new world and know that you will be missed.

    That loud bang you heard was my jaw hitting the floor. I have been a daily reader of yours for a big part of the these last 25 years (wow, has it really been that long) and enjoyed it every day. If I look at the clock and it’s 10:00 and I haven’t checked the site yet I get that “oh crap, Uniwatch” thought in my head and go right to the site. I have to say that I am sad that I won’t be reading your words and incites every day, but I am also extremely happy for you to be able to move on to your next phase. I know that we are in great hands with Phil and as a community we will go on as strong as ever. Thank you for what you have started here. It has been greatly appreciated.

    I’ve been dreading this announcement for a while now. Uni-Watch has been a huge part of my morning routine for 20 years now.

    Congratulations, Paul! I hope your next chapter brings you joy!

    While I was surprised to see the announcement today, I’m not really surprised it’s happening, and I fully understand. Since we still have the next 21 weeks to go (more or less – May 26th falls on the Sunday before Memorial Day is observed), I’ll save the farewells until then, but I’ll still say “Thank you” today.

    You’ve always said UW was a project with and end date, at least for you, so I think we all knew this was coming. It’s always a good day when you can end a project on your own terms. Congrats, Paul; looking forward to seeing what’s next.

    Thank you for all you’ve brought to this community. Thank you for feeding an obsession I didn’t always know I had. I found the site in 2008 when I was in college and using StumbleUpon to procrastinate, and I was hooked right away. I hope your post-career is rewarding and fulfilling!

    I have to admit I’d been anticipating this news for a while– you’ve dropped a lot of hints, Paul. And when I think of the uni-centric life I’ve been living for the past forty years, it made me disappointed that I hadn’t stepped forward to offer my services in a more substantial and official way. But I see what you put up with. Coding, organizing and researching definitely aren’t my bag, and I’m certain after a few trolling incidents, I’d be reduced to a blubbering mass of jello. You’re made of stronger stuff than I. And I’m glad Uni Watch will be left in Phil’s capable hands. Good luck with your future projects, Paul!

    Not exactly sure when I first came across Uni-Watch, but it’s at least 15 years ago. Just want to thank you for all of the enjoyment you’ve given us. I like to think that one of the few remaining good things about the internet is that one can find a group for any niche interest they have. This site is the best example of that. Fair winds and following seas, Paul.

    Wishing you all the best as you conclude this chapter of your life and prepare to begin the next chapter! Thank you for all you do!

    Maybe this should be an opportunity to break away from Substack while you are at it. It’s really not a company anyone should be associating with now.

    Thank you Paul for all the great content over the years and best of luck in your next venture.

    Best of luck, Paul! You’ve been a part of my daily routine since college, and I’ll miss a lot of your insights, but happy you get to move away from the daily grind and focus on other projects! We know Phil will keep the community running smoothly!

    Cheers to you, Paul!
    Thank you for what you’ve built here and all that you’ve shared with us – and success in all your future endeavors. The uni-verse will be a bit smaller and less fun without you, so I hope you guest-spot and/or check in from time to time.
    Best of luck to PH and JV…Uni Watch will continue to receive my attention, support and comments.

    Paul, I am of such mixed feelings with this news. I am thrilled that you are taking care of yourself and your mental health. I am also thrilled and happy that you made that resolution all those years ago. Finding Uni-Watch was a revelation for me that there were so many others looking and appreciating uniforms, logos, colors, minutiae. The story and saga of the Detroit D on the hat and jersey were particularly interesting as I had always looked at it and wondered why they were different.
    I am also sad for the way Uni-Watch will end as I know it. It was always comforting to see a piece of uni related news and run to the site, or wait until the next day’s post, to see what you thought about it. I got used to your style and narrative voice. It was comforting and reliable.
    I’m also thrilled that Phil will be taking over during the week! He has always been a great voice and has such interesting content and I can’t wait to see what he does each day.
    All I can say is, thank you. Thanks for all the work, the dedication, the quality, the opinions, the com-uni-ty, everything. Best of luck going forward and on your new endeavors and I hope you will consider an occasional drop in to the blog, it would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    Wow! So much to digest here ! So much to say! But I’ll simply say for now…CONGRATS Paul and THANK YOU so much for uni-watch! Part of my daily life for so many years now I’ve lost count !

    Congrats Paul, it’s been amazing reading these articles all these years. you have an incredible ability to write and it will be missed.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if someone bought Uni Watch and made a “Uni Watch” patch and sponsored an MLB team and the Uni Watch patch ended up on a uniform?

    I somehow stumbled onto this site about 2011 and was so glad to find other people that thought about uniforms like I thought about them since childhood…I was so happy to meet you on your San Diego trip and personally chat with and thank you for what you do….Best of luck to you Paul and thanks again..!!

    Job well done! Thank you for all of your work. Uni-Watch has been a morning read for me most days over the past 14 years, and I will miss your presence here. Best of luck in your future projects.

    Thank you for many years of fascinating uni reads, Paul. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Thank you, Paul. I am a daily reader and UW lurker for many, many years now, to the point where my wife and son think you’re one of my best friends. Thank you for all you’ve done and how you’ve built / brought the comm-uni-ty together. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

    Paul,

    Although I occasionally disagree with you, I’ve always been grateful for Uni Watch. Your days on Page 2 really gave all of us uniform aficionados a place to congregate and normalized the discussions we now have about uniforms. Without you, there’d be no SportsLogos.net or similar sites. So thank you for helping build not just Uni Watch, but all the other comm-uni-ties around the internet as well.

    Happy trails and hope you can use Uni Watch to keep us in the loop on your next adventures.

    Chris’s site debuted as a visual database (no articles, no message boards) in 1997, two years before the first Uni Watch article.

    Paul, HUGE congratulations to you on this! I can remember reading UniWatch when I lived in Texas in the early 2000s, and have been an avid reader ever since. I love just about everything on the site, most importantly your attention to detail, the minutia you dive into, and noticing things most of us don’t (or might eventually notice once we really and truly Get It).

    As for your future – honestly, you could write about belly button lint and make it compelling, so wherever you go and whatever words you put to paper, I will follow and read. In the meantime, thank you for sharing with us – your uniform opinions and news, your food updates, your travelogues, glimpses into your personal life … what an amazing ride.

    Phil, this is your time to shine, and I am excited to see what you do with the site!

    Is it because of the proliferation of black and purple unis? Say it ain’t so! (though I can fully understand)

    Certainly this is surprising, but not a huge shock–it’s been a pleasure reading about the aesthetics of sports on Page 2 and the blog for so many years but you’ve said for a while that you were nearing the end of your time on this beat. Congrats to you for all you’ve achieved and discovered, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for both the site and whatever rabbit hole you go down next!

    Paul, out of curiosity, how do you think your book holds up 25+ years after it was published?

    Honestly, I haven’t read my own book in ages. I suspect I’d find large swaths of it embarrassing at this point, but maybe not. Still available very cheap on Amazon!

    Indeed, I’m thinking about picking up a copy to add to my “To Read” pile!!

    Paul, I commend you for making what must have been an extremely difficult choice. I’m so thankful for the community you built–realizing that I wasn’t the only one who noticed an odd number font here or a misplaced letter there was a wonderful thing. We are in good hands with Phil, you couldn’t have a better steward for the next leg of the uni journey.

    Thank you for the time, effort and energy you put into making Uni Watch a wonderful thing.

    I knew this day would come, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. I hope I’m using this correctly when I say you’ve been a mensch.

    I can’t put into words all my emotions right now, but know that I appreciate you and the work you’ve done.

    What an announcement! Congrats on moving towards a new phase in life Paul. Best wishes.

    Well done, Paul. Your work speaks (volumes) for itself, and I look forward to continue tuning in as Phil and the team keep Uni watch going. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity — and good luck in what you get into next!

    Thanks so much, Paul. I’m sad that in a few months your writing won’t be part of my daily routine, as it has for a long time (since Page 2), but I’m happy for you to be moving on to this next phase of your post-career. Thanks for keeping your Substack going. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves going forward. Thanks again for everything you do!

    Well, this isn’t what I was expecting to be reading this morning with my coffee. I’ve been enjoying this site for about as long as it has been here and am proud to be one of the earliest card-carrying members. I’m disappointed that I’ll no longer get to read your work nearly every weekday (yes, that’s selfish I admit) but I’m happy that the blog will still be here with Phil at the helm and that via Substrack I’ll still be able to connect with someone I consider an ‘unmet friend’ for the foreseeable future.

    Best wishes Paul, and thanks in advance for 25 years of quality and thought-provoking reading here at UW.

    Congratulations, Paul, and thanks for the 25-year ride! I hope your pre-retirement life surprises you in many unintended and joyful ways. And as Humphrey Bogart once said, “We’ll always have UniWatch!”

    Adding to the well-deserved chorus of thanks and congratulations. I found Uni Watch in high school and it’s been a major influence on the way I look at the world, as well as a steadying presence through upheavals in my life. Choosing to go out on your own terms is commendable. Many of us will eagerly follow you wherever you go.

    Started reading in the ESPN Page 2 days and never really stopped, although I’ve taken time off here and there. Amongst my family/friends, they all know I’m the one that cares about uniforms and will remark about minutiae they never noticed. I’d didn’t know I cared about this stuff until Uni-Watch, and now I’m just glad to know it’s not going away even if you’re taking a much deserved step back. I also think the Reds City Connect C looks like it should be a power company logo. It’s a travesty that I’m sadly sporting right now, as I got an official hoodie for Xmas and darn it if it isn’t one of the nicest I’ve owned in a long time. But the color is the team name! But I digress…
    Congrats on creating something that people want to see go on, and best of luck with your future endeavors. We’ll (or at least me) will keep reading. Also, I’m a UW+, even if it doesn’t show up,

    This is a bummer (for us) but not unexpected. To be honest, I’m surprised and grateful that you’ve continued Uni Watch as long as you have. Since we are the same age, give or take a couple months, I totally understand having a feeling of “been there, done that” towards the daily work routine. I’m frankly a wee bit envious that you have the option to jump off the hamster wheel. Good luck in your next phase and I look forward to hearing how things come together over the next 5 months. And please come to Baltimore/DC as part of your farewell tour!

    You mentioned that Phil won’t be allowed to turn the site purple, but will he be allowed to issue purple membership cards? Will there still be membership cards?

    The membership card program has pretty much flatlined, so that’s largely a moot point. The cards were a collaboration between Scott Turner and myself, so I think they’ll end when I depart. I look forward to seeing Phil develop his own traditions on the site!

    Well, this was certainly unexpected news!
    While I am disappointed for myself, congratulations Paul.
    I love your writing style and insights and will certainly miss it.
    I am thrilled, though, that the blog will continue with Phil. Definitely in good hands.
    I look forward to enjoying the next 5 months and to seeing what the future brings.

    What about one fantastic UNI PARTY? A send off that aesthetically sends off what you have done for a quarter of a century or so?

    Well, I think I join the vast majority in saying congratulations on such a great run, and best wishes on whatever comes next. I believe it was around 2003 or 2004 when someone switched me on to UniWatch, and I’ve been a daily reader ever since. So thanks for all those years of great work and great content. I’ve had the same job since 1992, and as much as I enjoy it, sometimes I wonder if it’s time for a change…so I appreciate the depth of thought you’ve put into the decision to walk away at this point.

    So congrats to the Johnny Carson of UniWatch…just like Johnny, you’re leaving on top.

    Hi Paul – congrats on your decision. I’ve been reading Uni Watch since the URL was stood up, so it’s been a great constant companion during much of my adult life.

    I am also pondering my future career plans and when I want to retire, so I fully understand the idea of taking stock.

    I hope our paths cross sometime soon!
    ed

    Thanks for everything, Paul! Have you thought about doing 25th anniversary membership cards? I’d love to purchase one as a send off of sorts.

    Sure! Or perhaps everyone has to choose a number 25 on the back and a nameplate that says “UniWatch”?

    After thinking about it, I am that UW is going out on top and its own terms.

    I must say thank you for introducing us (especially to me) artists (among other misc debris) that have become part of my life.

    That said, it may be time to find new ventures amongst this virtual world as well.

    As we have all moved forward in life, closing chapters are as important as writing new ones.

    I will have always enjoyed this “internet treasure” and the subtle, yet skilled, sarcasm of this arena.

    I hope the best and know though this is in its final quarter, it’s not garbage time…but this era is over.

    Here’s to even more for ’24!

    Wow, what an anouncement! I love your Q&A in which you explain your decision and I totally understand it after 25 years. Nevertheless I will miss your input, your drive, your peeves, your cats, your cans and your concert/movie reviews which have been part of my daily routine for a couple of years now. I will even miss the discussions we had about socks (and you completely won me over by the way with very good arguments). Every time I will put on my UW baseball hat I will salute you, Paul Lukas (your personal baseball card is even on my mantlepiece). I will make sure to enjoy your contributions up until the final day in May with extra appreciation. Thanks for enlightening me in many ways, Paul!
    As for Phil and Jim taking over the UW duties after the end of May: best successors ever.

    Wow. What can I say Paul? I have enjoyed Uni Watch so much over the years, but I have also enjoyed your vulnerability and willingness to share the ups & downs of your life with us. I think it is hard to be authentic in the online world, but you have managed to do just that and your authenticity, even on things I don’t agree with you on, is what has kept me coming back, more so than the uniforms themselves. FWIW, I think you’re making a wise choice and I wish you the best. Vaya con Dios good sir.

    I understand that your departure from the Uni -verse is distressing a great number of your fans, but as someone who knew you back in the Inconspicuous Consumption zine days, (and never cared much for sports, only dipping into uni watch occasionally, and only because your voice made me care more), I’m super excited about your return to a wider range of subjects. Onward!!!

    Thank you Paul!!!! Looking forward to the stewardship of Phil and continued contributions from Jim.

    Congratulations and good luck, Paul. I’ve been a reader and occasional contributor since the blog started, and whilst I’ll miss your writing on a daily basis, I can totally understand your decision. I too have found myself increasingly less interested in the uniform world as we move further and further away from what I consider “aesthetically pleasing”, so I can’t imagine what being immersed in that world 24/7 must feel like. I’m also tremendously excited by the idea of the new Substack – I’ve found that the travelogues, culinary corners and non-uniform articles have been by far my favourite parts of the blog and am looking forwards to reading that kind of content on a more regular basis.

    If you’ll indulge me, I have a semi-relevant experience – I spent almost 20 years as a self-employed artist, and whilst I felt priviliged to turn a passion into a career I found myself worn down by the long hours and the changing attitudes of the culture I worked in. I took a step back a year ago and got a “regular” job, and it was the best decision I’d made in a long time. I have more time to spend with the people (and cat) that I love and not having to work to deadlines or take on projects I’d rather not just to pay the bills has rekindled my love for creativity in general. Overall, I’m happier and more content with my life, and I hope you’ll feel the same way.

    Thank you for everything, Paul. It’s been a privilege to be a part of the com-uni-ty for the last decade, and I’m excited to see what’s next for you and for the site.

    Well-deserved post-career, Paul. I know I will greatly miss your uni writing, and your way of viewing the uniform world.

    I just want to say thank you for making each of my mornings a little better reading your content, and for the minutia with which you look at the uniform world (and the world in general).

    I’ll cherish these last 5 months as you with the lead writer, though I do know that the site will be in good hands with Phil.

    Cheers to a wonderful career, Paul!

    Hello Paul, thank you for giving me joy and bits and pieces of yourself for the past several years. I am excited for your next chapter and the creative expression that will come with it. Once again I really appreciate your work and more importantly you as a person. -Carson Nowakowski

    Wow… this news has hit me a lot harder than expected. I had a feeling this day was was coming relatively soon, as Paul has been dropping hints along the way, but the main feeling I have right now is sadness. Honestly, I felt like crying reading today’s post.

    I’m 36 years old and started reading Uni Watch in high school after coming across a Page 2 article. For a kid who would outline Sports Illustrated photos into a notebook and then change the uniform that the player was wearing, who created an entire sports league with uniforms for each team, who obsessed over matching his wrist bands, batting gloves, shoes, and undershirts to his own uniforms, it was like stumbling on a gold mine. Uni Watch has been with me through college, starting my career, getting married and divorced, married again, changing careers, and through three years of navigating infertility with my wife. But no matter what, I always had Uni Watch to fall back on.

    Congratulations, Paul! I totally understand your reasoning and wish you the best. Despite that, I can’t shake this sadness just yet. Here’s to another five months!

    I’m honestly so happy for you! You deserve to take time for yourself after all you’ve done over the years. It was a pleasure to work with you on some of your tee/hoodie projects a few years back (still happy I got that all-over print to work) and getting to meet you.

    I’ll continue to support the site as I can, and I’d be more than happy to work with Phil in the future.

    Gracias,.Paul. Ha sido un deleite leer y aprender todos estos años, desde ESPN, y asomarme a esta fascinante historia de logos, uniformes y objetos vintage. Estoy seguro de que te irá bien y que será un placer conocer lo que harás a continuación. Un fuerte abrazo desde México.

    Congrats, Paul (and Phil and Jim) and thank you for your many years of service.

    Besides not turning the site purple, as long as you continue to own the site will you exercise any editorial control over it after your departure date? Say, Phil goes off the deep end and EMBRACES uni ads, would you pull a Willis Reed and come down the uni-tunnel and say “NO!” or would you let it go?

    If Phil wants to embrace uni ads, he can.

    If Phil wants to write about fan merch, he can.

    If Phil wants to start calling the Atlanta MLB team by its name, well, I wish he wouldn’t. But he can.

    And so on.

    If Phil or I ever appear to embrace uni ads, it means the site has been hacked.
    Some things will change, but some things never will. #NoUniAds

    Thank you Paul. I “discovered” you out of college on ESPN. Felt like that was a type of article that I always knew I wanted but never knew could exist.

    For about 22+ years I’ve been reading you and visiting you daily. I don’t always agree with your takes, or your politics, but I don’t care because you provided me something that entertained me so long.

    I was a 21 year old college student and now I’m a 43 year old father and husband. A lot of life’s milestones have happened while I’ve “known” you.

    I can’t thank you enough, I can’t pretend I’m happy for the ending of an era, but I’m happy for you. I will still visit the site daily and I will still wonder from time to time when a new uni comes out how you’d shit on it (lol).

    You’re the man.

    Although I don’t visit/contribute nearly as much as I did once upon a time, I’m proud to say that I’ve been reading this blog since literally day one (or maybe it was like day two or three – it was WEEK ONE for sure).

    Congrats, Paul. I’m glad you’re going out on your own terms.

    And best of luck to LI Phil & MoVi once you hand the keys over to them.

    This is bittersweet news for sure.

    The site was great until your negatively really ruined it for me. I was an avid fan until that happened. Glad to see someone else take the reins and hopefully I can start getting back to reading on here. Won’t miss you at all Paul.

    Good luck Paul! It’s been fun

    I sure hope you find time in your substack to post the rest of the style guides you have for the “Big Four” leagues before you leave.

    Paul, your “happy for you, sad for me” statement is so accurate – I’m very happy to hear you’re taking your career in the direction that you feel is best for your well-being, creativity, and happiness. I’m sad for me, because 2024 marks ten (!) years of sitting down at my desk at work each and every morning and immediately heading over to Uni Watch. It’s become such an integral part of my morning routine for so long, and your years hard work have gone very far in providing a gathering place to the uniform-obsessed corner of the sports world. I know all good things come to an end, and I’m very appreciative for the decades of top-notch uniform content you provided for those of us that Get It™!

    Thank you Paul for a being a part of my morning routine for more than a decade! I stumbled across this page as a young college student and realized that there were other people thinking about sports logos/uniforms as much as me. Ever since, one of the best parts of my day has been grabbing my cup of coffee and sitting down to read Uni-Watch. I appreciate all the work you’ve done for the site and wish you the best on your next endeavor!

    This is a day I knew would be coming, but it’s still sad to read these worlds. Thank you for the years of enjoyment, challenging debate, and your quirky worldview. I’ve loved every moment of it. I’ve long thought that I appreciated your writing more than the actual subject matter, so I’m eager to see where your creative impulses take you. Here’s to a great five-plus months.

    I’m also confident that the comm-uni-ty is in fine hands with Phil and Jim (and the Ticker crew, if they stay on board).

    Thanks Paul for all of your contributions and content over the last 25 years. I have followed along for probably 20 years. I totally understand and respect your decision. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into keeping a blog updated and staying afloat in this day in age when you feel like you are always needing to be “connected” to the world. Things were much more simpler (and better!!) in the uniform world 25 years ago and the technology world. Most of us did not have cell phones 25 years ago and social media was not even in existence.

    I completely agree with you in your assessment of the current uniform world. As a traditionalist myself, I have begun to lose interest as well with so many alternate and unnecessary uniforms now and increase in ads. It’s just not the same. I understand that retail and merchandising are now a big thing as well as fashion but for those of us who enjoy the more traditional and simpler times, it’s been disappointing overall in the uniform world over the last 10+ years.

    I want to thank Phil for stepping in and wanting to continue this blog and hope this can continue for those of us who enjoy the world of uniforms and things alike.

    I love this blog – have had items in the ticker, chip in on the comments and in a personal highlight, had some designs published on the blog.

    But having setup and administered an internet forum (on Leicester City FC) some years ago, I understand the effort that is needed to be put in and that can’t be underestimated – particularly for something that is provided free of charge, and to do it for this long is incredible.

    So a massive thanks for the time you have put in over the years and the amount of enjoyment you have given me from reading the blog, and good luck in your future ventures!

    Hopefully the community that you have built will continue the legacy for another 25 years, which will be the most fitting tribute that can be paid.

    Damn, this has been part of my daily life since 2003 (Page 2 days) which means I’ve been reading this for 21 years. Good lord we’re old, but it hasn’t felt that I’ve been reading this blog for that long.

    Good luck on the next endeavors. But agreed, the Uni-scene has become a bit stale.

    Well, that’s a sad way to start out ’24. I’ve been reading your articles since the ESPN days. I hate to see you leave; but I wish you the best in the future. Yesterday was a good example of the amount of time you put into the site. I emailed you around 6:30 PM PST to thank you for a recent article. I wasn’t even expecting an answer at all; and you responded at 10:00 PM EST. That kind of commitment to the site and readers is fantastic. See you on Substack.

    Cheers
    Rand

    25 years is a great run so congratulations for all that you’ve done and on planning the next phase of your life! I should sort out making it back to Brooklyn for Memorial Day as the UW25 party gains more relevance. Thank you for your impeccable service thus far and I’m stoked to see what you tackle next.

    Paul, Thank You for 25 Years of Uni Watch, and best of luck on your next adventure! I can’t say as I’ve quite been there since the very beginning, but once I discovered Uni Watch on ESPN Page 2, I was constantly refreshing the page waiting for the next article. Ever since this blog launched, Uni Watch has been an important part of my daily routine. I’ve greatly appreciated the perspective you’ve shared here, both inside and outside the uni-verse. Many times you’ve opened my eyes to new ways of thinking on a variety of topics. I particularly appreciate how you’ve shared such personal stories about your family, your relationships, and your professional journey, and have weaved these stories of your life into the uniform beat so well within this public forum. It’s been a pleasure to follow you on this journey for nearly a quarter century, and I look forward to continuing to hear what you have to say (albeit slightly less frequently) as you embark on your next chapter. Congrats!

    Wishing nothing but the best for you, Paul! Also hoping for continued kitten content on the Substack :)

    I’m 67 (next month) and I appreciate your timing. It’s nice to have some time for a cool down of activity. But I will miss your serious thoughts about a topic often treated lightly, and fun thoughts about things often taken too seriously. Whatever you send out in the future may it be written with joy. And enjoy the kittens!

    Paul – I’ve probably been following you for about 20 years. While we don’t always share the same tastes, we are eye-to-eye on sensibilities, and I wish I had even a sliver of your diplomacy, tact, and “menschness”. I honestly don’t know how you continue to burn calories on the inanity of the modern uni-verse, so not a huge shock to see you look elsewhere for fulfillment. You’re different, and I am glad our paths crossed. Thanks for What Paul Did Last Night, Pandemic Porch photos, trip reports, and all the other esoterica that forced me to look at the world differently. Happy for you – hope you find it out there.

    I feel so sad yet very happy for you at the same time Paul. Even though we’ve never met you’ve been a part of my life since my teenage years. At the time I felt like such a weirdo caring about the things we care about, you gave me a sense of belonging. I still remember how happy I was when you name dropped me for contributing to a helmet sticker story you did on ESPN. Don’t want to go on and on, good luck on your future endeavors and here’s to a great upcoming 5 months!

    Damn it’s been a rough couple of months. First Don Slack retired at KEXP, now this!
    Thanks for all the hours you’ve put into this. As many others have said, this has been a daily ritual for me for many years.

    Paul,
    Wow. What amazing news! I don’t think I can say enough congratulations. I appreciate that you have planted the seeds over the course of the past few years in order to prepare the comm-uni-ty for this announcement.
    I love the decision to turn the keys over to Phil and Jim. Well earned. Congrats to you both.
    As someone who has been in the education career for two decades, I feel I can relate. I love my job; there are a ton of benefits to it. However, after I’m done teaching Spanish, I’m not sure I’m going to continue to do much in the field. I’ll be ready to move on. Contrary to many societal pressures that we feel, our jobs don’t have to be our only defining characteristics.
    I’ve been a reader since the days of Page 2. Thank you for 25 years of insight and guidance. I’ve always admired your attention to your work, your thoughtfulness in your communication, your ability to create a community, and especially your moral compass that you’ve used to guide the project. You’ve been a constant in my life for a long time. Through some very difficult times in my life, it was very refreshing that I could always turn to uni-watch as a distraction.
    Bravo!

    Longtime reader, first time commentor, just wanted to say thanks for all your work these past 25+ years Paul. I’d been following Uni-Watch since your days on ESPN, to ESPN Page 2, to uni-watch.com, and I always appreciated the content, whether I agreed with you or not. Good luck on everything post-Uni-Watch.

    Paul, thank you for all the great years of writing and reporting. It’s sad to see something you love leave, but 25 years is a long time and I get the need for new challenges. I still remember the first day I discovered this on ESPN page 2. I could not believe so many other people were into this. It has been a great ride. Best of luck.

    Paul – I’ve been reading Uni Watch since the Slate days. Finding your work and a community around the discussion and analysis of the aesthetics of sports showed me the best of what the internet could be. I had no idea there were others who imagined whole leagues of teams just to draw logos and uniforms! I’m not the weirdo. Or the only weirdo.

    Personally, I appreciate answering just about every question I’ve ever thrown out for an AMA. Your travel tips for visiting NYC. Publishing the drawings of my childhood football teams. Feedback on a project to persuade the Chiefs to drop the chop. And so much more I can’t even remember.

    Uni Watch has been part of my daily routine since you launched the blog. Thank you.

    I hope only the best for you as you move into post-career. And beer is on me if your travels bring you through KC. I feel like I owe you so much more.

    Cheers.

    Thank you for the decades of learning and laughs and enjoyment you have given me, Paul. You are definitely somebody who has changed the way I look at the world around me, and that is a rare thing. I also am grateful for the comm-uni-ty you have provided, because before I found your work two decades ago, I thought I was maybe the only other person obsessed with sports uniforms.

    I wish you the best, and look forward to the future of UniWatch.

    Paul, congratulations and best of luck on your next endeavor. I’ve been following you since you were contributing to ESPN and am so glad I found your writing. Thank you for the years of commentary and I am sure I’ll enjoy your final few months here at Uni-Watch.

    Congrats on the next chapter. You are primed for the next step. Financially OK (as best we can know nowadays), and still have the curiosity and drive to create what’s next. Sounds like a winning combination.

    Congratulations, Paul, and thank you for the quarter-century of everything you’ve given to us! Of all of the ways this era of Uni Watch could have ended, this is (in my opinion) the best way – calling your shot and retiring on your terms.

    Paul,

    First and foremost congrats and best wishes. Uni Watch has been a part of my life for longer than I can even recall, probably about 20 of the 25 years. I do sympathize with the way you feel about the constant churn of new information and really how inconsequential it all is, not to the grand scheme of the universe but just at a team’s historical memory.

    I think about the “uni industrial complex” and how this constant churn has kinda soured an area I found a lot of joy in. It used to be exciting to see a team get a new logo or new uniforms, now there’s so many it’s a chore to keep up. They’re so temporary that they don’t even last multiple seasons at this point. I’d be curious on your long form thoughts a bit of a retrospective on the “uni-verse” as get closer to your last posts.

    Frankly, I can get all that news from social media and Uni Watch would be completely obsolete in my life if not for you and your voice. Your perspective and outside interests kept me as a reader and I’ll miss seeing it in this format but I look forward to continuing reading your work when the time is right for you. All your side projects the past 25 years have been some of your most interesting work. Wishing you all the best.

    In a weird sort of way, I’m actually very at peace with your decision, Paul. In fact, it kinda brings me some peace personally, because, well, I think a lot of us who were very into studying the aesthetics of sports once upon a time have gotten to the point where it now feels overwhelming. It’s less about learning about fun quirks now than it is simply hearing about contrived marketing.

    Sometimes, I think a thing can grow too big. I’ve seen it in other things before.

    Pardon me for a moment to relay a meaningless childhood story: For a time, in third or fourth grade, I started playing this game at recess with a tennis ball where I’d just try and keep it relatively close to my shuffling feet and take it from one end of the blacktop to the other. Kinda soccer but with a smaller ball and no passing; kinda hockey but with a ball and no ice. Somewhere along the line, someone joined me and it became a fun little game to try and get past the other person without letting the ball go too far off your feet. Then a few more people joined in and we had arguments that lead to rules about physical play and how far a ball could and couldn’t get off your foot before a defender could steal. which led to more arguments, and … yeah, it wasn’t fun anymore. I think I was the first person to *stop* playing after being the James Naismith of whatever that game was. It didn’t last long after that.

    I also saw this with what I called the swing dance “bubble” following the late 1990s boom. At first, swing came back, with the Gap commercial, Swing Kids, Swingers, ska bands converting to swing bands, people going out and learning the dance and having fun and it was great. Then it showed some sustainability, so “Lindy Exchanges” started happening where people would travel to other city’s scenes for a weekend to have fun and that was great because you were meeting new people. Then YouTube hit and people saw all the world-class dancers at top-level competitions on video. Suddenly, for those people really into it, being the best dancer on your scene wasn’t good enough. Exchanges became workshop weekends with instruction and competitions. Motivated dancers aspired to become teachers and professionals so they could afford to travel or be on the receiving end of the money coming into events by teaching lessons to their local scene every week. But in the process, it started to feel more like a commitment to a sport as scenes were moreso dominated by these ambitious dancers and their want to form dance teams and teach advanced classes than just going out, being social and having fun. A lot of dancers, knowing they couldn’t commit to the many classes and workshops being pushed on them, chose not to advance past beginner level. We were left with no “middle class” of solid dancers — just beginners and those gung-ho folks that wanted to be rockstars. As a result, it lost a lot of panache.

    I feel like the “uni-verse” has suffered some of the same fate.

    In the 2000s, it was this fun thing it seemed like only a few of us took the time to care about — led by you, Paul! Hey, this is what a headspoon is. Hey, piping … pinstripes … piping WITH pinstripes (interesting choice) … vest … sleeves … no sleeves … and so on. It was all fascinating.

    But, somewhere along the line, I feel like conversations in the uni-verse — less so here than on social media, but all over in one way or another — started to become more about opinions than information. And, like the (edited) idiom says, opinions are like a bodily orifice on your backside: Everyone has one, and a lot of them stink. I tire of people insisting something is spectacular or terrible with no room in between. I also find the vast majority of opinions are predictable: Everyone wants things to look like they did when they were kids or teenagers. That simple.

    Accordingly, I also feel like uniform design has largely become predictable. To borrow Nike’s rule of four, most teams seem to have four uniforms now: A home, an away, a throwback to make the older folks happy and a “City Connect” type design for the younger folks. Throw in an alternate or two on top of that as well. Things are fluid enough now in terms of teams making changes that uniforms are like the weather — if you don’t like one, wait a year, they’ll have a new one next year because they want you to buy a new one next year. Ta daa, designers stay employed, people flock to whichever of the uniforms matches their demographic, people will have their predictable and largely worthless opinions and the teams will count the money.

    As such, you’re right: It’s just not fun anymore. Much of the history has been documented. The new stuff is going in a singular direction. And the discourse isn’t all that interesting because it’s mostly either the corporate speak from the uniform makers and teams, or it’s people’s opinions, which are “great!” or “terrible!”.

    So yeah, it makes a certain sense to me that a spectacular writer and deep thinker — gush gush — would tire of what this beat has become, even as someone whose work was the tree trunk of the blossoming tree the uni-verse has become.

    Are there other sports topics out there? Surely. If you can travel, I could see you discussing stadium quirks quite easily, as it seems like a lot of the unique, undiscovered ephemera of uniforms still exists in some of the design choices surrounding stadiums, not to mention there’s more permanence there. A collab between you and Jerry Reuss, with his history of taking great stadium pictures during his career, would be amazing. But also, maybe it’s time for us all to take more breaks from big-time sports, along with its often toxic discourse and cynical attempts at wringing every dollar out of fans, to just find other, simpler pleasures in life. There’s something to be said for finding some peace as we age.

    So yeah. Uni-Watch has been great, but I’ve been reading less since the new site debuted and things split toward Substack and whatnot. I still like the ledes and deep-dive pieces, but I just haven’t found myself as interested in it all since the whole business of sports aesthetics is more so micromanaged by the beancounters now than anything.

    That said, I look forward to seeing what else you find to pique your interest, Paul. While I know it’s not over yet here at Uni-Watch, here’s to finding some peace and enjoyment in seeking out the obscura, wherever it may be. Cheers.

    As a longtime reader and very infrequent commenter, I’m happy and excited for you. Over the years, my interest in uniforms has waned quite a bit, but I keep coming back to this site because I enjoy your writing and appreciate your point of view. For years, I’ve actually enjoyed your non-uni content most. Maybe I’ll check out your Substack!

    Thanks for all the years of making uniforms a mainstream and enjoyable topic to read about. I started reading the Page 2 column when I was pretty young and I think your critical lens greatly influenced my attitudes around uniforms. I can’t wait for what’s next!

    First time (or maybe second?) commenter but I’ve been reading near daily since 2009 when the wikipedia article on stirrups directed me here. Cheers to 25 years and to new pursuits!

    Really happy for you, Paul, and this does seem like a fair and reasonable time not just to make the change, but to announce it. I’m looking forward to what you do next! Many thanks for all the insight and history lessons over the years!

    Congratulations, Paul, and thank you for teaching me terms such as vertical arching, chain stitching and Brannock device.

    And so you’re taking the leap! Good for you, Paul, and best of luck.

    I cannot imagine anyone resenting you for this, so please put that out of your mind. I’ve no doubt that everyone who stops by here wishes you nothing but well.

    Paul, congrats on the “pretirement”. Have contributed here and there with Eagles, helmet and cleats stuff via email and always appreciate the prompt replies from you.

    I mentioned a few weeks back that you should start blogging about antique spots that people can find great sports gear, uniforms and just overall great finds…hmmmmm

    Congrats, Paul. I’ve been so blessed to read your work for most of the past 25 years. You’re an exceptional writer, critic, and person. I don’t always agree with you, but I think the world of you. I feel so fortunate to have been a reader of yours.

    I am also a big fan of Phil, and I’ve always enjoyed his content. I have no doubt he will do a great job. I hope he has many years of success running the blog.

    Congrats, Paul. I’ve been so blessed to read your work for most of the past 25 years. You’re an exceptional writer, critic, and person. I don’t always agree with you, but I think the world of you. I feel so fortunate to have been a reader of yours.

    I am also a big fan of Phil, and I’ve always enjoyed his content. I have no doubt he will do a great job. I hope he has many years of success running the blog.

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Many congratulations and the very best of wishes on your future.

    Paul, you’ve become literally a household name in my family over the years. My wife, for instance, is well aware that you have two new kitties and has seen photos. My adult son will text me to see what your reaction is to some uni-related news that he occasionally becomes aware of. And even my adult daughter, whose interest in sports is practically zero, and largely negative, knows exactly who “Paul Lukas” is, and she even texted me this morning to tell me that I’d better check out today’s blog entry (which she’d heard about from another friend who’s also a reader).

    Thanks for being a real part of my life, not just because of the content you provide, but also importantly because of who you are. I look forward to seeing your post-Uni Watch future.

    Congrats on your soon deserved break Paul, I have been a fan since I was about 14 years old in 2014. I think I have been one of your younger fans, but I have definitely developed your taste of uni preferences. I wish you the best!

    Congrats Paul! There were some strong tea leaves suggesting your would step back in the spring. I’m excited for the new direction in the substack. Some of my favorite things here have been your travelogues, what Paul did last night, and culinary corner. Hopefully they continue in some form on substack.

    Congratulations on your retirement Paul, and thank you for everything you’ve done running this blog. You will certainly be missed!

    Paul, I’m super happy for you choosing what feels right for you at this point in your life–you’re giving us a meaningful example to emulate. I’ve been reading Uni Watch since the Slate days, and I look forward to continue having your writing in my life via Substack. Thanks for everything!

    I think I echo most everyone’s sentiments but still feel the need to add my own myself.

    I certainly will miss you on here every day. I feel like your transparency has really helped us connect to you in a way that other types of media don’t allow. Even though you don’t know me from Adam, I feel like I’m losing a friend.

    I’m looking forward to both the new direction of Uni Watch and your Substack. Phil has always done a top-notch job and his engagement with the comm-Uni-ty is always fun. And I’ll keep subscribing to the Substack as, like many others, it’s not just the Uni’s that I like about this site. It’s the curiosity of the little things about them and so many other things that “we” notice in our every day lives. So while we are losing a major part of our day-to-day life, I think the future is bright, maybe brighter. I’m excited to see where both of these projects go from here.

    Mainly, cheers and thanks for many years, Paul. and a huge CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy every minute of your new lifestyle!

    Congratulations, Paul! As a former sports guy myself, I can attest to how it feels like you always have to be working on something, and how it just never stops. I can also attest that even if one misses it after it’s gone, you don’t miss it as much as you might think you will. Good on you for recognizing a good time to step away, and taking the leap. Best of luck to you, and we’ll enjoy the next few months! I just might have to subscribe to the substack, as I thoroughly enjoy your writing on non-sports topics as well. Thanks for all you’ve done!

    Paul, we knew the day would be coming when you would step away. Been bracing for it but didn’t realize it would be this soon. I appreciate everything you have done creating Uni Watch. An amazing community and an escape for me from everyday life. You will be greatly missed here.

    Congrats to you Paul. These are exciting times to venture out and do something new. We can’t do the same thing forever. Opportunity to grow and thrive in new territory. I will be there reading. I know Uni Watch will be in great hands with Phil and Jim. I look forward to continuing to contribute and support Uni Watch.

    Paul, congratulations on the decision, and thanks for 25 years of Uni-Watch, not only all the writing, but the interactions down here in the comments, where I always thought you kept things civil, and were patient (sometimes to an extreme) with trolls or those who didn’t agree with your opinions.

    Congratulations Paul! I just retired at the end of the year at 66, but still doing some consulting work. Here’s a couple of things people have said to me about retiring. From a friend who was an extremely successful orthopedic surgeon…”You think you’ve built this great legacy, but people will forget about you at some point. Even giants in my field are now mostly forgotten. And that’s OK.” I’m not sure why, but I find comfort in this.
    Another comment from a friend…”You need at least 2 passions. Reasons to get up in the morning.” Paul, it’s evident from your writings that you have this covered! Enjoy my friend.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Thank you for all of the great information, content and cool merch (jerseys, t-shirts, pint glasses, stickers, etc.), over the years!

    Congrats Paul! I’m glad Uni Watch will likely continue in some form; it would be a shame to lose the comm-uni-ty we’ve formed here. I’m looking forward to following your next moves as well. So much of the off-uni items you’ve previously shared have in some way aligned with my interests or prompted me to explore new ones. Thank you for all the time and work you’ve put in here at Uni Watch. I’ve appreciated being able to come here on a regular basis to learn something new or read something interesting and get to really dig into the details of the niche topics you’ve covered.

    Thank you for many great years here and best of luck with the next chapter!

    Wow… I knew that sooner or later you would have stepped away from the blog and from writing about uniforms but reading this, today, hit me hard. I can’t thank you enough for what you did all these years… An Italian guy with obsessive passion about uniforms learned a lot from you. You did an amazing job deep diving into obscure details, chasing white whales (the brown/blue Bronco legend and so on)… You fueled my passion,especially in the early days when it was so difficult to access uni-related pieces of information… I love your style, and even when I didn’t agree with you I always admired your way of telling a story.
    I completely understand you need to step away, and I’m very happy for you… But know this: you will be missed.

    Phil, Jim, I know you’ll do a great job when you will run the show full time. The Uni Watch community is in more than capable hands.

    Love
    Mako

    Even in saying farewell, you’ve carefully considered the readers which speaks to who you are and who you have been for so many of us in the comm-uni-ty. So thank you and congratulations, Paul. The next five months will be an absolute celebration.

    From the very early Page 2 days to beefsteaks in Brooklyn, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for sharing and providing new discoveries. I look forward to your future work.

    Much love.

    Thank you for everything, and congratulations Paul. I hope you have a great day as you read the comments and take in the positive impact you’ve had on many people!

    Paul, I don’t know what to say. It’s been a pleasure to be a reader and member of the UniWatch community for the past 25 years, and you have certainly earned your retirement. This has been a great place to learn from industry and league insiders and learn things from those “in the know”. Between this and Sportslogos.net, the internet finally had places to bring together people who loved the esoteric combination of graphic design and sports.

    I get that with the proliferation of social media, this central hub might not as been needed as much for reading breaking news, especially with teams and designers posting the content themselves. It is still great to have an organized daily ticket and blog with discussions and new insights about past events :cough:BrownsCBLogoUsedOnfield:cough

    I hope that you are able to enjoy your retirement with much less stress and demands, so you can have more time to enjoy the company of your family and friends (furry and otherwise).

    Cheers!

    My best wishes to you, Paul. I remember first reading one of your articles on Slate a very long time ago and enjoyed the daily blog when that came along as well. Have always enjoyed the site and the comm-uni-ty even as in recent years I haven’t been engaged or able to go on the site daily. I can’t imagine the level of effort it is to keep this content fresh and engaging and so I do appreciate your desire to get off the hamster wheel. I figured this day would come someday and am thankful for the comm-uni-ty that Phil will give it a go instead of the site just shutting down.

    Hoping your post-career life is amazing, fruitful, and fulfilling. You are making me think of my post-career life as well so hopefully your kick in the pants will be useful to me as well.

    Cheers!

    I, for one, am looking forward to more in-depth projects like the Candela Structures. Cheers to your post-career!

    Paul-

    As one who is around your age, and was recently laid off in the great Tech Layoffs of 2023 (and was thrust upon the decision you’re going through without warning!), I understand where you’re going. I, too, am making decisions about continuing to look for full time work, partially retire and consult or some other solution. I’ve been pondering the future for the past 4 months. Wherever it ends up, thanks for affecting so many lives (as you can see by the many who have written here) who came here daily to find (and sometimes provide) information about the uni-verse.

    Best of luck and Godspeed through the process.

    Paul, I wish you the very best. It has been amazing to learn about things with you, about uniforms and life. The increase in advertisements and gambling sometimes discourage me about sports too, but maybe, now that you’re not going to be in the daily beat anymore, your interest will be rekindled.

    Thank you for everything, from your Brazilian reader.

    Hi Paul,

    I just want to “Thank You” for creating Uni-Watch. I still faintly remember stumbling upon it through Page 2 under ESPN’s website and how excited I was. I have enjoyed reading Uni-Watch since then and I wish you good luck to your new career.

    Take care!

    Thank you, Paul. Uni Watch is a wonderful place to come to read and discuss details of uniforms with everyone who “gets it”. Congratulations and best of luck in your future endeavors.

    Been a helluva run and I’ve been there every day since discovering the blog in the mid 00s. Congratulations and here’s to a great future for you next Paul!

    Found you and your site back in the ESPN Page 2 days – CONGRATULATIONS Paul – I work in HR and I always say to those who are fortunate to leave a job/career in reasonable health and sound mind: YOU WON in the game of life . . . Will continue to read and support the Uni-Watch Blog as long as I am able and as long as it is here to be supported!

    the only constant is this thing called life is Change!!!

    Paul, congratulations. Firstly, congratulations on the excitement and breath of fresh air that come from making a big life change. Secondly, congratulations on building that house you described.

    Thank you! I’ve learned so much from reading Uni Watch over the years, and especially your historical discoveries will live on in the sports uniform collective knowledge base. Thanks for your labor and enthusiasm and for sharing it all with us. Cheers to new chapters!

    Note to PL: I just retired from a 45 year career designing signs and logos, something I’m sure you’d be into. As I lived a very regimented life, I now find I have all the time in the world to do nothing…

    Best of luck in your future endeavors and I was so hoping to visit this site on the day to see the headline screaming the Miami Dolphins would be going back to their original unis. This site has been a daily stop for me for years now.

    I feel very similarly about my own career as you do with this, so it’s understandable. I’m really happy for you that you are getting off the wheel. It’s a real mix of happiness and envy that I’m feeling to be honest.

    I’m also sad for UW because I think it’s inevitable that things will be different. Not better or worse, but also not Paul!

    I hope to catch you on your tour. Until then, I’ll keep reading.

    Thank you for all of the writing over the years, Paul (I’ve been reading UW for over two decades now!). Best wishes in wherever your future creative endeavors end up taking you.

    Congratulations, Paul, for an amazing 25-year run on (and as the originator of) the sports uniform beat, and for moving on under your own terms. I’ve been following you for nearly 20 years – since your ESPN Page 2 days – and it’s been such a joy to be a part of this comm-uni-ty that you deserve so much credit for creating. I’ll savor every bit of your content for the remainder of your tenure in 2024, and I’ll certainly follow your other ventures when you’re done here.

    Congratulations also to Phil, who is going to do an amazing job shepherding this site. Phil, I’ve loved your weekend content – and your annual August turn at the controls – and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the site!

    Jim, congratulations on your “promotion,” too! Every weekend for the second half of 2024 is going to feel like Vilkmas to me!

    Finally, thanks to the whole comm-uni-ty for making Uni Watch such a great place. As much as I’m going to miss Paul’s leadership and daily contributions, I’ve come across so many thoughtful and talented contributors here over the years – both in terms of content creators and regular commenters – that I know there will still be plenty of great materials and lots to discuss in the months and years ahead. The only constant in life is change, and I am optimistic that much good will come from this change.

    Well said, Kary. I think your thoughts summarize what many are feeling. Eternally grateful but still optimistic for what the future holds including hearing more from a variety of creative and talented contributors such as yourself.

    Just want to voice my appreciation for your work on Uni Watch for what’s been well over half my life. Needless to say, it’s changed how I’ve looked at sports, consumerism, branding, etc. I’m excited for what you choose to focus on next.

    You’re a rock star, Paul, and will be very missed. You’ve created something truly special and I’m one of the ones who have made the site part of their daily routine. UniWatch is a legacy to beyond proud of, and you more than deserve to embrace and dive into further pursuits.

    I can personally relate to exactly how you feel in one of my own ventures, and I thank you for showing the way for how such an exit from something you created and so many people love should be done. I’ve been following you since at least 2005 – the time about when I first emailed you with the news of BYU changing their football uniforms back to their classic look after their awful late 90’s experiment and was quite chuffed when you responded promptly, and haven’t stopped following since (and having some of my hobby designs “published” also rocked!). Here’s to you and your green and gold empire!

    Paul, Congrats and good luck in your future. You’ll be missed around here, but glad to know that Uni Watch will be in good hands.
    Best wishes to you!