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Ask Phil Anything — The Answers!

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Good morning! Phil here with another weekday post — this time, I’m answering all your questions that were responses to Paul’s recent Ask Phil Anything article.

As Paul mentioned yesterday, he’s on jury duty, and I’ll be minding the store today. We will have at least two more articles (including one from our own Jamie Rathjen, who will have a rundown of all the MLS kits revealed yesterday). MLS is meting them out over the course of four days, and there will be an additional seven released at some point today, and then another four on Saturday. We’ll have all those covered as well. So be sure to check back often! Obviously, if there is any additional breaking news today, I’ll get to that ASAP.

Now then.

I received lots of great questions from you guys, and I’ve answered them below. If you have any additional questions, you can send them directly to me, or you can also post them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them there. We may do another set of these down the line. So let’s get started. Your questions are in bold below, followed by my responses.

Probably the biggest question facing the future of the website, in a multi-part form:

1) Do you have anything against the color purple?
1a) Will you be continuing the purple hatred?

2) If you are fine with purple, is there another generally used uniform color that you dislike greatly?

I received more “purple” questions than any others! I have nothing against the color purple. It’s not my favorite hue, and I prefer shades more tending towards the red part of the spectrum than the blue (for example, I prefer the jersey on the left vs. the jersey on the right). I am fine with all colors for uniforms, though I have my preferences; I generally like lighter colors, like athletic gold, powder blue, and orange than darks. Good combos are as important as any single color.

Paul every now and then threw in a post on a different type of minutiae — not uniforms but something within the phylum as it were. Do you have plans to do that as well, because I always thought those types of things were both enlightening and introductory?

I’ve mostly always loved Paul’s “off-uni” posts, as we call them, and I’ve done a smattering over my 15+ years (mostly on the weekends). If I feel something “off-uni” is germane to UW, or I feel would be of interest to our readers, I will definitely write about it.

What’s the plan for the Uni Watch twitter account when you take over?

Great question. Paul and I are still hashing that out. I’d love for the account to continue as it is, except that I’d be running it as opposed to Paul. I’d like to keep as much “consistency” on the site and the Twitter account as possible during the transition. That way, people can still tweet to the Uni Watch account and send ticker items and queries to Uniwatching at G-mail.

In general, you and Paul seem to have similar takes concerning uniforms, but are there some big areas that you differ from Paul? An example might be something like Paul prefers stirrups, and you don’t. Also, I think I’ve seen pictures of you at a Mets game wearing a Mets hat, and I believe Paul is against wearing team merchandise, at least for him personally.

Paul and I share similar uniform tastes, that’s for sure (and one of the reasons I began reading/following his work since the Slate days). Paul calls himself a “classicist” when it comes to his uniform preferences, and I’d say that label fits me as well. There are a few “modern” uniforms I’ve come to like, but by and large I still prefer what most of us would call traditional looks.

As far as stirrups — I definitely LOVE them (maybe not as much as Paul, but it’s close) and thanks to Robert Marshall, I probably have 40 pairs or so. But I also recognize stirrups are a vestige of an earlier time, and they serve little purpose (other than their look) today. As such, I don’t mind if players wear high cuffs with socks (vs. stirrups), as long as they show hosiery of some kind. I really don’t like the “long pants” look that started in the late ’90s and continues to this day in baseball.

I have some team merchandise (t-shirts mostly), and I have worn that to Mets games — but almost all my “merch” has been gifts. I don’t own an official Mets cap, though I definitely have worn a “Mr. Met” cap (another gift) to games. But just because I (or Paul) don’t like or buy team merchandise (and I am also opposed to what we call “merch dumps”), if people want to purchase team gear and wear it to games or elsewhere, I say go for it.

As a Uni Watch reader for close to 20 years now, I’m looking forward to seeing how the platform evolves under your stewardship!

I would love to know more about your aesthetic preferences, and how they compare and contrast to Paul’s. Feel free to answer this however you’d like, but some specific example questions could be:

• What are your favorite/least favorite big four uniforms? How do they compare to Paul’s?
• Do you love green and yellow uniforms as much as Paul?
• Do you despise purple uniforms to the same degree? (hopefully not – proud Northwestern alum here)
• Do you believe the worst uniform without an ad is still better than the best uniform with an ad?

Depending on the day you ask me, I might give two or three different answers to my “favorite” uniforms. But in general I’d say Cards, Packers, “classic” Celtics, and almost any of the NHL Original Six uniforms are my favorites. As far as least favorites, that can and has changed with each new set of uniforms for each league that get introduced.

While I may not love green/gold as much as Paul, I LOVE those colors together. If anyone were thinking I’d want to change the UW green and gold theme, rest assured I would never. From the Packers to the A’s to the Oregon Ducks (well, sometimes), I’m a big fan of those colors!

I agree with Paul that ads do NOT belong on uniforms, and I’ll always oppose them, but let’s face it: they’re here and not going anywhere, which I hate. But in terms of “ranking” uniforms, no, I would not say the worst uniform without an ad is still better than the best one with one. The worst uniform is still the worst uniform. It being ad-free doesn’t make it “better” than a really good uni with an ad. Because before you know it, that really bad uniform is going to have an ad too.


So, not uniform related, but back in August you posted a blog about the only foul ball you ever caught. There was a photo included with yourself in a Grateful Dead tee – so I have to ask – how did you get into the Dead and what’s your favorite Dead tape or show you attended?

I got into the Dead back in high school, and saw my first show at the tender age of 15, and then “followed” them until Jerry’s passing in 1995 (over the past five or so years, I also attended a bunch of Dead & Company shows); I estimate having seen at least 125+ shows over the years, but picking a single favorite is not easy. Two that stand out would be an incredible summer show up in SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) in 1985, and a 1990 show in the Nassau Coliseum, where Branford Marsalis was a special guest and the band played “Dark Star”; a little over a year later I caught them at Madison Square Garden and Branford was again a guest, and I got my second, and final “Dark Star.”

I’ve noticed that many of your descriptions of newly introduced unis (NHL All Star unis or Nats road unis/pullover for example) are very detailed technical recaps but don’t often include as much analysis or opinion. Part of why I think we all come to Uni Watch is for Paul’s “voice.” I don’t read the weekend content as much, so perhaps your voice is more present there. Do you expect to provide more takes and less readouts of breaking uni news?

Excellent question! When we get our first looks at new uniforms, especially if they’re from a hype video, or posed actors (like the NHL ASG), or dimly-lit studio shots, I try to report all the details that I notice, and usually reserve full judgment until a uniform is actually worn by a real player on a field, court, ice, etc. I may indicate whether I like (or dislike) a uniform at an unveiling, but I also don’t want to be “fooled” because how a uniform looks in a photoshoot can be drastically different from one worn in game play. I followed that NHL ASG reveal post with a much more detailed writeup of the game, which showed the uniforms as they were meant to be seen. I’m glad I didn’t pan those unis in my unveiling post, because I ended up rather liking them once I saw them in action. Once I take over for Paul doing weekdays, I’ll probably still reserve judgment, but I will try to give some more “first impressions” and thoughts.

I’m interested in who exactly makes those decisions about some of those hideous uniforms that get introduced. We know that Nike is willing to throw anything on the wall, in hopes of sticking, but, on the team side of things, how many are involved? Who ultimately becomes responsible, casts the deciding vote, etc.?

In terms of the pros, teams (at least in theory) give input and sometimes complete instructions to Nike on what they’d like, and Nike is paid (handsomely) to produce what the teams request. And pro teams definitely have final say. The client (team) has veto power over anything they don’t like. I’m sure with things like “City Edition” or “City Connect” or “Reverse Retro” the manufacturers have designers who may come to a team with certain ideas, and oftentimes (to their credit) work diligently with the team to produce a final product. It may be different for colleges, where schools are paid to wear uniforms, and in some of those instances, I’m sure the manufacturer tries to influence what teams wear, whether it be design or style or template.

We see a fair amount of community-submitted content on the site now, like the recent NBA Rewind series or Uniform on 11 project (though I’m not strictly asking about uniform design content). Is the plan to have that continue moving forward? In general would you prefer we send in stuff like that as it is created, or will there be occasional “calls for content”? The latter could be a fun way to drive themed content and consolidate submissions, but I’m not sure what works best for you.

Additionally, any chance you are looking for more volunteers to help with the site in various roles? As strong as the comm-uni-ty is, I’m sure there are plenty that would be willing to help on a consistent basis, but I wanted to throw my hat into the ring as well.

I’m always looking for reader-submitted content! I oftentimes find readers themselves have some of the best ideas for articles, and I’m happy to work with anyone who is interested in having their uni-related content shown here. I have always (and will continue to) feature reader contributions going forward. Paul has created a wonderful commUNIty, and most of us share similar interests in this niche. Some of my favorite pieces have been reader-generated!

As far as volunteers, I’m not sure what you have in mind, but if anyone wants to reach out with any specific proposals, I’m all ears! But the most important “help” will be for readers to continue to reach out to me with content suggestions, as that’s what helps drive us as a commUNIty! One definite “call for volunteers” I will have is for Olympic “correspondents” — basically readers can offer to cover the uniforms of a certain discipline, as I’ve done in the past. I’ll have more to say about that as the Olympics get closer, but if anyone is interested in claiming “dibs” now, please reach out!

Will you be discontinuing the absurd condemnation of the color purple in Uni Watch articles? It’s a great color! Along the same lines, not every green and yellow uniform is THE BEST uniform. I disagreed with Paul a lot on those two things. I hope to see Uni Watch articles written a little more unbiased moving forward.

I’ve already addressed purple, as well as green and gold — but I don’t think Paul automatically dislikes a purple uniform or elevates a green/gold one — I think he’s been very fair in his assessments, and puts any personal likes/dislikes aside when writing about them. If he’s expressing his opinions (say, in ranking uniforms), those traits may come into play, just as my own personal likes and dislikes shaped my recent Super Bowl rankings. Paul may hate purple and like green/gold, but I definitely don’t think he lets those “biases” ever shape his writing. If I don’t like a uniform element (even if it’s a color), I’ll say so and back it up with reasons — but it won’t be a reflexive response.

Over the years, Paul has fallen into the unenviable role of Comment Section Moderator. I know this isn’t really a job anyone wants, but this isn’t something that’s going away unfortunately, especially as this comm-uni-ty grows.

Without being too specific and biasing your response, I’ve had a few issues with Paul’s policy of moderating comments when there’s a particularly controversial article and comment section. Is there anything you think you’ll handle differently in that regard?

I’m sometimes surprised at what Paul deletes from the comments section, but he has his reasons — and I think this is one of the main reasons the UW comment section is (almost) unique in this regard. We don’t allow personal or ad hominem attacks or politics, etc. and I’d like to keep that. Unlike the comments section of almost any other site, we can disagree but grandstanding and attacking other readers have no place here. I intend to keep the “commUNIty” atmosphere Paul has fostered. I may not delete (or not approve) some of the things Paul does, but by and large I will endeavor to keep the comments section as it has been under Paul. That being said, if a commenter is being respectful to others when there is a “particularly controversial article,” and stays on topic, I would tend not to police those comments with a heavy hand.

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

(Or both or neither, and any plans to share pet pics?)

I’m definitely a dog person! Part of that is because I’m allergic to cats, so I’ve never owned one (and try to avoid coming into contact with friends’/neighbors’ cats). I don’t currently own any pets, but if I ever get one (and it would be a dog), I will happily share!

Will the Uni Watch glossary be changed? Anything deleted? Will there be new words, phrases or acronyms added to the list?

Oh wow, I’d kind of forgotten about the glossary! (For anyone interested, the glossary is located under the “ABOUT” tab at the top of each post). There are probably some words/phrases that may have outlived their usefulness (such as “Breathing Ethier” or “Pedro Porthole”), and there may be some that could be added. If anyone has any suggestions for additions (or deletions), please post them in the comments below!

This is less of a question and maybe not worthy of publishing, but didn’t Paul use to refer to you as LI Phil? When did that start/stop? Was there another Bronx Phil or Manhattan Phil that I don’t remember? I had a Chinese friend in college named Li Xiaoxien and I swear for the longest time I read LI Phil like you were a Chinese national name pronounced Lee Phil! I’m not from the NYC area and it took me a while to figure out it stood for Long Island Phil!

When I first started posting as a commenter (before Paul tapped me for “Bench Coach” back in 2008), my screen name was “LI Phil” — and that in and of itself was a holdover from the early days of message boards, when most people posted anonymously (or used screen names). I first started using “LI Phil” (and yes, it’s shorthand for “Long Island Phil” — I can’t tell you how many people thought it was “Lil” Phil) in the early 2000s on a hurricane tracking site, and I did it purposely to identify my location as much as anything else. Most of the commenters on that site were from the Gulf Coast or Florida or North Carolina (as those locations tended to be more active in terms of hurricanes making landfall). I kept it as a screen name when I first began commenting on UW (and I even have it as my license plate!). I “officially” changed to my real name when I began writing for UW in 2008. For a few years (or maybe more) after that, Paul would refer to me as “LI Phil” even after my SN changed.

Would you publish the lede earlier in the day? I feel like you used to publish weekend content earlier than Paul published weekday content and then somewhere along the line everything got standardized and published at 8 AM Eastern.

There was a time when I would “pre-load” the weekend posts to go live at 7:00 am, and I guess I’ve gotten away from that now that we’ve redesigned the website, and frequently publish multiple posts in a day. I am absolutely NOT a morning person, and I’d rather work on an article until 3:00 AM (and sometimes do) than wake up early to manually hit the “publish” button (which is what Paul does). I could certainly set the early morning lede article to publish at 7:00 am if there is support for that. I just like to be up (even if not quite awake) to moderate the comments, so setting an article to publish a bit later gives me a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning.

That actually leads me to a question for readers: Do you always want a post published early in the morning? That’s how UW has always worked (and has always worked well, especially during the 16 or so years when we only published one article per day). But with multiple posts per day, some readers who are used to checking in early are presented with three or four articles that were published the previous day they have not read/seen. I’d like to keep the “minimum” of at least one post per day, published in the morning, as the standard going forward. But it might be easier, or more practical, to publish a post at say, 10:00 pm (or whenever, but later in the evening) and then no early post, rather than “saving” that 10:00 pm post to run at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning. I’d love to have some feedback on that possibility. (Just as an example, Chris Creamer publishes his articles at all hours of the day, but there is no standard morning post. Would you guys prefer that type of format, or should we always keep the “early morning post” as it has been, even if that means holding a post that could be published later in the evening from the day before?)

Can you give readers a sense of your personal uni baseline preferences? For example, Paul likes yellow & green and stirrups, plus, like me, he tends to not be a fan of monochromatic looks. If easier, maybe just tell us where you and Paul diverge on sports aesthetics. If my question is too broad, feel free to respond to my question as applies specifically to football.

PS – Also, where will Uni Watch 2G (or 2.0) be geographically based out of?

I’ve addressed the gold/green and stirrups above, but I’m not, generally speaking, a fan of mono looks. But there are exceptions (I did an entire series with the help of Chris Diamond exploring monochrome options in baseball, for example). Where I think “mono” looks best — in any sport — is when a jersey and pants are the same color, but socks are of contrasting colors. I know it’s definitely de rigueur in football now (and I hope it’s just another uniform fad/trend that will pass, like long, baggy pants seem to have fallen out of fashion after a decade or more when players routinely wore that style). For example, I really dislike it when the Buffalo Bills wear blue pants and socks (even with a white jersey), but I’m absolutely fine when they wear blue jerseys/pants with white socks. Technically that’s NOT mono — a mono uniform is when ALL elements (helmet/cap, jersey, pants and socks) are all the same color. And really, the only uniform I like would be when the Baltimore Ravens go mono-black.

As far as where Paul and I diverge? Probably more than I think, but in general, I’d say we have very similar tastes (“classicist”) in uniforms.

And as far as “home base” geographically for Post-Paul UW? Long Island.

Will all of your features (Guess the Game From the Scoreboard/Uniform, Uni Tweaks/Concepts) go with you to weekdays, or will they stay on the weekends?

I expect I’ll be migrating all these to the weekdays (although they will likely not appear every day, though probably at least one of those will be a part of the daily morning article). The one thing that will definitely stay on the weekends is the SMUW (Sunday Morning Uni Watch), and the new Weekend Editor, Jim Vilk, will be taking over the SMUW (I believe the entire SMUW crew will be returning as well).

I feel I know almost everything about Paul’s life…parents…how he grew up…job history…residences…pets…favorite color…love life…trips. It is almost funny. I feel I know very little relatively about you. Will you reveal yourself like a band-aid, gradually, or not much at all?

I’ve definitely imparted some of my personal life over the years (at least those parts that are uni-related, or relevant). And I’ll continue to do so going forward. If there is anything specific you’d like to know I’ll be happy to answer in the comments below, as long as it’s not too personal!

What’s your Favorite band and taste in music…and cans?

I’d say the Grateful Dead, for sure, and my musical tastes are decidedly what I guess would be in the “Classic Rock” genre. Aside from the Dead (which I have seen 125+ plus times), I’ve caught almost every other major (and many minor) bands — mostly in my younger years. But everyone from the Who to Tom Petty to Bob Seger to the Beach Boys (yeah, I’m old) I’ve seen. I’m lucky that I live close to Jones Beach, which always had a packed summer schedule in a gorgeous setting (and not a bad seat in the house), so I’ve seen a lot of shows there, but also Nassau Coliseum, MSG, even Brendan Byrne and the Meadowlands, and I’ve caught the Dead up and down the east coast. I’ve also seen a lot of local talent on Long Island and NYC over the years. I never saw the Beatles (I’m not *that* old), but I have seen both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform (separately).

As far as cans? While I appreciate good design on a product (and I enjoy Paul’s “Can of the Day”), I don’t have any favorites. I do like products that tend to retain consistent design over the decades (like Campbell’s Soup, for example), rather than those that are changing more often.

I know you’re a Mets fan, but what other teams are you a fan of? Any favorite NCAA or NFL teams? Along that same line, what athletes were you a fan of growing up?

Mets, Giants, Nets (although I switched loyalties to the Knicks once the Nets moved to New Jersey when they joined the NBA — now that they’re back in Brooklyn I gravitate between both teams) and Islanders. There really aren’t any major sports-playing universities near me, and none of my alma maters play anything approaching top-level athletics. You probably know I have a love/hate relationship with the Oregon Ducks football team, and I am a particular fan of Alabama’s football uniforms. Growing up, I was always a Jackie Robinson fan (even though I never saw him play — he’s probably still my favorite athlete), but in general I’m more a fan of teams (“the laundry”) than any individual athletes. As you may have noticed, I’ll root for non-local teams (often) based on the uniforms rather than the athletes or even the teams. Realizing at an early age my “favorite” player could be unceremoniously traded (cough *TomSeaver* cough), I usually developed a rooting interest in the team rather than any individual athletes, and that continues today. I like (mostly) my local teams, and I root for the better-dressed team often.

Have you given any thought to removing TV network errors from the ticker? When the blog started, it was surprising to catch a station using the wrong team logo. Now, it’s boring and mean. That type of error has been caught hundreds of times now.

Heh. I’m not sure it’s mean, but I agree it’s really not news anymore — although there may be the occasional error that is so egregious as to merit a ticker mention. It’s similar to color-vs-color basketball games — there’s really no reason to mention them anymore as they’ve become ubiquitous (moreso in the NBA, but even college).

Will you be continueing with the site’s current ideology toward Native American mascots and logos that Paul set the precedent for? I ask because in your recent ranking of Super Bowl uniform match-ups, you ranked Washington v. Miami from Super Bowl 7 in the top 10 despite the Native American imagery on the helmet. Paul tended to routinely rank the old Washington incarnation fairly low in all lists.

I don’t expect there will be any changes with regard to teams who presently use Native American iconography, but I may differ from Paul when it comes to the historical use of the same. I didn’t “rank” them (or their match ups) based solely upon their name/helmet logo (just as I didn’t judge Kansas City for their name/logo); I try to view their uniforms in toto. I don’t think many of us would argue that either team didn’t (and KC still doesn’t) have otherwise fine uniforms. Just as I wouldn’t rank an otherwise good (or great) uniform “at the bottom” of any list solely because a team sports a uni ad, I don’t think I would do the same to KC or Atlanta (in baseball) in terms of use of name or imagery when looking at an overall uniform design. That doesn’t mean I don’t think KC and Atlanta shouldn’t remove their Native American imagery, and I will continue to advocate for them to rebrand (or at least redesign) to eliminate that iconography. To Kansas City’s credit, they are working to address this issue, having stated, “much of the club’s early promotional activities relied heavily on imagery and messaging depicting American Indians in a racially insensitive fashion. Over the course of the club’s 60-plus-year history, the Chiefs organization has worked to eliminate this offensive imagery and other forms of cultural appropriation in their promotional materials and game-day presentation.” But as far as uniforms go, I definitely consider everything in my rankings, but I don’t reflexively put these teams “at the bottom” of rankings. It’s a factor, but not the only factor.

For someone like me for whom Uni Watch has become a morning obsession ritual, I’ve known for years that Paul’s departure was coming. Honestly, it took far longer than I would have predicted. But knowing that I won’t have to go cold turkey at the end and that there will be a “peaceful transfer of power” to someone we all already know and trust is very encouraging. So, again, thank you for that. I hope you’re excited to step into the driver’s seat. It feels like you’ve been ready for a long time but Paul just wasn’t yet ready/able to pass the keys over. Now that the time has finally come, I’m curious about how you’re going to approach it. Which leads me to my question…

You and Paul are different. That’s human nature. But the readers of this blog have probably gotten used to Paul’s approach to the daily weekday blog. If I’m being honest, I’m much more of a Monday-Friday reader and I only dabble with your weekend content. Part of that is because it’s my workday morning ritual to read Uni Watch, but part of it is also because your content feels different than what I’ve come to love. It’s longer, more detailed, sometimes it covers content that I’m not fully interested in as well. So I’m curious, as you go to take on the daily driver role, is your plan to basically migrate weekend-type content to weekdays? Are you going to try to approach weekdays more like Paul evolved to do so over the years? Or do you not have an idea on how you’re going to approach it and you have a plan to be flexible and solicit feedback and adjust accordingly?

[Emphasis provided by the commenter]

If you’ve been a reader during the month of August for the past dozen-plus years (when Paul has traditionally taken his monthly sabbatical), you probably have an idea what to expect. I definitely change my “style” up when I do August posts, trying much more to emulate how Paul covers topics than what I generally do on the weekends. Some of the things I do on the weekends have (and will continue) to be a part of the weekdays, especially soliciting reader-suggested topics which I think are some of the best topics I’ve covered over the years. But in general, my goal will be to have as much continuity between how Paul has run things for all these years and what I do going forward. I don’t expect to make any major changes at all (nor would I want to). I am not Paul (no one is — and I mean that in the best possible way), but I think I can provide similar coverage and style. I am TOTALLY open to being flexible and absolutely welcome any and all feedback. Paul has skills and talents he’s brought to Uni Watch that are unique to his outstanding abilities and the community he has built can never be replicated. But I will do my absolute best to try to capture the best of Paul, but within my own abilities. One thing I have done (and will continue to do) is to engage with readers to bring their questions, thoughts, suggestions and uni watching talents to the fore.

That’s it for now. Again if there are questions you have for me that weren’t addressed in this segment, feel free to send me more (or post them in the comments below).



Comments (30)

    Wow! I don’t know how long I’ve been reading Uniwatch, but seeing “LI Phil” lets me know that it’s been a loooong time!

    Should we start e-mailing submissions to you? Or is Paul still considered the the “main man” until the transition? I know I have e-mailed both of you in the past.

    I can confirm that Phil loves it when readers suggest article ideas! Several of my articles came about from emails sent to him where I said, “Hey, I’ve been doing this. Do you think the comm-uni-ty would like to hear more about it?”

    Phil, I’ve always thought you’ve done a great job of keeping the weekday content pretty consistent with Paul’s delivery and hope you keep up the pacing of the delivery of articles as they are, but, truth be told, I’m on board with whatever you do. Hopefully you, or Paul chips in, with food and trip diaries tangents!

    I find it so interesting that you and Paul don’t really purchase team gear yourself. It’s almost like a cattle farmer who doesn’t eat meat.

    Phil, that photo of you with your foul ball always reminds me of the Keith Hernandez spitting flashback on Seinfeld. There’s just something about the quality of the photo and the setting that seem familiar.

    Will Paul turn over his list of contacts to you?

    One of the things that was great with Uni Watch was that if there was a piece of uniform news, Paul generally would have a source that he could check with to see if it was valid. While those have definitely declined in the past few years, things like the Style Guide news from MLB are great. There is no replacing the 25 years Paul has been making those contacts, so will you get them or because they’re personal to Paul that will lag a bit.

    I have some contacts already, but this is something we’ll continue to discuss before the transition. I’m sure Paul will do whatever it takes for me to have as much access as possible.

    Good things to know…and good luck to Phil!
    Couple of new terms for the glossary:
    Monolulu Blue

    Hey Phil,

    As a fellow curler, what are your thoughts on curling attire? The fun pants designs, the often large sublimated logos on quarter-zips, numbers vs. no-numbers, etc. I had a hand in designing my 5U team’s and went with a stitched club logo on the upper chest and sublimated side panels, but some of the ones I see at spiels are bordering on garish.

    As you may have seen over the years (Paul used to post photos of our rink when we curled together in Brooklyn), I wear “crazy” pants for league and bonspiels. I thank the Norwegians for making this “acceptable” attire, and I’m seeing more and more players go the crazy pants route. As far as tops, a lot of them are standardized (just look at the Brier or TOH), but those who go their own way can be fun. I don’t like sublimatation, but it’s definitely a cheaper way to add color/design. If I had my way, every jersey/long sleeve would be one or two color, with the pants being different for each rink (I get the whole black pants thing, but it would be nice to change things up). Since 2019, I’ve been cuffing my pants and showing solid color socks that somehow relate to one of the colors of my pants, jersey or cap.

    Roll Tide, Phil. Glad to hear that you’re a fan of the uniform.

    How do you feel about “retro logos?” Would people love them as much if they’d never been changed into modern ones…or is the “revived newness” the biggest factor in their popularity?

    For years and years, my high school football team looked EXACTLY like Alabama, though unfortunately in the past couple years they modernized their unis. Our colors were maroon and gray (although we wore white jerseys and pants), so pretty much the only difference with the shade. They still resemble the Tide (including single-stripe helmets and uni numbers): link . So I naturally gravitated towards Alabama partially due to that fact.

    Not sure exactly what you mean about “retro logos” — but people are fond of them for the same reason they likely love throwbacks: it’s probably a look the team had when he/she was growing up; I myself have a bit of a soft spot for powder blue baseball uniforms, because during my formative years, almost half of baseball wore that as their road look, instead of the more traditional gray. It doesn’t look out of place to me, although I’m sure to most of those who grew up after the powder era had passed probably think most of them look terrible. As far as loving retro logos “as much” if they’d never been changed — again I think people have a certain fondness for unis/logos that were present when they were growing up, so that’s gotta be part of it. In other cases, even people with say zero association with a prior logo may like it because it was better than the new logo.

    I think so. It’s Paul’s thing. But if readers miss it and would like to send their favorite can designs, I’m sure I can post them as people submit.

    I meant to send in a question; but kept forgetting. I’d be interested in your background prior to Uniwatch. Paul came from I guess what I would call a “critique writing” background. And I think that’s what drew me here way too many moons ago. Phil, do you have a journalistic background? I’m guessing you’re semi-retired. What did you do before? And would you go out of your way on a trip to see a large crow and french fry statues?


    I meant to send in a question; but kept forgetting. I’d be interested in your background prior to Uniwatch. Paul came from I guess what I would call a “critique writing” background. And I think that’s what drew me here way too many moons ago. Phil, do you have a journalistic background? I’m guessing you’re semi-retired. What did you do before? And would you go out of your way on a trip to see a large crow and french fry statues?


    I went to J-school, yes (unfortunately my final project — akin to a Masters Thesis — was ruled as insufficient, so I don’t have a Master’s Degree in Journalism, but completed two year’s worth of classes and training, everything required but the final). Previously I was Comms Director for an elected official. Back in the day, I was really into lighthouses, and my then-wife and I embarked on a two week trip to see as many East Coast lights as we could (I think we ended up seeing 50 or 60). So, yeah, I’ve gone on a crazy trip or two. I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to see some of the sculptures Paul did, but if they were on the route, I kinda dig that stuff (So, possibly)

    I’d love a 7:00 am lede! I teach and I’m working without at least preparing for students by 8. Then I don’t usually get to look at the site again until after dinner. There’s nothing wrong with that in reading the story, but I don’t get to participate in the comments discussion. Posting thoughts or asking questions in the comments section at 6 or 7 pm is like shouting into the void. I’ll always have summers and weekends though!

    As this site reaches its 25th year, what are the realistic expectations to continue the longevity (how much lifespan is left in blogs as a medium) and is there a plan to expand or evolve to what platforms (i.e. OTT / Mobile / streaming / podcasts) this site reaches as distributor sites?

    Is another 25 years possible, I do hope so. But is there plans already to pass the baton?

    I haven’t even received the baton, so there are no plans to pass it! But the longevity thing would depend on numerous factors, not the least of which is its long-term viability. I’m not a tech guy at all, so the thought of expanding to other platforms would require the assistance of the webmaster or someone who could assist in setting something like you mention. No plans for any of that at present, but I’m not averse to adapting as may be necessary. Wish I could be more specific, but honestly I am just preparing for the transition and hope to keep pretty much everything as it currently is!

    Thanks for sharing the link to the Chiefs addressing their working with the Native American community. I’ve always felt that teams were honoring Native Americans by naming their teams after them (except for the past offensive Washington name). However, it was offensive with the racial stereotypes and appropriations. Glad to see them working to fix this. Do you see a problem with the arrowhead logo, or do you think this should be worked out between the Chiefs and the Native American groups?

    I’m honestly not comfortable with Native American iconography; I could easily live with the team keeping the name “Chiefs” if they geared their identity towards say, Fire Chiefs, substituting a Fire Chief medallion (link) for the arrowhead. One thing that really bugs me is — even if the team is trying to make amends for its past — the crowd continues to do the Tomahawk Chop, including the arm gestures … KC fans/rooters even did it in Germany link this past season. I really wish their fans would stop that. But Native American groups should have far more say in this than me.

    “But Native American groups should have far more say in this than me.”

    Amen. This is something I feel like I’ve heard far too little of in this whole debate. As a white guy of European ancestry, I don’t feel like I have much right to an opinion one way or the other about Native American iconography. If most native people want to see it gone, then by all means, let’s get rid of it. But I know there have also been Native groups who have come out in support of that imagery. I don’t know if those groups represent the majority opinion or not, but they certainly have a right to be heard as well.

    Sometimes (and I’m not saying this has happened here at Uni Watch), it feels like certain groups of non-Native people have landed so strongly in the camp of that imagery being offensive, they won’t even listen to actual Native people who see it as honorific and don’t want to lose it. And that seems very wrong.

    To be clear, I’m not advocating to keep Native imagery/names at all. I’m totally fine with getting rid of them if that’s what the Native community wants. I just want to see more focus on the opinions of the people who are actually affected by the issue – for or against it – and less stridence from white people who have no skin in the game.

    Phil & Paul,
    Very enjoyable article and Q&A. I will remain a dedicated UW reader and congratulate you on now heading up the site.

    Congratulations and best wishes also to Paul as he moves to his next set of endeavors.

    I have enjoyed Paul’s columns and work since his very first UniWatch column in The Village Voice, though I am still searching for those 30+ year old two separate Voice columns involving the 1990s Mets’ derisively described “Uniform Carnival”, as well as a second column referencing the NJ Devils’ “Ketchup and Pickle” (Red and Green) uniform colors and the origins of the Devils’ name connecting to legend of Devils in the woods of NJ – which I believe Paul communicated a while back that he DID NOT write.
    If only I had never gotten married and had my wife demand I jettison the many hundreds of actual Village Voice issues that I had hoarded and saved – if for no other reasons than the UW columns and Loan Star Cafe advertisements!

    Nonetheless, a huge congrats again to both Phil and Paul! Onward and Upward!

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