Vanderbilt Shows Off Their 'Battle Ready' Uniforms


By John Ekdahl

Vanderbilt has a new alternate uniform for the 2019 season, which they unveiled at an event on Saturday. The helmets feature 82 painted rivets, in honor of Turner Cockrell who last year lost his battle with cancer. He wore number 82.

Vanderbilt unveiled its new “Battle Ready” football uniforms at its annual Dore Jam event Saturday.

The uniforms include a gray jersey and pants with black numbers and “Anchor Down” on the side of the legs. The helmet is steel gray with the facade of a battleship in the Commodores’ “Battle Ready” theme.

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While the Carolina Panthers don’t have any major uniform design changes this season, they are switching to Nike’s “Vapor Untouchable” line.

The players are loving them,” Panthers equipment manager Don Toner said.

The new uniforms are Nike’s “Vapor Untouchable” model. Before this season, the Panthers and Packers were the only clubs who hadn’t adopted them.

The lightweight jerseys are designed with no panels on the front and fewer seams to increase mobility and range of motion.

“Guys had worn these uniforms with other teams or at the Pro Bowl and they came back and said how much they liked the fabric and how it plays – that’s the most important thing for them,” Toner said. “It’s kind of like shrink wrap on you. Very form-fitting. But you can move well in it.”

You can read more about it here.

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Uni malfunction last night in Miami.

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It was Grateful Dead night at Miller Park last night, which was a day after the anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death. Fans who purchased special theme night ticket packages received the t-shirt shown below.

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The Chicago Dogs of the American Association wore the names of children battling cancer on the back of their jerseys last night.

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This is absolutely gorgeous. Check out that pattern.

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ITEM! Teespring sale: Paul here, reminding you that Teespring is running a site-wide sale today and tomorrow. You can get 10% off of anything in the Uni Watch shop and the Naming Wrongs shop by using the admittedly cringe-worthy checkout code COOL4CLASS.

Teespring will give you a 10% discount but Uni Watch will still receive its full profit — a win-win!

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

Antonio Brown's Helmet Saga Keeps Him Out of Training Camp


By John Ekdahl

Antonio Brown, in his first year with the Oakland Raiders, is threatening to sit out if he’s not allowed to wear his preferred helmet style this season. Brown wears the same style of helmet as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but the league has determined that it doesn’t meet safety standards and every player that wore it last year has to change to a newer style this season.

Wide receiver Antonio Brown has told the Oakland Raiders he will not play football again unless he can wear his old helmet, league sources told ESPN on Friday.

Brown had a two-hour conference call with an independent arbitrator on Friday, sources said, to argue why he should be allowed to wear his 10-year-old helmet. He is thought to have been using the same helmet his whole career.

The arbitrator for the grievance call was joined by league officials, player representatives and NFLPA representatives in Philadelphia, a source told ESPN. A decision could come as early as next week, sources said.

It’s been a bizarre camp for Brown, who was already dealing with an issue with frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy session that didn’t quite go according to plan.

From heel to toe, the bottoms of Brown’s feet are one big blister, with yellowish dying skin giving way to a shade of raw pink.

Local cryotherapy experts wonder how Brown or those who administered the procedure didn’t know to properly protect his feet.

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Here’s a look at what could be an updated St. Louis Cardinals logo.

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The Astros won their 7th straight game yesterday, undoubtedly because of these unis.

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Looking good!

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Here’s a look at the Little League Classic uniforms that will be worn this year when the Cubs and Pirates play.

Both teams will be wearing the traditional white-and-gray uniforms that you’ll usually see on a major league baseball diamond. The thing that immediately catches your eyes is the use of color on the jerseys. They are pullovers with colored sleeves and there’s a striping band running horizontally across the chest of the jersey. Additionally, both teams are going with unofficial nicknames across the chest instead of their official nicknames. “THE BURGH” is emblazoned across the Pirates jersey, while the Cubs will be embracing their “CUBBIES” nickname on this uniform.

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It looks like Auburn is (is not?) updating both their font and logo a bit this year. The new font is apparently called, um…. Sabon?

It appears there is a chance Alabama’s football coach could have his name all over his biggest rival.

It’s being reported Auburn is moving away from a Copperplate font to a font called, wait for it … “Sabon.”

That’s right. There are hundreds of thousands of fonts in the world, and the Tigers could be going with the one with a name which most resembles its biggest rival’s coach, ultra-successful Nick Saban.

After initially being reported, Auburn immediately pushed back in a statement to the press.

Auburn says its “new” logo isn’t, in fact, new, and the “Sabon” font will not be used, according to the university.

The school’s office of communications and marketing, in an email to AL.com on Friday, explained the logo isn’t new but has been “tweaked” and will not incur additional expenses.

“Auburn does not have a new logo,” Auburn said in the email in response to AL.com. “Auburn has a new visual identity system that includes tweaks to the AU to make it more usable in digital forms, which is the primary way in which it is currently used. The tweak involves making the U the same size as the A. Previously, the U was significantly larger than the A.”

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ITEM! Teespring sale: Paul here, letting you know that Teespring is running a site-wide sale on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You can get 10% off of anything in the Uni Watch shop and the Naming Wrongs shop by using the admittedly cringe-worthy checkout code COOL4CLASS.

Teespring will give you a 10% discount but Uni Watch will still receive its full profit — a win-win!

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

Your Premier League 2019/20 Kit P/review

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

It’s that time of year again when many of us turn our sights across the pond, where the Premier League (PL) is kicking off the 2019-20 season today, with Liverpool and Norwich City getting things started, followed by a full slate of games Saturday and Sunday. And I’m back again with my soccer guys, Kyle Evans and CJ Fleck, who’ll preview all of the new kits for the season. There’s a lot to get to (I normally run the soccer previews over the course of two days, but this is a one-day deal), so let’s get right into it.

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2019-20 Premier League Kit P/review
By Kyle Evans & CJ Fleck

Thanks Phil! Glad to be back following an exciting Women’s World Cup and ready for another Premier League season. It wasn’t even three months ago when Manchester City held off Liverpool to win the league by a single point and it’s hard to believe the new season already kicks off on today.

We’re here to preview all of the uniforms you’ll see in the Premier League this season, with images of all jerseys that have been released and links to the few that have only been leaked up to this point. Without further ado, enjoy the kits and share your thoughts in the comments!

• • •

Arsenal

Home: classic red with white sleeves, red and navy trim, white shorts
Away: yellow jersey with a sublimated effect, navy shorts and accents
Third: navy with yellow accents and black shorts

Kyle: Nothing wrong with this set of options. A beautiful home and while I don’t need the graphic on the away, I can live with it.

CJ: I’m a fan of the away graphic, strangely. Not too distracting yet visually appealing. I like the third, too.

• • •

Aston Villa

Home: claret with light blue sleeves, white shorts
Away: light blue with white diagonal stripe effect, claret shorts
Third (leaked): dark green with black sleeves and orange accents

Kyle: A lovely color combination that is well-executed in the first two kits. Just don’t look up the leaked images of the third kit.

CJ: There’s gonna be a lot of this word, but you can’t go wrong with classics.

• • •

Bournemouth

Home: red and black vertical stripes, subtle diagonal stripes within red, black shorts
Away: all-navy with pink accents
Third: neon green with navy shorts and accents

Kyle: Great home, average away, and I thought we were done with the neon jersey trend? Apparently not.

CJ: A little boring on the away and thirds, but not everyone is gonna be a winner.

• • •

Brighton & Hove Albion

Home: blue and white vertical stripes, subtle navy chevron pattern, navy shorts
Away: all-black jersey and shorts
Third: green jersey with white shorts

Kyle: It’s unfortunate that the sponsor block breaks up the vertical stripes, otherwise a clean set of kit options.

CJ: That black change kit looks like a training top, I’m not a fan at all. The green is only slightly better.

• • •

Burnley

Home: claret with light blue sleeves, white shorts
Away: all-light blue with jagged graphic
Third (leaked): dark green with black shorts

Kyle: Once again a classic look and color combination and yes the home is identical to Aston Villa, and even the leaked third is similar.

CJ: Classic classic classic classic.

• • •

Chelsea

Home: all-blue with graphic print based on home stadium elements
Away: all-white with blue and red trim, collar
Third: all-black with orange and white trim

Kyle: Looking past the marketing-speak about the “stadium elements” pattern, the home is busier than necessary, but overall a great set of looks and we know CJ will love the collar on the white jersey.

CJ: Oh that white kit, it is glorious indeed. I even enjoy the black third kit.

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Crystal Palace

Home: red and blue vertical stripes, white pinstripes within blue, blue shorts
Away: black jagged stripe pattern over a red and blue vertical stripe, one red and one blue shoulder, black shorts
Third (leaked): all-white with red and blue diagonal sash

Kyle: The home is just alright, and I want to love the away – I really do, but the black pattern over the stripes is a bit too much for me. The leaked third completes a nice set all based on team colors.

CJ: Why ruin the great idea of the change kit with the zebra-like pattern? Such a waste.

• • •

Everton

Home: blue over white, graphic pattern on upper front
Away: coral over teal with teal accents, sublimated diagonal stripe design
Third (leaked): dark navy with purple accents

Kyle: The graphic patterns works just fine on the home, the away certainly brings a unique color combination, and the leaked third is fairly simple.

CJ: I want to see the home in action before judging, for sure.

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Leicester City

Home: blue over white, gold accents, subtle checkerboard design
Away: all-black
Third: pink over black, same pattern as Germany 2018 World Cup kit

Kyle: No issues with the blue or the black (I like the subtle checkerboard design), and despite the colors I can’t see anything other than a Germany national team shirt on the right (yes I’m aware it’s a template but still).

CJ: Down with templates! Boo!

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Liverpool

Home: all-dark red with thin white vertical stripes
Away: white over navy with subtle light gray gradient stripes
Third: all-black with teal accents and graphic pattern

Kyle: Home and away? Great. That third though…far too busy.

CJ: What is the fascination with absurdist third kits? I can’t understand it.

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Manchester City

Home: light blue over white, navy shoulders
Away: all-black with yellow, pink, and light blue accents
Third: yellow to salmon gradient, salmon shorts
125th Anniversary Kit: blank light blue over white worn in last weekend’s Community Shield match

Kyle: Asymmetry! And done in a way that uses colors from the home and the third, which by the way, isn’t the most visually appealing gradient.

CJ: That third resembles a brand of alcohol I won’t grace with a mention. That’s not good. And the change is a mess.

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Manchester United

Home: red over white
Away: beige over black, black accents
Third (leaked): all-black with bright red logos

Kyle: Nice and simple (including the leaked third) and the unique beige color works well as a change of pace for the away.

CJ: The beige kit reminds me of their famous “denim” kits, except instead of being designed to be worn with jeans you should wear these with khaki chinos or something.

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Newcastle United

Home: black and white vertical stripes, black shorts
Away: all-dark green with black pattern on upper front
Third: all-orange with navy accents, graphic print inspired by stadium roof

Kyle: Personally I prefer narrower vertical stripes and it’s interesting to see the badge and maker’s logo stacked in the center rather than the traditional one on each side. And the green and orange will work, even if they both have unnecessary design elements.

CJ: Agree with Kyle on thinner stripes. The other two are a mess.

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Norwich City

Home: yellow to green gradient, green shorts
Away: all-red with yellow accents, gradient pattern on shoulders
Third: all-gray with black accents, collar

Kyle: By no means am I a strict “traditionalist” when it comes to kits, and maybe it’s just the way green and yellow work together but I’m a fan of the home look. The other two though? Not a fan.

CJ: Hard pass on those gradients, sorry Kyle. Points for a collar though!

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Sheffield United

Home: red and white vertical stripes, black shorts
Away: light gray over white, red accents
Third: all-neon yellow (a carryover from last season’s away kit), sponsor will match

Kyle: Nice home, the away will do, and did they have to carry over the all-neon? Let’s hope it doesn’t see the pitch too many times.

CJ: Well there’s nothing explicitly wrong here, the neon isn’t great.

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Southampton

Home: red and white vertical stripes, black shorts and shoulder panel
Away: dark grey over yellow, yellow shoulder panel with gray stripe pattern
Third: all-white with navy and red shoulder panel

Kyle: While there’s no need for a set of jerseys to “go together” (they’re not worn on the field at the same time), I do appreciate some visual consistency throughout a season and these accomplish that. I could do without the design within the shoulder panel though.

CJ: I’m not a fan of shoulder panels either. Very rough season for Southampton.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Home: white over navy with navy accents
Away: all-navy with subtle graphic on upper front
Third (leaked): all-bright blue with navy accents, full shirt graphic print

Kyle: A pair of clean looks and I’m interested to see what the leaked third looks like on the field.

CJ: Lads, it’s Tottenham.

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Watford

Home: yellow and black halves with red accents, black shorts
Away: all-navy with subtle front pattern

Kyle: I like how the “halves” look matches their crest, and the away is just a generic Adidas template.

CJ: Agree with Kyle all the way.

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West Ham United

Home: claret with sky blue sleeves, shoulders, upper horizontal stripes, claret shorts
Away: all-white with claret and sky blue trim
Third: all-navy with purple trim and subtle graphic print

Kyle: I’m not a fan of the upper stripes on the home, but the claret and blue trim does look beautiful on the white jersey. The third is nothing to be excited about.

CJ: I love that trim, but the weird stripes on the primary are a little disconcerting.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Home: orange over black
Away: all-black with orange accents and thin orange diagonal pinstripes
Third (leaked): green with red and white accents

Kyle: Classic home look for Wolves (who are in the Europa League this season!) and I love the away – great use of team colors in a sleek design. The “Mexico-inspired” leaked third is interesting to say the least…(whether true or not) how often do teams base designs on the nationalities of one of their players?

CJ: Could be much, much worse.

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Awesome, job, Kyle & CJ! Lots of interesting kits (and so so many gambling ads). Readers, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and follow these guys on Twitter at @KyleEvans17 and @RealCJFleck.

NFL News & Notes

With the first full week of NFL pre-season games kicking off last evening, we’re getting our first looks at some of the changes we can expect to see this season.

Carolina Panthers

There are a couple new things about the Panthers uniforms this year. The first is pretty obvious — you can see it above and below. The team has added in a 25 Seasons patch featuring the outline of both North and South Carolina on the left breast of the jersey:

What is somewhat less obvious is the team has now switched (finally!) to the new “Vapor” chassis for their jerseys. They, along with the Packers, had been holdouts in switching to the different Nike jersey styles, with both teams never using the first generation “Nikelace” option. You can also get a good look at the NFL 100th anniversary patch on the collar. The black stripes on the shoulder loops are much narrower, and it also looks like the loops fully loop around the shoulders for some of the players, rather than being truncated, as in the past. Previously, the only jersey cut that had the full loops was the quarterback (and I think some kickers wore this as well). Not everyone has the full loops, but it definitely looks like many do:

Along with the new jerseys, the team has new pants — looks like the stripes are wider, and also extend to the base of the pant (and the black outline is thinner) and the Panther logo is now gone.

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Chicago Bears

Da Bears are celebrating their 100th anniversary season this year, and they’ll have a mid-field logo (replacing the Wishbone-C):

The team also has the logo as a patch on the left breast of their jerseys. Note, there is no NFL 100 logo on the collar, just the regular NFL shield:

Looks like the scorebug is playing along too!

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Like the Carolina Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars are celebrating 25 seasons this year, and they too have a patch on the left breast commemorating the occasion. First time we’re seeing the patch and the NFL 100 logo on their jerseys:

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Minnesota Vikings

One of the more subtle, but for those with mild forms of OCD like me, greatly appreciated changes is the Vikings tweaking the color purple on their helmets to more closely match their jerseys.

The new helmet is showcased on the left. You can read more about this tweak here.

• • •

New York Jets

The Jets were the only team to get new uniforms this past off-season, and last night they wore mono-white (a great look) with their new shiny green hats against the Giants. I watches a good part of this game and I have to say, I like the new unis and I really like the helmets. I’m not normally a fan of the shiny metallic look, but rendered in kellyish green, it looks superb. Still hate the giant wordmark (really the only flaw in the uni, IMO), but otherwise it looked great:

You can check out the unis in action in these videos:

• • •

Cleveland Browns

The Browns went with orange pants against Washington last night:

Notice anything odd? Look again. Maybe you’ll see it in this video clip:

Yep. No helmet stripes for the Browns (again). They went this route last year as well — a completely BS college move IMO — making the players “earn their stripes” or some such. It’s not an endearing quirk like the Cowboys dymo tape or the Red Wings eschewing their vertically arched nameplates for the pre-season. It’s stupid and bogus. But, here we are.

• • •

Los Angeles Chargers

I confess, I started typing “San Die…” before correcting myself. It still doesn’t sound right.

But this past off season, the Chargers announced two changes: they were moving the “powder” blue alternate to the primary home jersey (something they should have done a decade ago), and ditching the navy blue facemask for a gold one. Last night, unfortunately, they didn’t rock the new primary powder jersey (they went mono-white, a look I absolutely LOVE) as they were the road team in Arizona, but they did have the new facemasks:

We do have a “preview” of that new combination via Madden as well as the team’s social media. That’s gonna look really good on the field this year!

And of course, the Chargers have worn the gold facemask the past few seasons — with their color rash uniform (which also looks tremendous — if only they would wear that jersey with gold pants).

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.

Today’s scoreboard comes from reader Willard Kovacs.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s a non-MLB scoreboard, and while I don’t think it’s particularly difficult, you guys will still need to put on your thinking caps for this one!

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

ITEM! Teespring sale: Paul here, letting you know that Teespring is running a site-wide sale on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You can get 10% off of anything in the Uni Watch shop and the Naming Wrongs shop by using the admittedly cringe-worthy checkout code COOL4CLASS.

Teespring will give you a 10% discount but Uni Watch will still receive its full profit — a win-win!

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

Griffins Jersey Design Contest Reminder

In case you missed it, Uni Watch is again partnering with the Grand Rapids Griffins to allow readers to design an alternate jersey to be worn this upcoming season.

As before, the winner will receive a personalized jersey, tickets to the game when the jerseys will be worn (February 22, 2020), and public recognition at the game.

The jersey is going to be worn on the Griffins’ 90’s Night (with either red or black pants and red gloves/helmets), so for this contest, the team is looking for a “90’s inspired jersey.”

The deadline for submissions for this contest is Friday, August 16th, 2019.

All the details are spelled out in detail here, so be sure to read that.

Good luck to all who submit!

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The big news yesterday was that the Cardinals are slightly changing their StL cap logo for next season, and have already soft-launched it on social media (from multiple readers). … D-Backs P Zac Gallen pitches with glasses, but hits without. Dodgers P Joe Kelly did the same thing when he was with the Cardinals. … The Athletic has a good (paywalled) article about the process behind Fenway’s manual scoreboard getting new city labels (from Al Hood). … White Sox P Jimmy Cordero appears to have an issue with his right sleeve in the team’s black alternates (from Jim Margalus). … Wednesday night’s Red Sox/Royals game featured Sox P Josh Taylor face off against Royals C Meibrys Viloria. Both players wear no. 72 (great spot by Dave Singleton). … The Yankees and White Sox will play a game at a location near the Field of Dreams field next year (from many readers). … JFK’s Gate 42 has a plaque dedicating it to Mariano Rivera, but the plaque features the wrong uni number font for the Yankees (from @BorchertField). … New Cubs C Jonathan Lucroy will wear no. 25 (from Andrew Cosentino). … Speaking of the Cubs, the team hung their home white unis in Cincinnati’s visiting clubhouse for good luck, as the team is 21-33 on the road this season (from Bob Gassel). … The El Paso Chihuahuas honored the 22 people murdered last week with home jerseys that read “El Paso” rather than “Chihuahuas”  (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of El Paso, the San Diego Padres wore “El Paso” caps for BP yesterday (from Cut4). … The Marlins Triple-A affiliates, currently based in New Orleans, will move to Wichita next year, and that team finally has a name: the River Riders. The current logos are preliminary and the final, official logos will be designed by Uni Watch friend Todd Radom (from Trent Guyer). … The Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League have undergone a color change (from @MiWiBi).

NFL News: Unbelievably, the Pats misspelled K Stephen Gostkowski’s NOB. Gostkowski is entering his 12th season with the team and has won three Super Bowls. No wonder he missed two kicks last night (from many, many readers). … For some reason, some Giants players have different-colored ad patches than others. … Speaking of the Giants, LB Alec Ogletree has switched from no. 52 to 47, and there are currently two no. 47s on the Giants roster (from Jakob Fox). … It appears Ford Field has finally gotten new turf (from Bradley D. Richardson). … Washington’s locker room has a uniform policy poster, but the poster has the wrong helmet striping. … The Jets still use the team’s old number font on the locker room nameplates. … Packers WR Equanimeous St. Brown is sans-period in his NOB (from @btownmoose). … Here’s a great photo of Doug Williams in his broken jaw-protecting facemask (from Jerry Wolper).

College/High School Football News: Alma mater alert, as we got our first look at the FB150 patch on Maine’s unis (from Heath Carignan). … UNLV will wear 1971 throwback helmets during their home opener (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: The AHL’s San Jose Barracudas have revealed their 2019-20 specialty jerseys (from Andrew G.). … The ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings are having a uni design contest, ending the 12th (from Jarae Thurmond). … New unis for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires (from Wade Heidt).

NBA News: Apparently everyone gets a persona logo, because Heat rookie Tyler Herro has one now (from Lachlan McLean). … Work crews have removed the signs from Oracle Arena (thanks, Phil). … With Chris Paul taking no. 3, Thunder C/PF Nerlens Noel has switched to no. 9 (from Etienne Catalan). … More from Etienne: Thunder SH Luguentz Dort will wear no. 5, and Lakers SG Zach Norvell Jr. will wear no. 21. … The Mavs have ended their ad patch deal, presumably to try to find a higher paying one (from Michael T.) … The Blazers will reveal their new court on Monday (from multiple readers). … Argentina’s women’s team at the Pan America Games was forced to forfeit a game against Colombia for showing up in their navy unis, instead of their designated whites. The team manager and the country’s director of women’s basketball have both resigned (from multiple readers).

College/High School Hoops News: New court design for Toledo (from @Jackie_Moon_UT). … New court for Stony Brook (from Al N. Kreit).
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Soccer News: Thom Gibbs of The Telegraph has published his annual Premier League kit review (registration-walled). … The Football Association will decide whether new Derby County FW Wayne Rooney’s kit number, 32, will be allowed. Rooney, who’s worn no. 8 or no. 10 for the majority of his career, has apparently chosen the number 32 as part of a sponsorship deal with gambling company 32Red, who are Derby’s shirt advertisers (thanks, Jamie). … New kits for Uruguayan giants Peñarol (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: German side Borussia Mönchengladbach will lose their main advertiser after this season. … One more from Ed: Scottish team Dundee United has launched its new away kit. … Last weekend, Liga MX teams with Bud Light ads wore intentionally misspelled Bud Light logos on their kits as part of an ad campaign. You can’t see me, but my eyes have rolled right out of my head (from @interpolyester). … Syracuse women’s soccer has a new kit (from Jakob Fox). … Bedale AFC of the English 11th tier have some, ahem, unique kits. The story behind them is here (from Todd Lisenbee and @AreYouHie).

Grab Bag: Australian National Rugby League side Cronulla Sharks will wear a tribute jersey for captain Paul Gallen, and it’s atrocious (from Alistair Hogg). … Virginia Tech has released new voleyball unis (from Andrew Cosentino). … Team USA has revealed its kits for the 2019 Rugby World Cup (from Josh Gardner). … The American Ultimate Disc League, which is apparently a thing, is collaborating with Savage Apparel Co. to make their kits out of recycled plastic (from Steven Maker). … Looks like Auburn is attempting to make a slight tweak to its logo (from Clint Richardson).

Underused Color Schemes in the Uni-verse

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken, with Harrison Hamm

Perhaps more than anything in the uni-verse, I pay more attention to color schemes than anything else, whether that be uni style (pullover, button front, tank top, etc.), striping, piping, logos, workmarks, fonts, etc. It’s probably why I dislike it immensely when teams go BFBS, GFGS, etc., or even abruptly rebrand to a completely new color scheme after decades of wearing a certain set. And even though I’m not usually a fan of alternates, I at least am not as averse to them when they are in the color scheme of them team wearing them.

And yet, I don’t really think I’ve done more than a handful of articles over the past decade which really look into color schemes. So, when I put out the call for reader-submitted articles, Harrison Hamm (whose article is below) mentioned he wanted to write about underused color schemes in sports. “Damn” I thought to myself, “that’s something I probably should have written about” but hadn’t. So I immediately gave him the go-ahead to produce this neat little think piece. And I may, one day, address this with my own thoughts. But for now, please enjoy this article on…

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Underused Color Schemes in Sports
By Harrison Hamm

One of the interesting parts of following uniforms, for me, is keeping track of the various color schemes across the sports landscape, and how different teams use different colors. Not all blue and red teams are created equal. I can appreciate aggressive moves at uniqueness, even if I don’t think Wyoming’s brown and yellow looks especially good.

As leagues expand and the regular redesign cycle continues, it’s hard not to consider that there can’t be too many available color schemes out there. With so many major pro and college teams, how many options can there really be? It’s the same principle behind the theory that every song has already been written.

We know, of course, that there are always plenty of options for new uniforms, and plenty of variations to play with. The Vegas Golden Knights came up with a new look. It will be fascinating to see what the Seattle hockey team will produce. Colors show up on a spectrum. With good and creative uniform design, teams can make most schemes work.

An interesting thought exercise, then, is which color schemes are underused. Could teams be using certain colors in different ways? Are there schemes that should be used more? Here are five possible examples, and in keeping with longstanding Uni Watch chromatic policy, none of my suggestions will include purple:

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1. Light blue and red

Since the demise of the Houston Oilers, we haven’t seen any major pro teams commit to wearing these two colors. We’ve seen some glimpses, mostly in the form of alternates and throwback jerseys:

But even in the college world, where we see all sorts of color combos in use, pairings of light blue and red have mostly been nonexistent. Considering the frequency with which teams wore these colors in past years, this recent drying up is fairly surprising. Look back at previous decades and you’ll find more teams using this scheme — the Hawks of the late ’60s and early ’70s are an example, as are the 1980s Kings.

Light blue and red used to be more commonly seen in baseball, particularly when teams wore light blue on the road. The St. Louis Cardinals pulled it off beautifully:

The early ’70s White Sox, the Montreal Expos, the ’70s and ’80s Phillies, and late ’70s and early ’80s Rangers were other examples of red-clad teams that wore light blue road uniforms. Powder blue can be effective as a primary color with red surrounding it, but we haven’t seen many consistent examples of it.

Shoutout to Delaware State, though, whose football uniforms are poorly designed but contain hints of light blue alongside a base red. And the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars have used the colors well in the past, in uniforms based on the Chicago flag.

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2. Vegas gold as a secondary color

At times, Vegas gold can be a boring fallback. It is dull when used heavily alongside a color that doesn’t pop, without a design that pushes the concept forward. The Pittsburgh Penguins are probably the most prominent recent pro team to use it heavily, and things improved significantly when they finally switched back to the full black and gold:

The Pittsburgh-style gold simply popped more. Vegas gold can feel like an amateur-ish color, something used as an accent by a high school or lower-level college team. Some teams use it well — the Saints, Purdue, UCF, etc. — but even some of those feel upgradable, outside of the classic UCLA. New Orleans, for example, are in need of a sharper gold.

An effective use for the color, then, could be as more of a background accent, supporting a stronger base color. Not every Vegas Gold appearance has to be as a helmet or pants color — it can work well acting as a simple accent, the way it does for the Golden Knights.

For a team like the Padres, with a bland navy and white design, a sharp, understated gold could work well.

Imagine this design with a little more flavor:

As someone who is not on board with San Diego’s returning to the brown and yellow (unpopular opinion, I know), this is a direction I’d like to see them go.

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3. White as a more prominent secondary color

Every team, for the most part, uses white fairly prominently. Uniforms that don’t use any white generally look worse (and are less practical).

But white mainly functions as a striping color, there only because it has to be. That set-up can look perfectly fine. It would be interesting, though, if more teams attempted to use white more aggressively, as a color that actively helps the uniform’s design. I always enjoyed the way the SuperSonics approached this:

The white stripe across the center accentuates the green and gold and makes it nice and easy for the Sonics wordmark to appear across the jersey. This design style set the team apart and afforded a nice opportunity to make the inverse versions of this jersey look good — the white version really popped, and the green and yellow road and alternate unis thrived on contrast.

The Penguins’ old light blue throwbacks are another good example:

How many solid color hockey jerseys have you seen that use white on the shoulders? The Pens made good use of it here, with the white shoulders maximizing the beautiful baby blue.

For teams moving toward BFBS or GFGS: Use white creatively and you have the third color you want!

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4. Orange as a base color

This is a broader category; I realize that plenty of teams use orange as their primary color. But it seems like a lot of those teams don’t do a great job with their design: the Denver Broncos could use an overhaul, the Edmonton Oilers have shifted to shades of orange and blue that are darker than they should be; the Syracuse Orange have used more blue than orange, though their recent redesign looks like a success; and we all know the deal with the Bengals.

Orange can work well when teams commit to it. MLS’s Houston Dynamo are a good example:

When teams that use orange as a prominent secondary color — the Astros, Bears, Islanders, Orioles, Mets, FC Cincinnati, etc. — wear orange-centered alternates, it often works well.

Teams should use it more as a primary color, even by itself, the way the Dynamo have.

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5. Light blue, yellow, and black

I can’t think of any examples of teams that have used this scheme outright. There is a danger of looking too bright or even minor league. But it would be cool to see a team make this work.

The idea for these colors together came not from a uniform, but from a random place in everyday life: MinuteMaid lemonade cans:

Isn’t that can aesthetically pleasing? The black balances the vibrant light blue and yellow. These colors are my ultimate dream for the Miami Marlins. Make it happen!

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Thanks, Harrison! I actually really like the idea of using the colors of the MinuteMaid cans on a uniform — seriously. Nice call, there.

OK, readers? What say you — what do you think are some underused color schemes in sports, and do you agree or disagree with some of Harrison’s choices? If you were starting a team from scratch, what colors might you choose? Love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Now Here’s A MiLB Promo I Can Really Support!

I don’t usually get too jacked up about Minor League promotions (unless, ya know, it’s your buddy throwing out the first pitch for a special evening), but I really dig this one: the Iowa Cubs (the Triple A affiliate of the Chicago club) will change their name to the “Iowa Caucuses” on August 30, donning a full patriotically-themed pinstripe uniform and red white and blue cap.

Why the “Caucuses”? Well, if you’re a political junkie like me, you know that the Iowa caucuses are the first-in-the-nation kick-off to the Presidential election, similar to primaries. Since those caucuses take place on February 3, 2020, the team can’t really “celebrate” their occurrence next season; the Labor Day series is the Cubs’ final series of their season, so this makes the most sense, timing-wise.

As you can see above, the team will wear a full ‘Murica jersey, with a red, white and blue wordmark, and white stars on blue sleeves. The back of the jersey will feature red numbers outlined in blue and a special Iowa-shaped patch with the words “1st In The Nation.” They will have a very cool cap too:

I love how the team has made the “state” into a head, with Uncle Sam pants, a giant foam finger, and an equally patriotic cap! Normally I hate flag desecration uniforms, but this one is pretty great.

According to the team,

This past spring, the “Iowa Caucuses” were in the news again on a regular basis as candidates declared and anticipation grew for the 2020 Presidential Election. Iowa’s “first in the nation” voting status is nationally recognized as an integral part of the election process, and that is a great source of pride for many Iowans. The Iowa Cubs staff recognized a fun opportunity to blend our organization with one of the signature events of our state. Dan Simon of Studio Simon in Louisville, KY was hired to collaborate on the concept and the MiLB version of the “Iowa Caucuses” was born.

The Caucuses logo development was focused on being inclusive to all who are proud to participate in the process across the state. The team caps are red, white and blue and feature the Iowa Caucuses character logo, shaped like the state of Iowa with “Uncle Sam” pants and a patriotic cap. The character is holding a foam finger with “1st” imprinted on it, to tie in the sports theme with the Iowa’s “First in the Nation” status in the election process. The uniforms retain the iconic Cubs pinstripes while incorporating stars and stripes as a tribute to our nation’s flag. The uniforms will also feature a special “First in the Nation” alternate logo worn above the numbers on the back of the uniform.

In keeping with the theme of celebrating Iowa’s important role in the election process, and encouraging participation from as many Iowans in the process as possible, the Iowa Cubs aim to offer voter registration opportunities at Principal Park, among other fun promotional activities, during the designated game on August 30. More details will be revealed leading up to that game date.

Pretty cool! And any time someone wants to make it easier to register to vote and participate in our electoral process, it has my backing 100%.

There were no actual images of the pants the team will wear, but judging from this graphic, they’ll have matching pinstriped pants to go along with the jersey, so it won’t be your “typical” MiLB promo where the team simply wears specialty caps and jerseys over their “regular” home pants. Well — I take that back — the Cubs regular home uniform already mimics their parent club, but still, it’s nice to see a full uniform for a promo night.


Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

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Title: “Bullet Rogan, 1924” (color study)
Subject: Bullet Rogan, 1924
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”

Wilbur “Bullet” Rogan is widely considered one if he greatest players to have ever donned a uniform. Though in his mid-20s when he came to the Kansas City Monarchs, it was there where he really made his name. He’s credited with 119 wins as a pitcher, with a 3.68 ERA and 132 complete games. With a bat, there were few who were his equal – a .338 average with a .515 slugging percentage. All of that went with 45 home runs, 99 stolen bases and 251 RBI.

His Monarchs reaped the rewards, winning three consecutive pennants between 1923 and 1925, and taking the title during the Negro Leagues World Series in 1924 against Hilldale.

Rogan is pictured in the jersey he wore during those championship games against Hilldale in 1924. Considered one of his best years, he hit .395 and had an 18-6 record on the mound during the regular season. And in the postseason, he led Kansas City with 13 hits and won two games for the Monarchs.

This is one of 200+ paintings of mine that will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball

Museum in the spring of 2020.

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Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.


The 5 & 1 position…

…is now filled

I’m pleased to announce that the Sunday Morning Uni Watch position for the “5 & 1” (five good looking matchups and one stinker) has now been filled.

Please welcome aboard Michael Malinowski, who is a long-time reader and posts on the boards as “Memal.”

Michael jumped on the request early and submitted some excellent examples of how he’ll handle the 5 & 1 duties for this coming season. I had a number of “applicants” and I wish to thank them all for their interest, but Michael’s *resume* shone above all others.

Michael will be continuing the fine tradition started almost a decade ago and first occupied by Jimmer Vilk, who in turn was succeeded by Catherine Ryan, and who was then succeeded by Joe Ringham. Michael has some big shoes to fill, but I’m sure he’ll do splendidly. Again, please join me in welcoming him to the SMUW team.

He’ll join Terry Duroncelet, Rex Henry and Ethan Dimitroff, and hopefully I will also have Kyle Acker back, to round out the 5 & 1 squad going into 2019!

Griffins Jersey Design Contest Reminder

In case you missed it, Uni Watch is again partnering with the Grand Rapids Griffins to allow readers to design an alternate jersey to be worn this upcoming season.

As before, the winner will receive a personalized jersey, tickets to the game when the jerseys will be worn (February 22, 2020), and public recognition at the game.

The jersey is going to be worn on the Griffins’ 90’s Night (with either red or black pants and red gloves/helmets), so for this contest, the team is looking for a “90’s inspired jersey.”

The deadline for submissions for this contest is Friday, August 16th, 2019.

All the details are spelled out in detail here, so be sure to read that.

Good luck to all who submit!

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: The Astros will wear these ’80s/’90s throwbacks on Friday against the Orioles (from Ignacio). … Cardinals P Jack Flaherty has been wearing Memphis Redbirds striped socks during his recent starts. Note the thinner stripes and lack of an STL logo (from Justin Striebel). … Keith Olbermann found a color shot of Braves P Andy Messersmith in his infamous “Channel 17” jersey. … The Single-A Rome Braves will wear these tomahawk jerseys on Aug. 10. … Homer Bailey chose the A’s road gray jersey for the first time since joining Oakland and got rocked for 7 ER in 4.2 innings. Submitter Jakob Fox adds, “I would expect to see him back in green for his next start.”

Football NewsThe Bears are building statues for George Halas and running back Walter Payton outside of Soldier Field (from Mike Chamernik and Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … Arch-rivals Toledo and Bowling Green both unveiled new uniforms recently (from Phil). … We have our first glimpse of the College Football 150 patch on BYU’s jerseys (from @yze_guy). … It appears that Ohio’s 2019 will lose the dreaded Adidas “tire tread” (from @OhioUniforms). … Looks like Colgate has switched to Under Armour uniforms (from @ColgateFootball). … Resident North Carolina guru James Gilbert has tracked all of the end zone designs at the Tar Heels’ Kenan Memorial Stadium all the way back to 1927.

Hockey NewsThis blog calls for the return of the Rangers’ “Lady Liberty” alternate jerseys (from Phil). … Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has a new 25th-anniversary logo (from Wade Heidt). … The San Jose Barracuda of the AHL have unveiled their specialty jerseys for the upcoming season (from Benjamin Kassel).

Soccer NewsWayne Rooney, one of the greatest English soccer players of all time, is set to return to England and join Derby County as a player/coach in January. The team also sold a new jersey advertisement as part of the move with gambling firm 32Red — and Rooney will wear No. 32 with the club. What a coincidence (from Chris Cruz). … Evan Feick notes that in the World Soccer Shop 2019 catalog, a page labeled “USWNT 2019 home jersey” clearly shows a Jamaican jersey. … New uniforms for the University of Washington women (from Phil). … A few notable soccer items from Josh Hinton: New third jerseys for English club Crystal Palace, Italian club Juventus released a new blue third kit yesterday, Manchester City’s new D Joao Cancelo will go FNOB, and a look at all the jerseys on which betting firm Paddy Power won’t be advertising. … For the latest on many more kit unveilings, head to Josh‘s and Ed Zelaski’s Twitter feeds.

Grab Bag: East Carolina University has a new basketball floor (from Brian Weingartz). …Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body of high school sports in the state, is changing the design of its championship trophies and may change officials’ attire in the near future (from Joe Werner). … Taubate, a Brazilian men’s club volleyball team, has unveiled their 2019-2020 season jerseys (from Jeremy Brahm).