Sunday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken and the SMUW crew

It was the “birthday” this week of Minnesota Golden Gophers mascot Goldy, so what better way to celebrate the occasion than to break out the golden slippers you see above. Those were on the feet of new Minnesota Coach P.J. Fleck, who brought a number of gimmicks with him (most notably the addition of his “Row The Boat” phrase to certain helmet stripes). I’m pretty sure Phillip John Fleck never wore yellow mascot-themed shoes while with Western Michigan, but then again, I’m not sure I want to know if he did.

To celebrate Goldy’s birthday, the Gophers themselves went mono gold and wore special helmets (more on those below, from TJ). For those of you keeping score at home, Minnesota has now gone mono-maroon, mono-white and mono-gold in three games this year.

And now, let me turn the rest of this section over to Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, who’ll bring you the SMUW rundown, followed by the 5 & 1 and the trackers. Enjoy, here’s TJ:

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

From Thursday:

• Boise State wore all-orange against New Mexico, thus completing the trifecta (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3), but WHO CARES, they have a DOG who retrieves the kicking tee from the blue turf after each kickoff! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Thank you Javen Knott/@jjbadluck for this offering of purity. Yes, I am aware that this type of thing has been done before, but C’MON, how can you say “no” to SUCH A GOOD PUPPY???

From Saturday:

• SMU wore their skyline decals that I dig A LOT. TCU wore their purple chrome helmets.

• Toledo wore new decals in celebration of 100 years of Toledo football against Tulsa. Here’s a closer look, plus another variant.

• East Carolina cosplayed as the 2015 Baltimore Ravens. To better effect, of course.

• Louisiana-Monroe wore their P-40 uniforms, in recognition of Military Appreciation Day.

• …Well, at least nobody can accuse the Golden Gophers of not having any school spirit. There’s actually a reason for this: it was Goldy the Gopher’s birthday, and there are certainly worse ways to celebrate. Good on ya, Minnesota (and hey, my Mom’s birthday is tomorrow, coincidentally). Lots of additional notes from this game: here’s the time-lapse video of one of the helmets getting decal’d, which includes this dual-State decal in honor of those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. One of the #6 players for Minnesota (I’m unsure if it’s Tyler Johnson or Chris Williamson) has a captain’s ‘C’ (PC: nick/@nthartness). It appears that the Gophers graphics team is a couple of weeks behind (PC: Robbie Weaver/@RobbieWeaver).

• Thanks to Brandon Marcello/@bmarcello on Twitter for confirming what I’ve always thought about Auburn from day one.

• Tennessee wore “Florida Strong” decals on the back of their helmets in their game against Florida. The design is remarkably similar to the “Texas Strong” decals worn by Houston the week before (and I think I mistakenly called them “Houston Strong helmets” last week when I meant “Texas Strong helmets”).

• Not an FBS team, but in case this wasn’t touched upon already: Burrill Strong/@sgtwolverine on Twitter notes that the Furman Paladins have “FU All The Time” on their neck bumpers. Sure enough. As an aside, I couldn’t find the original photographer of that last pic unfortunately, but the full gallery for their game against NC State can be found here on the Furman U website.

• Louisville wore mono-black against Clemson, who responded with an abruptly-fully video. Oh c’mon, now they’re just messing with us. If that’s the case, I’m calling Clemson the Sharks.

• Miami (OH) apparently has the same taste in uniforms as Louisville (or lack thereof).

• Washington State wore these bone decals in honor of Freeman High School, a school in Rockford, Washington that was recently the scene of a school shooting, which resulted in the death of one student, and left three other students injured.

• Rice wore this decal on the right side of their helmets in their game against Houston.

• Vanderbilt wore a new helmet design against K-State (more looks here).

• Look at this image. Now look at this one (provided by Ƒormerly Ƒunhouse‏/@BackAftaThis). Thank hell that the latter will be illegal as of next year.

• It’s a satisfying weird feeling (if that makes any sense) to see Oregon wear actual school colors for more than two seconds (PC for that last pic: Ƒormerly Ƒunhouse, again). And some love for the hockey fans out there.

• The Colorado State offensive line ain’t the only thing with a huge, gaping hole in it. That’s Rams QB Nick Stevens.

• Utah wore their excellent Ute Proud helmets against San José State.

That’ll do it for Week 3. Will Louisville ever go back to a more sensible look? Will Oregon continue wearing school colors consistently throughout the week? Will the Boise State doggo continue to receive the praise that it deserves? Tune in next week to find out!

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Thanks, TJ. Ok, now on to the remainder of your SMUW ensemble.

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Joe Ringham 5 & 1 Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back again for 2017 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Joe:

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Hey again, everybody! Already to week 3 of the season. To the list we go…

5) LSU at Mississippi State — I was debating putting this one on the list, trying to decide between this and another game involving major conference teams. In the end… this was too pretty to leave off.

4) Central Michigan at Syracuse — A bright, colorful looking game in the Dome. Really dug the Orange going orange/orange/navy at home, and it looked really nice against the gold/white/gold of the Chips.

3) Baylor at Duke — Searching through the early window of games Saturday, this one really stood out to me. Love it when Duke goes white/blue/white at home, and when you match it up against Baylor going gold/white/gold on the road (a look I think they should always go with), you have one seriously good looking game.

2) North Dakota at South Dakota — We venture into FCS for a great looking contest that I had had my eye on since the middle of the week. Really liked how the green/white/green of UND clashed against the red/red/white of the Coyotes. One may see Christmas colors, I see a great looking football game.

1) Harvard at Rhode Island — Another venture into FCS, but damn did this look good. The Crimson looked fantastic in their crimson/white/crimson road unis, clashing excellently against the blue/blue/grey of the Rams (bonus points for the light blue Ram horns against the navy helmet.

And, finally…

+1) Middle Tennessee at Minnesota – Even though I love putting Goldy on one side of the helmet, this was just horrendous looking. Hopefully the Gophers ditch the mono gold the rest of the season.

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Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!

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NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2016 trackers are back!

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking last season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role of both the B1G and the SEC.

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

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ACC

Week 3 hurricane key:
C- Cancelled
RS-Rescheduled

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

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And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

PAC-12

More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC

And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

Big XII

Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

B1G

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Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 2017 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.

Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!

Thanks Dennis!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Not sure specifically where this took place, but there appeared to be a nice ‘vintage’ base ball game going on in Boston yesterday (from Jordan Mayblum). Apparently the teams are Boston Beaneaters vs. The providence Grays … We all know ballplayers have special “tricks” for tweaking their equipment, but I don’t think I’ve even seen this before. Looks like he’s trying to remove pine tar/sticky stuff from the handle (from Beau Parsons). … “Did you know that the guys who carved Mount Rushmore also had a baseball team?” asks Rob Yasinsac. “I took these photos at the visitor center museum during my visit this past August. The jerseys say ‘Rushmore Memorial’ and the sweater jacket depicts an early version of Rushmore, minus Teddy Roosevelt.” More info here. … Because the game was moved due to Hurricane Irma, the Brewers were wearing white at home even though the Marlins were technically the home team (from Nick @nthartness).

NFL/CFL News: Rarity for CFL teams to wear white at home, notes Wade Heidt, as the dark jersey is designated as the home jersey. The Toronto Argonauts wore white at home on Saturday against Edmonton. … Also from Wade: University of Manitoba Bisons unveil their new home football uniforms for 2017. He adds, “Returning to the colour scheme (black and gold) of the Bisons team that won the 2007 Vanier Cup national championship at home. This uniform unveiled for the 10th anniversary of the win. However, they have still been wearing brown and gold trim on their white road uniforms.” … Here’s a close-up of jersey patch that Falcons will wear tomorrow for first game in their new stadium (thanks, Paul). Here’s how it looks on the uniform (also from Paul). … “I went into a Kroger in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta today and saw these great Pepsi and Coke displays next to one another,” says Lindsay Resnick. “Love them!” … In an unsurprising move, the Seattle Seahawks have announced they will be going monoblue today against the SF 49ers.

College Football News: The Baltimore Sun had an article about University of Maryland equipment manager Drew Hampton continuing in the family business (from Stephen Murphy). … This isn’t new news, but it’s always cool to see Michigan’s iconic helmets being painted/touched up (from J.R. Rogers). … Twitter account Helmet Tracker has announced the ” greatest college football helmet contest ever!”.

Hockey News: As you’re aware, the NHL has switched uni providers from Reebok to adidas this year, and this article ranks all 31 of them. As with all ‘ranking’ pieces, it’s entirely subjective. … The Winnipeg Jets have a small freshii logo patch on their practice uniforms this year (from M Remis). … Tweeter Adam Rickert notes, “looks like Isles made a small change to LI in their logo. Look at left side/where I points.” I’m not quite sure what he’s referring to, but I am posting it here in case anyone else sees it. Could just be the angle at which the photo is turned. … The Chicago Blackhawks stripe thickness issues on the white goalie unis appear to be fixed with the change to adidas.

NBA News: A few people have commented on the new alternate uniform that the Cavaliers unveiled late Friday night. The seemed to think that because Goodyear is their advertiser, the “tire track” design is 100%, completely, unintentional. Uh huh. … We’ve still yet to see unveilings of NBA throwback uniform for four teams, so Conrad Burry has made a few ‘guesses’ (he’s been pretty spot on with his leak coverage thus far). Not saying any of these are what will be unveiled, but it’s probably safe to say it will be close to it. … The Pistons announced which games they’ll be wearing their “Statement’ uniforms (from Kyle Hess).

College Hoops News: If you haven’t seen it yet, every Saturday Morning, ESPN does a “uniform” piece. Yesterday’s featured a portion dedicated to ULM’s unis and got the “story” behind the costume (from Josh Sánchez‏). … Are these possibly new Georgia Tech Men’s Hoops unis for the 2017-18 season? (from Shawn Hairston).

Soccer News: “Not sure why, but Romeu came on the pitch without a number for Southhampton” yesterday (from Garrett Heinrich). Here’s another view (from Julian Avila‏). And here’s the rip that caused him to go blank (from Chris Morris). … New kit for AC Milan (from Coug123). … “Here’s a Look at all Premier League home kits without sponsors,” says Josh Hinton. “Not too much better.”

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NBA Makes A, Ahem, Statement

By Phil Hecken

Paraphrasing a slogan you often hear in the business, “Bad news drops on a Friday night.”

Well. Depending on your perspective, Nike “dropped” alternate uniforms (the term for which shant be written here, but if you read the hed, you can probably figure it out) last evening for all 30 teams. I’ll save you any commentary and just post the unis below, but Paul will have a full review of these uniforms on Monday. I’ll include links to the teams websites — by the time you read this they should all have links to stories/pics of the new alternate uniforms. Some already contain direct links to the new unis. My apologies on a couple — there were no ‘tweets’ for/from a couple teams (as of midnight), so I had to take a larger photo and iso the team uni. Speaking of which, here’s a large-ish photo of the full unveil.

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Atlanta Hawks

 


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Boston Celtics

 


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Brooklyn Nets

 


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Charlotte Hornets

 


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Chicago Bulls

 


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Cleveland Cavaliers

 


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Dallas Mavericks

 


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Denver Nuggets

 


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Detroit Pistons

 


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Golden State Warriors

 


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Houston Rockets

 


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Indiana Pacers

 


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Los Angeles Clippers

 


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Los Angeles Lakers

 


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Memphis Grizzlies

 


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Miami Heat

 


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Milwaukee Bucks

 


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Minnesota Timberwolves


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New Orleans Pelicans


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New York Knicks

 


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Oklahoma City Thunder

 


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Orlando Magic


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Philadelphia 76ers

 


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Phoenix Suns

 


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Portland Trailblazers

 


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Sacramento Kings

 


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San Antonio Spurs

 


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Toronto Raptors

 


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Utah Jazz

 


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Washington Wizards

 


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So there you have it. These unis basically confirm every video game leak that came out earlier this week, so there are no surprises. I like a few of these, dislike a few, and some are just kinda meh. Let us know what YOU think down in the comments below!

In addition to the uniform news, the NBA/Nike also introduced “Smart Jerseys “to allow fans to connect to highlights, unlock exclusive offers.” Clearly that’s more merch-related, but it’s nevertheless worth a read.

More information on the jersey release can also be found here.

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What They’re Wearing Today…

The following is a list of some (though by no means all, obviously) uniforms, patches or helmets teams have announced for their games today.

 

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Ontario U21 women’s baseball team for the Baseball Canada tournament is wearing a uniform inspired by the Tequila Sunrise ’Stros, the late-90s Blue Jays and the Orioles’ old alternate cap. It’s hard to tell, but the British flag on the torso of the jersey is actually part of the provincial flag of Ontario (from Timothy Chiu)….This is so cool; Cleveland pitchers made dolls of their teammates out of baseballs! (from Jannino)….The Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League unveiled their new white jerseys yesterday (from Matthew Algeo)….Riot Fest, a Chicago punk rock festival, is selling tee-shirts with a great tribute to the 1976-1990 White Sox logo (great spot by Steve Hartsock)….One of these Diamondbacks players is wearing the wrong pants (from Austin Wright). … Jose Alvarado had GOD BLESS on his cap last night (h/t Formerly Funhouse).

NFL/College Football News: At halftime during Thursday’s Bengals-Texans game, Cincy brought out Bengal legends to honor the team’s 50th anniversary. Each player was given a uniform with the number “50”. Most seemed to be this year’s Nike Vapor template, except for Chad Johnson’s jersey, which had flywire (from David Sperino)….The Saints will wear black jerseys and pants for Sunday’s game at the Superdome against the Pats (from Kenny Saidah)….ESPN used a circa 2001 photo of Tom Brady in an Adidas Pats uniform in a graphic for a video. To make things even more odd, every other player is shown in Nike (from Christopher Jowdy). … NIU launched their new white uniform Thursday evening (from Chris Feminis).

Hockey News: Here’s a good shot of the Blues’ new Adidas practice jerseys. Also note that the helmet numbers have changed from yellow to white (from Jeff Jones)….Speaking of the Blues, their mascot Louie was still wearing a Reebok jersey. Probably the same costume from last year. (from @Cards_Blues)….Ads on NBA uniforms got you down? Just think, you could be a fan of a German hockey team. That’s the new home jersey of Lausitzer Füchse‏ of the Deutsche Eishockeyliga 2 (from Ed Żelaski‏)….Mark Coale sends along this tweet from hockey writer James Mirtle: “So the Leafs have 73 players in camp. They also have 13 numbers retired. Only numbers not in use at camp: 3, 19, 60, 69, 81, 91, 92, 94-98”….Ever wonder what happened to the Buffaslug logos from the HSBC Center scoreboard? One of them ended up at a Buffalo sports bar (from Will Edge)….The Shreveport Mudbugs of the NAHL have yellow goalposts (from @Rovitz)….Al Hood sends along a tweet with more information on ‘Canes goalie Scott Darling’s mask.

NBA & College Hoops News: The Wizards had Bradley Beal tell Phil Chenier they were retiring his uni number, and caught it in a touching video (from William F. Yurasko)….Early copies of NBA 2K18 are still featuring Kyrie Irving in a Cavs uniform (a Cavs uniform he never wore, mind you). Though 2K Sports have released a cover with Irving in a Celtics uniform, all images on 2K’s social media feature Irving in a Cavs uniform, because the game went into physical production before the trade was finalized (from Colin McDonough)….Carmelo Anthony was spotted multiple times this summer working out in a hoodie, so now Knick fan Robert Gordon has modified a Melo jersey by adding a hood. SB Nation also published an interview with Gordon. (from Russ Flynn and Kris Gross). … Alabama hoops released their new white jerseys yesterday (from Doug Simpson). … Japan’s BLeague (basketball) has its own culture brand called Run the Floor (from Jeremy Brahm).

Soccer News: Real Madrid and Adidas will apparently sign a record-breaking sponsorship extension that will last until 2031. The deal will pay Real 150 million Euros a year, for a total of roughly 2 billion Euros (nearly 2.5 billion USD). While the average annual value is lower than Barcelona’s 155 million Euro-per-year deal with Nike, the length of this deal will make it the most expensive kit deal ever, surpassing Barça’s total earnings by 500 million Euros. Adidas has been Real’s kit provider since 1998….AS Monaco’s Champions League font is getting extremely negative reviews for its similarity to Comic Sans….The German national team’s contract with Adidas requires youth players to wear only Adidas boots….Argentine side Racing Club’s new kit honors the 50th anniversary of their 1967 Intercontinental Cup victory (from Ed Żelaski).

Grab Bag: If you’ve been watching ESPN on the teevee recently, you’ll know that they’ve been pushing their mobile app hard. This push has now moved to the microphone logos, which now show a facsimile of the app icon instead of the full ESPN logo. More info here (from Michael Kanady)….A good shot of the gorgeous kit the West Indies will wear for their forthcoming T20 matches (from Jim Vilk)….The city council of Belfast, Northern Ireland has come under criticism for spending £50,000 (nearly $68,000) of taxpayer money on a new logo that most Belfastians dislike. The new logo was approved unanimously by the council. The Belfast Telegraph’s graphic designer came up with these three logos “on his tea break”….A highway sign in Texas misspelled “Lawton” in a ridiculous/hilarious way (from Leslie Barr).

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Kings Will Be First NBA Team with Three Court Designs

Click to enlarge

The latest design-related arms race involves NBA courts. Several teams have had two court designs (the Bucks, for example, have a green one and a black one, depending on which uniform they’re wearing, and Golden State has used standard and throwback designs), but the Kings are now poised to become the first team with three distinct floor patterns.

First they’ll have their basic purple-themed design — a carryover from last season — which they’ll use when wearing either their white or purple uniforms (remember, the home team can now wear whichever uniform it wants). They’ll have a new black-themed design, shown above, when wearing their black alternate uniforms (the Nike-updated version of which is expected to be unveiled very soon), and they’ll have a third court design to go with their final alternate uniform. That court/uni combo will be revealed later this year. The idea is to create a unified design presentation for each game, literally from the ground up.

Regarding the new black design: If you look in the top-right and lower-left corners, you’ll see the team’s crown logo rendered with Chinese characters. There’s also a version with the logo rendered in Hindi. Those logos will be used for the team’s Lunar New Year and Bollywood theme nights. More info on all of this can be found here.

Personally, I like the idea of matching the court to the uniform. If the team can handle the logistics of it, why not?

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Click to enlarge

Meanwhile, here are the latest NBA leaks: The photo you see above, showing what appears to be a Thunder alternate uniform, began circulating yesterday. It matches the design shown in the video screen shots that were posted two days ago on SportsLogos.net. So this photo not only confirms the Thunder screen shot but also lends added credibility to the remaining screen shots.

Late last night, this video began circulating as well:

Personally, I don’t care for this design at all. Don’t like the color scheme, don’t like the big honking “OKC” on the chest. That said, there are some noteworthy elements:

• I kinda like the gradation, which appears to be only on the back.

• Subscript NOBs are always interesting, although I don’t know that there’s a real point to it here.

• See how the “OKC” lettering looks jaggy? You can get a better sense of it in this video game shot. I assume this was intended to evoke, you know, thunder and lightning. But given that Oklahoma has been experiencing an unprecedented rise in earthquakes due to fracking (more info here), maybe fractured lettering wasn’t the brightest approach.

And while we’re at it, yesterday Suns point guard Tyler Ulis posted a photo of what appears to be the team’s upcoming throwback uniform on Instagram. Here’s a look at that one:

That design is apparently based on this one. Not bad, although we’ll need to see more in order to assess it properly.

(My thanks to Colin Butler, who was the first to alert me to the Thunder photo, and Conrad Burry, who first tweeted about the Suns photo.)

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Click to enlarge

Rash is fading: Last night was the first Thursday Night Football game of the NFL season. Well, not counting the season opener between the Pats and Chiefs, which took place on a Thursday but for some reason doesn’t count as Thursday Night Football. And neither do the games on Thanksgiving, which will happen on a Thursday but also don’t count as Thursday Night Football. And for some reason the Thursday Night Football schedule includes three Saturday games and a Monday game, which I guess means the NFL has created a time warp or something, which is pretty rad when you think about it.

But I digress.

As I was saying, last night was the first Thursday Night Football game of the season, which means it was also our first matchup of solid-colored uniforms. Which in turn means that the mono-uni season has started without any hype. No big announcements, no press releases showing all the week-by-week color pairings, no hype photos showing the mono-blue team playing on blue turf.

Maybe they think it’s sufficiently well-established that they don’t need to hype it anymore. Or maybe they realize it’s been a bust, what with so many of the games featuring a team in mono-white, and are soft-pedaling it. Either way, I’m grateful for the more restrained marketing approach.

Meanwhile: Can you spot the uni-notable detail in this screen shot of Bengals defensive back Adam Jones?

If you said, “Hey, his jersey number is 24 but his helmet number is 15,” that would be what my 11th grade math teacher liked to call “the right wrong answer.” Jones has been wearing 15 on his helmet as a tribute to Chris Henry since at least 2015, so that’s old news (although that didn’t prevent approximately eleventeen jillion people from asking me about it during last night’s game).

No, the more interesting detail in that photo is that the Bengals wear the American flag and NFL logo decals on the same side of the helmet (and it’s not just Jones — it’s a team-wide thing). The typical format is to have them on opposite sides. That’s the right right answer.

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Naming Wrongs reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, we have some new Naming Wrongs shirts. They’re all based on the design shown at right (which you can click to enlarge), with lots of different color combos. Get the full scoop here.

September call-ups reminder: Also from yesterday, we have three new additions to the Uni Watch team. Meet them here.

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off some cool Hartford Whalers memorabilia. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: Last night Twins wore red caps with their regular home whites for the first time this season (from Jordan Oster, @TwinsPics). … Here’s a look at this year’s ”Postseason” cap patch compared to last year’s (from Josh). … The Brewers will wear their home uniforms as the “road team” this weekend after their series with Marlins got moved to Milwaukee due to Hurricane Irma (from Johnny O). … Angels DH Albert Pujols will wear “Strike Out Slavery” cleats this weekend, part of an anti-human trafficking endeavor. Additional info here. … Here’s a great comic from the Big Book of the 70s on “baseball’s most out-of-control decade,” the 1970s (from Ray Hund). … The St. Pius X High School (Kansas City) Quiz Bowl team uses a modified throwback White Sox logo (from Brick Barrientos).

NFL News: Texans DE JJ Watt wore Texas flag-themed shoes last night. … Bengals CB William Jackson III, who’s a Houston Native, wore “Houston Strong” cleats last night. … The city of Atlanta has unveiled their Super Bowl LIII host city logo (from Douglas Ford). … Enjoy the covers of Pro! magazine’s 1972 NFC and AFC previews (from Ray Hund).

College Football News: Boise State went full orange last night, and we had a shoulder stripe malfunction — note how the stripe angles don’t match (from Tim Cross and Tyler Novak). … Iowa State will wear mono-white on Saturday (from Tyler Gross). … Here are this week’s uniform combos for North Carolina, West Virginia, Northwestern, and Texas State for the weekend (from James Gilbert, Broc, Craig R, and @stallionjockey). … TCU will wear white jerseys and pants and have white end zones for their “white out” against SMU. … Each week Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente picks a special teams player to wear No. 25 to honor Frank Beamer. This week, it’s Greg Stroman Jr. (from Andrew Cosentino). … Wayne State is celebrateing their 100th anniversary with new uniforms. The NOB will honor Medal of Honor recipients (from Ryan Keberly). … Arkansas State will go all red (from Tice Singleton). … Columbia helmets this season feature the New York City skyline (from Joe Sibley). … Here is an archive of North Carolina media guide covers from the past half-century (from James Gilbert). … 47 years ago this weekend, we had the first college football double-header, with Xavier vs. Miami and Cincinnati vs. Dayton (from Kevin). … ESPN’s Gamecast uses blue turf for Boise State home games (from Tom Whitfield).

Hockey News: Some number changes for Bruins this season (from Shane Bua). … The Rockford IceHogs, a Blackhawks affliliate, have new grey alternates (from Jason). … The Saskatoon Blades of the WHL unveiled their new jerseys (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The Lethbridge Hurricanes’ mascot announced his retirement.

Basketball News: A new look for Baylor’s practice court (from @BearDroppingsBU). … Check out former Bulls player Norm Van Lier sporting old warm-ups from “1973-ish” (from Ray Hund). … The California Bearcats, a San Diego club team, are about to become the only team outside of LaVar Ball’s club to sport the Big Baller Brand logo. There’s a manufacturing partnership between the team owner and LaVar Ball.

Soccer News: Tottenham Hotspur added a third kit (thanks, Jamie). … A great story here about the 1990-91 Chelsea team that wore five different shirts and eight jersey combos when three different kits was the norm (from Dennis Hurley).

Grab Bag: Tennessee announced the return of the Lady Vols name and logo for all of the school’s women’s teams (from Lee Wilds). … Baltimore City College High School unveiled four redesigned logos (from Darryl Carver).

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Pink turns to blue: Last week I wrote about the death of Walter Becker, co-founder of Steely Dan, which was my favorite band for most of my time in high school. Yesterday, in an eerie coincidence, word came down about the death of Grant Hart, co-founder of the Minneapolis hardcore trio Hüsker Dü, which was my favorite band through most of my time in college.

I saw Hüsker Dü twice during those years — once in some basement shithole in Syracuse in the fall of 1984 (they were very, very good) and once in an auditorium on the campus of my college, SUNY-Binghamton, in February of 1986 (honestly, I thought they were only so-so that night). I also played their records incessantly, wrote about them a lot for our college newspaper, talked about them a lot with my friends and girlfriend, encouraged people to buy their records at the campus record store that I managed, and generally obsessed over them. It’s not going too far to say they changed my life, or at least had a major impact on one chapter of it.

A few hours prior to that Binghamton show, I had the chance to hang out with Hüsker Dü in their dressing room. I was more interested in talking to their other songwriter, Bob Mould, who was one of my heroes at the time, but I was embarrassed to face him because I had done a fairly awful phone interview with him two weeks earlier for an article I was writing (it was my first time interviewing someone I admired, and I was all nervous and flustered). So I figured I’d talk to Grant Hart instead. I can still see him there, sitting on a table, barefoot, his big mop of hair all mussed up, a smile on his face. He looked like a friendly teddy bear.

I approached him, and he immediately asked if I had any drugs or knew where to get some. I was this record-collector dweeb who at that point had never dabbled in anything stronger than alcohol, so I mumbled, “No, sorry,” and then kinda slunk over to the corner of the room, where I stayed for a bit until I excused myself to go watch the opening band.

Hüsker Dü broke up the year after that. I soon learned that Grant Hart asked a lot of people for drugs over the years. I also learned that he was gay, which was a surprise, because he’d written a lot of songs about female romantic partners. (He’s hardly the only gay songwriter to have done that, of course.) He continued to make music in other bands and under his own name, although none of it was as special as his work with the Hüskers, and stories began circulating about how he was a bit of a mess. I never met him again, but I have several friends in the music biz who dealt with him in various capacities, and they all agree that he was a gentle soul, a friendly soul, a troubled soul. I think I got all of that in that brief encounter 30 years ago. I wish I’d found a way to talk with him for a bit.

As songwriters, Mould and Hart were a punk version of Lennon and McCartney. Mould usually (but not always) wrote the darker, more introspective songs, and Hart usually (but not always) wrote the poppier, catchier tunes. The push-pull between those two sensibilities was part of what made Hüsker Dü such a special band. On balance, I always preferred Mould’s stuff — like I said, he was my hero (I’ve always preferred Lennon over McCartney, too) — but Hart’s best tunes were every bit as good as Mould’s. I’m embedding a few of them below. Here’s hoping that troubled soul is now at peace. RIP.

Never a Dull Moment in Topsy-Turvy NBA Uni Scene

Click to enlarge

Lots of NBA news yesterday, kids. One thing at a time:

1. In a move that had been widely expected, the Hornets became the second team to announce a throwback for the upcoming season (the first was Milwaukee). As you can see above, the new rendition takes a few liberties with the Alexander Julian-designed original, most notably by making the stripes signifcantly thicker. Here’s a side-by-side comparison — original design on the left, throwback on the right (click to enlarge):

Personally, I’ve never liked this design. I don’t like the asymmetry of the stripe pattern, plus I hold this uniform responsible for igniting the purple and teal Dumpster fire of the 1990s. But it’s been made very clear to me over the years that Charlotte fans love this uniform, so good for them — now they’ll get to see it again. (Additional photos here.)

But they won’t get to see it very often, because, the Hornets plan to wear the throwback only three times: Nov.15 against the Cavaliers, Dec. 23 against the Bucks, and Jan. 13 against the Thunder. I guess that’s what happens when you have so many other jerseys to sell wear.

2. NBA uniform sleuth Conrad Burry posted a video game screen shot of what was purported to be a red alternate jersey for the 76ers:

That got the attention of the Philly-centric sports blog Crossing Broad, which promptly posted photos — real photos, not video game screen shots — of the same red jersey. It’s not clear where they got them or how long they’d been sitting on them. Here’s the front shot (you can see the rear view and the shorts in the Crossing Broad post):

The team hasn’t confirmed anything. But given that the photos match the screen shot, I’m inclined to believe that this is legitimate. Some quick thoughts:

• This design has the same thin drop shadow and “Brotherly Love” hem embroidery that we saw with the Sixers’ blue and white uniforms, which were unveiled last month.

• The script looks a lot like the Christmas designs from the past two years.

• Speaking of the script: What the hell is that extra prong between the “i” and the “x”? Look:

Okay, so we all know cursive writing is going the way of the dinosaurs, but that’s a bizarre way to connect those two letters. Let’s compare it to that Christmas design:

Now, which one of those looks better? Even worse, which one looks like “Sixers” and which one looks like “Suxers”? Come on, people — what were you thinking?

3. And then came the mother lode: That Sixers screen shot — the one that Conrad Burry posted — was originally tweeted at him by a gamer in Australia who apparently got his hands on NBA 2K18 ahead of everyone else. The gamer also posted shots of alternate designs for the Celtics and Raptors:

So Burry asked the gamer if he could provide similar shots for all of the other teams, and the guy obliged. Burry then posted all 30 of them on SportsLogos.net — a great scoop on his part.

Ordinarily, I’d be at least a bit skeptical of video game shots. But the fact that the Sixers design appears to be legit suggests that the others probably are as well. We’ll know for sure soon enough, because the Suns are planning to unveil their alternate design tomorrow, and I’m hearing that there may be other unveilings tomorrow as well.

As you can see from those Celtics and Raptors jerseys, the screen shots indicate these alternates are a mix of new designs and old ones that teams have already been wearing. Some of the new ones are fine, and one is outstanding; some of the others aren’t so hot. You can see all of them in Burry’s post. I’m going to hold off on assessing them until we know for sure that they’re legit.

Also: As Burry notes in his piece, we were originally told that these alternates would be listed under the rubric of “the Athlete’s Mindset,” but the video game has them listed as “Statement Uniforms.” Those two terms are cringeworthy in roughly equal measure, so we’ll just keep referring to them as alternates.

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ESPN reminder: My latest ESPN column has the results of our Titans-redesign contest. Check it out here.

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off some cool Hartford Whalers memorabilia. Full details here.

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Uni Watch roster update: As you may recall, I recently put up a “Help Wanted” sign so I could hire a new Ticker intern in the wake of Mike Chamernik’s departure from the site. I’m happy to report that we had so many excellent applicants that I ended up hiring three of them. Meet Jamie, Kris, and Anthony:

Jamie Rathjen
I’m from Centreville, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. area, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in English, and a longtime Uni Watch reader who had never submitted anything to the Ticker until last Thursday. That was a good time to start, I suppose.

My favorite sports are hockey, soccer (men’s and women’s), football (college and pro), and college basketball. I don’t actually play a sport (although I tried out for the UVa quidditch team), but I enjoy running and cycling. My other interests besides sports include reading, writing, music, video games, history, geography, and trivia.

———

Kris Gross
I am a 24-year-old board op/producer working for ESPN Radio in Dallas. I also work part-time with the Dallas Cowboys TV department.

I am a uniform enthusiast with a passion for purple jerseys (sorry, Paul) and a disdain for white pants. I graduated from TCU in 2014 with a degree in Sports Broadcasting, and I’m getting married to a girl way out of my league on Oct. 21.

[It’s a measure of my belief in Kris’s potential that I didn’t let the purple thing get in the way. — PL]

———

Anthony Emerson
I’m a 22-year-old English student at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. You may know me from the handful of soccer pieces I’ve written with Phil over the years. Soccer is indeed my favorite sport. I first got into Uni Watch via the ESPN column and then the blog, which I’ve been reading religiously since I was a teenager. I’m proud to be a part of the team.

———

Jamie, Kris, and Anthony all did extremely well in their Ticker auditions, and I’m confident that you’ll see no drop-off in quality when they’re on duty. With these new team members in place, and with deputy editor Phil Hecken and assistant editor Alex Hider still on board, we’ve reshuffled the Ticker assignments. Effective immediately, the Ticker will be authored by the following people on the following days:

Mondays: Jamie
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Alex
Thursdays: Me
Fridays: Kris
Saturdays: Anthony
Sundays: Phil

I’m extremely happy to have these new additions to our roster. Please join me in welcoming them to the Uni Watch family.

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Naming Wrongs update: Scott Turner and I have been wanting to create an all-purpose design that would apply to all corporate-named stadiums. We briefly dabbled with a design that said “I Hate Corporate Stadium Names,” but the use of “hate” seemed a bit extreme, plus we felt we could come up with something more creative. And now we have (click to enlarge):

Not bad, right? We can do this in just about any color combo. If you have specific requests, just ask. We’ll also be adding versions with the word “Stadium” replaced by “Arena.”

All of these designs are now available in the Naming Wrongs shop. They’re also cross-listed in the Uni Watch shop, where card-carrying members can get 15% off. (If you’re a member and need the discount code, send me a note and I’ll hook you up.)

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch (now running on Thursdays): The city of Montreal, moving toward reconciliation with indigenous people, has added an Iroquois symbol to its flag and will rename Amherst Street, which had been named after the British general who advocated giving smallpox-laced blankets to Indigenous tribes (from @PureLipschitz).

Baseball News: I remember when this happened: Pirates OF Dave Parker had to wear a helmet in the field in Montreal because fans were throwing stuff at him. … The excellent Threads of Our Game website, which chronicles pre-1900 uniforms, has recently turned up some good info on designs from 1891. … A tweet from A’s exec Chris Giles indicates that the team will be moving back to kelly green. Maybe so, but I can tell you that it isn’t happening in 2018 (from Kyle Brown). … Speaking of kelly green, look at this! That’s the Single-A Eugene Emeralds. Yes, the stirrups are backwards, but still. Here’s another shot (from Wade Heidt). … Good spot by Jeff Walter, who noticed a sleeve logo inconsistency in a 1996 Reds game. … Durham Bulls P Mike Broadway was victimized by a NOB font inconsistency (from Casey Hart). … Check out the Phillies’ locker room nameplates: The lettering font matches the jerseys, but the number font doesn’t (good observation by Frank McGuigan). … Here’s our best look yet at the “Postseason” cap patch (from @frankie2pants).

Pro Football News: Here’s another article about the Colts’ seamstress, who’s been getting a lot of attention lately (from Mike Miller). … The CFL is eliminating pads from regular season practices. Current NFL policy limits teams to 14 padded practices during the regular season, although some teams don’t use them. … Back to school special: The mighty Fleer Sticker Project has a great post on old NFL and AFL textbook covers. … This is pretty funny: Taylor Nicolaisen has a blog devoted to spotting crooked Broncos logos.

College Football News: Here’s this week’s uni combos for Vanderbilt (here’s a closer look at the gold helmet), Virginia Tech, and Illinois. … The 1938 Tulane/UNC game might win the prize for weirdest program cover design (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a breakdown of the uniform outfitters for all 130 FBS teams (from @VictoryCB). … Here’s a good look at the Tulane equipment staff getting helmets ready for a game (from Ryan Doyle). … Here’s a good look at Purdue’s college football centennial helmet logo from 1969 (from Pro Football Journal). … As you know, I’m not a fan of commingling sports and corporate logos. But I have to admit that Ball State wearing the Ball jars logo would be pretty good. … Penn State freshman now have to earn the stripes on their practice helmets (from Jerry Wolper). … An alum has written an entertaining plea for the Columbia football team to wear Columbia blue uniforms. … Houston plans to scrap their regular NOBs for Saturday’s home opener and instead go with the rarely seen SNOB — that’s school name on back. … You knew this was coming: Florida is adding a new helmet decal for Hurricane Irma (from George Mangrum). … New mono-white road uniform for Northern Illinois (from @AVKingJames).

Hockey News: Some new uni number assignments for the Rangers (from Alan Kreit). … Speaking of the Rangers, look how their torso striping looks on the new Adidas road jersey — ay-yi-yi. That looks more like an Islanders fisherman jersey than a Rangers jersey. … New center ice design for the Capitals. “The buried lede of the whole situation is that they also changed the stripe pattern of the red line, from white stars to red stars within a red outline,” notes Zach Spencer. “I think the stripe looks way better and cleaner this way.” … The Canucks’ new practice jerseys use the team’s retro logo (from Ryan Wetstein). … New Ron Hextall-inspired mask for Flyers G Brian Elliott (from Patrick Thomas).

Soccer News: Nike’s soccer jerseys are making too many teams look the same (thanks, Alex). … UK soccer team logos reimagined through a Simpsons filter? Sure, why not (from Tanner Welch).

Grab Bag: A Canadian judge was suspended without pay and reprimanded for wearing one of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” caps in his courtroom. … Gross: William Penn University puts the Nike logo on its business cards (from Jesse Gavin). … Here are this week’s IndyCar liveries (from Tim Dunn). … Interesting piece on hate group logos and iconography (from Jeremy Baker). … According to this book about marketing, chicken farmers in Nakuru, Kenya, painted their chickens purple. Why? “The color purple is not appetizing to birds of prey. As a matter of fact, eagles and hawks don’t know how to process purple things — they don’t recognize purple as food.” No comment (from Will Scheibler).