Good morning! Very unusual move yesterday by the Saints, who wore their primary white jerseys in Jacksonville and paired them with a new, previously unseen set of white pants! The Saints sometimes go mono-white with their Color Rash uni, of course, but it’s much rarer to see them wearing mono-white with their primary white jersey. How rare? According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the last time they went mono-white in a non-Rash context was 1975!
In case you’re wondering: Yes, there’s plenty of precedent for NFL teams coming up with new pants designs with little or no warning. When Washington brought back the yellow pants in 2010, that move came out of nowhere. Ditto for the Ravens’ infamous gold pants, which debuted late in the 2015 season.
In other news from around the league yesterday:
• Brutal-looking game in Arizona, as the Cardinals wore their black alternates against the Falcons, creating a matchup of two of the league’s most clownish looks. The Cards didn’t help matters by adding a garishly large, bow tie-shaped memorial patch for owner Bill Bidwill (they had worn a memorial decal):
The new patch looked particularly ridiculous on Cards wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who now looks like a European hockey player or something like that:
• The Jets wore mono-white at home (with plain white socks to boot) against the Cowboys — the first time the Jets have worn that combo with their new uni set:
• In that same game, one of the officials was missing a stripe on his black cap:
• You’re not going to believe this, but here goes: Everyone knows I hate purple and also hate the Bengals’ uniforms, but I think the matchup those two teams put on the field yesterday looked pretty good! I don’t love either of these uni combos on their own, but I like the way they collide when facing each other:
• With the Panthers and Bucs playing in London, Carolina decided to award a captaincy patch to defensive lineman Efe Obada, who grew up in the UK and played for the London Warriors in 2014:
• Speaking of the Panthers, the London game took place in soccer team Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium, so Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen wore a Spurs cap during pregame activities (sorry about the quality of this photo but it’s the best I could find):
• Seahawks defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney had part of his nose bumper panel fall off and get lodged against his visor:
• Three teams wore white at home: the aforementioned Jets, along with the Rams and Dolphins. (That Dolphins game was a missed opportunity to re-create the look of Super Bowl VII, as Miami could have worn their throwbacks and Washington could have gone with the yellow pants.)
Best-looking game of the week? Steelers/Chargers (well, except when Steelers linebacker Vince Williams and his pink socks were on the field). Worst-looking: Definitely that Cards/Falcons debacle.
(My thanks to our own Jamie Rathjen for the Kyle Allen item.)
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Press pin update: Remember the limited-edition Uni Watch Press Pin that I announced and launched last Friday? As of this morning, there are only seven of the pins remaining. So if you want one, move fast.Update: The press pin is now SOLD OUT.
If I had realized that this item would be so popular, I would have made more than 200 of them. I can’t really go back and make more now, because each of the existing pins are numbered “1/200,” “2/200,” and so on, so it wouldn’t make sense — and wouldn’t be fair to the people who’ve purchased the pin — to make another batch of them.
However! The success of this product and of our basic logo pin (which is still very much available — plenty of inventory on that one!) has convinced me that pins are a good new frontier of Uni Watch creative projects. As one reader told me, “They’re fun to collect — and they don’t take up space!”
I’ll have more to say about a new pin project soon. Stay tuned.
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Click to enlarge
ITEM! New cap raffle: We recent mentioned in the Ticker that there’s a new line of NHL Carhartt caps. And now Carhartt and ’47 are giving away free caps to three lucky Uni Watch readers.
This is a two-day raffle. To enter, send an email with you shipping address and your choice of any hat from this page (be sure to keep scrolling down to see all of the options — the page will keep filling as you keep scrolling) to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tomorrow, Oct. 15. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the winner of Friday’s one-day Naming Wrongs T-shirt raffle is Dan Whaland. Congrats to him, and my repeated thanks to the anonymous benefactor who sponsored that raffle.
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Membership update: If you want to see something really great, click on the image of Scott Tannen’s new membership card so you can really appreciate all the fine details. The contrast-colored stitching, the little anchor pattern — our card designer, Scott M.X. Turner, did a really tremendous job with this one. (The design, of course, is based on Vanderbilt’s football jersey.)
Scott’s card is one of several that have been added to the membership card gallery. We’ve had a big spike in orders since the latest unpleasantness (thank you!), so don’t worry if you don’t see your card in the gallery yet — we now have a bit of a backlog, but I think we’ll be caught up by the end of this week.
Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop and our Naming Wrongs shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (more than 2,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.
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Click to enlarge — it’s worth a closer look
What, no Psoriasis Trail?: The Tugboat Captain and I spent the weekend on a much-needed weekend road trip through New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. There were lots of good stops along the way, but the most enjoyable one, on several levels, was a hike we took through a forested area in Pennsylvania. The plot of land is stewarded by a nearby hospital, so they’ve named all of the trails after medical terms.
As you can see above, this makes for what I’m pretty sure are history’s best trail markers ever. In addition to the ones shown on those signs, there were also the Punctured Lung Trail, the Coronary Trail, the Stress Test Trail, and the Mood Disorder Trail, along several others (you can see the full assortment here).
As far as we could tell, the trail names didn’t bear any relation to the trails themselves (i.e., you’d be no more likely to suffer a broken clavicle on the Broken Clavicle Trail than on the Concussion Trail). It all felt random and hilarious, like an absurdist theme park from The Simpsons or something.
During the drive home, we tried to think up other good trail names they could use if they expanded their territory (or that we could use ourselves if we ever get to run things there). Among our favorites:
• The Bunion Trail
• The Hysterectomy Trail
• The Low T Trail
• The Whooping Cough Trail
• The Hypochondria Trail (sort of meta)
• The Gout Trail
• The Ruptured Spleen Trail
• The Yeast Infection Trail
• The Shingles Trail
Plus there were probably several more good ones (and quite a few bad ones) that I’m forgetting. We also thought it would be good to have a few shorter/easier trails for kids — the Sniffles Trail, the Skinned Knee Trail, and so on.
I hope to have more to say about the rest of the trip later this week.
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The Ticker By Jamie Rathjen
Football News: Left over from Saturday: Boise State wore script “Broncos” helmets for what David Augusto says is the first time since 2001. … Injured Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson wore a No. 22 jersey on the sidelines in memory of one of his predecessors in the position, Jared Lorenzen (from Josh Hinton). … You can see some Canadian college uni tracking from Wade Heidt in yesterday’s comments. … Blaise D’Sylva‘s school of the day for yesterday from his helmet collections was UAB. … Clint Richardson‘s former high school, Hazel Green (Ala.), wore pink jerseys.
Hockey News: Junior hockey teams that wore pink accents this weekend included the OHL’s Flint Firebirds and the WHL’s Everett Silvertips (from Wade Heidt). … Wade also tells us that the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s La Ronge Ice Wolves, whose colors are teal, black, and white, have teal pants. That’s something that the Sharks, who have only ever worn black pants, haven’t done. … New alternates for Northern Michigan (from Jerry Nitzh). … Since 2015, the Staples Center has had a “most sold out performances” banner for musician Taylor Swift. Kings fans apparently think it put a curse on their team, so it’s being covered up for their games. … Former soccer keeper Petr Čech, who recently made his debut as a pro hockey player for the Guildford Phoenix of the NIHL, is wearing a mask that pays tribute to his former soccer teams, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Soccer News: Several European sports newspapers are reporting — which means you should take this with a grain of salt — that Cristiano Ronaldo’s first club, Sporting Clube de Portugal, are open to selling him their stadium’s naming rights. An enterprising person had already updated the Sporting CP Wikipedia page yesterday (from Kaden Jacobs). … West Ham United’s women’s team wore their pink shirts for the first time — with claret shorts and socks. … Florida’s women’s team wore mono-pink. … No picture, but Ed Żelaski tells us that an unidentified Kazakhstan player suffered a shirt tear in their European Championship qualifier against Belgium yesterday. … San Marino — an otherwise sky blue and white team — wore unexplained maroon clash shorts for yesterday’s Euro qualifier against Scotland. … The U.S. men’s national team played a CONCACAF Nations League game at D.C. United’s Audi Field on Friday, so of course somevisible Adidas logos on pictures of DCU players were covered up (from Geoff Holm). … Cross-listed from the hockey section: Former Arsenal and Chelsea keeper Petr Čech, who recently made his debut as a pro hockey player for the Guildford Phoenix of the NIHL, is wearing a mask that pays tribute to his former soccer teams.
It’s that time of the year again: I’m attending the first day of the Puppy Bowl taping today, and then I have a meeting after that, so I won’t be checking the site very much. Please play nice while I’m away. Thanks. — Paul
• Miami played Virginia, and wore their mono-white uniforms made from recycled materials in collaboration with Parley. I loved the numerals they used; not just in terms of font, but also for the cool ribbed effect.
• As I’m sure everyone’s aware of by now, Georgia was stunned by South Carolina on Saturday. What makes this game special however, was the fact that Gamecocks QB Ryan Hilinski honored his late brother Tyler Hilinski, the Washington State QB who took his own life in January of 2018, by wearing his jersey number (#3), against the (then, at least) #3 team in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs (more here).
• Yikes. Okay, here’s the deal: I actually don’t mind the grey too much, but MAN, this matchup was still kind of a stinker. The only reason I’m not completely smoking this game is because of Iowa State’s cardinal pants, which at least helped to give a rough idea of who’s who.
• Athletic Gold (please no discourse on the color) facemasks for Arizona State. The game itself actually looked really good, and although the shadows suggest otherwise, Washington State’s pants were dark grey, not black.
• It wouldn’t be much of an October in the uni-verse without some PFPS demonstrations. Nevada provides us with one.
• And moving over to Kentucky, Wildcats WR Lynn Bowden Jr. is wearing pink… eye black? Eye pink? Here’s another example, screenshot courtesy of Joshua Hinton. [Just don’t call it ‘pink eye’ — PH]
• Tulsa wore new blue helmets against Navy, and I will be the first to say they should keep these as an alternate choice –at the very-least– full-time!
• From Cassian Wykes: “Yale showed up at Dartmouth today wearing merit decals globbed together on one side. Perhaps it’s an example of the cliched “brick-by-brick” mantra. The Bulldogs used to use little bone-shaped stickers. Wish they’d go back to them.”
That’ll do it for Week 7! Lots of good games, and more is on the way. Hope everyone has a great Sunday, and I’ll see you next week.
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Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of today’s SMUW…
Memal’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, Catherine Ryan after him, and finally Joe Ringham, for 2019 we have a new “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups — Michael “Memal” Malinowski. Like Joe, Catherine & Jim, Memal will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). 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.
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It was a great Saturday of college football; an early upset and some later game late game heroics. All and all, a typical autumn weekend that leaves you hungry for more!
I usually don’t care for the tiger stripe helmet pattern, but the contrast of those stripes against the bold block panels for the Owls made this a game I kept flicking back to. The lack of blue for Memphis kept me from moving this game above the bottom slot.
4. Colorado @ Oregon
I love the Buffaloes in gold/white/black on the road, especially since it contrasts nicely against the mono yellow combo of the Ducks. Not the best look for Oregon, but I admit it’s a personal favorite and I was happy to see it against another good looking uni-set.
3. Appalachian State @ Louisiana-Lafayette
I would not have been able to describe either of these team’s uniforms before today, but I loved the difference between the traditional stripe pattern of the Ragin’ Cajuns against the short stripes and bright colors of the Mountaineers. A great looking game and I’ll be checking on these teams in the weeks to come.
2. Texas vs Oklahoma @ the Cotton Bowl
College football is about traditions and this as traditional a matchup as there is. Texas wore their burnt orange home jerseys and the Sooners their away white. Just a great game in a great venue between two teams who knew what we wanted to see out on the field and gave it to us.
1.Utah @ Oregon State
In a weekend where no particular uni matchup blew me away, I was smitten by all the details in this matchup. The beaver with the sailor hat helmet decals, some great uniform stripes, a gray October day in Oregon. Not much of a game, but every picture I pulled made me wish I’d watched it beginning to end. That’s reason enough for me to put it at the top this week.
And because someone has to be the sacrificial lamb…
&1 Maryland at Purdue
Since Maryland went to Under Armour and debuted their state of Maryland flag helmets I’ve been unable to determine if that’s a good look or if it’s so garish you can’t take your eyes off of it. It seems there’s no middle ground and it’s really depended on their performance and their opponent. This week against Purdue, who attempted to look like anything but a Boilermaker or a Purdue sports teams, the Terrapins looked bad competitively and aesthetically. On the other hand, Purdue just looked really bad and out of touch with who their program really represents.
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Thanks Memal! You can follow Memal on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2018 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 a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
Welcome to the 2019 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!
NFL/CFL News: From Wade Heidt comes this observation: “The Calgary Stampeders wore their alternate black Outlaw uniforms for the second time this season in their West Division first place showdown against Saskatchewan on Friday night. This is the second time this version of the black alternate has been worn with the red primary helmet, now that the CFL has change to one shell rule this year. However, there is a difference on Friday night compared to when the Stamps wore this uniform earlier in the season. Earlier this year during their Labour Day Classic, they had an alternate decal on the helmet when they wore the black uniforms. (Wearing a chrome horse logo).” He continues, “For the game Friday night, it was their primary helmet decal featuring the usual white horse trimmed in black.” … The Arizona Cardinals will be playing in black jerseys for the first time this season when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
College/High School Football News: Reader Michael McLaughlin writes, “There are times I’m glad I’m colorblind,” with regard to this article: Vols fans react to Nike, Tennessee collaboration that’s the “wrong UT orange”. In the words of Rick Perry, “Oops.” … On Friday night, Peoria High School wore jerseys with a “thin blue line”> (from Josh Claywell). More here. … Because we need another ranking, right? Here’s how someone thinks the ACC stacks up. … The amazing Blaise D’Sylva continues his helmet history with your West Virginia Mountaineers. … Interesting logo “theft” here involving a Texas high school using Buffalo Sabres logos (from Chris Mycoskie).
NBA/College Hoops News: “I’m so used to NCAA rule that T-shirt has to be jersey color, that this is jarring,” observes James Gilbert. … The University of Virginia Cavaliers, who won the NCAA hoops champeenship this past spring, are selling these medallions(?) in commemoration of that achievement (also from James Gilbert).
If the name of today’s featured designer sounds familiar to you, it should: I first introduced Brian Begley to you in the summer of 2017, who graced us with some of his NBA concepts at the time. He’s also appeared in some tweaks (like this Brooklyn Nets concept logo — scroll way down) as early as 2012. Today he’s back to share some NFL concepts.
I always have this impression of the guys who design uniforms (whether it’s in the tweaks section, as occasional ledes, or the Griffins contest, for example) as young guys who live in their moms’ basements, but this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Guys like Brian are often older, married and with kids (as are a number of my SMUW guys). But for some strange reason, I always picture them like THE Jeff (remember him?). Anyway, I’d set this piece up with Brian earlier in the week, and when I didn’t hear from him until late yesterday, I just had in my head some slacker who would get to it when he got to it. Nope. Brian’s a family guy and he has real grown up responsibilities, and I appreciate his getting this all to me just under the wire. Thanks Brian!
Anyhoo — today I’m pleased to re-present Brian Begley (who you should definitely follow on Twitter) with 10 NFL concepts.
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Starting Week 2 of the NFL season, I challenged myself to design two full uniforms of two teams that were facing off each Sunday. On top of sports designing full time six days a week, my wife, our 15 month old boy, dog, and I have been living with my parents since the middle of July waiting to close on our new house. So, why not throw in another challenge on top of this lifestyle, right?! hahaha
With ten teams down (two that I’m giving you an early sneak peek before this Sunday) here’s my breakdown & inspiration behind the designs!
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I eliminated all the white & silver from the Carolina branding, and it leaves you with something clean and timeless. A matte blue helmet w black gloss decals would shine day or night!
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This is an early release for this Sunday. How do you redesign something that is already iconic? You let the past speak to you. I gave the helmet a rough texture to replicate the earth in which cowboys travel on. I designed a new “Dallas” mark for the gloves. The rest of the uniform is inspired by the days of Roger Staubach.
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Inspired by their color rush set, I added a sublimated watermark of some iconic mountains. You may have seen these mountains across the chest of Dikembe Mutombo in the past… wink wink White pants brings this set up to date, and should be used in their regular season rotation.
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I debated on going with an alt red jersey, but something about the Texans screams, “AMERICA!” Sticking with the double stripe theme throughout, the stars on the neck, and a white helmet, makes this set an instant classic.
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Los Angeles Chargers:
Powder Blues. Need I say more? I gave this powder blue jersey a heathered texture, which I like to think of it as a “charged” texture. See what I did there? Also, a new neckline (Nike uses this on the new Oregon jerseys) with the Chargers bolts elevates this traditional design up to the next level.
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Los Angeles Rams:
I designed a new logo that incorporates “LA” in the Rams forehead, along with the Northwestern striping on the horns. The LA Rams wore these stripes when they were first in LA. I love the throwback Blue & Gold Rams uniforms they wore in the Super Bowl last year, but why not bring back the stripes?! This entire set is inspired by past styling cues along with current color ways & design elements.
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New Orleans Saints:
Again, removing all white from their branding, and coming up with this mean look! The helmet has a brass texture to it to represent the brass instruments in jazz music. I feel like this is such an easy update. I designed a new fleur-de-lis for the helmet, and watermarked it on the jersey chest.
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New York Giants:
As a Giants fan, I know I’m one of the few that actually LOVES their red jerseys! I also designed a new logo that meshes the three logos used by the GMen from the 70’s to today. This logo looks great on a matte blue helmet! Just saying.
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New York Jets:
Another early release for this Sunday. I designed a new logo, which I created by accident one night, and I’m happy it happened. I LOVE this logo! I added a sublimated watermark across the chest to look like… welp… a jet. I used a previous Jets mark for the helmet. I had another idea in mind for the helmet, but it was way off brand.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
I designed a new buccaneer (which I’ve been told a million times that it looks like a cowboy, so save your breath) This uniform was obviously inspired by the creamsicle era. I also used a metallic gradient on the helmet with a ghosted logo.
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Great stuff, Brian — again, thanks so much for getting these to me. Brian, aside from the stuff he mentioned up above, had a sick wife and was taking care of their young child the past several days (you go!), so this was doubly awesome. Please let him know what you think of the concepts in the comments below — and give him a follow on the Twitter.
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: “Josh Gibson, 1933” (color study) Subject: Josh Gibson, 1933 Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board Size: 5” x 7”
“Wait, Josh Gibson played for the Cuban Stars, too?”
That’s what I said to myself only weeks before the Uniforms of Josh Gibson posters were about to be printed (https://negroleagueshistory.com/shop/negro-leagues-posters/joshgibson-lithograph/). In about eight months’ time (starting from late 2016), I had done a ton of research on the man, especially from a visual standpoint. He had played for many teams throughout his storied career, in the Negro Leagues, Cuban Leagues, Venezuelan Leagues, Dominican Leagues and Mexican Leagues. Each time, donning a different uniform for varying amounts of time, sometimes for an entire winter campaign, others for only a few games.
And in all of the time I spent digging through books and the Internet to find examples of each one, I had never run across anything about him being with the Cuban Stars. He’s not listed as playing for the team on his Wikipedia page. Nor Seamheads. Nor Baseball-Reference.
And none of what I’ve just written is a knock on the quality of these resources. Not even remotely. It’s just that if there’s one important thing I’ve discovered in these past eight months, it’s that the lack of this kind of information is not only par for the course, but will hover over my head for the remainder of the time I spend making these paintings (and let’s face it, well beyond).
White newspapers rarely covered those leagues, which means that not only was a lot of its history unwritten to millions of Americans, but also went unseen. The mere fact that most baseball fans are familiar with only a handful of images of somebody like Josh Gibson is a testament to that.
This was one of the reasons I was attracted to Jay’s project (https://negroleagueshistory.com/) in the first place. I’m like a lot of baseball fans that are attracted to its history. I know Satchel Paige. I know Josh Gibson. I know Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson all had stints there before coming to the bigs. That’s about how deep my pool of knowledge got. In other words, the game’s history that I know has mostly been seen through a white lens, and perhaps that’s how it’s been for a lot of other baseball fans.
As a result, this project was an opportunity for me to not only meet a lot of these guys for the first time, but also attempt to breathe life back into them somehow. Much like the great players of the Deadball Era in the white leagues, these guys fall under the ‘ancient history’ category and are perennially in black & white. And as such, we feel somewhat removed from them. But much like Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb, the great Pete Hill and Cristóbal Torriente played the game in living color. They breathed the same air as these guys did. And though maybe they weren’t able to compete with them (for the most part), they certainly deserve to be remembered just as much for their contributions to the sport.
Although the scope of this whole endeavor with Jay is rather large, I KNOW that we’ve still only scratched at the surface. There’s still so much to learn. Who knows, maybe I’ll run into a couple more uniforms that Josh Gibson wore, ones that I never knew he did. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
And with Satchel Paige, well, don’t even get me started on what I’ve missed.
For a more in-depth dive into the origins of this club with Gibson, check out this post on Gary Ashwill’s brilliant blog:
Alex is back once again for the 2019 MLB Playoffs. Unfortunately, Alex was attending a wedding last night, so he wasn’t able to post the uni matchups for the first game of the NLCS, but he’s got everything from the Wild Card and LDS rounds. Here we go:
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Current Uni Tracking
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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 ojai67.
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).
The “Hillies”? No, obviously it’s a game between the Dodgers and the Phillies. But when? That’s up to you…
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.
The Ticker By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: In 1891, Sporting Life published a letter to the editor from a fan wanting players’ names on jerseys, 69 years before the White Sox actually went and did it. Talk about being ahead of your time! (from John Thorn). … Going off of yesterday’s press pin post, Tracy Ruckel sent in his rather impressive collection. … The Minute Maid Park groundscrew just threw a little paint over the “D” in the on-field ALDS logo to turn it into an ALCS logo (from @NikolaiPopusk19). … Mets P Marcus Stroman will change his uni number from 7 to something else out of respect for Jose Reyes (thanks, Phil). … Deadspin’s Ray Ratto took the Nationals to task over their cap logo (from Mike Chamernik).
NFL News: A man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey was removed from Donald Trump’s rally in Minneapolis (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil, the Saints are going to go white-over-white on Sunday against the Jags, but it won’t be their Color Rash unis — the white pants will be new. Interesting.
College/High School Football News: The Cotton Bowl’s logo at midfield has been replaced by the “Red River Showdown” logo, complete with ad (from Matthew Salazar). … Here’s a great piece on Iowa’s mid-90s uniform experimentation (from Joseph Foro and Rudy Chihak). … FAU’s endzone is going to be very patriotic and completely illegible today (from Jake Elman). … Mizzou is going yellow-yellow-black (from Jacob Bogage). … Virginia Tech will go white-maroon-white against Rhode Island (from who but Andrew Cosentino). … The following are all from Phil: Florida is going orange-blue-blue against LSU. … Mono-white for Mississippi State against Tennessee. … Ole Miss is going blue-white-white against Mizzou. … West Virginia is going black-grey-grey — or is it dark grey-lighter grey-lighter grey? It’s honestly hard to tell from the video. … Indiana and Purdue are both going with throwbacks this weekend for their respective homecoming games. … Throwback helmet logo for Oregon State. … Also a throwback helmet logo for Baylor. … A TV reporter in Philadelphia covering a pep rally at Father Judge High donned a helmet, pads and jersey (from Christopher Hickey). … The Grants Pass (Or.) Cavemen go MHOB — Mascot Head on Back (great spot by Scott Stoddard).
Hockey News: The Hurricanes wore their black third jerseys for the first time last night (from Scott M. Trembly). … Michigan Tech is going with white helmets for the first time since 2006 (from @TechHockeyGuide).
NBA/College Hoops News: Warriors C Kavion Pippen — Scottie’s son — is wearing No. 31 (from Etienne Catalan). … The following are all from Mike Chamernik: Throwback court incoming for the Cavs. … The Grizzlies will also have a throwback court. … The Magic have added pinstripes to the key of their court. … Looks like a new court for Evansville (from Ryan Bowman).
Soccer News: Nebraska’s midfield logo was painted in camouflage for their militry appreciation night (from Dakota Buesing). … Hertha Berlin released their Fall of the Berlin Wall commemorative kit yesterday (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed, Pumas’ women’s team will wear pink against León. … Coventry City’s third kit has been released (thanks, Jamie).
Grab Bag: Wales and Georgia went red-vs-maroon during yesterday morning’s Rugby World Cup match (from Will MacEwen). … Iowa’s default license plate design is so ugly that many drivers are picking the new “blackout” design after the state bureau of transportation made it available. More info here (from Taylor Warntjes).
The National League Championship Series begins tonight, with the American League following tomorrow. Soon it’ll be time for the World Series, which means it will also be time for a special little corner of athletics aesthetics to make its annual appearance: World Series press pins.
World Series press pins date back to 1911. The story goes that friends of New York Giants manager John McGraw were were overcrowding the press box. The newly formed Baseball Writers of America decided that admittance would be limited to credentialed members of the press, so some sort of visual identifier was needed — a pin. Early versions of the pins included ribbons, but bright enamel pins with clever, colorful designs soon became the norm, with both teams participating in the Series producing their own designs each year.
Over the years, the pins have become their own little category of memorabilia. They’re now distributed to VIPs as well as to media members, but they’re still produced in very limited quantities, so they’re highly prized among collectors.
On at least one occasion, press pins have even been worn during a game. A’s outfielder Reggie Jackson wore the team’s 1974 pin (shown at right) on the waistband of his pants during Game Three of the ’74 Series, and NBC’s TV broadcasters even picked up on it, as you can see here:
Anyway: I love creating Uni Watch versions of classic sports collectibles — pennants, gumball helmets, and so on. When our enamel pin turned out to be a much bigger success that I expected (it’s sold over 200 units in less than three months), that got me thinking: Could we do a Uni Watch press pin?
I decided to talk to longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom, who’s a big press pin fan (he has a nice collection of them) and is also, of course, a great designer. He liked the idea, so we had a few back-and-forths, a bit of brainstorming, and eventually came up with a new product that I’m proud to show you today — behold the first Uni Watch press pin (for all the photos that follow, you can click to enlarge):
Pretty sweet, right? I really like it. It’s nice that this pin, unlike the other one we’ve been selling, includes the words “Uni Watch.”
As for the other wording, we’ve had a BFBS T-shirt with “BFBS” on the back, an ugly sweater T-shirt with “Ugly Sweater” on the back, and so on, so I thought our press pin should say, “Press Pin.” Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Er, I’m not a member of the press.” But you are! All of you who scrutinize the uni-verse are essentially part of the Uni Watch media enterprise, whether you send in your Ticker submissions or even just raise uni awareness by discussing uniforms with your friends. You’ve all helped make Uni Watch what it is today, and you’re all fully deserving of wearing a Uni Watch press pin.
A few things you need to know about this project:
1. The pin measures 1″ across. It has a standard butterfly clutch on the back, just like our other pin.
2. Unlike our other pin, which is soft enamel, this one is hard enamel. That means the surface is flat, not ridged/textured. I like both styles, but I wanted to go with hard enamel for this design.
3. We have produced this pin in a numbered edition of 200. Each pin has a unique number laser-etched on the back:
When I received the 200 pins from the manufacturer, I took out 10 for myself and 10 for Todd (those were all chosen at random — I didn’t hunt for pin No. 1 or anything like that) and then sent the remaining 180 pins to Teespring, where they are now available.
4. These are priced at $13.99. That’s more than our other pin ($8.99), for a variety of reasons: Hard enamel costs more than soft enamel; the cutout areas of the design increased the cost; having the numbers etched onto the back increased the cost; and since Todd and I are splitting the profits, I wanted the project to be worthwhile for both of us. I think it’s worth it!
5. Just as new World Series press pins are produced each year, Todd and I plan to create a new Uni Watch press pin each October, right around the time of the World Series. They won’t all necessarily have “Press Pin” printed on them (maybe next year’s will simply have “Press,” just like lots of the Series pins have had), and we won’t necessarily limit the production to 200 pins (if this year’s is popular, we’ll consider doing a larger run next year), but we like the idea of creating an annual ritual around this project.
Frankly, it kills me to know we’ll have to wait another whole year before we can do another one of these. I have lots of design ideas, and it’s my nature to pursue things somewhat obsessively once they get under my skin (you should have seen how I threw myself into the gumball project once the idea took shape in my head), but maybe the long wait will teach me something about patience, or discipline, or something similarly unfun.
For now, though, I’m very happy with this new pin. And look — it fits right in with these real World Series pins from Todd’s collection:
Yet another NBA retail leak: Judging by the photos shown above, which began circulating yesterday afternoon, the Pacers are planning a new alternate that mixes their old FloJo design with some elements of their current “We Grow Basketball” branding.
This isn’t really a throwback or even a fauxback. Maybe a Floback? A Flauxback?
Electric football update: Yesterday I showed you the custom electric football figurines that Uni Watch contributor Gene Sanny painted for the opening sequence of last night’s Giants/Patriots game. In case you missed it (or just want to see it again), the resulting video production is embedded above. Big congrats to Gene — enjoy the moment, buddy!
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Click to enlarge
And speaking of that Giants/Pats game: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did something last night that he hadn’t previously done all season long: He wore a jersey rendered in Nike’s current tailoring template and with the NFL 100 logo on the collar. All of his previous jerseys this season have either been the old, outdated template (Weeks 1, 2, 3) or didn’t have the centennial logo (Weeks 4, 5).
Here’s a week-by-week look at Brady’s collar stylings so far this season (click to enlarge):
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Screen shot by Dean Dease; click to enlarge
Oopsie: NC State quarterback Bailey Hockman was victimized by a classic NOB glitch last night, as someone applied his N backwards. It’s sort of endearing, maybe even comforting, to see how all of Big Uni’s multi-jillion-dollar machinations are ultimately dependent upon — and can be undone by — the lowest-paid grunt who sews on the letters.
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I hear San Diego is nice in November: Got a nice note yesterday from the Padres, inviting me to the unveiling of their new brown-centric uni set on Nov. 9.
Frankly, I’m usually happy to cover uni unveilings remotely. I can often work more effectively by watching the video stream of the event and looking at photos being posted online instead of dealing with the hectic scrum of the unveiling scene.
But some unveilings are worth being on hand for in person, and the Padres going back to brown is definitely one of them. So I think I’ll ask my Sports Illustrated editor if I can fly out to — oh, right, I don’t work for SI anymore. Hmmm.
If any sports, design, culture, or general-interest editors are reading: Would you like me to send me to San Diego so I can cover this event for you? If so, please get in touch. Thanks.
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ITEM! One-day Naming Wrongs raffle: An anonymous benefactor has generously offered to pay for a Naming Wrongs T-shirt that I can raffle off.
This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email with your name, shipping address and choice of T-shirt design and size (anything from the the Naming Wrong shop is eligible) to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.
Meanwhile, the winner of this week’s Vintage Brand raffle is Christopher LaBella. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered.
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The Ticker By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Oriole Park has taken down a vinyl welcome sign as they begin to repaint the brick original (from Matthew Mallen). … To follow up on our champagne celebration conversation from a few days ago, reader David Dahl wrote in: “The last few years the Cubs radio broadcasts have had a live read (the announcer simply reading an ad during the game) calling a sponsoring liquor store chain ‘the official champagne provider of the Chicago Cubs.'” Wow. … Here’s an article about how doubleheaders work behind the scenes at Yankee Stadium (from @brianspeaksnow). … Great article about a former seamstress for the Astros and Colt .45s who’s now 101 years old (from Ignacio Salazar).
NFL News: According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Browns and Broncos will be going color-against-color in Week 9, with Cleveland in their Color Rash unis (from Trey Volk). … The score bug for last night’s Giants/Pats game was really inconsistent, with the Patriots’ color alternating between red and blue (from multiple readers).
Soccer News: Hallelujah: Chevrolet is “highly unlikely” to renew their shirt advertisement deal with Manchester United, and the club is currently in discussions for a new shirt advert for when the contract expires in 2021. … Sigh: LAFC will have the first sleeve advertiser in MLS history. More details here (from Ed Żelaski and Josh Hinton). … Also from Ed: Hertha Berlin will release a special shirt honoring the fall of the Berlin Wall sometime today. It will be worn on Nov. 9. … One more from Ed: Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk are coming out with their own fashion line. … Cross-posted from the hockey section: Former Arsenal and Chelsea keeper Petr Čech is starting on his post-football career by becoming a part-time goalie with the Guildford Phoenix of Britain’s NIHL, whose jerseys are based on an old Thrashers template and whose logo is an obvious Flames ripoff (from Charles Garnsey). … Uhlsport have some quasi-Adidas stripes on the shoulders of Iran’s kits (from Josh Hinton). … Bleacher Report posted a few mock-ups of what international kits would look like if they took their design cues from national flags (from @TheSportzBucket).