Auction Action, Basketball Edition

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The final installment of the Uni Watch Power Rankings is now up and running. Thanks for a fun week, everyone.

Meanwhile: Our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running their annual Basketball Hall of Fame auction, and there’s lots of primo stuff. Let’s take a look:

• Man, the NBA sure had some garish all-star jerseys in 1991. (You can see the full auction listings for these jerseys here and here.)

• Speaking of all-star gear, did you know the Warriors’ classic “The City” jersey was the basis for the 1967 all-star design? Check it out (full listing).

• Speaking of the Warriors from that era, check out this killer warm-up jacket (full listing).

• One more Warriors item: a retired number banner shaped like a jersey (full listing).

• Oh man, look at this gorgeous baby blue Lakers shooting shirt. Kinda wish they’d included a comma for “10,000,” though (full listing).

• Speaking of shooting shirts, I really like this old Florida State piece, which was worn by Dave Cowens (full listing).

• Old Harlem Globetrotters jerseys that show up for auction are usually blue, but here’s one that’s white (full listing).

• Here’s something I’ve never seen in an auction before (or maybe I just never noticed): an old NCAA championship net (full listing).

• Yeesh, what a mess of a warm-up jacket (full listing).

• And here’s a classy one to go out on: Look at this gorgeous Jerry West jersey (full listing).

Want to see more? You can browse the entire auction catalog here.

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Web chat reminder: I’ll be doing a live web chat on ESPN today at 3pm Eastern. It will take place here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: New logo for New York City taxis. ”¦ New logo for Microsoft, too. … Good article about Nike’s role in college football (from Steve Valdez). … Kyle Mackie, citing a source he identified to me privately, says USC’s shoes and socks will likely be changing from black on black to gray on white. I asked USC’s info department for confirmation and got “We can neither confirm nor refute.” Draw your own conclusions. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: If you’ve always been wanting to see an infinite regression on the Dolphins’ helmets, look here (and if you end up having a seizure, send the bill to Scott Jamison). ”¦ Yorvit Torrealba, newly acquired by the Blue Jays, was still wearing his Rangers gear the other day. Note the red trim on the chest protector and the Rangers font on his helmet number (good spot by Kevin Kennaley). ”¦ Yesterday I mentioned that sex columnist Dan Savage had worn a T-shirt featuring a football helmet with a unicorn logo during a debate about gay marriage. That prompted Buzz Brazelton to inform me that there’s a high school team in Texas called the Unicorns. “They are very touchy about it, too!” he says. … Here’s a quiz on English soccer kits (from Anthony Nuccio). … New logo set for Chico State (from Joshua Knudson). … Here’s a slideshow of the 10 weirdest retired numbers in the NBA (from Duncan Wilson). … The Eagles will wear their BFBS alts on Oct. 28 against the Falcons (from Matt Dubroff). … Here’s the best sports illustration you’ll see today. That’s a Minnesota football illo — from the 1890s! (Great find by Jay Sullivan.) ”¦ Interesting video from Utah athletic director Chris Hill about the school’s Native American iconography (from Trent Knaphus). ”¦ Kevin Malarkey and his wife are expecting their first child. “Since I’m from Philadelphia and both my wife and I are Phillies fans, this baby blanket seemed like a natural,” he says. “Check out the stirrups — this bear Gets Itâ„¢!” ”¦ “Just sat down to watch this week’s episode of Hard Knocks and there was a Reebok sighting during the coach’s press conference,” notes Steven Wojtowicz. ”¦ A-Rod has worn Nikes for years. So what was he doing in an Adidas track suit? (From James Samel.) ”¦ Whoa, check out the uniforms worn by the 1976 San Diego Breakers! That’s a volleyball team, incidentally (nice find by Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Has anyone else noticed this? Now that the NFL’s sponsorship deal with Motorola has expired, NFL headsets are unbranded. A rare victory over logo creep, at least until they find a new sponsor. ”¦ Speaking of logo creep, here’s a puzzler for you: Last night it occurred to me that Ray Lewis has now worn four different makers’ marks while playing for the same team. Can any other NFL player, past or present, match that? (And no, I don’t know the answer — I’m just putting it out there.) ”¦ Good DIY project by Tom M., who made himself a 1967 Danny Abramowicz Saints jersey. “It is a recycled vintage durene jersey with twill numbers and stripes from Eastern Lettering,” he says. “The numbers needed considerable trimming to get the skinny look of the 1967 Southland Athletic typeface. This will be added to my equipment room along with the 1967 Jim Taylor (fat numbers) and the Kilmer (skinny numbers).”

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Phil is taking a breather this weekend, so webmaster Johnny Ek will once again handle Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be back on Monday. See you then.

Power Rankings FAQ

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Paul here, back in the saddle after a month away. It was good to have a break, but it’s even better to be back.

Day Four of the Uni Watch Power Rankings is now up for your enjoyment (or vitriol, as the case might be). Meanwhile, lots of you have had questions and comments about the Power Rankings, so today I’ve prepared an FAQ-ish entry to address some of the most common queries that have come up this week:

Why did you do a big list? I thought you didn’t like lists.
It’s true that I generally avoid lists and rankings, because I think a list-based approach to, well, anything is too easy, too lazy. But when one of my ESPN editors proposed this project to me, I embraced it right away, because it’s not just any old list — it’s the list, the ur-list. I liked the audaciousness of it, the apples/oranges/kumquats-ness of it. Along the way, I learned a few things, because the project forced me to think about certain aspects of the uni-verse in ways that I hadn’t before.

Is each team’s ranking based on some sort of numerical point total?
No. Although I occasionally wrote that a team “earned bonus points” or “lost points” for this or that, those terms are just colloquialisms. There was no actual points system, no checklist, no mathematical formula, no algorithm. There was just my opinion.

Once you actually sat down to begin the project, how did you do it? Like, did you arrange 122 index cards on a bulletin board or what?
In retrospect, index cards on a board, or maybe Post-its on a wall, would have been a good approach, but I didn’t think of that. Instead, since I knew the project was going to be spread out over the course of five days, I set up a blank chart on my computer — 122 rows by five columns, with each column representing one of the five ranking quintiles (1-25, 26-50, 51-75, 76-100, and 101-122). Then I put every team in one of the five columns, based solely on my gut feeling of which quintile it belonged in. That was my starting point — I wanted to see if the teams ended up roughly evenly distributed across the five columns. For the most part, they did.

Then I began looking at photos to make sure that my gut feelings matched up with reality. This led to reassigning certain teams to a higher or lower quintile, until I was satisfied that each team was in its proper grouping area.

Then I started to arrange the teams within each quintile. Doing the best and the worst seemed easiest, so I did those two quintiles first. Then second-best and second-worst, and then the middle. During all of this, I kept looking at photos, which led to a countless small ranking adjustments. Frankly, I could have kept tweaking the rankings forever, but at some point I had to say, “Okay, that’s it.”

The last step was writing the little comments for each team, which was a shitload of work. As any writer will tell you, writing short is way, way harder than writing long.

Why did you format each segment from top to bottom, instead of putting the worst teams on top?
We thought about doing it that way. In the end, we decided that there was a lot of symbolic value in having the No. 1 team at the very top of the chart and the No. 122 team at the very bottom. So we formatted each individual quintile in ascending order, even though the quintiles themselves are being rolled out in descending order. I agree that it’s an imperfect format; maybe we’ll change it when we update the rankings.

Hey, speaking of updating the rankings, when will that happen?
Next year at this same time, at the latest. And maybe sooner, if events warrant. I confess I’m a bit spooked about this — like, what am I going to write for all the teams that make no uni changes? Hmmm.

Why didn’t you include MLS teams?
Because (a) I’m too soccer-ignorant to write authoritatively about MLS uniforms and (b) like it or not, MLS is not on the same level as the Big Four. I don’t mean that as a knock; it’s just reality.

How could you rank the Edmonton Oilers so low? That’s crazy!
The consensus among readers seems to be that the Oilers, ranked at No. 104, have been my biggest miscall so far. And frankly, upon reflection, I agree — I got very hung up on the fact that their logo (which is the centerpiece of all their jerseys) is badly outdated, but I probably overreacted to that. I still think they have some aesthetic issues to address, but they deserved to be ranked higher.

How could you rank [some team] so low, and [some other team] so high? That’s crazy!
I’m sure persuasive arguments could be made for revising certain teams’ rankings. Aside from the Oilers, though, I’m pretty comfortable with where everyone landed.

Why did you rank the Nets based on their New Jersey uniforms?
There was no other choice. As of today, that’s still their uni set. I’ve seen the new uniforms that’ll be unveiled in September, but (a) I’m not allowed to discuss them until the unveiling, and (b) I only saw them once and don’t remember enough details to fully evaluate them. This was just an unfortunate but unavoidable case of bad timing.

This whole thing is bogus, because you’re biased against some things (purple, BFBS, etc.) and biased in favor of other things (old-school design, green, etc.). You can’t have legitimacy with bias!
This is basically an argument against the whole notion of aesthetic criticism. Every music critic has a baseline set of standards, likes, and dislikes; every restaurant critic has a baseline set of standards, likes, and dislikes; and so on (and I should know, because I’ve worked as a music critic and a restaurant critic). The point is not whether I have certain aesthetic predispositions or tastes; the point is how I harness and articulate those tastes in the pursuit of my work.

Now, if you don’t like the whole idea of aesthetic criticism, then the Uni Watch Power Rankings aren’t for you (and neither is Uni Watch itself). And that’s fine. But it also means you’re rejecting the entire world of aesthetic critique. That’s fine too, but it means you and I are living on different planets, so maybe we shouldn’t have lunch.

As for the term “legitimacy,” I honestly don’t know what that means for a situation like this. The Power Rankings are no more (or less) “legitimate” than anything else I’ve ever written. Everyone is free to embrace them or dismiss them (or, most likely, something in between those two poles), just like anything else I write.

Your rankings are so predictable. Everyone knows you like [whatever] and don’t like [whatever]. Where’s the element of surprise?
No offense, but my job here is not to surprise anyone. My job is to offer my honest assessments. If you’ve followed my work long enough to have a sense of my tastes, that’s flattering — thanks. But you’re basically accusing me of being consistent (which is also flattering, actually, so thanks again).

Keep in mind, incidentally, that the Power Rankings are also being read by lots of people who’ve never even heard of Uni Watch before this week. So for them, there are plenty of surprises.

The term “Power Rankings” implies the use of objective criteria, like the criteria used for ESPN.com’s MLB Power Rankings, NFL Power Rankings, etc. How can you call it “Power Rankings” if it’s based on one person’s subjective opinions?
We used the term “Power Rankings” because (a) it already has currency with ESPN.com readers and (b) it’s fun. Obviously, a uniform doesn’t have any “power,” so our use of the term “Power Rankings” admittedly entails a bit of creative license. If you think this somehow ruins or compromises the project, that’s certainly your prerogative.

For what it’s worth, I think the more “objective” power rankings lists are pretty silly too. Which team is the most “powerful”? The one that wins the last game of the season.

Are you aware that Dave Dameshek at NFL.com ripped off your idea? How can he get away with that?!
I heard this from a lot of people. The timing was certainly suspicious: Dameshek’s rankings went live last Friday afternoon; mine went live the following Monday morning.

My first reaction, as I posted in the comments a few days ago, was, “Eh, whatever. The concept of ranking all 122 uniform sets isn’t proprietary or exclusive. Dameshek’s free to do it, and so is anyone else.” (Frankly, the bigger surprise is that nobody had ever done it before.)

I’ve since been told by people who listen to Dameshek’s podcast (which I’ve never heard myself) that he announced his project back in July. So the fact that two such similar projects rolled out at almost the same moment appears to be a genuine coincidence. Or in the words of reader Dave Gilmore, who says he’s a fan of both Uni Watch and Dameshek, “I believe this is an Armageddon/Deep Impact situation.”

(Incidentally, several of Dameshek’s readers have accused me of ripping off his idea. A few of these people have peppered their emails with comments like “Leave this stuff to the professionals” and “You wish you had his job.” Uh, right.)

That’s about it, at least from my end. Do you have additional questions that I didn’t address? Feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond. Also, I’ll be doing a live web chat on ESPN tomorrow at 3pm Eastern.

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Duck Season: Oregon’s uni unveiling yesterday pretty much confirmed what we already knew, so no biggie either way. Personally, I always liked the winged jerseys from the past few years (and I said so right from the start), but I don’t care for this feathered-shoulder design at all — looks way too cartoon-ish to me and feels like overkill. Disappointing.

Looking forward to seeing how many helmets they end up rolling out. Until then, though, yesterday’s announcement was dog bites man.

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Membership update: A new batch of cards has been added to the membership card gallery (including Seth Wiley’s handsome Kansas basketball treatment, shown at right). The printed/laminated versions of these cards should mail out either tomorrow or Monday. My thanks to everyone for their patience as we caught up with the flood of “Get in before the price hike” orders.

As always, you can get your own membership card by signing up here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Ah, back to the Ticker after a month away from it. Where shall we start? How about this: College football logos are now available on Pop-Tarts (from Dave Wilson). ”¦ High school football zebras in Oregon can use blue penalty flags — to promote prostate cancer awareness, of course — for games in mid-September (from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ A kindergartner in Oklahoma was forced by his principal to turn his Michigan shirt inside-out (rare non-hockey contribution from John Muir). ”¦ Bit of a tiff over the city logo in Steubenville, Ohio, which is facing a legal challenge because it contains Christian symbology (from Yancy Yeater). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: More on the video-game leak of the Knicks’ new uniforms here. … And while we’re at it, here’s a video leak of the Nets’ new uni. That’s pretty close to what I recall being shown at the NBA offices last winter. … Sex columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage and marriage equality opponent Brian Brown squared off last week in a dinner table debate on the subject of gay marriage. The uni-notable aspect of this is that Savage chose to wear a T-shirt featuring a football helmet with a unicorn logo for the occasion. You can see video of the whole debate here. … The Memphis Redbirds will uniforms honoring a local children’s hospital this Saturday (from Kevin Eckhoff). … Louisiana-Lafayette football will wear a memorial decal showing a girl riding her bicycle, in memory of a student who was murdered back in May. She was last seen riding off on her bike (from Jarrad Tauzin). … NFL headset technology is making the leap from analog to digital (from Jarrod Leder). ”¦ The Seahawks will wear white over gray tomorrow. The gray still just looks like it needs a laundering to me (from Jerry Gardner, Jr.). ”¦ Rangers starter Derek Holland, who’s usually a pajamist, wore (backwards) stirrups last night. ”¦ Speaking of the Rangers, remember those horrific two-tone helmets they briefly considered wearing? They apparently saved them, because now they’re showing up at youth camps (from Nolan Brett). ”¦ The Phils and Reds wore throwbacks last night. ”¦ Ian Stewart designed his own “I Still Call It Pac Bell” T-shirt (and, as you can see, is a card-carrying member of Uni Watch). ”¦ Hmmm, not bad for the first day back. It’s like riding a bike.

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I’ve said it a few times already but it bears repeating: Doubleplusthanks to Phil and all his contributors for their great work over the past month. And Phil has asked me to thank all of you who had kind words for him in the comments yesterday. Uni Watch: It’s one big lovefest (at least until the next debate over gray facemasks).

What a Ducky Way to End My Month

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By Phil Hecken

Paul’s third installment of the “Uni Watch Power Rankings” is now available for your enjoyment.

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Whew — the long, national nightmare of me filling in for Paul ends today. Trust me, no one is happier Paul will be retaking the reins of Uni Watch than yours truly. It was a long, fun month, and I couldn’t have done it without the great support of the entire Uni Watch readership (and too many guest writers and correspondents to even name). Major props to Ricko, Morris Levin and everyone who contributed an article, a ticker mention, a letter to the NBA, a suggestion, barb or even quip. As Paul is wont to say, “You’re all aces.” Thanks to one and all.

And what a better way to return the rightful place of Paul at the helm than to have Oregon introduce their new uniform set (at least that’s the plan, it’s not a 100% certainty) — I can almost smell tomorrow’s lede…and it won’t have my by-line on it. Today, dear friends, the U of O is supposed to break out their next iteration of uniforms — the team that broke the mold and set the standard (can I use more cliches?) for the craze that is multiple uniforms and multiple helmets is set to do it again. After a decade of innovation and crazy designs (both aesthetic and technological), Nike University will give us a look at their newest set.

In a way, the unveiling will be almost anti-climactic, because the new set is essentially what they wore in the Rose Bowl, only with different colors (so far, they’ve shown us black, white, thunder [green] and lightning [yellow], but who knows if that’s all they have in store). Gone are the “Bellotti Bold” fonts that graced Oregon’s unis for several years. In are much more legible numbers and even more sweatboxes polygons. What else is new?

With the last iteration, Nike introduced gray to their colorscheme — setting off another trend in NCAAFB. Will there be more gray in the new sets? In addition to the rather drab, almost olive Rose Bowl green, it looks like they’ve added in a much brighter and shiner kelly green to the mix — and we all know the kids love shiny things. Speaking of shiny things, in that Rose Bowl, Nike also introduced a pretty funky chrome helmet — when they do unveil, they’ll add green one — will there be more? We’ll just have to wait and see.

When I started writing for Uni Watch in 2008, I knew and loved Oregons uniforms, but I didn’t know much about college football (I still don’t, but I know more today than I did then). Still, I’ve always waited with baited breath to see “what would Oregon do next?” I don’t have quite that same sensation today, but I’m still pumped — kind of like Mac fans must have felt whenever Steve would debut a new Apple product — it’ll be something we never knew we needed or wanted. Yes, I’ll admit to drinking the Duck Kool Aid years ago, and I’ve been addicted to quack ever since. It doesn’t seem like today’s expected unveil will be quite the mindfuck it’s been in years past, but I’m still looking forward to the fashion show. And if they do introduce today, someone else gets to write about it tomorrow.

So, I’ll end today’s final lede (and possibly the shortest of the entire monthlong run) on that note. Below I’ll have a few updates on what’s going to take place on the weekends this fall and beyond — there will be some changes and some returning faces. Paul back on weekdays…me on the weekends — yeah, it’s much better that way. Thanks for humoring me the past month — it’s been ducky.

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“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

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Y’know, some days you gotta keep going no matter what…

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 34

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms (or until Paul takes back the weekdays…so this may be it for a while).

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

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Jeff Mayer tips us wise to this entertaining op-ed on the NBA’s evils. It’s a good article, and worth the read. Some of the more potent prose:

Advertising on the uniforms … will become an NBA staple starting in the 2013-’14 season when two-inch-by-two-inch sponsorship patches will be sewn onto the jersey of each player in the league. It is, clearly, the first step to turning every future LeBron and Kobe and Carmelo into something looking like your basic stock car, church bulletin or minor-league outfield fence.

Baseball’s pitching rubbers will be made to look like tubes of anti-fungal cream, football’s end zones will be painted to look like Snickers bars, hockey’s goalies’ pads will be fashioned to look like so much canned fruit. And even your basic college experience, which is supposed to evoke images of ivy-covered walls and not barkers along a midway, will feel more like an infomercial than a sporting exercise.

And a bit of disheartening (at least on the surface) news comes from Greg Kupka, who reports, “Either the NBA has gotten tired of our emails or the Adam Silver (asilver@NBA.com) address wasn’t supposed to be public. Just got a “return to sender” saying my letter violated their “email policy.” I guess their policy is now to just ignore the fans outright.”

Fuckers.

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Now, one last letter to the NBA:

David Firestone:

As a long-time American sports fan, and a traditionalist in American sports uniforms, I was shocked and appalled by the NBA’s recent announcement that starting in 2013, small sponsor patches would be implemented. I am of the belief that tradition of sponsor-free uniforms should be upheld.

The theory that teams would benefit from “sponsor revenue” makes no sense whatsoever, when you take into account all of the revenue teams get from merchandise, concessions, stadium naming rights, ticket sales, and commercial sponsorship. Furthermore, there is a soft salary cap in place, which keeps teams within the $58.44 million dollar rage, and players frequently get sponsorship deals for basketball shoes, and other equipment. Any team that needs to sell ad space on uniforms to “increase revenue” is either poorly run, or needlessly greedy.

An arguement can be made that association football, or “soccer” as Americans refer to it has numerous sponsors on uniforms at the professional levels, and that teams can earn a lot of revenue from these sponsorships. That argument, while valid, flies in the face of tradition. Did Dr. J, Wilt Chamberlin play with Chevy ads on their jerseys? Did Pistol Pete Maravich, Bill Russell, or Jerry West play with Budweiser logos on their chest? Did Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, or Magic Johnson sport Pepsi on their uniforms? Of course they didn’t!

That takes me to another point. The uniform ads can and will come into conflict with personal sponsorships that players have. For example, LeBron James is endorsement by McDonalds, and let’s say the Miami Heat get a sponsor patch for Burger King. What would happen there? Derrick Rose has an endorsement from Powerade, and what would happen if the Chicago Bulls got sponsored by Gatorade? At what point would the team sponsorship take a lucrative endorsement out of a player’s pocket? It really doesn’t seem fair to me to take money from an individual because the team wants an endorsement from a rival.

Please, we need to stop this uniform sponsorship rule from being implemented!

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure. Don’t let the crusade stop during my absence — Paul may not continue this segment, but it doesn’t mean that the fight is over!

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Looking Ahead…

I return to the weekends beginning over the Laborious Day Holiday weekend, so that means we’re back with some of the “favorites” that haven’t been seen for a while, and, as mentioned above, there will be a few changes.

”£”ŠBenchies will return to the weekends, and Ricko will (of course) still be doing it.

”£”ŠColorize This! will be back, and better than ever — our stalwarts Gary Chanko, George Chilvers and John Turney, plus a few others, have already sent in submissions. They’re fantastic.

”£”ŠUni Concepts will also return with a vengeance, as a few of you submitted over the past month, and I had a few left over from before I switched to weekdays — keep them coming!

”£”ŠUni Tracking, which made a very brief appearance just prior to Paul’s summer break, will also be back — if you’ve been tracking the uniform combinations and machinations of your favorite baseball teams, begin sending in those reports just before the Labor Day holiday, so they’ll be up to date — and I’ll be sure to run them.

”£”ŠSunday Morning Uni Watch, ably undertaken by Terry Duroncelet last fall, will again return for the college football season.

”£ The Duck Tracker, started three years ago by Mike Princip (examples here and here), and adopted last year by Jake Hurley (see here), will be taken over by Tim E. O’Brien for 2012. Tim’s already got his template ready, and he will always have it ready for us on Sunday mornings following a Ducks game this fall. Tim is also tracking other college teams, although those will remain on his board.

”£ After 27 years of faithful service, Jim Vilk will be retiring from his College Football 5 & 1 duties, citing exhaustion, dementia and an overbearing weekend editor. He’ll grace us with one final salvo on opening weekend (and he’ll stick around for a few 5 & 1’s here and there, mostly for college hoops and figure skating). I have found an able replacement for him in Catherine Ryan, who served as one of my Olympic Correspondents this summer. We may break her in with a “dueling 5 & 1” along with Jim on opening weekend, before she assumes the duties full-time.

”£ Stirrup “Fridays” will become a feature on the weekends, as I will feature those dedicated revolutionaries who sport stirrups on Fridays (like Coleman Mullins just did with the Pack). Make sure you send me in a picture of your Friday rups and a brief blurb on what team they are and why (as if you needed a reason) you chose those particular rups. Don’t have any rups? Well, then make sure you pay Comrade Robert Marshall a visit (e-mail him at rpmarshallart@gmail.com and he will provide you with a pair or three of the hosiery of the revolution.

”£ “50 Years Ago”, Ricko’s look-back at the college football “Game of the Week” from 50 years ago will also make a re-appearance.

Plus, there will be the usual non-recurring surprises and some gags, goofs and features. Make sure if you read during the week, you stick around for the weekends as well. It’s gonna be a great fall!

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: Both Jeff La Haie, who noted Tuesday night “Tim Lincecum pictured in Giants dugout wearing wrong hat during the game. Not unusual to see players wearing their Sunday caps instead of similar BP caps during pre-game, but never seen someone wearing it during game.” and David Taub, who wrote “Wrong Cap Lincecum!” spotted Cy Lincecum in the wrong lid. … Terry Mark saw this Indiana basketball: So, what’s in a uniform number? article in the Indy Star. … While Chuck Beech remarks this “Article from April on possible Ole Miss alt helmets; I did a quick search to see if this has been previously submitted, and if so, sorry,” neither Paul nor I could remember them being shown on UW. … For all the crazy alts and helmets Notre Dame has, Jerry Kulig doesn’t think this helmet on ND Media Guide will ever be worn. Fortunately. … John Fusco Went to the Wilmington (DE) Blue Rocks game the other night and noticed the ENTIRE team (including bat boy) was High Socked and Stirrupped. The downside was a pinstriped shirt with plain white pants. (Which may be hard to see in the photo…Sorry, only a cell phone!) They’ve recently been wearing stripped stirrups as their standard uni as well. … “Buried in this article it mentions my alma mater is getting Wounded Warrior Project uniforms for a game on ESPN2,” writes Christopher Ashley. “They use Under Armor for the regular unis so, I am guessing UA will do these also.” … It sounds like Georgia Tech could be getting new uniforms from Russell that were designed by someone other than Russell, says Brent Beck. Brent also notes, “I submitted a helmet design that I made myself with no response from GT.” … Paul will of course be back tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from sending this my way yesterday: “Just what the world needs: Nike’s first sneaker priced over $300.” … Two stories from Chris Mahr today: 1) Jeff Samardzija Gives Thumbs Down to New ND Unis; and 2) Maryland’s Crazy Football Helmets Back in 2012?. … Speaking of “new” helmets, is this a “new” helmet for UW? (Thanks to Jake Moorhead, I think, for that). … “Nice little slide show for the Top 14 (French) rugby league,” writes Josh Jacobs. … After the NY Rangers traded for Rick Nash their media people quickly mocked up a calendar wallpaper with him in NYR gear, notes Alexis Melendez. “Only problem is they used a pic of Brad Richards (including his gloves, gear) and were even too lazy to remove his name and number off of the stick. Also take a look at Nash’s ”˜61’. It looks like they took Richards’ ”˜19’ and flipped it, also not fixing the drop-shadows going to wrong direction.” … Good spot from Kenneth Guckenberger, who asks “Has anybody commented on the size of the numerals on the new Nike uniforms? I know in Denver, they look tiny. No way the announcers are going to be able to tell between a 6 and an 8. I think they even looked smaller in the new orange jerseys.” They look fine to me, but Jim Vilk is already penning his “AMEN BROTHER” reply. … Robert Silverman asks if these are the new Knicks unis? “Taken from an NBA13K screen shot. The article points out that they could also be a placeholder. The non-contiguous shoulder piping is problematic, but looks like a fine retirn to form.” … “Coachie Ballgames” loved yesterday’s debate on franchise identity and civic prideand writes, “Thought you might dig this post I wrote awhile back about how the far more democratic system soccer-playing countries use ensures that cities keep their teams. Also discuss the one exception of a team that moved in England.” … Great play on words from Jay Sullivan, who intones “Red Sox in 6” (in honor of Johnny Pesky). “Even the Angels participated in the tribute wearing a patch on their chest.” (thanks to José Niebla). More photos here. … Rudy Gutierrez says, “So you know how Drew got traded to the A’s, I guess his D-backs bats come with him.” … Here’s a full gallery of Iowa uniforms, sent in by Jack Coyier, who adds, “Looks like the new throwback helmet.” … “According to Darren Rovell at ESPN, this will be the student shirt available for the Badgers this upcoming football season,” writes Johnny Okray. “So many things wrong with it. The twitter handle on back, of course… but the three stripes making up the face mask is corporate douchebaggery at its finest.” … And finally (FINALLY!!!), Keenan Bailey sends a link to a “Uni Watch inspired article” (his words, not mine).

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Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnddddddd that, folks, is THE wrap!

Thanks again to everyone — each submitter, correspondent, helper, writer, and reader — for making the past month run so smoothly. Honestly, I don’t know how Paul keeps this up on a daily basis, but all I can say is we’re all the richer for it. You guys enjoy this fine Wednesday, the rest of the week, weekend and next week — and I’ll be back with more weekend shenanigans over the Labor Day weekend, as we kick off the College Football Season. It’s been a blast, but now I need my UW vacation. Back atcha soon. Cheers & Peace.

~~~

“I’m annoyed that my taxes go up because of lots of things that I don’t personally like. Unless you’re Paul Ryan, and looking to re-write our society from the ground up in some sort of Ayn Rand fantasy, that’s a really tough argument to make.”
—Chance Michaels

What if The Browns Called Baltimore Home?

Screen Shot 2012-08-20 at 9.50.35 PM

By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson and Jerry Wolper

Day Two of Paul’s “Uni Watch Power Rankings” is now up and running.

Meanwhile: We’re going to go a bit “off-uni” today, during my penultimate weekday post during Paul’s well-deserved hiatus. And by off-uni, I mean that the subject matter deals primarily with something besides the “Obsessive Study of Athletic Aesthetics.” That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not a subject we haven’t broached on Uni Watch before. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to explore for some time.

“Civic vs. Corporate,” for lack of a better phrase — or, to what extent do the owners of a professional sports franchise “owe” the fans of a certain city? It’s a subject that frequently gets brought up when we speak of the Cleveland Browns precedent of relocation to Baltimore, but not being allowed to take any of the uniforms, colors, logos, records, etc. with them — in essence, creating an expansion franchise with an existing team. But franchise relocation and name changes (or keeping names) have been going on for decades. Do the Dodgers belong to Brooklyn or Los Angeles? Do the A’s belong to Philadelphia, Kansas City or Oakland? What about the Senators/Nationals? And that’s just baseball.

dodgermoveDo teams “belong” to the cities that have loved and supported them for decades — and should their names and records remain a permanent part of that city forever — or are they, like any other business, free to move and take all of their property (and the cachet the franchise name carries) with them if they move? Is there even a concrete, pat answer, or do circumstances dictate the proper course of action? Although I was not alive when it happened, New York lost both the Dodgers and Giants in the same year, and I feel no attachment to either team — but my Dad lived and bled Dodger Blue, so of course, he was affected in 1958 and beyond. Before he died last year, I asked him if he felt any ‘attachment’ to the Dodgers (of course he did), but did I think the Mets should have been allowed to take the Dodger name or records when they were born in 1962 (of course not). Why then, did Cleveland make such a stink about the Browns? What is it that drives fans and fan bases to feel “their” team should never be allowed to leave, and if they do, no other team should ever be allowed to have their name and colors?

It’s a debate that re-opens itself in strange places, and following articles that sometimes have nothing to do with “Corporate” or “Civic” entreaties. And a good example of this can be found in the first comment string of this article. Emotions get heated, and we get arguments like the following:

The Baltimore Colts ended when they moved to Indianapolis and the franchise SHOULD have changed its name. I’m not looking at the accounting books or the legalities, etc., but at the notion of a club representing a city or region. You move: you assume a new identity. It’s just the civil thing to do, right?

or

Why? Should the Raiders have changed their named when they went to LA? Then changed it again when they went back to Oakland? What about the Rams? They were in Cleveland first. The Los Angeles Rams should’ve never existed? Should the LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants should have different names as well?

and finally

I believe you are looking at this from a legal and economic point of view. The business side. The side of the team ownership.

I am looking at it from an emotional point of view. The psychological side. The side of the fan left in the wake.

There are more impassioned pleas than this, of course, but for better or for worse, I feel it’s a debate worth having. I have on several occasions entered this debate, and I’ll conclude this segment with my own views. But first, today, I’m joined by Jerry Wolper and Rick Pearson (whose birthday is today, dontcha know?), who will debate the “Civic vs. Corporate” responsibilities team have and should consider with regard to the cities (and their fans) in which they play. And to what extent those teams “owe” their fans should they ultimately consider relocation. We’ll begin with Ricko:

~~~

It is what it is.

This entire discussion always turns into a classic Subjective/Objective, Emotion/Logic, Truth/Fact confrontation. That means, of course, that it never will be resolved except to go with, “Okay, what does it say on paper? What’s the law?”

“But that takes the spirit out of it,” you claim with alarm. Yes, it does. It’s supposed to. That’s the whole point of many rules, regulations and laws. They provide benchmarks to resolve issues that sometimes get emotional. Justice wears a blindfold, not a team jersey.

What a privately held professional team accomplishes, what it wears, its “heraldry”, et al, are its property, a part of its equity…for whatever they’re worth. They belong to the organization that paid for them, even individual records by dint of having paid those who amassed them. Unless some sort of agreement is made to the contrary such as the Cleveland Browns anomaly, if a team/franchise relocates those things go with them. A new team nickname doesn’t change that. As long as that company continues to exist, such things are part of its holdings, whether used or not. Sure, the owners can surrender them if they choose. But they certainly have no legal obligation to do so, and neither can ownership of those things simply be appropriated.

SenatorsMoveUsing the recent Nationals throwback event as an example, the fact is that the team/franchise that left town after the 1960 season won the 1924 World Series. Not the city of Washington. Not its people. The team/franchise won it; the people watched. That’s fact. “But, but, but…” But, nothing. That’s fact.

“Okay, how about cities helping pay for ballparks, etc.” So? One way or another, the state of Minnesota shoved millions upon millions of dollars at Northwest Airlines over the years. And it isn’t alone in such efforts. Local and state governments choose to sort of “co-invest” in private businesses all the time for the public good. But that doesn’t mean they gain any ownership in them. What the community gains are the benefits””real or perceived””for as long as the assistance aids the company.

“Fan”, of course, is derived from “fanatic”, a clear indication that emotion rather than logic is likely to lead any discussion from them. That’s why, for those arguments to the contrary of objective/logical/factual, we can pretty much do a universal copy-paste-replace using, “But it’s what I want.” That’ll work just fine (and save time) because it’s essentially the core of virtually every argument they make.

. . . . .

And now to Jerry:

~~~

This is a complicated question.

Somebody owns the intellectual property. It hasn’t always been important, though. Many NFL teams borrowed the local baseball team’s nickname (the Giants are the only survivor). When the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis, they didn’t change their name, and the baseball team didn’t take action. Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres were all in use by minor league teams (and major, briefly, in Baltimore) before the current major league clubs adopted them.

Now, when apparel sales are such a big part of the business, those rights are more valuable.

If the problem is individual owners hoarding their intellectual property, the league or its Properties subsidiary can actually own the logos and uniform designs and then license them back to the team. They could even own records if it’s important. It’s not much different than the NFL owning a local exhibition broadcast where the rights have been sold by the team and the station produces the broadcast.

baltimore_colts_movingThe larger issue, though, is the emotional one. Part of what makes sports what they are is the shared civic experience, and that doesn’t move with a franchise. (Phil suggests, correctly, that it’s different in a multi-team market where part of the city isn’t along for the ride.) The 1964 NFL Championship works well as an odd example because the winner ended up in the loser’s city, but no Cleveland or Baltimore fan thinks of it that way, and no Indianapolis fan really cares. No LA Dodger fan could ever feel the excitement for the 1955 Dodgers finally winning a Series that Phil’s pop and other Brooklyn fans did. Similarly, the name Rick Monday will never disgust Nationals fans the way it does Montreal fans. And I doubt that Kirk Gibson’s homer caused much special response in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, or Kansas City.

In 1996, I flew out of and back into Pittsburgh between the AFC championship game and Super Bowl. USAir, which had a hub there at the time, allowed their agents to wear Steeler sweatshirts instead of airline uniforms if they so desired, and I enjoyed seeing that as I walked down the concourse. (I’d probably have appreciated similar Cowboy apparel if I’d flown through DFW.) This kind of civic response has nothing to do with ownership, any more than the local lingerie shop that puts a Terrible Towel in the window with the bras when the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. It’s just a kind of pride that no other local business generates, and it doesn’t move with the franchise.

These emotional ties are what make logos and team names valuable. Time and accomplishment have an effect, too. I don’t know that there are many Clevelanders who still have an attachment to the Cleveland Rams’ legacy, but the Browns’ success in much more recent times matters there. Yeah, there’s something to be said for consistency, but the NFL also means a lot more now, and even when the Browns joined it, than it did when the Rams were in Cleveland.

There are several statues outside the ballpark in San Francisco. All of them are of players who played in San Francisco. It’s not that the organization doesn’t care about what McGraw and Mathewson accomplished, but that history is less important to Bay Area fans than the history that actually happened in the Bay Area. The statue of Johnny Unitas is outside the stadium in Baltimore, and that seems right for fans in Maryland and Indiana.

The 1950s wave of baseball moves was secondary teams in two-team markets moving to be top dog in their own markets, and there was no real reason for the team that stayed behind to adopt their erstwhile competitors’ records in the other league. In other sports, movement was usually because of lack of support. Over time, leagues stabilized, and most moves of the last few decades have had more to do with an owner who couldn’t cut a deal for a new facility than because nobody wanted to watch his team. As we see leagues move back into those abandoned markets, there are many people who fondly remember the team that left, and would like to see the new team adopt the old name and colors.

modell-blameBaltimore would have been thrilled to have the Ravens be the Colts, but it was not to be. Winnipeg, on the other hand, got exactly what it wanted. Because the city of Cleveland was immediately negotiating with the NFL, they were able to officially “keep the history”.

New York is an especially odd case because two NL teams left, so there wasn’t one legacy for the Mets to latch onto, and choosing one would have alienated fans of the other. Hence the blue and orange.

In terms of throwbacks, I think they mean more to the city than the franchise. The Devils might be the rightful owners of the Rockies’ NHL legacy, but there would be a much better response to those sweaters in Denver than there would be in Newark. (Unless there was a game in Kansas City, only the uni-obsessed would get excited about seeing Scouts throwbacks.) Regardless of where you think the Senators’ history belongs, it apparently means more to Washingtonians than to Minnesotans or Texans. And if we say that teams can only throw back within their franchise’s history, does that mean they can’t do Negro League or minor league unis? If the rationale for those is that they’re public domain, can any team wear Minneapolis Millers unis?

If this was about what people want, Seattle basketball fans would still have the Supersonics. What they have instead are memories of Slick Watts and Downtown Freddie Brown and Shawn Kemp and a championship against the Bullets. Oklahoma City fans have their own moments with Durant and Westbrook and Harden, but those are in blue and orange. The green and gold were in Seattle, and those are the fans to whom Sonics history means something, regardless of who owns it legally, or, if the NBA puts another team there, what the new team is called.

Like I said at the top, it’s complicated. I remember reading that when Carroll Rosenbloom traded the Colts for the Rams, he kept the Lombardi Trophy that his team won in Super Bowl V. It was his property, but that didn’t mean that anybody else in LA (or St. Louis now) would feel any pride in that trophy. And while the Ravens, the St. Louis Rams, and the Indy Colts have all won their own trophies since, to the delight of their fans, that SB V trophy means the most in Baltimore, regardless of where it resides now.

~~~

Thanks Rick and Jerry. After all has been said and done, I come down (slightly) on the side of Ricko, but that doesn’t mean Jerry hasn’t made excellent points. There is, of course, no “right” or “wrong” answer here — just opinion. I tend to agree, especially in the early 2000’s, that while we certainly live and die by our teams, franchise relocation, player movement due to free agency, the advent of 24/7 television and the ability to watch any team at virtually any time, there is slightly less “civic” responsibility now than there was back a half a decade ago. But really — one of the best quotes on this matter, offered up by Jim Hamerlinck above, boils the matter down to this:

I believe you are looking at this from a legal and economic point of view. The business side. The side of the team ownership.

I am looking at it from an emotional point of view. The psychological side. The side of the fan left in the wake.

And while it isn’t uni-related, isn’t that really the essence of what this is all about? What say you, dear readers?

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not Benchies

Today is the real “Mick’s” birthday. Even though he’s sixty-six, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t always been funny. Phil, on the other hand, was never funny.

. . . . .

Never mess with the guy who had Phyllis Diller when she was Phyllis Driver…what, too soon?…

birthday benchies 2012

Click to enlarge

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 33

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

~~~

Now, more of your letters to the NBA:

Michael Hall:

I am writing to express my opinion that I feel it will be a mistake if the NBA goes ahead with its decision to add advertising to the uniforms. As a sports fan, I am bombarded with advertising from every direction whether attending the game, watching on TV or listening on the radio. The uniform has been the one saving grace. The uniform is the connection the team has with its fans. It is the one constant that links generations and serves as a timeline for a franchise.

It is most shocking that a league that has been very self aware about its history would make such a misstep. If you go ahead with this decision, I will not spend another dime on anything related to the NBA nor will I continue to support the team that has decided to eliminate this connection with the fans.

One more point to consider… Just for the sake of argument let’s say you made this decision 2+ years ago and allowed BP to sponsor the New Orleans Hornets. How would that have looked if your New Orleans basketball franchise had an emblem for the largest polluter in US history? How would the New York Knicks looked in 2009 with a NYSE logo? How about the Chik-Fil-A Hawks in Atlanta this season? Once you allow an outside entity to alter your image, you are no longer in control of how you are perceived.

I am truly amazed that this is being considered. It is greed in its purest form and it is disgusting.

Please reconsider.

Terry Proctor:

I am a 65-year-old man that grew up and still lives in the Rochester, NY area. I never got to see the Rochester Royals play before they moved to Cincinnati in 1957-58 but was fortunate to meet several Royals stars through my work. I worked for one of Rochester’s premier sporting goods stores from 1967-88. Through my work I met former owner-coach Lester Harrison, Bobby Wanzer, Bobby Davies, Arnie Risen, Arnie Johnson, Al Cervi and George Glamack. All but Davies stayed in Rochester after they retired. Davies was the area sales rep for Converse Shoe Co. Wanzer became men’s basketball coach and athletic director at St. John Fisher College. We sold Bobby Wanzer basketball uniforms for his teams at Fisher. They chose the basic Celtics style in their colors.

I did attend many Buffalo Braves games during their tenure in the Queen City. Although I’m a Celtics fan I would purchase the 10-game ticket plan for the Braves and got to see some wonderful basketball. Through my work I got to go into the Lakers’ dressing room in Buffalo. After the Braves left Buffalo we would go to Toronto a couple of times a year to see the Raptors.

Which brings me to the point of my letter. The store I worked for sold many, many basketball uniforms local high schools, colleges and church-league teams during my years there. And the majority of these uniforms were made using NBA or ABA-style uniforms as the template. The most-popular team uniforms chosen were the Celtics, the Bulls, the Lakers, the Cavaliers multi-striped pattern, the Sonics horizontally-striped short pattern and two Hawks patterns. The original pattern from the 1950s-’60s and the pinstriped trim pattern of 1972-73.

How proud these schools were of their new uniforms. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well with the number of pro-styled uniforms we sold I feel that the schools in the Rochester area were in love with the NBA.

So the very thought of desecrating a Celtics or Lakers or Bulls jersey with an advertising logo (irregardless of size) sickens me. Knowing how influential corporate marketing people can be when offering large sums of money and how some owners (can you say Mark Cuban?) would sell ads on the players’ athletic supporters if they were visible the eventual scenario would evolve to something like this.

The ads start out a 2″ x 2″ on the upper-right chest. But after a year the XYZ Corporation decides that the small ad just isn’t working. So XYZ tells the team that if you let us put a full-size logo on the shirt front in place of your wordmark we’ll up the ante by big bucks. Then ABC Corporation decides that they want to get in the act. ABC offers to pay for their ad on the back of the jersey over the numbers where the name would normally go. And on and on it goes until the pristine Celtics or Lakers or Bulls uniforms end up looking like a bunch of Euro teams where ads are even on the socks and the arse end of the shorts.

Therefore I emplore you to not go down this slippery slope. My fear is that if your league does it then how soon will MLB, the NFL and the NHL follow suit? Your leagues that make up the “Big Four” of North American (and don’t ever forget that your league was born and bred in the USA, not Europe or Asia) professional sports should stay above sullying your classic uniforms with advertising. You and the other three leagues set the standard of competition and prestige in each of your particular sports. Stay at the pinnacle of that sport that we fans have helped you to attain by keeping the uniforms pristine. You really owe us fans something for all our years of support. It’s the least that you can do for us.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

The “Karma Khameleons” are on the clock…

8-21-12 d-Fantasy 1

Click to enlarge

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: We begin today with George Chilvers, who says this is the area for visiting fans at a Polish Second Division football team, Znicz Pruszkow. Yes, he knows its not uni-related, and no, I don’t read Polish. Here is something uni related, also from George: The Premier League Handbook for 2012/2013 which has now been published online. It contains everything you need to know about PL clubs (including registered kits) and the rules they work under. … Tony Crespo says, “I know how a lot readers feel about putting your own last name on the back of a pro team’s jersey(personally think it’s the smartest move in this day and age of free agency), so I can imagine how many people’s head will exploded once they start to see fans putting their Twitter handle on jerseys.” … Ken Singer brings up a point we’ve addressed before, but still continues to generate comments: “I am not if you have addressed this before. It looks like the 49ers field players have two shoulder stripes, the QBs have 3 shoulder stripes and the punter has 0 shoulder stripes. Do you know if there is significance to this? If it was just based on the length of the sleeve the punter should have 3 stripes. The QB pictured is Alex Smith, but Tolzien (no photo) also had 3 stripes, so it is not any kind seniority thing.” … Paul checks in with this: This new SDSU helmet photo has been circulating in recent days. I checked with the school’s media office and was told that this is one of several designs that have been considered for 2012, with a formal announcement expected next week. … Couple rugby kits from Caleb Borchers: “The good news is that Nike did replace the horribly ugly jerseys they gave Argentina for their June Test Series. The bad news is that the replacement is also horribly ugly. Diagonal stripes? Different colored sleeves? Pattern cutting off 2/3rds across the front? They must be missing Adidas.” … John Sheehan sends this: “Thought you’d get a kick out of this (Natty Boh helmet).” That sound you just heard was Robert Marshall beating, um, a path to John’s door. … According to Joshua Ringer, there are new uniforms for Valdosta State (Valdosta, GA). He say they look like the West Virginia-style template. … Paul isn’t the only one making lists. Chris Mahr brings us College Football’s Top 10 Ugliest Helmets. … “No idea where my husband found this, but felt that as infographics go, it’s concise and to the point!” says Ilana Hardesty (I’m guessing Flip Flop Fly Ball, but I’m too lazy to check to be sure). … Two submissions today from Brendan Slattery: Life Magazine (1968). Promo for “NFL Training Table Foods.” and Life Magazine (1968). Bob Lilly strips down for Chap Stick. … Here’s another one I think we had in the ticker before, but I’m not sure we ever got an answer. Ian Henderson asks, here is a “picture which appeared on the marquee of MLB.com’s homepage today. I was curious: what is that object on David Prices’ hat from the fauxback night the Rays hosted a little while back? Is it a pin? A photographic artifact? I was wondering if you could provide any insight as I am curious about its identity.” Anyone? … James Kim notes that at some point, “Everton player #7 Nikica Jelavic lost his NOB and number during yesterday’s match against Man Utd. I’m pretty sure I saw him wearing a proper kit earlier in the game so I’m not sure what happened.” Interestingly, Thom Armitage saw the same thing and here’s his writeup: “Just finished watching ManU/Everton and there was a strange jersey mishap. Croatian Nikica Jelavic, who started the game wearing #7 for Everton, took a nasty elbow to the face around the 60th minute and had to leave the match due to blood on his jersey. This happens quite a bit in the EPL and they just put a backup jersey on and re-enter. For some reason, Jelavic had no backup shirt with his name on it as he came on wearing a blank jersey, creating a strange scene when the camera pulled out to show various players’ backs at once. Had a bit of a rough game, did Jelavic, as he got injured later and had to depart – that was the only closeup I was able to snag off my laptop, somebody with DVR can probably get a better closeup from when he first re-entered the game.” This soccer must be pretty popular because Timothy Burke noted, “Two Everton-Manchester United uniform snafus today — Anderson’s NOB misspelled, and Jelavic had to put on the blood shirt. … Jake Hurley sends a photo of Rockies Rookie Patrick Johnson #17. “In his hands are a pair of white tube socks and a 9 inch pair of my black stirrups. I knew it all along but I proved to myself that it’s much easier to work the minors, especially the Pioneer league.” … “City’s under shirt message,” says Kenny Loo, “Using premiership league’s font article.” One more from Kenny (also seen above): “Man u game Fail NOB” … Clint Richardson notes “The Facebook pictures of all the Kentucky uniforms strike me as odd. All the jerseys have the OLD pennant SEC logo, versus the new circular one, that even Kentucky was sporting not too long ago. Are these old jerseys used for the pictures? Or old pictures just now released?”

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And there you have it. Lots to discuss today — for those of you who don’t like these long posts, fear not, for tomorrow will be my last weekday post on UW for a while (possibly until next Summer). We’ll have part 2 of Paul’s UW Power Rankings shortly, and that will certainly be basis for even more discussion. And of course, don’t forget to wish Ricko a Happy Birthday!. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.

~~~

“The NFL really needs to get over this Los Angeles thing. If they wanted a team in LA, they should have told the city of Cleveland to STFU back in 1996, and the 1999/2002 expansion should have consisted of Houston and Los Angeles.”
—THE Jeff Provo