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America’s Game

By Phil Hecken

The above “video” (please give it a look-see) pretty much covers the history (ok, not really, but it’s been around a while) of the Army/Navy game, which takes place today at 3:00 pm EST (on CBS). I had planned on doing a fairly in-depth writeup, but the above took me about 4 hours to create. And, well, it’s Army/Navy — I’ve covered it before, with a little help from my friends. Even did some coverage back in 2008, when Nike first created special uniforms for the game.

As I’m sure you are all aware, this year, Nike has again created special uniforms for the game.

Army will take the field wearing this costume, which is supposed to pay tribute to 1944, when the Black Knights went undefeated on their way to a national championship. Also of note that year, the Army troops won a historic victory in the Battle of the Bulge. So, the uniform is using that as a “guide.” The numbers and sleeves and helmet stripe will all feature a “map” graphic of the Battle of the Bulge. Here’s a look at the Army uniform:

Navy will be sporting these costumes. Unlike Army, the Naval uniforms don’t seem to be commemorating any special year or event of significance. Basically, they’re solid white (sort of mimicking the officer dress uniform), with an interesting helmet and stickers simulating signal flags, which spell out “Beat Army” (which is kinda neat). Here’s a look at the Navy Uniform:

I’ll reserve judgment on the uniforms until I see them on the field, but so far, I like what I see. I’m not normally a fan of one-off costumes for a “special rivalry game” but Army/Navy actually have a long and deep history of wearing special uniforms (see the first article linked above) for this, “America’s Game.” And if there are any two teams that can actually get away with wearing “Pro Combat” uniforms, well, it’s Army & Navy.

If you still haven’t gotten enough (or aren’t already psyched for this game), Paul wrote a little something about the unis when they were first released. Today, we finally get to see them in action, and not in the computer-generated smokefilled screens of the Nike Studios.

Hope you liked the opening video. Enjoy the game. And Go Navy…Beat Army.

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50 Years Ago This Week

50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Last year, Rick Pearson took us “back in time” to bring us his look at the featured television college football match-up from 50 years ago. (If you’re not familiar with it, this was the inaugural post of “50 Years Ago” from last year — after that, it became a recurring feature on UW for the remainder of the season). Last year, Rick looked at the 1961 season, and fortunately for us, he “uni tracked” the games from 1962 as well, documenting the game via his “kid cards”. Each week this fall, he’ll do the same, again.


62 Wk 14 Card

Dec. 8, 1962…Syracuse 12, UCLA 7 at UCLA on CBS

One more week of the TV season before the bowls. Typically it would be warm weather location. In this case, the Los Angeles Coliseum (Bruins weren’t playing in the Rose Bowl yet)…UCLA typically wore white at home, which meant a rare look at the Syracuse Orangemen’s navy jerseys…Syracuse had those oddly posterior-placed helmet TV numbers…UCLA, of course, was still wearing actual UCLA stripes…The players? This time it’s an outstanding pair. John Mackey, playing wingback (a position slightly more about receiving than running with the ball), had earlier wore #18 and been one of the early cleat “spatters” (along with teammate RB Art Baker)…Mackey went on to a stellar career with the Colts and, briefly, with the Chargers, and was the first TE inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. …Profit also had a long, long career as a star TE, his with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.

. . .

Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always.

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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.

. . . . .

Ever have times when you don’t know whether someone’s serious or just, y’know…odd?

12-8-12 d-kate

Click to enlarge

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all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up is James Lightsey, with a new alt for the Thunder:

Oklahoma_City_Thunder_Alt_Uniform - James Lightsey


Attached is my design for an OKC Thunder alternate jersey I created using MS Paint; I think they should’ve went this route instead of the navy and white throwback-esque “Thud-ner” design. Thanks for your time

James K. Lightsey, Jr.

. . .

Next up is Daniel Easley, who is back with a couple MLB logo concepts:

Miguel Cabrera Triple Crown Concept - Daniel Easley

World Series 12 - Daniel Easley

Dear Mr. Hecken,
I liked seeing my submission in Uni Concepts today. I have more Logo concepts now. One is a logo for Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown (here is the real one). Another is a logo concept for the World Series.


The now 17-year-old Daniel Easley

. . .

We close today with Jacob Bonander with some NCAA concepts:

GT Uniform - Jacob Bonander

Vandy Uniform - Jacob Bonander


I had a couple ideas for some uniforms for two teams that can’t seem to get it right. These are both really basic (I did them in Microsoft Paint), but the general idea is there. I feel that Vanderbilt has one of the classic, cool logos, but they don’t utilize it to it’s potential. This idea is inspired by Nebraska’s recent alternate, but I’d suggest Vandy adopt this one permanently to rid them of their bad all black uni’s. The second is a Georgia Tech uniform. I really like the GT mascot; it’s cool, the logo is always fun to look at, too. While the honeycomb helmet was a nifty idea, I don’t really think it comes across on TV. They need to embrace the yellow jacket/wasp look much more. My idea borrows a mix of Marquette basketball and the Denver Broncos uniforms aspects. I think it shows the yellow jacket look much more clearly.

Just wanted to show the uniform ideas. I know they aren’t crisp like most other submissions, but I think my general idea is conveyed.



. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Stirrup Friday

Stirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

Continuing with the special sets again, since Comrade Marshall has graciously offered the UW rup as a *weekly* prize in the Stirrup Fridays ensemble. So, let’s have a look at the selections this week, and at the end, the winner will be announced:

. . . . .

Jason Bernard

Jason Bernard:


Stirrups: not just for team sports anymore.


. . .

Douglas Ford - Uni Watch 2 in 1s

Douglas Ford:


I can’t wait til tomorrow so I’m wearing these uniwatch hose today AND tomorrow. Give me your mailing address and I’ll send you a pair.

Douglas Ford

[Ed. Note — (a) Uni Watch is generally opposed to two-in-ones, and (b) Uni Watch is two words, not one. Still, awesome job!]

. . .

proletariat - Pete Woychick

CUBA CASTRO - Pete Woychick

Pete Woychick:

Phil & Robert:

Happy Friday


. . .

John Kimmerlein - Bosox

John K:


Classic Red Sox stirrups today. Working through the collection, and have to give a nod to the many years that I lived in Rhode Island, many games at Fenway, and the life-long true fans that supported the team for so long. Not to mention my nephews and niece, who as RI natives, are and should be Sox fans.

And from a purely stylistic view point, I always loved this look, along with the similar styles for the Pirates and Orioles of the same era.


. . .

James Poisso:


Today’s stirrups are Houston Colt .45s stirrups that I am wearing with my new 1949 Brooklyn Bushwicks cap that recently arrived from Ebbets.

James P.

. . .

stacerups - Nate Stewart

naterups  - Nate Stewart diyrups1  - Nate Stewart diyrups2  - Nate Stewart samrups - Nate Stewart

Nathan Stewart:


The height of my baseball skills are showcased here playing tee-ball in 1988. My wife, however, played on the NY state championship softball team at her high school in 1998, but we both look resplendent in stirrups! With heritage like that, I thought it never too early to start teaching our daughter about the importance of wearing high cuffs and stirrups. I could not find a purveyor of toddler stirrups, so I completed this DIY project inspired by the “Mother’s Day” stirrups offered by Robert Marshall.

Nate Stewart

. . .

Navy & Gold - Jeff Vervlied

Jeff Vervlied:


Hosted Holiday party for several families. Meat was awesome, with multiple apps and desserts.

In order to stem the over-commercialized Xmas theme, went with Robert Marshall’s navy and gold, procured for our sons American Legion and Connie Mack baseball team.


. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!).

And now a few words from the leader of the Stirrup Nation, Comrade Robert Marshall. Comrade?

. . .

Hola Comrades~

Thanks to all for their patience on my mailing SNAFU last week, everyone should have any backorders by today. The good news is life imitating art helped me pick last week’s winner as it has again this week. I was having a tough time deciding between Mr. Kimmerlein who once gave me my favourite Friday office shot of all time, Mr. Poisso’s dedication to the cause, and Mr. Bernard’s backside goofy-foot knuckle-grind as this week’s stirrup peacock love god winner. Then it became clear at the last minute with a late entry close to my heart, a DIY entry from Nathan Stewart complete with back story images! how could I resist? Congrats Nathan, I loved it, get a hold of me so I know where to send your Uni Watch stirrups.

As for revolutionary news, there are no new stirrups this week, just the extra Christmas stirrups. But if TCK can deliver what I want to order Monday, I will have some new stuff for next week. If they can not guarantee delivery, it will be the first of the year for any new offerings. Also, since it is the season, I might help Chris Kringle with other giveaways before the holidays, so stay tuned. Not sure if I am Hardrock, Coco or Joe in this WGN classic, but…

From each according their stirrvp, to each according their strype,

Comrade Joe

. . .

If you’re not a member of Stirrup Nation and want to join, just visit Comrade Marshall’s house of hose (and you can see the available selections here) or if you have any questions about the availability of stirrups, drop him a line at

So, comrades — why don’t you pick up a pair or three and show us your rups!


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That’s almost a wrap, folks, but not quite.

You see, today is the 32nd Anniversary of one of the most senseless murders in history (actually, pretty much all murders are senseless, but I digress). On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was assassinated. It was one of those moments in a young man’s life (I was 14 at the time) that has lived with me pretty much forever. Not only was I a huge Beatles fan at the time (I still am), it came at a time when I was really starting to get into music. And it just crushed me. I remember exactly where I was when I first heard — watching Monday Night Football in the den with my pop. I’ll never forget the exchange between Howard and Frank:

Cosell: …but (the game)’s suddenly been placed in total perspective for us; I’ll finish this, they’re in the hurry-up offense.
Gifford: Third down, four. Foreman…it’ll be fourth down. Cavanaugh will let it run down for one final attempt, he’ll let the seconds tick off to give Miami no opportunity whatsoever. (whistle blows) Timeout is called with three seconds remaining, John Smith is on the line. And I don’t care what’s on the line, Howard, you have got to say what we know in the booth.
Cosell: Yes, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City. The most famous perhaps, of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which, in duty bound, we have to take. Frank?
Gifford: (after a pause) Indeed, it is.

Indeed, it was. The world lost an incredible talent that day. And it left an impression in my mind I’ve never forgotten. RIP John. Please listen to the words of this song, as you go about your day. Truer words were never written, or sung:


. . .

“Thanks for asking hard questions that force self-examination.”
–Jack Nicolaus

Comments (66)

    ARMY vs NAVY ….

    Army Unis would be 1000% better with Gold numerals, and perhaps Gold pants.

    Navy uniform is good enough, but the split-color helmet ruins the look for no good reason. White helmetNavy/Gold striping, with a Navy/USMC emblem would make ths work alot better.

    Nike(designers) following the form lines of the Riddell Speed helmet again. That being said, I really like this Navy helmet.

    “White helmetNavy/Gold striping, with a Navy/USMC emblem would make ths work alot better.”

    Dig it.

    I agree on Army. Just use gold numbers and gold pants. I do not like all teams gold helmets. But Army’s old school gold with black stripe looked good.

    What I really really really hate is when Nike or the schools say this uni will honor the 1944 team. How about wearing the actual 1944 uniform instead. Many schools do the same thing or say the same old crap.

    “What I really really really hate is when Nike or the schools say this uni will honor the 1944 team. How about wearing the actual 1944 uniform instead.”


    i would imagine most of those have been lost or destroyed, and the few that remain are probably too small and moth-eaten

    but a replica of the ’44 uniform would have been cool

    hahhaha ok now I see. Ya actual unis from 1944 would be hard to come by.

    Replicas would work.

    That being said Army looks good.

    More somber note. The John Lennon murder and announcement was handled by Howard Cosell with a concise tone of sensitivity, proportion and ability that simply does not exist today. You can’t buy that kind of class, and there seem to be too few around left to teach it.

    Man, do we really miss him ….

    A little Cosell went a long way. ABC did the ’79 World Series, and Cosell was in the booth. I watched the DVD set, and when I first heard him, my reaction was “Hmm. Howard. A blast from the past.” By Game 7, I remembered why I disliked him so much.

    you didn’t catch a lot of howard did you? i don’t know if acting with restrained class is the way i would describe him 99.999% of the time.

    Cosell set the bar for excellent and drama. It is laughable to watch Bob Costas and Chris Berman and the annoying morning greenberg now try to “set the tone” when they cover tragedy in sports. Costas got caught posing recently on the gun episode and has been exposed for the ass-hat he truly is.

    Nature, not content with denying this author the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write.

    Huge props to Commrade Nathan! I have been trying to make stirrups for my 1yr old son but it isn’t easy to find stripped socks for the little ones. Great job passing the stirrups along to the next generation!

    You opened an avenue to tell my Howard Cosell story. It was the early 1980s…my brother and I wanted to see the Rangers play the Canadiens on a Sunday night at The Garden. My father, may he rest in peace, drove us to the game but we had no tickets. He loved to get a good deal and pull little scandals…so he went to the box office and bribed the guy to see if there were any cancellations. Just at game time there was…great seats, center ice…tickets had some strange initials on the back… DAW.

    We got to the seats…turns out DAW was David A. “Sonny” Werblin, head of MSG and he was sitting in the row in front of us with his wife and Howard Cosell and Emmy Cosell. The Rangers had a matinee player Ron Duguay…Cosell screamed all night “give the puck to Doogie”…when Doogie finally scored, Howard was so proud of himself. I’ll never forget his cologne…he just smelled like money. To this day I know when I smell it somewhere.

    Here’s a clip of highlights from the 1970 hockey World Cup, Sweden defeating the Soviet Union.

    Uni-notable items: Half the Swedish players are wearing white helmets, the other half blue.

    However, the real bizarro item is that the Swedish goalie is wearing a standard player’s helmet, but no mask!!! You don’t get to see a closeup until the second half of the video. Yes, goalies were still going maskless in 1970, but I’ve never seen one wear a helmet!


    if you want to get persnickety aaaaand be a dickety we can play that. so on that tip, it is actually “uni watch” not “uni-watch” richter, make a note to self. but stay classy san di-kessing.

    The Packers used that style of 5 during the early 60’s and had a different number style during their Super Bowl years. The current Packers numbers are based off those of the first two Super Bowl teams.

    loved the A/N video skipper, watched it before i looked for the game at 11C. is it a later start then usual, or this just me?

    agreed, this is a game where i don’t mind the one off’s because there is a history of it. i want to see them on the field, but army looks pretty good, navy is okay i guess, but i am not so sure about the helmet.

    i just sat down to watch, so i only got a glimpse, but as far as the army helmet goes, it seems to be a nice dark shade of gold with a little red, almost coppery like it should be.

    I’d like to explain my absence from Stirrup Fridays.

    I have but one pair of ‘Rups, and they are Chicago Blackhawks inspired ‘Rups. As such, I made a promise to myself months back that I will not wear them until the NHL season is back from the lockout.

    After this last week’s setback it seems like either thre will be a quick capitulation right quick (let’s hope) or the season will be lost. So – as of today – I amend my strike: If the season is canceled, I will allow myself to wear my glorious ‘Rups.

    …alas, I cannot go more than a full year in just sanitaries.

    there are always northwestern and indiana, one of which you could wear for a bowl. and i might add that it will be there first win since 48.

    Pine Bluff looked great today in the SWAC Championnship. That’s how you do black on black.

    Are we going to get a picture update from the Comrade on his Ohio State-Michigan non-bobbling-bobblehead doll collection? I’d like to see how 2012 gets depicted with the 12-0 Buckeyes not eligible for the postseason — I remember there was a rather elaborate system of color coding and such for how they did each year against each other and for the season.

    Quite an impressive project and it deserves a yearly re-recognition!

    I liked Cosell. He had just he right amount of pomposity for me. Along with wit, wisdom, compassion and humor.

    Anyone know what “RAFI” means on Navy’s helmet? It’s just above the player’s number on every helmet.

    Jennifer Sweet: “Navy’s helmets look like a pin my aunt would wear.”

    Can’t shake the image now.

    is that what they are supposed to look like skip? because i think that is what they look like, which is kind of dumb. but it it also resemble a pin my grandmother would wear.

    Wingbone v Wishbone? It’s not just the relevance of these programs that’s outdated!

    I kid, the -bone offenses can still be relevant, unlike Army or Navy’s football teams…

    Army also ran the T formation. Not the wing-T that is popular in today’s high schools, but the T. Going old skool! with one difference… throwing the ends out to the split position.

    Somebody should grab that clip just there of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson gently complaining about the illegibility of Army’s numbers.

    “Stealth Numbers” might be a nice addition to the Uni Watch Lexicon.

    Something I only just noticed about Navy’s uniform that I really like: there is a stripe emulating the Middie’s shoulderboards with the anchor on it. Very cool.

    Just now getting to watch the game, and HOLY-MOTHER-OF-A-FUCK-IN-SAN-DIEGO-WHILE-PRINCESS-CELESTIA-HEADBANGS-TO-PERIPHERY, those Navy uniforms are GORGEOUS. Navy, please do the world a favor and switch to those as your full-time football uniforms from now until the end of time.

    As for Army, I gotta say, they’re looking pretty sharp themselves (especially coming from a Saints fan who hates this). What I like especially is the apparent use of Old Gold for the helmets. Take notes, New Orleans.

    As a suffering Saints fan, Ahmen on the Old Gold.

    When, oh when will they regain their senses and use Old Gold?

    Probably the very same year that Nike, Russell and Under Armour all do it at the same time for 59 different teams in the same season.

    On the Notre Dame-Briwn radio broadcast, play-by-play man Jack Nolan stated that Notre Dame would wear their black uniforms again, but that they would be re-designed to make the lettering and numbering legible.

    Everyone’s heard of John Lennon, but today is also the anniversary of the murder of a less-famous musician, Dimebag Darrell Abbott.

    While Lennon was shot and killed while outside his hotel, Dimebag was shot and killed on stage in Ohio while performing with his band Damageplan.

    While maybe not as socially conscious or famous as the former Beatle, Dimebag did bring just as much enjoyment to his listeners and fans as John Lennon, and from most stories, was one of the most generous and friendly people in the heavy metal music world.

    yeah…it’s also jim morrison’s birthday

    but i figured one dead musician was enough for today

    Did anybody ever find out what the grudge/beef/happenstance of Dimebag’s shooting involved?

    Going out onstage …. Hmmmm …. Is that the very worst way to go out, or the very best way to go out?

    Worth considering for conversation, as it’s not that you’ll really have a choice …. Unless your label really convinces you that it’s a great idea to promote record sales ….

    According to Wiki, there were a number of possible reasons, none confirmed. The first one was the most believed version…

    “Early theories of motive suggested that Gale might have turned to violence in response to the breakup of Pantera, or the public dispute between Abbott and Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, but these were later ruled out by investigators. Another theory was that Gale believed Abbott had stolen a song that he had written. In the book, A Vulgar Display Of Power, several of Gale’s personal writings, given to the author by his mother, suggest that the gunman was not angry about Pantera’s breakup or a belief that Pantera had “stolen songs”; instead, the documents suggest that Gale’s paranoid schizophrenia caused delusions that the band could read his mind, and that they were “stealing” his thoughts and laughing at him.”

Comments are closed.