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A Different Kind of Blackout Game

An interesting college baseball story unfolded over the weekend. I first became aware of it on Friday afternoon, when reader Jonathon Binet pointed me toward this tweet from Baltimore Sun sportswriter Chris Korman:

That was interesting, so I made a note to check the game recap and look for photos on the Towson web site the next day. But when I did that, the recap had no mention of the black tape. And if you click to enlarge the one game photo that’s provided on that page, there doesn’t appear to be any tape on the player’s chest insignia. Had the team actually gone through with this? Had they maybe changed their minds at the last minute?

I did a bit of poking around and found the photo you see at the top of this page, along with a few other shots. I also found this video report:

The team taped over their chest logos again on Saturday and Sunday, but I haven’t been able to find any photos from those games. I have, however, found a source at Towson who agreed to answer a few questions as long as I didn’t reveal his identity. Here’s some of what we discussed:

Uni Watch: Why does the Friday game photo from the Towson web site show a player without any tape?

Towson Source: That is an old picture. That player is wearing whites; we wore pinstripes on Friday. Our Media Relations department did the same thing last fall when our men’s soccer team taped over the Towson logo on their jerseys and wrote “Family” on the tape (the team cuts were originally proposed in October but not officially announced until yesterday). It was more than likely per the orders of our micromanaging AD.

UW: When the soccer team did it, was it just for one game, or a long-term thing?

TS: For the most part it was just for that one game against Delaware. Not that they weren’t angry about the cuts, but the reaction has been much stronger from the baseball side than soccer.

UW: When the soccer team did it, was there any response from university officials, or from the NCAA, or from Under Armour?

TS: As far as I know, there was no response from any of the three.

UW: What kind of tape are they using?

TS: They’re using colored duct tape. They used black for Friday’s game, and then yellow for Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, because they were wearing their black jerseys (funny that they’re still keeping it color-coordinated with school colors).

UW: So is the team going to keep doing this for the rest of the season?

TS: Sounds like it. [One result of this is that the team’s equipment managers won’t have to worry too much about removing all the adhesive residue when they peel off the tape and launder the jerseys, since new tape will presumably be applied anyway. ”” PL]

UW: From a practical standpoint, it seems like having all that tape would make the jerseys stiff and uncomfortable, no?

TS: I haven’t spoken with the players, but the part they taped over is tackle twill, so I can’t imagine it made it substantially more stiff than it already may have been.

UW: What has the coach had to say about all this?

TS: I haven’t spoken to him but I’m sure he is fine with it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had done the same thing to his jersey, but he usually wears a jacket in the dugout.


Faaaascinating. I don’t know enough about the school’s decision to eliminate the baseball and men’s soccer programs to comment on it (except to say what I hope would be self-evident, namely that it sucks to lose two teams, but that’s way better than cutting teachers, course offerings, or anything else connected to the school’s educational mission). But as far as the blackout move, here are a few thoughts:

• On the one hand, the blackout tape seems like a fairly straightforward example of protest speech and civil disobedience, both of which are things I’m generally in favor of. And since everyone on the team did it, it’s not really a “Look at me!” move. It’s a “Look at us!” move, which is different. I like the collective aspect of it.

• On the other hand, altering a uniform like this makes me a little uneasy. Could the team have achieved the same goals through less drastic means? What if they’d simply all worn their caps backwards, so the logo didn’t show? Something else? After thinking about it for a bit, I’ve reluctantly concluded that the approach they took is probably the most effective one, at least in terms of getting their message out (would the local TV station have done a story on them if they’d simply worn their caps backwards?). But something about defacing the uniform just makes me uncomfortable. It’s one thing to do it for one game, but doing it for the entire season might be a bit much. Still, I guess drastic times call for drastic measures, and this is a drastic situation for these players.

• I’ve asked Under Armour if they have any comment about all this. Perhaps they’d like to provide the team with logo-free jerseys, or even pre-blacked-out jerseys? No response yet. Will advise.

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And now for something completely different: A writer in Seattle has written a lengthy manifesto claiming that punk rock is crap. I don’t agree with all of it, and even the parts I do agree with are based on some shaky premises and extremely broad brushstrokes, but it’s a great piece of writing and a fantastic example of thought-provoking cultural criticism. Reminds me a lot of stuff that was published in The Baffler back in the mid-1990s: too smart to be ignored, dares you to engage with it on a high level of dialogue, an instant classic that people will be talking about for a long time. Highly, highly recommended.

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OMFG: My latest “One-Man Focus Group” column is about something I originally mentioned here on Uni Watch: John Fogerty and his flannel shirt.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Last Thursday I appeared as a guest speaker at an NYU graduate journalism class, which is sort of funny, since I don’t have a journalism degree myself (or as I told the class, “The first thing you need to know is that I’m a self-taught dilettante compared to all of you”). One of the students showed up wearing a rugby jersey, which I found amusing. During the Q&A period, most of the students asked me questions about my work, my career, the industry, etc., but one guy asked, “So what do you think of Golden State’s jerseys with the sleeves?” Pretty sure that’s not what the professor had in mind, but it was still pretty funny. … Boise State football will be able to wear solid-blue on blue turf after all, but its uni numbers will have to be “in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey.” … Here’s more about the legal action to strip the Redskins of their exclusive trademark protection. … In a related item, what’s a Washington-associated team name that would probably be very controversial today? Hint: It’s not “Redskins” (rare non-Notre Dame submission from Warren Junium). … Wedding Garter Follow-Up, Part One: Stephan Niewdach’s wife, Lisa, surprised him on their wedding day with this Jets garter. … Wedding Garter Follow-Up, Part Two: “These are the Seahawks garters my wife wore from our wedding last June,” says Jamey LaFleur. “There was one to wear and one to throw (although we just kept them both and did away with the garter toss). The photo also shows my Seahawks cufflinks that I wore with my tux.” … Wedding Garter Follow-Up, Part Three: No photo, Keith Owen’s wife thought it would be fun to surprise him with a Mets garter on their wedding day. “You mentioned that you don’t normally go to weddings that do all of that traditional nonsense, and we felt the same way when we got married, so while she wore the garter, we did not do the whole ‘take it off and throw it to the guys’ thing,” he says. “Not sure where it is now, but i’m sure its packed away somewhere in the house.” … Stew Curran is a uniform designer who worked for Nike and Umbro for almost 10 years. Now he’s teaching an online class on sports uniform design. If you want to learn more about him, just to get a sense of his design style and abilities, check out his personal site. … A Vermont newspaper tried to support the home team a few days ago by running a rather tasteless promotional poster. After a mild storm of reaction, the paper is standing its ground. On a side note, I’m pleased that they used an apostrophe properly. … Did you know Nike made tweezers and nail clippers? Me neither, until now. Just tweeze it! (From Ryan Connelly.) … Matt Snyder notes that Butler is one of the few college hoops teams to have uni numbers on the shorts. Does any other school do this? … A Nebraska high school basketball team was forced to wear another school’s uniforms after neglecting to bring their road unis to a road game. “What’s interesting is that they weren’t allowed to wear Nebraska’s practice jerseys because the Adidas logos on them violate some high school rules,” says David Ashby. “They had the three stripes running down the side and that’s considered ‘too big’ of a logo. Another funny thing is that they had a bus bringing their proper uniforms and it got lost.” ”¦ Here’s a weird one: a corkscrew featuring a rugby player’s legs (from Scott Sidor). … Did the WNBA release a new logo when I wasn’t looking? They appear to have put a new logo on the official league ball (from Kevin Brown). … New uniforms for Northwestern women’s lacrosse. … Worst product placement ever (from Scott M.X. Turner). … This isn’t quite the same thing as Ted Turner’s old “Channel 17” gambit, but it’s still amusing. That’s Zach Phillips, a non-roster invitee at Marlins camp. Anyone know if he always wears 66? (From Sean Abruzzo.) … “Here is a Little League team portrait from my hometown of Wayne, West Virginia, from the early 1970s,” says Brice Wallace. “Not only are the uniforms a mishmash of gray and white, but check out the tall fellow in the middle of the back row. Mark Trogdon was so much bigger than the other players, they had no Little League jersey for him, so they had to get a jersey from the Wayne Babe Ruth League (it’s supposed to say “Wayne” across the front), and even that jersey didn’t seem like it was big enough.” … In case you missed Phil’s entry about it yesterday, here’s an excellent article about how Indiana opted not to wear the Fruit Stripe uniforms. Recommended. … UMass football coach Charley Molnar tweeted a photo that shows some new uniforms. It’s not clear if they’ll be worn on-field, however (from Joe Bonafilia). … “As you may know, the Garmin/Slipstream cycling team has had an argyle component on their jerseys for quite a few years,” says Alex Kerman. “In Friday’s stage in Paris-Nice, I noticed that race leader Andrew Talansky had some argyle-patterned kinesio tape on his knee as well.” I really like that! … “I noticed a subtle inconsistency in the uniforms of the Spanish team in the WBC,” says Michael Harris. “Each team features its nation’s flag embroidered on the left side of the cap, as well as on the right sleeve of the jersey. But on the Spanish unis, the flag on the cap is the nation’s civil flag — a simple horizontal tricolor featuring the national colors of red and gold — however, the flag on the jersey sleeve is the more ornate state flag, which adds the national coat of arms.” … While looking for those WBC cap and jersey images, I stumbled across this — yikes! … UConn basketball wore warm-up hoodies on Saturday. “Apparently they’re part of some Nike plan,” says Gregory Koch. … Pretty interesting video on the decaling of the Mizzou helmet (from Ryan Stone). … Remember the Reds’ memorial patch for Joe Nuxhall? Apparently they made it available as a car decal (from Joseph Owen). … It’s a little hard to see, but the trainer or the Chinese Taipei WBC team has been wearing a fanny pack with a Cardinals logo. “They said he worked for St. Louis, but it’s surprising they couldn’t get him one branded for Chinese Taipei,” says b>Tyler Johnson. … Three lacrosse refs, three different number fonts. That’s from Saturday’s Dartmouth-Robert Morris game. “Just disgusting,” says Tris Wykes. … Worth following: a Twitter feed called Stirrups Now!. … Robert Griffin III was wearing a black version of Baylor basketball’s Fruit Stripe jersey on Saturday (from Cork Gaines). … Nice Northwestern-striped stirrups for — of course — the Northwestern softball team (from Matthew Sampson). … “My high school, Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, had its girls’ basketball team playing in the state tournament semifinals, and at the beginning of the second quarter a ref gave us a technical for no apparent reason,” says Archie Troxel. “We later found out that he had noticed a Nike swoosh on our jerseys, which violated a rule similar to the one that used to exist in the NCAA saying that you can’t have manufacturers’ marks on the jerseys. The interesting part of the whole story is that we’d had those jerseys for three years without getting in trouble, even playing in the state championship game last year without a single official noticing. For the final, we sewed American flags over the swooshes so we wouldn’t get in further trouble.” … Drake is an Adidas school, but Ben Simons has been wearing Nike KD IVs. “He must have made them on NIKEiD so he could blue out the swoosh and be allowed to wear them,” says Riley Ubben. ”¦ New football uniforms for UCF. ”¦ The Fruit Stripe/Zubaz thing has spread to boxing. That’s Tavoris Cloud, from Saturday’s IBF light heavyweight title bout against Bernard Hopkins (who wore purple gloves, ugh). … “Manny Ramirez recently signed on to the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan, part of the Chinese Professional Baseball League,” says Elliot Teichman. “They have a slightly adorable logo.” … Interesting photo essay on the people who produce the clothing for the Pope (from Pete Woychick). … Last week I mentioned that Giants outfielder Cole Gillespe was wearing a bat knob-style decal on the back of his batting helmet, in addition to the standard NOB found on all Giants helmets, but I didn’t have a photo. Now, thanks to Josh Miller, I do. … Check it out: 0 guarding 0, from Saturday’s Pitt/DePaul game (from Steve Johnston). … Check out these shiny/reflective jumpsuits from the 1954 Masters. “Must have been some kind of rainwear,” says Britt Jackson. … Lots of very cool Minnesota throwback hockey jerseys here (from Anthony Nuccio). … “Is this the newest Adidas shoe for the tourney?” asks Phil. “Nope. It’s just Google’s newest ‘talking’ shoe.” Nice story plus slideshow from a San Francisco vintage “base ball” game here (from David Goodfriend). … Here’s a crummy photo of this really cool old cart/table thingie that I bought at an architectural salvage shop yesterday. Gonna be delivered today. It’s destined to be my new coffee table. … Bill Parcells showed up at yesterday’s Mets/Cards game and was presented with an autographed Mets jersey in honor of his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. … A United States Senator thinks the NRA shouldn’t be sponsoring a NASCAR race. … This is pretty messed up: At Saturday’s Michigan/Indiana game in Ann Arbor, ushers told fans wearing Indiana shirts they’d either have change into maize Michigan shirts or leave. “Absolutely ridiculous,” says Ryan Mandel. “Sports are about the competition between two teams, and forcing fans of one team to change into the colors and logos of the other is asinine.” Agreed. … A while back I Ticker-linked to a photo showing Lou Brock wearing some sort of helmet decal in the 1975 MLB All-Star Game. Now Jon Helfenstein of the mighty Fleer Sticker Project has documented many additional instances of the Cards wearing this decal in ’75.

Comments (160)

    I think it is because the top photo from the game recap is not from Friday’s game. If you look in the dugout it does not seem to be Delaware’s baseball team, and it is clearly not Townson (if the batter is wearing white). Delaware is white and blue primarily. Honestly the dugout logo looks like the Tri-City Valley Cats logo of the NY-Penn League but regardless not UD.

    My only guess is the Towson Athletic Association didn’t want to put a photo up not showing the Towson name.

    My two cents.

    When Shawn Heins played for the Penguins in 2003, he wore number 57. Steve Heinze apparently also wore 57 with his last three NHL teams from 2000-2003.

    Outfielder Fred Valentine wore Number 14 for the 1962 Rochester Red Wings of the International League.

    Oh, the ’62 Wings added NOB for the second half of that season. It was an experiment at the time and didn’t become a regular feature until the 1980s.

    The “worst product placement ever” was probably part of the current war between Edison, who owned patents for distributing electricity via DC, and Westinghouse, who licensed AC technology. Specifically, the Wiki article says “[Edison] also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being ‘Westinghoused’.”

    Glad you did not link the Topsy clip to your post; though it is easy enough for anyone to find, it’s just more than a bit disturbing.

    “[Edison] also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being ‘Westinghoused’.”

    I may read a lot of stuff in a week, but it’s not even 3:30pm on Monday and I’ve already read my favorite tidbit. Thanks BF.

    Not Uni-Related. After I read that “Punk Rock” article I kept reminding myself of this quote from the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “The first rule of Punk is that there are no rules”.

    In yesterday’s NYT, Richard Hell comments how he was the uncredited and unrewarded source of Sex Pistols’ look and sound. I did like the Roderick article mentioning one of my all time faves, the Ramones, were actually musically conservative. I agree…

    Some nonsense in that Senators name article.

    “Indeed, when, after 33 years without a big-league baseball team, Washington was awarded one for the 2005 season, the owners, probably wisely, went with Nationals, not Senators, for a name.

    “‘You need a name that has a chance to be loveable,’ Fleder said. ‘That leaves ‘Senators’ out’.”

    First off, “the owners”? MLB owned the team, and Bud Selig – the commissioner of baseball – was acting as de facto owner of the team. And it’s widely held among DC journalists and pols that Selig in fact intended to rename the Expos the Senators and said so in private conversations. Local political leaders, including the then-mayor, several city councilors, and the non-voting delegate to Congress, said publicly, and are said to have insisted privately to MLB officials including Selig, that there were not the votes on the council for the stadium financing if the team were named the Senators.

    Why the aggro over the Senators name? Because DC residents are not represented in the United States Senate. Lack of representation in Congress, while at the same time being taxed just like Americans who are represented in Congress, is a Very Big Deal in DC. It has nothing to do with finding Congress cuddly or not; it is entirely a matter of objecting to taxation without representation.

    And the further point that the name Senators can’t be lovable because people really don’t like the actual Congress is idiocy. The Senators name would have been hugely popular for the Expos/Nats. The old Senators teams remain beloved in Washington, and everyone would have understood that the new team was being named after the old teams, not after the actual Senate of the United States. Every poll I recall seeing in 2004 showed massive local preference for the name Senators in comparison with the then-bandied alternatives of Nationals, Grays, Blue Sox, Potomacs, and the like.

    There’s an interesting story about politics and sports culture in the history of the Nationals becoming the Nationals and not the Senators. It’s a shame Bob Greene couldn’t be bothered to learn any of it before writing his piece.

    Eh, only the pols and a few activists really care about rejecting the Senators *name* for the baseball team. And only because they can’t steal from the taxpayers from a higher office.

    Objection to the Senators name was a largely elite – not only a handful of pols, but also politically and economically influential private citizens – phenomenon. Ask 100 average District-resident baseball fans, and the vast majority would have preferred the Senators name. Yet it was the handful of pols who controlled the purse strings on the ballpark, so they got their way. Even though the commissioner of baseball is said to have strongly personally favored revising the Senators name.

    Which is exactly the opposite of the argument Greene was making in his article: Sure, the elites who run the government may think “Senator” is a respectable title, but come on, the public could never love a sports team named for one half of our dysfunctional legislature. Turns out the general public loves the Senators nickname, but political elites object to it.

    People hate hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, heat, stampedes, predators, raiders, outlaws, pirates, buccaneers, maulers, and hit men, yet all of these are being used or have been used as team mascots, with varying degrees of approbation.

    It’s not like Harry Reid is pitching, and Mitch McConnell is playing second base.

    Oh, but it very much was like Harry Reid was pitching, and Mitch McConnell was playing second base, at least 2006-2009!

    When I first read about those Indiana fans being given maize shirts to wear I thought it might be for their own safety. I’ve been in student sections that have aggressively harassed visiting fans. But they really have a rule for not only that, but the student section HAS to stand the whole time! Do they not get that kind of love and attention is earned and not to be given? Pitt students stand and support their team not because they have to, but because they love doing it.

    Also, those Indiana fans should have been offered a different seat at the Michigan, as per the same rules they were being forced to wear shirts for.

    I can’t imagine UA would provide the baseball team with a nameless uniform. That sounds like it would sour their relationship with the entire AD in a hurry.

    Yes, that’s a quick way to lose an account, it seems.

    Sad to read of the whole situation. Reminds me of one 6 or so years ago, the then Chowan College “Braves” were being forced to change their nickname by the NCAA (or fight it with legal fees they’d never be able to afford).

    We advocated they go a season with NO nickname, to protest the inane NCAA. They declined and quietly changed their nickname to “Hawks.”

    Too bad, I think they could’ve raised a stir. This is one case where the “no Indian nicknames” argument was off.

    Chowan County is named for the Chowan tribe that lived there (and some descendants still do). Parts of the college are on sacred Indian ground, and its mission includes helping to educate those of very, very low wealth (county is among the poorest in N.C.).

    Loved the idea of a school with no nickname. So, kudos to Towson for taking a stand as the team of student-athletes with no “home” after this season.

    In light of RGIII’s Baylor appearance, I have a question. Is Baylor the only major university that has separate contracts for its football team (which wears Nike) and its men’s basketball team (which wears Adidas)? I would think that Nike or Adidas would want exclusive rights so that they could develop a consistent look for Baylor across multiple platforms.

    It’s ironic (or just stupid) that as sports uniforms because less and less uniform (both among members of the team in the same game and from game to game), the fans’ clothing and behavior is becoming more and more regulated in the name of uniformity.

    Too bad about Fogerty, one of my rock heroes.

    Funny thing is, I bet when the taxman comes to his door, Lord the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah.

    In Watt’s defense, I’m sure he doesn’t have nearly the bank account of Fogerty. It’s just a shirt for a skate company, I don’t think it’s a huge deal.

    The UConn/Nike hoodie warmups have been around all season, not just Saturday. It seems most of the Nike Elite schools have been wearing them.

    I’m still trying to figure out why the Fry Rice thing is racist. Is Fried Rice racist? If so, it should be taken off all menus immediately. Is that font racist? Then it should be taken off all menus/signs/restaurant walls immediately. Now, if the same people that say that poster is racist have been fighting those fights all along, I’m good with their argument, and feel they should carry on with full force.

    Is Fried Rice racist? If so, it should be taken off all menus immediately. Is that font racist? Then it should be taken off all menus/signs/restaurant walls immediately.

    Faulty logic. Much as with the Native American thing, this has a lot to do with self-determination. If a Chinese-owned restaurant wants to use that font, that’s their business (although I’d say it’s unfortunate). When non-Asians use it, it evokes a whole raft of “No tickee, no shirtee” stereotypes that have long since been consigned to the past. Or at least they should have been.

    We need to move past the point where any use of cultural imagery or reference to a minority tradition/custom is instantly labeled as racism.

    You’re stacking the deck. I’m not “instantly labeling [it] as racism.” In fact, if you go back and look at all my writings on the Native American thing, you’ll find that I’ve never once accused anyone of being racist and have often gone out of my way to state that I’m not accusing anyone of that.

    That’s not how these conversations happen. Paul just demonstrated distinction between uses in his response. You seem to choose to read the situation as one of “instant labeling of racism” so you can dismiss the conversation without giving it critical thought.

    I think Adam has a point. Would Paul have posted the image if they’d gone with “Boil Rice” and a not-quite-helvetica font? I doubt it. The only reason to post the image is the implied accusation of racism because of the “Asian” font.

    Fair enough, but is was labeled as racist by the others.

    But, when do you feel it is okay for one culture to appropriate another culture’s imagery/customs? Is it okay for me to make money by painting images of other cultures and selling them? Is it okay for an American corporation to use the imagery of Scandinavian cultures when selling products? Is it okay for Ortega to use Mexican imagery on their product packaging?

    I get that we shouldn’t tolerate the use of another culture’s imagery when done with malice, or when it perpetuates harmful stereotypes. I just find it hypocritical when “society” wants to celebrate diversity, while assigning sole ownership of imagery.

    Part of the issue is with the celebration of diversity as such celebrations often come with additional purposes. Latino night, for example, is a way to generate revenue within a specific population. Yet, if done poorly, it can also be offensive.

    Ownership doesn’t seem to get us far as ownership is a legal concept rooted in “mine, not yours.” Ownership is about possession, and possession is about exclusivity. As Paul’s recent ESPN article demonstrated, I think education and outreach are the key.

    Outreach goes in both directions. In this case, the newspaper should have reached out to a local Asian American organization and said, “Do you think this is offensive?

    There is a central location of studies for such issues. That location is colleges and universities. Hell, call up the Asian American Studies department and just ask. That’s the point I guess. Just put in a little work so as to prevent harm. Stereotyping is lazy. It seems clear to me that the newspaper was both intent on being harmful and was lazy. Do better.

    I’m not sure a university’s status as a learning center qualifies it as the authority on this topic. As I remember from my university days, the various colleges (Human Relations, Sociology, etc.) were the most guilty of seeing offense everywhere they turned.

    In general, I take it on a case by case basis. One voice (or even several) speaking up to call something offensive shouldn’t be enough to pressure an organization into changing course. There will always be at least a couple people willing to scream about being offended, and claiming to do so on behalf of a whole segment of population.

    Maybe we’re behind the times in St. Louis, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Chinese restaurant in this city where that font isn’t shown in numerous places, from menus to sauce packets to takeout boxes … it’s not isolated, is what I’m trying to say. You see culturally stereotypical patterns all over the place, across the board. Mexican restaurant? Lots of terra cotta … French? Black and white elegance … Irish? Green … derbies … Without cultural stereotypes, the whole World Showcase at Disney World would not exist. Scratch that, it’s all culturally insensitive, but it’s all (said to be) designed by people from the cultures being whored, so it’s all OK? I hate when these things turn into long strings, but I’m getting really confused on this one.

    Reality check: Is there any doubt that some of the people who designed and produced that poster read the text, even if only in their own heads, with a Charlie Chan accent as Fly Lice? No, there is no doubt that some of them did. And that many of those who saw it read it as such. Now, I think it’s fair to be generous and assume that they meant no disparagement of actual persons of Chinese descent. But there’s no doubt that they deliberately used racially disparaging imagery to disparage a third party.

    Here’s the deal: “But I was making fun of the Krauts, not the Poles,” is not a valid defense after you make a joke using the word “Polack”.

    Hell, I heard it in MY head! I don’t necessarily think it’s “racist”… I don’t know what it is…but it doesn’t pass the smell test to me. Be better.

    I wouldn’t say “disparage”. “Use a familiar font with a witty slogan for comedic effect”, but definitely not “disparage”.

    Wait, so they’re not against Rice, the University? Then what was the point of the poster?

    Of course it was meant to disparage Rice. “Disparage” isn’t an evil word. It’s possible to disparage in fun and even among friends. When I make a self-disparaging joke, I’m not engaged in racist bigotry against myself; I’m just making fun of me. I personally disparage the Phillies with frequency and glee – and I’ve had a lot of fun over the years hanging out with Phillies fans who likewise disparage the Nats right back at me.

    Disparaging your favorite team’s opponent is OK. Disparaging your favorite team’s opponent using racial stereotypes is what’s not OK.

    That’s why Rice’s arch rival, University of Houston, forgoes any “rice as comestible” references, opting for the simple, inelegant “RUCK FICE”.

    It ain’t pretty. But it doesn’t sound like Charlie Chan, either.

    Arr, was it a racial stereotype? or a culturally influenced type face? There’s a difference.

    Now, had it said “Fry Rice” with a bad cartoon/caricature of an Asian person, I get it. But fried rice is, in fact, an Asian cuisine, so using an Asian influenced type face is perfectly legitimate.

    First as a journalist and now as a teacher, I’ve lived by two rules: “Do no harm” is always the first rule. The second rule is, “if you think you are doing harm, then stop.”

    This ad, either intentional or unintentional, had the potential to harm. Newspapers have (or should have) multiple layers of review so that, somewhere up the chain, a person will come out of his/her office and say, “Hmm, does this seem harmful to any of you?” I do accept that my rules are predicated on one’s ability to think.

    People say they are getting tired of all this racial sensitivity. I’m getting tired of people being okay with others doing harm. I agree with you, Rob. Do better, indeed.

    I haven’t finished reading the punk rock article, but look forward to finishing it after work today.

    I’ve long been annoyed by people who contort their lifestyle and personality to fit into a stereotype. Whether it’s people questioning my manhood because I can’t stand fighting in hockey; stay at home moms pretending to like edamame, hummus, pomegranate, or any other new, trendy food; suburban wives transforming their wardrobe every spring and fall because of what the NBC Today Show fashion contributor says, or any of the many other manifestations of adults trying desperately to fit in.

    Calling punk bullshit in 2013 is kinda bullshit in itself. Times are different from when punk was considered a counter culture. In the age of the Internet and globalization, there’s no more monoculture, so by definition there can’t be counter culture. Like anything that has ever been popular, it has long since been exploited, commercialized and packaged for sale with nostalgia-tinted shrink wrap.

    Like the author says, punk is a clubhouse where everyone is accepted. What’s so wrong with that?

    “… ‘I noticed a subtle inconsistency in the uniforms of the Spanish team in the WBC,’ says Michael Harris… ”

    Why I love it here.

    I’m hoping someone with vexillological knowledge can chime in. As I understand it, when a country has both a state and a civil flag, only actual state institutions should use the state flag, whereas citizens should use the civil flag. Like, if the USA had a state flag, it would fly at the Post Office, but ordinary Americans would fly the civil flag from their homes. But that’s a general impression; is that really how it works, and/or how Spain in particular regards its flags?

    And whatever the rules, which of the two should Team Espana be wearing on its jersey and cap?

    In the 1990s, the guy who started the Flags of the World website created a planet called Vexillium. Vexillium was the same size as Earth, with roughly the same ratio of ocean to land. There were continents. These continents were divided into imaginary countries. One such was the Union of San Patricio / Estado Unido de San Patricio, a bilingual kleptocracy that covered a land era exactly equal to that occupied today by Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. It was a lot of fun. There were embassies, alliances, silly diplomatic tiffs. And — of course — lots and lots of flags and coats-of-arms and the like. San Patricio’s national colors were blue, green and yellow. The San Patricio army was outfitted exactly like the French Army of August 1914, except that the red kepis and trousers of the Marne were turned Kelly Green.

    It stayed fun for about a year. But as the planet was fully settled, it had attracted younger players who just wanted to declare war on each other and have bloody battles. [Sigh] The earlier drolleries were replaced by kids who wanted to play Risk.

    If anyone’s interested, I’ll see if I can unearth the San Patricio National Archives.

    It should be noted that the Indiana fans asked to wear Michigan shirts were seated in the Michigan student section. Wearing Michigan attire is required int he student section, as stated explicitly in their student section rules. Personally, I don’t know how the IU students got into the student section, since they also require a Michigan student ID. They probably should’ve just been denied admission to the student section right then and been moved elsewhere.

    Maybe they’re Michigan students who just happen to like Indiana. Or are from Indiana. Or whatever.

    In any case, telling people what they can and can’t wear to a sporting event is bullshit.

    I do agree with you, though, on the whole being able to choose what you wear. Color-outs/white-outs are pretty lame anyway; they really don’t work to “psyche-out” the other team, and if you’re worried about how the crows looks on television, your priorities are out of whack.

    Makes me disappointed to be a Michigan fan.

    Paul’s point that students may cheer for other teams is right on, although I would expect this is primarily an issue for graduate students.

    My wife and I attended UCLA for our undergrad degrees and I attended Georgetown for law school. I had season tickets to Georgetown games and when our beloved Bruins came to town, my wife and I went to the game in the Georgetown student section and dressed in blue/yellow. Although people gave us dirty looks there was no attempt to have us change our clothes or move to another section.

    re: indiana / michigan student section…i don’t have any problem at all with asking someone in the student section to wear the colors. none. this is prime real estate, given specifically to the students to be used for a particular purpose, in a particular way. if you can’t join in, then get out.

    they were given the option to be trolls elsewhere in the arena, if they had such a hard-on to do it….where i would hope that that would get non-threatening harassment for a solid two hours.

    if you can’t join in, then get out. they were given the option to be trolls Americans elsewhere in the arena, if they had such a hard-on to do it….where i would hope that that would get non-threatening harassment Soviet-style thought-policing for a solid two hours.


    This is not hyperbole on my part: This is a state university. That was literally government agents forcing citizens to all dress alike to show pretended support for one government bureaucracy over another government bureaucracy. Is that really anyone’s idea of how citizens should be treated by their government? Really?

    “In Soviet Russia, jersey wears you!”

    Well, yes, in point of fact it is a First Amendment issue if it’s the government telling people not to express themselves, which it was.

    But the argument I’m making is not actually a First Amendment argument. It’s deeper. Are there really Americans who think it’s cool for the government to force any of its citizens to wear the colors of one government bureaucracy and not the colors of another government bureaucracy? If so, this will come as depressing news to me.

    let’s be clear here: i’m not suggesting that they can’t wear their gear – i’ve done it myself. HOWEVER, i notice that you don’t address my first point, which is that there is an implied contract here; if you want to sit in the best seats in the building, you have to comply with the requirements of that section. i don’t think that’s unfair in any way.

    since your comments are “not hyperbole”, then i get to respodn as if you’re serious about the phrase “soviet-style thought policing.” i’m not suggesting that the arena staff get to interrogate / browbeat these particular fans in to submitting to anything. i’m suggesting that if you wear someone else’s gear, the other fans get to give you shit. get ready for it – and don’t whine about it either, because THAT’S WHY YOU WORE IT. to be confrontational.

    I don’t think state university employees = state actor/agent. Otherwise any public school teacher or administrator that tried to get a rowdy parent to clam up at a school event would be infringing on “free speech”.

    You could argue whether the usher’s actions were stupid or over the line. But trying to equate what he did to a violation of the First Amendment would most likely get you laughed out of court.

    Clarification: This was in response to Arr Scott’s “[t]hat was literally government agents forcing citizens to all dress alike to show pretended support for one government bureaucracy over another government bureaucracy” line.

    Again, I didn’t argue it as a First Amendment issue. But I could, because it is. State university employees are in fact government agents. They. Work. For. The. Government. Pretty simple, actually.

    As to telling parents to clam up, the First Amendment has always been understood to permit regulation of the time, place, and manner of speech, but not the content of speech. So the government can in fact enforce a rule that says “No shouting at ballgames in city parks.” It cannot enforce a rule that says, “Cheering permitted only for the home team in city parks.”

    And that latter was effectively what was going on in the actual instance we’re discussing: Actual agents of the government were enforcing a content-based restriction on citizens’ rights to express themselves.

    But as I said, I’m not concerned with the First Amendment here. I’m concerned with the basic idea that, even absent the specific Bill of Rights, it’s peachy keen for the government to treat citizens in this manner. I wouldn’t have thought we’d need to argue the First Amendment to find government-enforced sports cheering to be inappropriate.

    sheesh, you sound like a real hoot.

    okay, government employees bureacracy free speech agents of the government bill of rights thought police i thought this was america etc.

    “hitler.” there, now we can kill the thread.

    I’m not weighing in on this discussion. But I do want to weigh in on your last point — the notion that invoking Hitler or the Nazis is a de facto example of taking something too far and thereby killing the discussion.

    A well-reasoned argument should be able to stand up to extreme hypotheticals, including the Nazi hypothetical. Here’s a good example:

    “The First Amendment is absolute. Even vile, atrocious speech is protected.”

    “Oh yeah? Even if Nazis want to march in a neighborhood full of Holocaust survivors?”

    “Actually, yes — and you can look it up.”


    There’s nothing wrong with invoking Hitler (or any other extreme example) if it demonstrates the strength and elasticity of an intellectual position. In the example I just cited, the intellectual position is the First Amendment itself, which is one of the most powerful intellectual arguments ever committed to public policy. Testing it — or any other position — with a Nazi example isn’t taking things too far; it’s often just a matter of taking an argument to its logical (or potential) conclusion.

    On that point, I thought twice about using the word “Soviet.” Should have listened to my inner doubts. I’m just old enough that “Soviet” and “communist” to me are both historical realities and also common American political shorthand for the abstract idea Brezhnev-era post-totalitarian authoritarianism of the left. Very different from, say, someone whose idea of “Soviet” is Stalin’s gulags, in which case it’s just a different flavor of Nazi.

    I should have gone with maybe “Chavez” or “Putin” or something more concrete and less extreme in its possible connotations. The people who enforced this policy are not Nazis or Stalin’s KGB. We’re talking about a very mild form of state thuggery, not deadly totalitarianism.

    Thanks Paul. I don’t disagree, and I won’t argue the relative merits of the whole Hitler-invoking milieu. It was more of a reference to the notion of message board arguments than to Hitler specifically. I shouldn’t throw it in there, not even as a meta-comment.

    Arr: I guess I’m not disagreeing with the specifics of your argument, certainly not on any legal level…mostly because I can’t. Yes, the usher is technically a government employee (although – to be fair here, he/she may not be, as many ushers at Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center are volunteers, if I’m not mistaken…still, they are implicitly acting as government agents). Yes, they are technically regulating the content of personal expression. I guess. But does it rise to the level of infringement of free speech? I don’t know, man. I have no legal expertise whatsoever, but it doesn’t pass the smell test for me. I’m a 2-time Michigan alum, too – and I’m pretty sure I’d feel the same way if the roles were reversed.

    With all that said, it bugs me that we were so pissy about it. Let them wear the gear and give them shit for it for a few minutes…which they will, then it will be over, and they’ll end up friendly, win or lose.

    I’ve been in enough UM (and rival Big Ten) stadia to know that we always treat the visitors well….certainly better than we get treated elsewhere, without exception. I wish that we had done it in this case as well.

    As an outsider can I clarify.

    My understanding is that the First Amendment prohibits the making of any laws which limit freedom of speech. It doesn’t of itself protect the right of anyone to say anything they wish.

    Similarly it is not an absolute matter – the Government may enact restrictions on speech if such is in th enational interest.

    But what do I know – I’m english.

    Sorry – there should be a question mark at the end of my first sentence. I was seeking clarification, not deigning to teach you about your own Constitution.

    “what do I know — I’m english.”


    That would be a great t-shirt slogan…

    As an undergrad in the early 70s I attended a University of Houston home game versus Loyola-New Orleans. LNO came wore jerseys without the script name on the front. We discovered that, similar to Towson, the school was dropping basketball and the players had ‘altered’ their shirts.

    I remember it well because a player from that school transferred to UH and played for the Cougars and became a friend of mine.

    IMHO the worst product placement ever was the Yahoo! billboard in the 1999 movie, Inspector Gadget. First, early on in the movie, as the billboard falls on the bad guys at the end of a police chase, you hear that “Yahooooo-oo” jingle. And as if that wasn’t cheesy enough, Matthew Broderick then orders the crooks specifically, “Please step away from the *Yahoo* billboard with your hands up.”

    It’s wrong to assume a student who attends X school cheers for X school. If a IU fan attends Michigan then he/she should be free to buy a student ticket and to wear whatever he/she wants to the game.Students are under no obligation to cheer for the school they attend, nor should they be coerced to wear branded clothing they do not want to wear. Although this case involves students from another school, the slope is slippery.

    If the school wants to better police the student section for non-students, then I have no problem with that.

    This would never fly in the classroom. A professor could never kick a student out of class for wearing the wrong “uniform.” But because the tail wags the dog, it’s accepted in sports. Just because athletic departments can do this bullshit doesn’t mean they should.

    I’ve seen several mentions of Roderick’s Punk Rock piece circulating around the webz the last few days; didn’t take the time to read it until this morning. Seriously thought provoking stuff.

    A lot of what he says rings true to me. As a shy teenager who liked comic books and had no athletic ability, I naturally came to despise the jock class as much as they despised me (or more honestly, ignored me completely). I was drawn to the punk rock types, but even their “everyone is accepted” posing was mostly BS. The fact that I still liked football and hockey and REM meant I’d never really be accepted among them either. I remember one time when I ended up on some big scary skater-dude’s shit list for wearing a Batman logo t-shirt to school, which was also the logo of some skateboard company at the time. He wanted to kick my ass, until one of my close friends within the clique politely explained to him that I “knew more about Batman than anyone in the fuckin’ school, so back the fuck off!”. So it really wasn’t a much different crowd from the jocks, just that the alpha-males had weirder haircuts.

    The bit about only being happy with misery strikes a chord, too. When I think about some of the punk girls I dated in my single days…wow. Tiptoeing around every issue, every band, every aspect of life, trying to maintain this awful veneer of detachment, of hating all the right things…it really stunted my personality and just makes me feel like a complete asshole in hindsight. Heaven knows there’s enough terrible stuff out there worthy of ire that to rail against the few things in life that do bring you genuine happiness in an attempt to not “sell out” to some miserable moron truly is bullshit.

    Thanks for the opportunity to self-analyze, Dr. Lukas!

    “Tiptoeing around every issue, every band, every aspect of life, trying to maintain this awful veneer of detachment, of hating all the right things…it really stunted my personality and just makes me feel like a complete asshole in hindsight.”


    That was just awesome, Rob. I particularly enjoyed the “hating all the right things” line.

    Genius. COTD.

    Well said. Well said. I loved punk music way-back-when and I still love it today, but I just never bought into the whole attitude other than to be as surly as every other teenager.

    My first semester of college, I was at the Big State University, just a hick from the middle of nowhere. I met some serious-looking punk guys at a party and chatted them up about some bands that I liked. They began lecturing me about punk being a way of like, not just music and a manner of dress. I was already very skeptical, but when I saw them a few months later and they had turned into full-fledged New Wavers, well, I knew that the whole thing was just a joke.

    In the intervening thirty years, I have heard the “it’s way of life” speech from many other wannabe extremists and I chuckle to myself every time.

    Interesting tidbit in the UCF football uniform article. According to the NCAA, numbers on jerseys must be one color (no more gradients, which isn’t a bad thing), and must clearly stand out against the color of the jersey.

    I think that’s great. Anything to make to uniforms more legible is a positive.


    UCF switched the numbers on the white jerseys from gold to black, to follow the new rule since white/gold tends to lack contrast.

    So why are they allowed to do white numbers on a gold jersey? Even with the black outline, the gold would have to be very dark, or more coppery to provide enough contrast to be legible from a great distance.

    I’ve officiated a game where a team had gold numbers on white jerseys, and even 30 yards away they were hard to read.

    According to an article the decision to go with Black numbers on the white jerseys was made before the rule went into effect.

    Its the last bullet point in this article:,0,4072186.story

    I don’t think the rule simply limits light on light, I imagine it is evaluated on a case by case basis. I think their old white jerseys would have failed the test, (very light gold that had a sheen that made them difficult to see), but it would appear their gold jerseys probably would have passed.

    RE: Connecticut hoodies.

    Missouri wore the same style hoody during warmups in Knoxville on Saturday.

    In Brice’s little league photo, I also like how two of the players have “METS” spaced wider than the others so that the “E” does not fall between the stripes of the headspoon.


    Those throwback Minnesota jerseys are great, but the cynic in me is looking at them closer and is pretty sure they’re all made of polyester instead of durene or wool, thereby rendering them irrelevant…


    For some reason your comment reminds me of a Proline (Ontario, Canada – sports betting) commercial I haven’t seen for a very long time.
    “Not just throwback jerseys, Jimmy! Throwback everything!” The whole team has to wear vintage equipment and loses big time.

    Wish I could find the commercial online.

    With regard to the Senator who is complaining about the NRA sponsoring a car in a NASCAR race, I have a few remarks. First, NRA is not sponsoring NASCAR, it is sponsoring a single car that is not owned by NASCAR. Second, this is advertising. Should newspapers not accept ads from politically oriented organizations? Third, candidates have sponsored cars in the past and nothing is more directly political than that.

    The NRA was the primary sponsor of a Nationwide event held in Atlanta last September, just weeks after the shootings in Aurora and Oak Creek. I don’t recall any protests or objections made back then. Do you?

    NASCAR did play a leading role in sponsoring a Sandy Hook Fund car at Daytona and they even had the car # changed from 30 to 26 in memory of the victims; I wonder if Senator Murphy thanked them for the tribute and for helping to raise money for the fund.

    Race sponsorships, as I understand them, are done by the promoter (the track). There should be no surprise that Texas Motor Speedway might be okay with NRA sponsorship, and TMS president Eddie Gossage is notorious for treading his own path at the expense of political correctness.

    I love the Townson protest. I doubt UA has a problem with it since their logo was not covered and it’s publicity. & as for wearing hats backwards, there is a rule on the books that says players on the field have to have their hats on, facing forward. I guess players in the dugouts could do it; starters couldn’t.

    You know what struck me the most about that statement?: How badly — how vapidly, how insipidly, how bureaucratically — the president of a university expresses himself. Or herself. What a mealy-mouthed load of nothing.

    Love the site as usual, Paul. But lately I’ve been noticing a trend here.

    “…but something about defacing the uniform just makes me uncomfortable.”

    There are times when the uniform criticism really are overblown and just weird here.

    Half the time, HS unis from all sports are just brushed away as non-important because they are. Who cares, really? How is this a “drastic” move? It’s just some tape over a crest. Do you feel uneasy if a player wears a black armband to rep something? I know you feel uneasy or it displeases you seeing cancer decals and stuff as well.

    The team will cease to exist after this season. Naturally, they’re upset. Naturally, they may protest. Naturally, they want to make their ire as visible as possible since there really are no repercussions from their actions.

    But NO WAY CAN YOU DEFACE the uniform. That’s sacrilege? I think your focus on the uniform is kind of taking attention away from the actual issue at hand.

    Of course, I could totally be off as well. Still enjoy the site, Paul.

    Nothing wrong with this analysis. But I’m curious: What exactly is the “trend” that you’ve identified, and how does today’s example fit into it? You’ve given no other examples.

    The latest article on the adidas uniforms and the complete disdain and pure hatred across the board from many UniWatchers for the set have been crazy to me.

    It seems every other artcle you print out is just a hate article. I don’t necessarily disagree on some of the points (yes, the adidas unis are dumb as hell) but I’ve been broken down to the point I just roll my eyes and take the punches. I love UW and everything about it… but at the end of the day, I don’t like it when I realize I’m spending my time and energy being legitimately, personally, angry about sports uniforms. I know this is kind of your career so it’s different.

    It seems every other artcle you print out is just a hate article.

    I think you define “hate” very differently than I do.

    Here’s how it works: If I think something is good, I say I think it’s good; if I think something sucks, I say I think it sucks. Simple as that. If your tastes align with mine, you may often find yourself nodding in agreement; if our tastes diverge, you may often find yourself shaking your head. Either way, complaining that a site devoted to sports uniforms takes uniform-related issues too seriously seems like an odd approach to take. It’s like complaining that water is wet.

    Not relevant to any of today’s discussions I know, but looking at this photo from the South Carolina State Parks Facebook feed, I couldn’t help but think of the earlier discussion here of the propriety of a pelican as sports mascot.

    Re: The Cole Gillespie helmet sticker.
    You would think since his name tag is C. Gillespie on his helment the the Giants have two Gillespie’s in camp. They don’t although before a recent trade they had a Conor Gillaspie. Because of the different spellings of their names you would think they would not need to differentiate with the first initial (which is the same, of course) or by placing the sticker with the uni number. To muddy things even more Cole bats right and Conor bats left. Very strange.

    I don’t like the flannel fogerty shirt but the “here comes the rain” underpants ROCK!

    adidas teams have had hooded shooting shirts all season long.

    Photo evidence is hard to find…

    RE: Towson

    The reason the Towson players made such a “drastic” statement is because the school dropped the baseball and soccer teams in order to fund efforts to raise the profile of the football and men’s basketball programs. According to this article, defacing of uniforms was the least of Towson’s worries.

    As a Towson (one N, please!) alum and former sportswriter for the Towerlight, I’m a little saddened by the fact that this is what gets TU athletics into the news.

    I have mixed emotions about the black tape protest. On the one hand, I understand the players’ disappointment and their desire to call attention to the program and any attempts to save it. On the other hand, I’m bothered by the notion that the university doesn’t represent them, and therefore they won’t represent the university. Well, it’s true that this is the last year of the program and that they are in a way playing for nothing but each other. However, Towson University is still honoring their scholarships and still funding the program RIGHT NOW, so unless those kids are paying for the uniforms, transportation to and from games and whatever else they receive in terms of support, coaching, food, gym access, etc above and beyond what the average TU student receives, don’t they have an obligation to represent the school for now?

    The bigger picture of Towson eliminating sports is also a tough call. As a female, I’m a huge believer in Title IX and equal opportunities for women in sports (and I don’t in any way suggest that one needs to be female to support Title IX). I wish that the solution to reach parity between the men’s and women’s programs was to increase funding to the women rather than cutting programs for the men, but I’m enough of a realist to recognize that a state university the size of Towson University doesn’t have the budget for that.

    When I was there, TU was a D1A/DII school, not particularly competitive in either academics or athletics (except lacrosse. We kill in lacrosse!) I know from years of alumni newsletters that Towson, like many other schools, recognizes that raising the profile of the football and basketball programs in turn raises the profile of the University as a whole. I hate that the athletic tail wags the academic dog, but if putting money into football means that the school has money to expand its academic facilities – and it has – well, I guess I can accept that.

    With the garter discussion still percolating, I thought I’d relay a story from my sister’s wedding that shares the spirit of such a logo statement, if not the specifics.

    On their wedding day, my non-sports-fan brother-in-law worked up a practical joke on my football-loving sister, a Florida State graduate.

    When it came time for the garter ritual, the groom prepared by inserting an oversized pair of University of Miami Hurricanes/Sebastian the Ibis boxer shorts up the sleeve of his dress shirt. The FSU-UM rivalry was fierce at the time.

    Then as he reached for the garter, he instead pulled out the boxers, displaying them for the reception hall while shouting, “I can’t believe you wore these on your wedding day.”

    After a second or two of befuddlement, the (extremely) blushing bride fell out laughing. I tipped my cap at the recognition of my sister’s husband “getting it.” And “getting” her.

    @Arr Scott — there’s a HUGE distinction between being a “government EMPLOYEE” and being a “government AGENT”.

    State universities are subsidized by the state, and have their Board of Regent members appointed by the State Governor. So by virtue of the fact that the university is a state university, yes, employees of the state university have checks cut to them by the state government so they are EMPLOYEES of the state.

    But to label them as AGENTS of the government, you have to show that they are acting in an official capacity on behalf of the state government. A University of Michigan usher hardly qualifies as a government agent, unless you can somehow show that he was acting specifically on orders from the state of Michigan, and given specific powers by the state of Michigan, to bar someone with an Indiana shirt, or any other non-UM shirt, from sitting and cheering in the student section. Despite the wasteful nature of state governments in general, I doubt he was given such instructions (although maybe this kid and Ohio State students may disagree).

    But if you want to continue to sound silly by referring to it as “government-enforced sports cheering”, well, at least you don’t need the First Amendment to do that. Knock yourself out. Hell, maybe you can represent this kid and bust out this ground-breaking legal theory in court so we can all get a good laugh.

    Rosenberger v. University of Virginia and Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth rest on treating state university employees as agents of the government. And modern oral arguments in university cases show that justices generally assume the simple formula that state university employees act on behalf of the state similarly to the employees of any state bureau. It’s not only about funding; it’s about authority, which for most state universities still flows through the state legislature (and for some cases of appointments, the governor). Note that even in the Wisconsin case, where the court found for the state, it did so by treating the university as a part of the government and then applying a First Amendment test, which the court held the school passed.

    In as much as this isn’t political speech, in fact courts would be much less likely to do anything if one of the affected fans brought suit than if, say, an usher tried to force students to swap their Romney shirts for Obama shirts. But that’s an entirely separate question from whether the Supreme Court regards state universities as arms of the government. It generally does.

    This is settled law in the United States: If you work for a state university, you’re an agent of the government. (Except when you’re not, which usually involves non-First Amendment issues. Dontcha just love the law!)

    From (a relevent portion of?)Southworth:
    “When the government speaks,…to promote
    its own policies or to advance a particular idea, it is, in the end, accountable to the electorate and the political process for its advocacy. If the citizenry objects, newly elected officials later could espouse some different or contrary position. In the instant case, the speech is not that of the University or its agents. It is not,…speech by an instructor or a professor in the academic context, where principles applicable to government speech would have to be considered.”
    Maybe it’s because I’m not an attorney, maybe it’s because I’m not as careful a reader as I should be, maybe it’s both (and much more?) but I didn’t see where those cases “rest on treating state university employees as agents of the government”. Seems(to me)viewpoint neutrality and university’s ability to levy fees which foster the expression of opinion was more of a controlling principle. I’d appreciate come clarification.

    ChrisH, I’m in the same boat as you – non-JD close follower of certain bits of American jurisprudence. But what I believe the bits you quote are getting at is that the speech financed in part by mandatory student fees is at a certain arm’s length from the actions of the state, even though it’s the state (the university, which the court considers the state) mandating the fees and passing the funds over to student groups. What the decision is saying is that if the university itself, or more pointedly its employees and professors, took the money to publish certain religious points of view, they would in fact violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. But in passing student fees on to groups who then speak, the government is no longer implicated in the speech and so the Establishment Clause is not violated.*

    *Probably a gross oversimplification. And I’m working from memory here, so also possibly completely wrong.

    What the Michigan folks think they are doing is manufacturing atmosphere. Isn’t that great. Fuckers. Imagine this – if a screen shot of the student section were shown during the game, most people would not be moved. But if the screen shot had two Indiana students in there, now people would be talking. And it would all be in fun and it would be a typical university-sport moment. Yeah, let’s take that away.

    We don’t have Phillips 66 stations in Pittsburgh (although I did see an air filling station supplied by Phillips 66 in the area not too long ago), although we had 76 stations until about ten years ago. Wonder if anyone with the last name of “Union” ever wore a sports uniform with the number 76.

    And who honestly cares about the WNBA? Now if we were talking about the Bikini Basketball League…

    And who honestly cares about the WNBA?

    You know, I often run stuff in the Ticker about cricket, Japanese volleyball, cycling, rugby, the D-League, and other sports/leagues that very few readers follow. But man, put one sentence about the WNBA in there and people feel the need to say, “Who cares?” Obviously, the WNBA isn’t all that popular (I don’t give a shit about it myself, uni-related news notwithstanding), but it’s pretty much the only thing that gets singled out as such around here. Happens almost every time. I wonder why.

    Now if we were talking about the Bikini Basketball League…

    Oh, right. That’s why.

    I’m sure I’m in the minority as usual but even though they don’t usually wear them during the Spring I already miss the Cardinals navy road hats. For a team that such a similar look from home to road the navy hat always was a nice change to me and looked good when paired with the traditional red at home. At least it’s still around as an alternate and they still have the navy BP hat. I’m hoping this will be like the Astros road uniform set from previous years where the “alternate” is worn almost daily instead of the regular. The rest of their changes are an improvement but this is a step backwards.

    This look is what I was hoping for when they unvield the new Saturday alternates. Even the new BP caps would be an improvement, but the red caps look off with the cream jerseys for some reason.

    I’m with you. I actually did a double take today, seeing the pitcher from behind during the early innings, I found myself second guessing whether it was the Angels or Cardinals the Yanks were playing.

    Since when is wearing the away team gear mean you area trolland deserve abuse?

    Thats why i generally dress in no gear if i go yo a game?

    Nit worth pitentisl violence.

    I did a bit of googling on this – there’s a few references in the media about cutting baseball and soccer to “achieve fiscal stability and Title IX compliance”

    Its a good read. There have been a few examples out there of universities cutting mens programs to get the ratios right for Title IX.

    That Wayne Little League photo is a thing of beauty. Yes, this will affirm my membership in the Crusty Old(er) Dudes Club, but I love the mish-mash of uniforms & even what appears to be the relatively ramshackle surroundings. This “one small step above pickup ball” is an excellent contrast to the rigidly regimented, ready-for-prime time (or at least ESPN) state of many youth sports today.

    Only way this could be any better is if one of the coaches was holding a cigarette or a beer (or, ideally, both). Long live the 1970s! :-)

    Maybe my mind is in the gutter, but the tongues on those Adidas google talking shoes look like unrolled condoms.

    At the moment, it’s subscriber-only online, but the current New Republic has a fascinating article on baseball among the Amish. “The Boys of Lancaster.” Some uni-related insights: Church elders banned baptized Amish from playing baseball in 1995; the wearing of uniforms was part of the objection. “The unbaptized, if they play competitively in uniforms, that means they’re from a faster, more liberal district,” says one Mennonite observer.

    (Two important threads involved here: First, the Amish are Anabaptists, so they don’t practice baptism until a person is old enough to understand and consent, typically late teens to mid-20s. Second, distinctive clothing is seen as prideful, and therefore a temptation to selfishness, which is sinful, at least for the baptized.)

    Anyway, worth looking out for in the next few days if/when it comes out from behind the paywall.

    If it’s not too long, why don’t you copy/paste it here, for our edification?

    It’s too long. Plus, at the moment I’m only seeing it on the TNR app, not the website, and the app isn’t letting me copy-paste out of itself and into a browser.

    In Soviet Russia, digital rights manage you!

    Looks like they rushed to get a competiting product to the fruitstripe uniforms. The screenprinted logos make it look like a practice uniform.

    At least they are sticking to school colors for the most part, same green, and athletic gold (which I believe is what they used before going to a metallic one), as opposed to neon everything. Overall because of the focus on actual school colors its a better approach than adidas’ offering but a lot left to be desired.

    Does the Big East require that the home team wear home whites? Is there not a chance that someone will want to wear a dark colored uniform despite being the home team? Say, uh, I don’t know Cincinnati, Louisville, or Notre Dame?

    Looking at the bracket it seems unlikely that USF will make it to a matchup with one of them (they’d have to beat the #1 seed in the second round), but surely if they did face one of them they would be wearing the home whites despite being the “road team,”

    In the article about the ‘Washington Senators’ the author mentions the Blues as being named after a colour. However, the team was named for the tradition of blues singers within the city. Seems like if you’re doing a piece on team names, a little bit of research might be involved.

    There was also a 0 guarding 0 matchup in yesterday’s Celtics/Thunder game: Avery Bradley and Russell Westbrook.

    Not to beat a deed horse… but the prominent (well I read the mans work) DC sportswriter Tom Boswell was today again asked the question that will not go away.

    He to his credit has been consistent and forthright about his views on the football team from Washingtons’ naming issue. You can read his reply here.

    As for me I really should do a logo mockup with a new team name… hmmmm.
    I shall call them, the Foreskins.

    The marketing possibilities are endless. From Trojans to Viagra… the name spans the whole demographic.

    I’d love to see the composite photo of the Indiana All-American basketball players in a larger size without… um, purchasing it.

    the photo from march 8 game is from the 2011 season. this was when i photographed for athletics. i too along with others in dept was let go in a classless fashion.

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