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Why Just Have a Flag-Desecration Cap When You Can Have a Manifest Destiny Cap?


As you know, July 4 is Independence Day. In honor of this solemn occasion, MLB has taken one of the world’s nicest flags and spray-painted its pattern onto a bunch of ugly caps. And if all the Dominican, Mexican, Panamanian, Venezuelan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Colombian, Canadian, Australian, and Korean players currently on MLB rosters don’t like it, they can go back to their highly inferior countries of origin.

Same goes for any Native Americans who don’t like Cleveland’s cap: They can go back where they ca –. Uh, never mind. Seriously, they sure managed to pack a bunch of historical references into that design. Blackface/minstrelsy? Check. Smallpox blankets? Double-check. Manifest Destiny? Well, I already mentioned that in the headline.

Anyway: Teams that are playing at home on July 4 will wear white caps; teams on the road will wear gray (except for the Marlins, who’ll be playing on the road but whose cap is shown as being white). Some caps have blue brims and some have red, which is a template we’ve seen before. We all know how this works by now: The A’s, Rockies, Giants, Orioles, and Pirates will look particularly bad, because red and blue don’t work with their color schemes. The other teams will just look like clowns. U! S! A!

Responding to this nonsense on a design level seems particularly pointless, but a few of the caps deserve specific comment:

• I know the Red Sox normally wear a navy cap, but somehow their blue brim doesn’t feel right. Red would’ve been better.

• The Astros’ cap looks kinda weird with that white “H” on a white crown.

• No star-spangled design for the Blue Jays — just solid red. Makes me wonder if they’ll be wearing these caps on Canada Day, which is July 1.

And remember, we knew for a long time that teams would be wearing G.I. Joe caps for Memorial Day, but we didn’t learn until a few days before the holiday that they’d also be wearing G.I. Joe jerseys. So will there be flag-desecration jerseys to go with this new crop of caps? I think I speak for everyone here when I say if we’re lucky we’ll all get hit by an asteroid before those jerseys are unveiled I’m waiting with bated breath to find out.

Meanwhile, here’s a sobering thought: MLB and New Era still have something up their collective sleeve for Sept. 11. Can’t wait!

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The knish is out of the oven: Just thought you’d like to see (click to enlarge):


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OMFG: My latest One-Man Focus Group column is about all the new airline uniforms that were unveiled last month.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s a look at the New York football Giants’ new white alternate pants. Can’t say I’m nuts about the gray striping — would’ve preferred just red and blue. … The Angels have added a memorial patch for Dr. Lewis Yocum. … My colleague Ashley Fox is the latest voice calling for the ’Skins to change their name. … Meanwhile, an Indiana high school is keeping the name “Redskins” but removed a wooden Indian statue from their gym prior to this year’s graduation ceremony, “in order to be respectful of the many differing viewpoints on this issue” (from Kyle Fitzenreiter). … Nats skipper Davey Johnson has been growing a rally goatee (from Tommy Turner). … Also from Tommy: NFL jerseys are outselling NBA jerseys. ”¦ And yet another from Tommy: Virginia Tech stirrups orgy. ”¦ New 75th-anniversary logo for — wait for it — Superman (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Old Dominion is the latest school to have a new basketball floor design featuring a state shape at center court (from Jonathan Leib). … “There’s a restaurant in southern California where the server gets to know his/her customers and then draws relevant (and really impressive) images for them in chocolate on their dessert plates, including lots of sports logos,” says Hugh McBride. … The Fresno Grizzlies wore Star Wars jerseys on Saturday. … A Houston Texans fan upcycled a Texans jersey into a shopping bag (Brinke again). … At first I thought these were flag-desecration uniforms, but I think they might just be the school’s regular design. Odd (from Will Morris). … San Diego State baseball has some pretty huge uni numbers (from John Furstenthal). … Scroll down just a bit on this page to see details on the Altoona Curve’s “What If We Were the Coasters” promotion (from Jerry Duke). … Someone DIY’d himself a pretty swell-looking Reds-themed soccer jersey (from Steven Crooker). … New kits for West Ham (from Jake Edwardes). … Rangers and Royals went color-on-color on Saturday. The particularly weird thing is that the Royals wore their team name on the road and the Rangers wore their location name at home (from Scott Ingalsbe). … Cardiff City’s fans have decided that the team’s new kit will have black shorts (from George Chilvers). ”¦ UNC Charlotte will have a football team for the first time this fall, and they’ve just unveiled the uniforms. ”¦ New BFBS football uni for SIU (from J. Lisenby). ”¦ Josh Donaldson of the A’s mistakenly wore the team’s BP cap on Saturday (from Ramon Meza). ”¦ Mets and Marlins played a very vibrant color-on-color game yesterday. … According to the fifth graf of this article, Red skipper Dusty Baker thinks Brandon Phillips was saved from a broken bone by his wristband (from David Sonny). ”¦ Peter Nash’s latest exposé of the game-used memorabilia market centers on a Jackie Robinson glove. ”¦ See the little black square on this Seibu Lions flag? They added that to their flag in memory of their farm director, Katsuya Sohma, who recently passed away. Never seen a memorial patch on a flag before (fascinating contribution from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Levi’s having already secured naming rights to the 49ers’ new stadium, is trying to trademark the term “Field of Jeans” (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ If you’re foolish enough to wear that Indians stars/stripes cap, you might also dig this Blackhawks tee. “Saw it at a local grocery superstore,” says Julie Streeter. “There’s so much wrong with it, I couldn’t help but laugh.” ”¦ The U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams will both wear “Boston Strong” patches this month (thanks, Phil). ”¦ I’m all in favor of blousing, but Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs might’ve been better off sticking with pajama pants (screen shot by Matt Shepardson). ”¦ The Orioles misspelled one of their own players’ names on one of those “long home run” plaques (Brinke again). ”¦ Todd Tobias has written articles about three game-used jerseys from Lance Alworth’s personal collection — a Chargers home jersey and AFL All-Star jerseys from 1964 and 1965. ”¦ Check this out: the Houston Oilers’ 1983 schedule printed on a coat hanger (nice find by Ryan Rodriguez). ”¦ Nice gesture by the German soccer team, which wore a sleeve patch commemorating 100 years of American soccer for yesterday’s friendly match against the USA (from Rex Henry). ”¦ Richard Paloma says every White Sox fielder yesterday was wearing a black glove. Anyone know if that’s some kind of team-wide coordinated thing? ”¦ Louisville baseball, not content to have a flag-desecration chest insignia, wore flag-desecration uni numbers yesterday. “Vomit,” says Phil. ”¦ Good article on how Andre Agassi’s current deal with Nike (Brinke yet again). ”¦ Phil made a nice composite shot of all four Negro League throwbacks from Saturday. You can see more photos of those games here and here. ”¦ We all knew Coco Crisp shared his name with a cereal, but I didn’t know about these sweet treats until Matthew McDonough told me. ”¦ Interesting note in the middle of the sales listing for this cycling jersey: “Our exclusive tapered collar — high enough on the sides to allow for logos but tapered at the chin so as not to pinch” (emphasis mine). “Truth in advertising,” says Britt Jackson. ”¦ This is good: The Brewers’ emergency catcher is Logan Schafer, who happened to be left-handed. Here’s his glove (good stuff from Nicole Haase). ”¦ Here’s a really nice photo gallery from one of those “base ball” games played with the old rules, old unis, etc. (from David Grindem).

Research query: I’m working on an ESPN column about the NBA Finals, which means I’m looking for uni-notable aspects of the Spurs, Heat, and Pacers. Historical things, current things — it’s all good. If you have suggestions, let’s hear ’em. Thanks.

Comments (182)

    Its just a little patriotism on the day that we celebrate the birth of our nation. What’s wrong with that?

    No joke here, totally serious: How does selling overpriced, ugly caps that clearly violate the U.S. Flag Code qualify as “patriotism”?

    All the Dominican, Mexican, Panamanian, Venezuelan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Colombian, Canadian, Australian, and Korean players are being paid quite handsomely to play in this country and obviously would not have the opportunity to earn a great living anywhere else. Is it wrong to ask them to honor this nation once or twice a year? And isn’t it the revenue earned from this commercialism that helps pay they’re contracts?

    Isn’t that a little condescending to presume that non-American stars would be unable to earn a great living anywhere else? I’m pretty sure Miguel Cabrera could make a great life in Japan.

    Isn’t it possible possible to honor the nation a make a profit without desecrating and cheapening the flag?

    Please don’t act like you know the Flag Code. If you’re not wearing a flag itself, you are not violating the code. This is simply wearing a design based on the flag.

    …and it’s not patriotism. It’s 100% licensing and merchandising, nothing less. “Patriotism” would be putting a US Flag patch over the MLB logo. Converting every MLB cap logo into a type of Stars and Stripes is garish, and is merchandising run amok.

    I don’t think there’s anything patriotic about crass commercialism and butt ugliness.

    I agree with Paul that it’s not so much patriotism as it is commercialism. I also agree with Uni-Dweeb, that as long as players from other countries continue to play in American stadiums in front of American fans for American dollars, they shouldn’t have any more discomfort wearing these caps than they do standing up for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before every game.

    Ok, we all know you don’t like Chief Wahoo’s existence, but how in the hell do you pull blackface and smallpox blankets out of a rendering of the damn thing in the same stupid navy with stars pattern as every other team?

    What I don’t understand is why you (or your Twitter followers, or whoever) would jump to that conclusion when, as The Jeff pointed out, every other team has the same stupid design? I agree with many of your points regarding the use of Native American symbolism/mascots in sports, but blackface and smallpox? It seems to me like people are trying to make a big deal out of something that is clearly nothing.

    It’s the only logo that has the representation of a face of a person.

    The blackface look is an obvious connection.

    While it is unfortunate that it’s reminiscent of such heinous portions of our nation’s history, I’m just saying that we should look at it for what it is: a simple, shitty design that’s the SAME for EVERY team.

    I also thought blackface before reading any of the copy below the picture. Additionally, I went looking for the Orioles cap to see if the same effect was present…only to realize they are using the “O’s” logo for their cap.
    It would not have been specific to the Indians, but it’s definitely a poorly thought through execution of a design that I’m sure looked great on computer monitors.

    The treatment is the SAME for EVERY team, but it affects one particular logo differently from the rest.

    Like I said, it’s an unfortunate occurrence. One that could easily have been avoided had they chose to use an alternate logo instead. But is it a big deal? Depends how much you want to analyze something that really has no substance.

    You do realize you are commenting on a site whose tagline is “The Obsessive Study of Athletics Aesthetics”? The whole point of the site is to “analyze something that really has no substance”.

    Anyway, design is many things, but the most important component is appearance. If it looks like blackface, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

    Very good point terriblehuman. That made me chuckle. Also made me realize I may need to catch some Z’s. I guess what I was getting at is that the real problem is not the flag desecration design, but the logo itself, which is downright offensive and should have been done away with a long, long time ago. Can we at least agree on that?

    Eli, I can get down with that. Both the Chief Wahoo logo *and* getting some sleep.

    FWIW, MLB goes to great lengths to respectfully acknowledge the Negro League’s history and has celebrated and honored Jackie Robinson’s legacy and contributions to the sport, so any resemblance of the Indians cap logo to “Blackface/minstrelsy” is, to me, unintentional.

    Hey Lukas, how do you feel about Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish nickname and logo? Seems like that one could be really offensive to people of Irish descent.

    Poor analogy. The Irish are celebrating THEMSELVES. If a Native American team wants to name itself the Indians and use a grinning caricature as their logo, that’s fine by me. But when someone else misappropriates your image, that’s not so fine.

    Yeah, how did we get tagged in this debate. I haven’t heard an Oriole complain about being represented by the Baltimore 9 (except for those 13 losing seasons)

    Other people agree with my politically correct, overly sensitive view, so that justifies it! Seriously, I’m someone who’s liberal, and the amount of white guilt attached to something like this is ridiculous. Do any Native Americans you know look like Chief Wahoo? Oh, they don’t? Okay. End of discussion. It’s a caricature. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. Stop being ridiculous.

    I find the hat ugly and ironic that they clad a Native American face in the U.S. flag but jumping to smallpox conclusions is just silly and pretty ignorant since the U.S. never purposefully gave Native Americans smallpox. Many did die of European diseases from a lack of immunity and a vaccine.

    Maybe you should do a little more looking into these things before you go implying that the MLB or New Era is putting smallpox references into their products.

    I’m always a little confused when you mention a color-on-color MLB game as a news item, because a lot more happen that you don’t mention. For instance, speaking of vibrancy of the color combination (though you wouldn’t have liked half of it), a few weeks back the Giants and Rockies played an orange-purple game.

    I agree, it happens all the time and I should probably stop bothering to mention it. Only did so regarding yesterday’s Mets/Fish game because the blue/orange combo really popped. But your point is well taken.

    I don’t see the harm in occasionally mentioning some of them, as Uni-Watch currently does. Since I can’t watch all ~100 MLB games every week, I don’t mind seeing a few images from those that do something out of the ordinary with their uniforms. Throwbacks, etc., are fairly common occurrences as well, and those are often mentioned above the ticker.

    OMFG links to a photo, rather than the story. And I think the word “logo” is missing in the Superman item.

    We should deport the Blue Jays for not properly desecrating the flag for Fourth of July.

    Nah, they’ve already desecrated the Canadian flag by using the Maple Leaf, ya hoser. Go Leafs Go!

    The Blue Jays aren’t desecrating the Canadian flag, because we’ve never consecrated it as a pseudo-religious icon.

    From the NFL jerseys vs NBA jerseys article – it seems like it’s talking about one store at an outlet mall in Las Vegas, unless I’m misreading the article.

    Beating James at the Uniform Sports cash register are the jerseys of NFL stars who have switched teams such as Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Percy Harvin of the Seattle Seahawks and Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins, Mianecki said.

    Well, yeah, no kidding. I’m guessing that most people who represent the market for a LeBron James jersey already have one.

    Finally, I seriously thought the new Dolphins jersey was a replica tee, not an actual jersey.

    I know you probably don’t mean it, but I found this comment pretty insensitive – “And if all the Dominican, Mexican, Panamanian, Venezuelan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Colombian, Canadian, Australian, and Korean players currently on MLB rosters don’t like it, they can go back to their highly inferior countries of origin.”

    They are playing a game and being paid extremely well for it at the cost of many American’s personal incomes as well as American businesses that go to paying high ticket/merchandise prices so I think if they’d not want to support the country they decided to come to play a game, they shouldn’t be here.

    Now the hats are just a money grabbing ploy, I agree on that! If they’d REALLY care, they’d give all proceeds to the game/merchandise sold on July 4th to charity for something worthwhile and maybe where a flag insignia on there caps. That’s all that needs to be done.

    I think we can draw a distinction between being respectful to the country that offers one a living, and participating in a crass display of nationalism.

    Let’s say a bunch of American players are playing winter ball in Venezuela (which does in fact happen). And let’s further say that they’re made to wear uniforms based on the Venezuelan flag, to celebrate a Venezuelan national holiday. You’d be fine with that too, right?

    Just checkin’.

    They should be; while playing in Venezuela, that’s their adopted country.

    (One of my amateur teams here in Japan had little Japanese flags on the sleeves. Nobody thought it was unusual.)

    I think almost everyone here would draw a strong distinction between “little flags on the sleeve” and rebranding the team in a flag motif.

    Maybe so, but even having foreign-born players wear a team logo in a flag motif wouldn’t bother me. If anything, it would be a celebration of the inclusiveness of the American culture that accepts people from all over the world and allows them to call themselves Americans.

    (That being said, no, I don’t actually think most of these flag designs look good. Even my red-white-and-blue Cubs barely manage to look half-decent.)

    I like seeing the Blue Jays celebrate Canada Day as a team even if most of the players weren’t born in Canada. Same with having Independence Day stuff for all players on American teams, no matter where they come from. The alternative — that players are shackled to their birth countries and not allowed to join in celebrating their adopted ones — isn’t what the US and Canada are about.

    The alternative – that players are shackled to their birth countries and not allowed to join in celebrating their adopted ones – isn’t what the US and Canada are about.

    I never said they shouldn’t be allowed to. And hell, maybe some of them want to. But I think making them do it is bad manners, esp. when it’s part of a larger pattern of jingoism.

    I agree with you on most things flag and camo related, but I think you’re overreaching here. The hats are ugly and crude, but at least from the point of view of a foreigner (which I am), I don’t think they’re terribly offensive.

    As long as they’re not being forced to sing America über alles and salute a giant portrait of Obama before a game or otherwise forced to express individual fealty to America, I think it’s not-awful.

    FWIW, Barcelona players will be wearing away uniforms that are clear tributes to the Catalonia flag (and the club itself is basically an expression of Catalan identity) and Swansea wore a uniform based on the Welsh flag this year:

    I’ve been toying with bringing this up recently too. I’ve come to a bit of a conclusion that celebrating holidays (with flag desecration uniforms if you must) in the country you are playing in is ok, Independence Day, Labor Day, etc. However, I’m not so sure about military displays or holidays though, such as a Japanese player “celebrating” Memorial Day in the US?

    Tom V,

    The foreign equivalent I always go back to is the red poppy for Remembrance Day in the UK. It’s pretty much become mandatory for public figures to wear the poppies and teams have incorporated poppy patches onto their uniforms.

    But players who feel strongly can opt out of poppy-wearing (though they usually don’t, even Argentinians who might have a legitimate beef with the UK military) and it’s never an integral part of the uniform the way the camos or the stars are.

    Even though I’m not crazy about these holiday caps/jerseys in general, Paul, I would be PERFECTLY fine with the scenario you paint. If I were playing in Japan, and their equivalent of July 4 came with special uniforms decked out with the Rising Sun, JAPAN #1, Goku, or whatever, I’d understand the ostensible sentiment at work, wear the hell out of it, and lose no sleep that evening.

    I really think this is a non-issue. I haven’t heard of any players from other countries complaining about this. They aren’t being forced to celebrate our holidays (which you implied Americans would have to do in Venezuela).

    It’s the uniform their employer supplies and they wear it for a day. Doesn’t mean they have to adopt the traditions and holidays of the country they are currently playing in.

    I would be perfectly fine with Americans wearing another country’s items if they were currently playing there.

    Personally, my answer is yes. If they’re playing in Venezuela, drawing a check in Venezuelan funds, and the uniform of the team they’ve chosen to play for is based on the Venezuelan flag – why would I have a problem with them wearing that uniform?

    Yes, if that team is supported by Venezuelans and owned/operated out of that country of course they should be supported! Now I wouldn’t play down there, but that’s my choice.

    It’s the same everywhere, Japan, Korea, China etc. That’s the country they are in, if they don’t like what’s being put to them to wear, leave!

    Wait, if the Indians are on the road on 7/4, shouldn’t they be doing the stars/stripes thing to the C then?

    It’s even more ridiculous when you consider that the one other US-based team with a cartoon mascot on their cap is going with their letter-based alternate.

    After the Laughing Brave BP cap situation, I’d be surprised if the Indians’ Wahoo cap shown above ever makes it to the field.

    “So will there be flag-desecration jerseys to go with this new crop of caps?” – PL

    If there are, it’s possible that the Chief Wahoo sleeve patch that’s on all Indians jerseys might be recolored (though I think only the Dodgers went so far as to modify their “LA” sleeve patch when they went camo).

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see a raised middle finger when they look at the Chief Wahoo July 4 cap? Just another insult added to injury with this particular cap.

    Enjoyed the OMFG. Like this little bit:

    But it also speaks to the decline of something we once took for granted: the uniformed service class. Train conductors, apartment building doormen, service station attendants, even delivery boys–these people used to be part of the fabric of our civic culture. There was little prestige, excitement, or reward in their jobs, but their uniforms gave them an air of authority and dignity as they worked to achieve their share of the American dream.

    It’s probably no coincidence that the decline of the uniformed service class has happened the same time the middle class has been shrinking and wages for jobs that don’t require college degrees have declined. Labor has become commoditized, and why dress up easily replaceable parts at a cost to the bottom line?

    Airline uniforms used to signal the excitement of air travel. I guess it’s apropos that drab uniforms go hand in hand with a generally shitty experience.

    I enjoyed the OMFG too, and as an ardent supporter of flattering uniforms for employees of all kinds of organizations, I always appreciate seeing companies put in the effort.

    Here in Japan, even 10-15 years ago just about every company had uniforms for its employees, and they were generally designed to flatter the wearer. You still see nice ones in banks and at travel agencies, but convenience stores have gone the American route and issue boring shirts and pants. I sometimes think that when I move back to the USA, I could start a business that could get an edge on the competition just by re-introducing classy, traditional uniforms for the employees.

    Air travel seems to be one field where good uniforms haven’t been disappearing, but those new designs are bland and boring. The fact that the women all wear trousers doesn’t help matters. I wonder whose idea that was.

    You know what I love in Japan? Taxi drivers and train operators with full uniforms and white gloves.

    Well, I think it correlates even more with slackening dress standards in general. Such uniforms started to die out at about the same time that respectable men started to go out in public without necktie or hat. And now that not even T-shirts, sweatpants, or sneakers are beyond the social pale for actual adult citizens, the last vestiges of service uniforms are eroding. Doesn’t seem like a coincidence.

    That’s a fair point, and I guess bellhops and luxury condo doormen who wear fancy uniforms still face the same bullshit as their Aramark’d brethren.

    When the Pacers went to the NBA finals in 2000 against the Lakers, they were forced to wear their alternate uniforms for the games in LA to avoid yellow on yellow.

    That’s interesting though, was there ever a time further back in the past before alts, when Indiana or someone else maybe (Golden State?), had only a yellow road and white home jersey, and played a game at the Lakers, (purple road and yellow home) and had to wear their white home jersey at L.A. to avoid a yellow-on-yellow matchup?

    If is correct, Pacers, Warriors and Cavaliers all used yellow as their home, not road color, so I don’t think color clashing ever became an issue.

    Now Charlotte Bobcats used a light shade of orange in their second (?) season, which seems problematic against the Lakers’ home gold, and the Suns’ alternate orange is pretty close to gold too.

    Wherever the Braves are playing on 7/4, they should go full rebel: grey pants and hat with the red shirt. The hat should have the “Noc-a-Homa face. Before you get indignant, many native tribes supported the Confederacy against the “Blue Coats”.

    Full rebel, eh? An hat logo that’s offensive to Anerican Indians. Wearing gray to honor the army that subjugated African Americans into slavery. Plus saluting traitors and rebels. Is that what you’re saying?

    Strange but true side note: Some members of the Cherokee nation fought with the Confederacy during the war, thinking they’d get a better deal from the CSA than they would ever receive from Washington.

    As a notable Virginian once put it: “If this be treason, let us make the most of it.” If Hell freezes over and the suits at Liberty Media ever do such a thing, I’ll be there with bells on (and a grey-plumed hat).

    Embarrassing personal factoid: of my known ancestors, many of whom fought in the Great Unpleasantness, only one was a confirmed slave-owner–and he was 100% Cherokee. (Family legend suggests that he greased palms to avoid the ToT.)

    There is not one single recorded instance of any American giving any Native American small pox infested blankets for the purpose of engaging in biological warfare. There was one disputed account of a British officer ordering the distribution of such items at Fort Pitt during the French and Indian War but even that story is questioned by historians. I realize this ruins a good story but the truth is kinda funny that way.

    Moreover, deaths by disease and inter-tribal warfare far exceeded the killings of American Indians by the US Army and civilians.

    Even if it wasn’t deliberate the disease still spread like wildfire, decimating the indigenous population.

    So the European people should never have spoke/seen/touched a Native American because of this? First, they didn’t even know how to stop it or what they were doing that caused it to happen. Second, it’s human nature to explore, new technologies and opportunities allowed them to do so, how can you say that they should not do so?

    I’m not talking about killing them and taking land, which was wrong, but the simple fact is it would have happened regardless of the other.

    Not saying that, just saying it was tragic. You wouldn’t do the ND Fighting Irish logo up in a way that the leprecaun appeared to be suffering from starvation or bubonic plague.

    Seconded, Jake. You never see Europeans, who were similarly decimated by the Black Death just two centuries before that age of exploration, blame the Chinese for the disease, even though it originated in China and was carried to Europe in a trading ship.

    These plagues were a tragedy all around but in an era before biologically-engineered viruses, you can’t blame specific peoples and cultures for them.

    I’m guessing that Oilers coat hanger is from Pilgrim Cleaners, a dry cleaning chain that was a major team sponsor during the Luv Ya Blue! Era. They had a TV commercial featuring backup QB Gifford Nielsen dressed in the full Puritan regalia. I vaguely remember it involved a turkey.

    What a season – as a just beginning Bucaneer fans, I can tell you for certain that the Oilers lost that preseason game against Tampa Bay — that was the first post-Doug Williams year for the Bucs and as Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson and Jerry Goldsteyn battled for the starting job, the Bucs went 4-0 in the preseason… only to start the regular season 0-9 and the November 27th rematch with the Oilers was dubbed the “Repus Bowl” (Super spelled backwards) as those two were the two worst teams in the league, even if they were the most nattily dressed clubs of the era.

    p.s. I apologize in advance if re-stating the phrase ‘The Throwing Samoan’ is now offensive here in 2013.

    Interesting to see that the Oilers were the last team to play the Baltimore Colts in Memorial Stadium.

    Love that photo also! It’s a great shot of two terrific AFL unis and, fittingly, shows a Jets defender missing a tackle! Also, the blue Chargers uni pics demonstrate how much darker their original color was than the current powder blues that are supposed to “throw back” to the origins of the franchise. I’d say the current powder blue isn’t anywhere close to the actual color of blue they originally wore.

    I know a girl who graduated from Goshen High School (re: the “Redskins” mascot in the ticker).

    She decided to take to fb to complain about someone complaining about the mascot needing changed. It was rather fun. She ended up deleting two of her posts because I posted truth to her.

    I cannot believe she likened “redskin” mascots to “bomber” mascots. They both can be taken personally right? Lousy argument.

    The kicker was when I gave her this one: was a term used as a bounty on the heads of Native Americans, it had nothing to do with the color of the skin. Oh boy, she didn’t like that one. “But the name has been around forever…” Blah blah blah…

    The Charlotte 49ers reveal new Bike Shorts with Football Jersey themed shirt and Football helmet based cycling helmet for their new Cycling Team. Wait, that’s the football uniform. I hope they don’t play on turf… Lots of Road Rash on the way… Er… You get the idea!

    As an Alumni of UNC Charlotte, I absolutely hate these uniforms. Everything that is white (jersey, numbers, pants)should be a gold color instead. Helmet should be green. Disliked the original choice of a coach (would have preferred they have chosen someone from a SEC school, or at least from a conference where there is strong football roots rather than the ACC where basketball is king), and his choice of uniforms has not greatly endeared himself to me. I may have felt different regarding his uniform choice in catering to recruiting players if it meant the difference between the school having a winning program or not. However since this is their first season, they should have skewed the unform more toward their fans and less toward recruiting (as there is zero chance of any recruit to this team being a difference-maker until they are in a conference where it matters anyhow).

    “Hail, Charlotte 49ers, proud as we can be
    We stand to fight for the green and WHITE,
    Til We win the Victory (Go Niners!)”

    I agree they should have used more Gold (especially since they used black when Gold would have looked great for the outlines), but the school’s colors are now Green and White, and they are going to design their uniforms around those colors.

    ACC has strong football roots, basketball is big but its not the only thing. Not that someone being from a conference without “strong football roots” means an AC from there would be any less qualified. Plus your coach was an AC at uga for 5 seasons before going to Wake.

    I know it’s the blog’s schtick to call these hats “flag desecration” or “G.I. Joe” but no flag is being desecrated as it’s just a pattern being used. As far as the camo goes they’re not military uniforms. A soldier once posted he was offended that the players didn’t earn the right to wear camo and the flag. Meanwhile the guy probably wears his David Wright jersey to ballgames. It’s just clothing to make people feel good about their team or themselves and build loyalty. No need to be so cynical to the point where you’re promoting an event you despise.

    I know it’s the blog’s schtick to call these hats “flag desecration” or “G.I. Joe” but no flag is being desecrated as it’s just a pattern being used.

    It’s not a “schtick”; it’s what I think. And yes, I do think these caps desecrate the flag, because they cheapen and caricature its symbolism. They also violate the U.S. Flag Code. If you don’t think that qualifies as desecration, that’s fine, but I disagree.

    Paul, you’re just an un-American piece of shit. I understand your thoughts on merchandising (I agree that it has gone too far in all sports) but your hatred for the USA, your demeaning language of the USA, makes you a shit in my eyes. I know you don’t care, nor should you. Just know there are plenty of people who read this site who know you’re a commie, hippie, bastard.

    Have a good day, and fuck you, Paul!

    Hey Archie Bunker, try switching to decaf! (I almost wrote “Sanka” instead of decaf, but figured most would miss the reference.)

    Now I can’t help but think of this line from Real Genius:

    “… but – and I’m only saying this because I care – there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing.”

    I can think of a lot worse things to be called than commie and hippy (spelling corrected). But then I am English.

    Well, at least the spelling and grammar hold together (though the semantics & phrasing are iffy). Even your hate mail is a cut above, Paul!

    I like the Ashley Fox article, but I have one complaint. It has to do with the reporting on another name change, and it’s actually not unique to her article:

    Tom Benson, the new owner of the NBA franchise in New Orleans, has changed the name from the Hornets to the Pelicans. And this month, Michael Jordan, owner of the NBA franchise in Charlotte, announced that the team would scrap Bobcats and return to its original nickname, the Hornets.

    The Bobcats are bringing the Hornets nickname back to Charlotte, this much is fact. However, the way the above quote is written to imply that the Bobcats used to be known as the Hornets is flat-out wrong. Unfortunately, ever since before the team’s announcement, this is how reporters have written the story: that the Bobcats were going back to being the Hornets.

    Here’s how the statement could be made more factually accurate:

    And this month, Michael Jordan, owner of the NBA franchise in Charlotte, announced that the team would scrap Bobcats and return the Hornets nickname back to its original city.

    Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? So why don’t the reporters get it right?

    Also it seems they messed up on the times on the regular season games on that Oilers hanger — it says “All Times Houston local” but the games in Eastern Time zone that say 1:00 PM didn’t start at noon Eastern… all the 1 PM Eastern games should say 12:00 Noon, right? I would say they are just all local times, but I think they are just all over the board. If they played at L.A. Raiders at 1 PM Central, that would mean that they kicked off at 11 AM in the Coliseum. I know the Baltimore 2:00 was still the Colts with the Maryland Blue Law 2:00 PM Eastern starts, but the others should all be noon or 3 PM Central.

    (Not that I’m guessing the 1983 Oilers played many 4 PM games)

    “… Nice gesture by the German soccer team, which wore a sleeve patch commemorating 100 years of American soccer for yesterday’s friendly match against the USA (from Rex Henry). …”

    God punished the Germans yesterday because She cannot abide those green shirts that the Germans wore. Some visitors to this site have written that they don’t regard the German green jerseys as an offense to the Most High because the Germans have sported green quite a few times in the past and so it’s kinda “traditional” or something. Nein! Niemals! Only the following European nations are entitled to wear green jerseys: Hungary, Bulgaria, Ireland, and Portugal. The Portuguese should stick with those distinctive maroon babies of theirs, but they would be allowed to wear green if they wanted to.

    It was no accident that the US margin of victory yesterday was provided by Clint Dempsey, of the County Donegal Dempseys, who used to be an altar boy and daily communicant at St Patrick’s Church / Iglesia del San Patricio on the borderlands of South Texas.

    That, and green-shirted teams generally don’t do well on American soil. I’m just disappointed the US couldn’t maintain a dos a cero scoreline.

    Slovenia wear green too – and Hungary are cherry red. Always have been and always will be. And Bulgaria wear white, sometimes red, never green.

    If we stick to flag colours then Germany should wear black, red and gold, Italy green, white and red and Hollanda red, white and blue. It just don’t work!

    Apart from that agree entirely, Connie :)

    I imagine Wales and Northern Ireland should be allowed to wear green as well (although only the latter does).

    Wales’ first colours were green and white halves. Ireland wore (St Patrick’s) blue.

    Germany traditionally wears white jerseys, but it’s absolutely traditional for the German national team’s clash jersey to be green. Germany’s clash at every World Cup from ’54 to ’94 was green.

    The problem with the hats is not that they’re designed to invoke the flag imagery, in my opinion. The problem is that they’re all designed the same. The purpose of the uniform, to state the obvious, is to distinguish one team from the other. While that’s less important in baseball than it is in other sports, it’s still important. It just looks bad to watch San Fransisco and Cincy and see them wearing hats that look the same in both dugouts and clash with the rest of their uniforms. Looking at a Facebook gallery of all the hats side by side only highlights that.

    Beyond that, the Cleveland hats were clearly designed without much thought to cultural sensitivity.

    Sorry, forgot to mention interesting juxtaposition by FYP, above, who agrees with Paul and others re hyper-commercialism [” … I understand your thoughts on merchandising (I agree that it has gone too far in all sports)…’] but who then parts company with our host because of PL’s “commie, hippie” character. If only it were true! Honestly, if Paul were a good Stalinist, or Fidelista, or even one of those mealy-mouth Gramschi Eurocommies, it would be so awesome that he was also nuts about unis. Even better were he a hippy: stoned and tie-dyed and groovy. Disappointing realty, for sure.

    Commies are hippies are harmless (if smelly) old coots these days. These days, we refer to people like Paul as terrorist sympathizers.

    If you’re not spending $34.99+tax each on Stars & Stripes, camo, home, away, home alternate, away alternate, Cooperstown throwback, clubhouse and batting practice, oops sorry, Diamond Era hat for your favorite team, then you’re just as bad as the Iraqis who crashed into the twin towers, if not worse. Why do you hate America, Paul Lukas?

    I think Paul enjoys the good bud. I could see him burning one down with Bill Walton at a Phish concert.

    Neat. I had no idea the logo had gone through that many revisions. I guess George Lucas is really good at erasing history – I know I’ve seen a few of those images with the current logo instead of the originals.

    /I think I remember Han shooting first too, but I’m not really sure anymore.

    I remember Han shooting first.

    But boy the more you learn about the production of the first Star Wars, the more the prequels make sense.

    In theory, maroon and burnt orange should not work together, but damned if those Virginia Tech stirrups aren’t absolutely gorgeous.

    After reading the SIU BFBS article I think it’s more than BFBS. Has bidding to put the name of a loved one on a jersey worn by player been done before? I can’t believe the NCAA signed off on it. I’m not opposed to it and might bid to put my dad’s name on a jersey. He did pay for me to go to SIU.

    It’s been well played out already on here, but here’s my take. The hats are ugly. It’s a money grab. Those arguments alone should be enough. I don’t think taking the conversation into foreign players “forced to wear them” is pertinent or necessary. I don’t think “blackface” or “small pox” is necessary. It’s sensationalism and helps take an otherwise valid point (hats are ugly and for money, not for celebrating) and turns the conversation back into Native American imagery. And the fact he is completely fine with the “Fighting Irish” is hypocritical.

    Can you please explain the “hypocritical” comment? Please be specific.

    Before you answer, take a second to think about the difference between an Irish-Catholic school calling itself the Fighting Irish and a non-Indian team calling itself the Indians (or Redskins, or Braves, or whatever).

    So you’re saying is all the Redskins have to do is hire some Native Americans in their front office and they can keep the nickname?

    Really enjoy the site Paul and especially you’re critique of the horrible “patriotic” caps the MLB pushes each American “holiday.” I for one have stopped attending sporting events alltogether because there is too much military celebration at every single game. The last Mets game I went to had four different times where a military person and/or their family was announced and shown on the jumbotron and met with thunderous applause and standing O’s. Combine that with the National Anthem and God Bless America and it was just too much America worship for me for one day. And this was just a regular game, not on a perpetual war holy day such as 9/11. What exactly are we so celebrating so intensely? And without any objection?

    Why is holiday in quotations? Memorial Day and July 4th are undoubtedly holidays.

    Also the National Anthem at the beginning of a sports event is standard in the US, baseball is not alone in that. God Bless America was not nearly as prevalent before 9/11 but the National Anthem has been there for decades.

    What are we celebrating? The men and women who serve their country, if you can’t support the war (can’t blame you on that one), surely you can appreciate the fact that these people are coming home to their friends and family alive.

    – this is purely a response to Jesse, not a statement either way on the way the MLB/New Era/Majestic celebrate the holidays.

    Look, I agree that one shouldn’t be curmudgeonly when a soldier or vet is singled out for applause. But God Bless America really ticks me off. It’s not a patriotic song! Patriotic music either praises America or tells us something about why America is worthy of praise. GBA does neither. And it’s not a song. It’s a prayer. And it’s a shitty, borderline blasphemous, prayer. It consists entirely of a list of blessings God has already bestowed on our people (mountains, prairies, oceans) and then a plea for blessing. You could salvage it, as a prayer, by changing it to “God has blessed America / For which I thank you, Lord,” but then as a song it would just be bragging.

    And the worst thing is that, due to the context of being played at a ballgame as if it were a patriotic song, it leads people who don’t listen to or think about the lyrics to get all in the face of anyone who either doesn’t stand, doesn’t stand with sufficient reverence, or doesn’t remove his cap and hold it over his heart like the national anthem. I frequently encounter people who give folks a hard time for not singing along to GBA even though these same people earlier didn’t even bother to lip-sync to the actual national anthem six innings earlier.

    In short, GBA at ballgames is making Americans ruder, less patriotic, and less respectful of God. Plus, the Yankees started it, and really that should be all anyone of character needs to know to reject it at any ballpark except Yankee Stadium. God Bless America is Sweet Caroline for summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.

    You never disappoint, Arr Scott. Another beautifully reasoned, beautifully written entry.

    Baseball is patriotic enough. It doesn’t need more flags. We have the Star-Spangled Banner before the first pitch of each game.

    This is a goof, right? Satire? You can’t possibly feel this way, can you?

    “And if all the Dominican, Mexican, Panamanian, Venezuelan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Colombian, Canadian, Australian, and Korean players currently on MLB rosters don’t like it, they can go back to their highly inferior countries of origin.”

    I don’t understand the basis for the above statement. Why would non-American players be upset that America is being celebrated on America’s birthday? You’re implying that (1) there’s something inherently wrong with celebrating the 4th of July and that (2) other ethnicities are just not appreciated by the MLB. I stopped reading after that. Too much hyperbole for me.

    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it, but Oklahoma’s baseball team wore vest jerseys in last weekends round of CWS playoffs, and paired them with light blue undershirts for a tribute to recent tornado victims. It was an odd combo, since Oklahoma’s colors are red and white.

    What is going on with the 7 and the 5 in the Superman logo?

    I don’t read Superman (the main title or any of the other ones), but I’m fairly certain that there is no reference to anything in the mythos going on with those random angles.

    Typical “fake outrage” media nonsense.

    its just a hat. and the indians logo is just a logo. and the players from other countries can go back to their shithole country if they dont like it.

    stop hating america or leave.

    Love it or leave it, huh?
    Perhaps the greatest anti-American sentiment ever stated.

    Wanted to find a clip of South Park, where they had 3 scenes where basically the people said “This is America, if you don’t like it then you can Giiiitt Out!”

    It aired in 2003 surrounding the Iraq war debate. The best part is that they throwback to our founding fathes drafting the constitution and them saying the same thing. Basically we’ve always had opposing views on things, at no point in our history has everyone agreed 100% on how things should be done. And to suggest that one side is completely wrong is beyond absurd. Debate is crucial, opposing views are needed, you don’t have to like Paul’s views but that doesn’t make them invalid.

    And furthermore his views should not be equated with Hate for America. He disagrees with you on how to celebrate things that doesn’t mean he hates America. Like it or not we have a not so great history with Native Americans, and it isn’t something that should be completely ignored, especially when discussing Native American imagery (I personally thought the black face statement was ridiculous as was the Small Pox one but there is definitely some irony in dressing an Indian in the US Flag).

    This blog has basically just become a platform for all of Paul’s political beliefs. Anything involving an American flag or Native American symbol will be immediately mocked and disparaged. I used to love reading this but it has become incredibly predictable.

    America is the best country in the world, I truly believe that… but it is not perfect. There is no perfect place.

    I used to love reading this but it has become incredibly predictable.

    You’re essentially accusing me of being consistent. I’ll take that as a compliment. (Maybe you’d prefer that I change my mind all the time, so you could call me a hypocrite?)

    My job here isn’t to surprise you; my job is to say what I think. And as long as leagues and teams keep coming out with this faux-patriotism nonsense, I’ll keep saying what I think about it.

    The “predictable” thing isn’t my response to this stuff but the ever-increasing flood of G.I. Joe amd flag-desecration uni elements. Believe me, nothing would please me more than if we never saw any more of them, and then I wouldn’t have to respond to them.

    As for the blog being “a platform,” here’s a news flash: This site IS my platform. Always has been. That’s the case whether I’m celebrating stirrups or decrying purple. Or, yes, saying what I think about faux-patriotic uniform elements.

    Imagine that, using my own website as a platform for my own thoughts. What’ll they think of next…

    “Faux-patriotism?” I can’t think of anything MORE patriotic than good old fashioned American capitalism.

    Isn’t the buried lede here that these are game caps made using the new BP cap fabric? Surely this is a sign, as if we needed one, that game caps will eventually, which is to say soon, be made in the BP style? And once that happens, presumably the non-meshy game caps will last about as long as the non-meshy jerseys did once Majestic started offering both the meshy and old-fashioned thick poly versions of each jersey.

    Its bad enough that MLB engages in this ridiculous mockery of the sport every year with these preposterous designs, but do they have to have the New Era 5950 cap model? Must we sell out to the hiphop generation or could we please have a cap with a curved brim that doesn’t have a gigantic crown for the majority of us with normal-sized heads.

    New Era has been producing flat-brimmed 5950s for almost 6 decades. You’re supposed to fold the brim yourself.

    Full video of Indiana Football reveal:

    New helmets include crimson & chrome striped, crimson with IU trident logo on one side/state flag logo on the other, white with crimson center ridge with IU logo on side, white with crimson ridge with numbers on side, & crimson throwback with “block I” logo.

    These are in addition to the stock models of crimson with IU logo model and white with the IU logo.

    We’ll await the opinion of IU grad Tim O’Brien.

    …crimson with IU trident logo on one side/state flag logo on the other…

    Hmmm… I missed that detail when I saw the video earlier this afternoon. I thought it was two separate helmets, one with the interlocking IU on both sides and the other with the state flag motif on both sides.

    We’ll await the opinion of IU grad Tim O’Brien.

    Who’s “we?”

    Astros will be wearing a patch to honor the four Houston firefighters who lost their lives last Friday. Will try to get a pic and post tomorrow.

    In regards to Eastern’s uniforms (that’d be the high school jerseys with the red and white hoops), that is one of their normal looks. They wore plain white jerseys against my alma mater:

    And we know there’s also a red jersey in the rotation somewhere:

    I don’t have a problem with the striped jersey being used occasionally but it doesn’t really look right being used in the sectional title game (which is what the game against Shawnee was.)

    Eastern’s striped jersey looks like a soccer jersey to me. I almost wonder if they’re getting some extra wear out of it now that soccer season’s over.

    In the 90’s I had a girlfriend who lived in Atlanta and worked for Ted Turner. One of the perks then was that Turner/TBS employes got free tickets to Braves games. So one afternoon we went, and during the seventh inning stretch I hear “God Bless America.” I’m like, “WTF? We sang the Star Spangled Banner – you people never heard of Harry Cary?” My date was embarrassed and for her it was kind of a work-related thing, so I eventually shut up.

    Now when I go to a Sunday game I know it’s coming. Instead of just sitting and watching those around me stand and sing, I get up from my seat and go take a piss with the other atheists.

    I’m confused… Harry Cary was never associated with the Braves, unless you count Skip and Chip (Harry Jr. and Harry III), neither of whom had a 7th Inning Stretch routine like Harry Caray did in Chicago.

    Cable tv- WGN – just like TBS. They’d have to know about Harry and the seventh inning stretch debauchery.
    I’m from Chicago (though I was living in Austin at the time) and traveling a lot back then. I just figured a sloppy, drunken “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” was the norm. I was wrong.

    A little late to the promotion game, the White Sox are wearing their batting practice caps in tonight’s game. Couldn’t swear to it, but I can’t recall them wearing batting practice caps in a regular-season game in this or any previous season. Mariners are wearing their standard caps with alt teal jerseys.

    Just for shits and giggles, I would love to find out bottom line sales at year end for these caps.


    I’m not sure when we’ll have the next question session (sorry if this has been advertised and I missed it). So let me just ask this now:

    Have you ever taken a Myers Briggs personality test? If so, what “type” are you categorized under?

    I’m a big follower of basketball court designs. Recently we have gotten the hideously (word?) gaudy at Oregon, the more subtle fancy at Towson, the plain boring at VCU, but the ODU design is very nice. It is traditional, yet incorporates the Virginia state and the ODU logo in it. All in all very nice. Good job guys!

    Hey liberal, you don’t buy ANY sports gear, you are also against the United States for insulting its most important day. Go crawl in your basement and cry me a river.

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