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In Which I Return From a Month Off, Give Credit Where It’s Due, and Ask You to Weigh In on a Bunch of Questions

Hey there. Remember me? I enjoyed my time off, but it’s good to be back.

Before I say anything else, I want to express my profound thanks to Phil and all his contributors for giving me a much-needed breather, for keeping the site running smoothly, and, especially, for producing such fantastic content over the past month. This isn’t the first time Phil has taken over the site while I’ve taken a summer break, but he really stepped up his game this year. Please join me in giving him and his crew a standing O — they deserve it.

So what have I been doing for the past month? I did manage to squeeze in a four-day road trip through New Jersey, Delaware, and Philly (highlighted by a crab feast at this place, which is every bit as good as it looks in those photos). Also saw lots of good music, most notably a marathon set by the Muffs, a killer show by Sleepy LaBeef, and a spectacular outdoor set by Allen Toussaint. Mostly, though, I worked — on the Uni Watch Power Rankings, on other ESPN projects, and on a few non-sports endeavors. Not the most glamorous summer break, I’ll grant you, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Although I was taking a break from the site, I was also thinking about the site — a lot. Specifically, I thought about three possible changes. I’d like to hear what you think about them:

1. The Ticker. Aside from the occasional guest-written contribution, I always produce the main entry and the Ticker each weekday. I love getting Ticker contributions — they help me keep my finger on the pulse of the uni-verse, and it’s always good to hear from readers. But the volume of contributions — often more than 200 emails a day, many of which require assorted forms of follow-up — can be overwhelming. It’s been a long time since I could, say, go to a movie (to say nothing of going on a vacation) without worrying about how many Ticker emails would be piling up while I was away. Dealing with the Ticker usually eats up the first 45 minutes of my morning (seriously: I open my eyes, immediately reach for the laptop, and deal with the overnight emails right there in bed), and it’s a constant presence in my life for the rest of the day, right up until I go to sleep. In many ways it’s the tail that wags the dog of my life.

Don’t misunderstand me — I’m not complaining. Nobody ever put a gun to my head and made me do the Ticker. The volume of submissions is a measure of Uni Watch’s success, and I’m privileged to have such a proactive, enthusiastic reader base. Still, the Ticker can be exhausting, so over the years I’ve considered a few ways to tame the beast. For example, I could impose a higher standard by running only “important” Ticker submissions and just ignoring all the others. But that might alienate the readers whose submissions weren’t being used. And besides, the “unimportant” Ticker submissions — the little items about really little details — are often my favorites (and maybe yours, too). Also, Uni Watch has always included an element of obsessive information overload, and I’d like to retain that.

Another option: Outsource the Ticker to an intern. I’ve never really considered this idea too seriously, because I’m a control freak lousy at delegating and generally prefer to do everything myself. But now I’m thinking it might finally be time to go this route — assuming I can find an intern with the energy and acumen to take on the task, that is.

Letting go of the Ticker would have a major impact on my life, mostly for the better (although there are things about it that I’d miss). But what about the effect of this move on your life? Would you be less interested in the Ticker if it were compiled by someone else? Would you miss my voice? Would you welcome the change? Here, tell me what you think:

When it comes to the Ticker…
  free polls 


2. The format. For more than seven years now, I’ve stuck to a simple schedule: one blog post per day, published in the morning. (Yes, there have been a couple of exceptions to this rule over the years, but they’ve been very, very rare.)

This format has worked well, but I’ve often wondered if it might be better to post multiple times per day. I could publish the main entry in the morning and the Ticker a few hours later. Things that end up as a sentence or two in the Ticker under our current format could become short, stand-alone blog entries of their own. Occasional features like “Collector’s Corner” or “’Skins Watch” could also stand alone as their own entries, instead of being bundled into the big once-a-day entries. And I could do short posts on breaking news as it occurs, which is pretty much the way the internet works now. This means you’d come back to Uni Watch multiple times per day to keep up with stuff, just as you probably do on lots of other sites.

I’ve always resisted going this route, in part because doing multiple posts per day might interfere with my sanity, but also because we would lose the day-long discussion threads that often take place in the comments (once a new entry is posted, commenters would likely abandon the last post and move on to the new one), which would probably have the effect of decreasing the site’s sense of community. In short, it would make Uni Watch a more freewheeling, possibly more chaotic place, a less predictable place, and possibly a harder place to keep up with. That could potentially be stressful for all of us, but it might also make Uni Watch a more interesting place, and my general feeling is that interesting is good.

Again, I’d like to hear what you think:

When it comes to the site’s daily format… free polls 


3. The ads. As many of you are aware, during my break we briefly experimented with a new ad format. Reaction to it was very negative, and I ultimately decided I didn’t like it myself, so we scrapped it after a few days.

Frankly, I’d like to scrap all the advertising and have the site be ad-free, but that’s not realistic from a financial standpoint — at least not if I’m giving away the content for free. But what if I charged a modest subscription fee to access the site?

I have a feeling I know what your collective reaction to that idea will be, but let’s see if I’m right:

When it comes to paying for Uni Watch content… free polls 

I’m not yet completely sold on making any of these changes yet — that’s why I’d like to know what you think. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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In case you missed it on Friday, I did a live web chat on ESPN. Here’s how it went.

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Have I mentioned that the Ticker is a beast?: The new Madden game becomes available this week. As I disclosed back in March, I have a small role in this edition of the game, and now it turns out I’m going to have some additional involvement, probably next month. Details to follow soon. ”¦ In case you missed Johnny Ek’s coverage on Saturday, TCU has a new uni and helmet for the season-opening game against LSU. ”¦ Pitt and Florida State, who open the season against each other on Labor Day, will be wearing helmet decals to raise awareness of a children’s blood disease (thanks, Phil). … The Falcons have posted their 2013 jersey schedule. Looks like they won’t be wearing their black throwbacks this year (from Garen Schaefer). … Lots of MLB uni action over the weekend, incuding the Phillies and Diamondbacks wearing throwbacks on Friday night; the Mets wearing orange “Los Mets” jerseys on Saturday; the Nats and Royals wearing Negro Leagues throwbacks on Saturday; and the Rangers and White Sox wearing chest patches for the annual Civil Rights Game on Saturday night (here’s a closer look). …. ”¦ Sporting KC’s keeper, Jimmy Nielsen, will begin wearing locally made gloves designed by the team’s supporters group, the Cauldron (from Markus Kamp). ”¦ David Hutchison sent along a bunch of good stuff from the recent Reebok/CCM goalie summit, including Jonathan Bernier’s new retro Leafs gear and”>mask; Marc-Andre Fleury’s new mask; and Reebok’s new Premiere XLT line. ”¦ Great throwback kit for Parma (from Kenny Loo). ”¦ A Japanese baseball team recently wore rather bizarre denim-ish uniforms (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Deadspin founder Will Leitch — who no longer writes for Deadspin but still writes a lot about sports — posted a fun response to my MLB Power Rankings (from Terence Kearns). ”¦ No photo, but Maks Skuz says Packers QB Graham Harrell played several plays in Friday night’s preseason game with his chinstrap unsecured. “On one play he was nearly sacked, and I wanted to see his helmet fly off for his idiocy,” says Maks. ”¦ Cross-sport promotion upcoming in Chicago, where the White Sox will be giving away Blackhawks scarves on Sept. 10 (from Tim Reyes). ”¦ “Thought you’d be interested in this article about an Iowa high school’s rebranding,” says Aaron Telecky. “I was pleased to see that they pursued their own unique identity instead of using an existing pro or college logo. There’s also information in there about another Iowa school’s rebranding relative to the Native American issue. For whatever reason, the article didn’t actually provide links to the new logos, etc., but you can see those here and here.” ”¦ Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas has a pretty wild helmet (from Dave Wilson). ”¦ Sports Business Journal has posted a great article about NFL alternate uniforms. The bad news is that it’s behind a pay wall; the good news is that a reader who prefers to remain anonymous saved it for us as a Word document. Recommended reading. ”¦ Here’s a nice shot of Ralph Kiner in the Pirates’ pre-black/gold uniform (from Yancy Yeater). ”¦ Aussie rules football news from Graham Clayton, who writes: “To commemorate the SANFL indigenous round played on the 2nd of August, Port Adelaide wore a special guernsey featuring large circles and dots, which symbolize the local region and Aboriginal meeting places within it.” ”¦ Jerry Wolper found an article about the inconsistency in MLB’s pants/stirrups styles — in 1967! Great stuff. ”¦ Know how to knit and want to make some case? Eric Trager wants to give his grandfather a Dodgers V-neck sweater for his 90th birthday and is willing to pay someone to do the knitting. If you’re interested, contact him here. … In what is sure to go down as the most idiotic story of the week month year, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made a bunch of scouts attending an OSU practice change their shirts because they were wearing blue, which was apparently too Michigan-ish for Meyer. Further evidence that being a congenital jerk is a requirement for being a football coach. … “Being a ‘kit man’ in English soccer is very simple,” says George Chilvers. “All you have to do is make sure the team have the correct kit. What could possibly go wrong?” … One of the sponsors for Josh Wise’s No. 35 car at Saturday’s Spring Cup race at Bristol was Carson-Newman University. Is it common for schools to be NASCAR sponsors? (From Josh Wren.) … Soccer jerseys are as super-stretchy as football jerseys these days. That’s Bolton in white vs. Queens Park Rangers in green (from Michael Orr). … Seriously ugly G.I. Joe caps for Bloomsburg University baseball (from Jason Ricles). … If the Pirates are playing the Giants, why would anyone on either team be using a Cubs bat weight? Weird (spotted by Ethan Kassel and the presumably pseudonymous Sethwick P. Fizzywigg). … Here’s a weird one: Keith Olbermann sent along this mid-1960s shot of Bill White wearing a Cardinals cap with a black (or navy?) logo. Never seen that before. Todd Radom thinks it must have been a spring training thing. Anyone know more? … Clint Wrede notes that Avisail Garcia of the White Sox appears to have been wearing very sheer socks the other day. … “A lot of uni-related trivia from Thursday’s Real Madrid match against Qatari club Al Sadd to celebrate the career of Raul, who currently plays for Al Sadd but played the first 16 years of his career in Madrid (shirts were stitched with the commemorative “Partido Homenaje a Raul,” or “Tribute Match for Raul”),” says Yusuke Toyoda. “He played the first half for Real Madrid, wearing his old No. 7 (note the jersey number composed of photographs of fans) and forcing the current occupant of No. 7, Cristiano Ronaldo, to wear No. 11, and played the second half for Al Sadd. After the match, he celebrated by wearing his Real Madrid shirt with his Al Sadd shorts and socks.” … Yesterday’s New York Times story about South Carolina football player Jadeveon Clowney was accompanied by an illustration of Clowney’s now-famous hit against Michigan’s Vincent Smith, only the illustrator showed Clowney knocking the NOB lettering off of Smith’s jersey. … Kennesaw State wants fan input regarding the team’s football helmet. … Anthony Bales sent along this old photo of Texas Tech QB Kliff Kingsbury. I used to know which maker’s mark that was, but now I can’t remember the name of the company. Little help..? … Not uni-related, but this article about ESPN’s role in college football is essential reading. Highly, highly recommended. … The St. John’s basketball team has new uniforms for a summer tour of Europe. As you can see in the photo captions, they’ll get a different design for the regular season, although I’m told that use of blue may continue. … “The Boston shoe company Concepts has partnered with Asics to create a sneaker inspired by the iconic statue of John Harvard that sits in the middle of Harvard Yard,” writes Laurence Holland. “The shoe echoes the gray-green color of bronze patina, and the metallic toe box is a reference to the toe of the statue, which has been polished by tourists who consider it a good luck charm. But my favorite detail is the high tongue, which gives the sneaker the shape of a colonial pilgrim’s shoe.” … Lots of Aussie football news from Leo Strawn Jr., including the Geelong Cats wearing a “members jumper,” featuring the names of 670 supporters who paid to be on the jersey; the Greater Western Sydney Giants wearing special jumpers to acknowledge the footy accomplishments of coach Kevin Sheedy; and the St. Kilda Saints and Gold Coast Suns going color-on-color. Also, teams in Victoria removed the “5” from their 50 meter arc markers, to promote the state government’s “Wipe Off 5” safe-driving initiative. … I watched a bit of last night’s 49ers/Vikings game — my first in-game look at Minnesota’s new uniforms. My take: The nesting uni numbers often make it look like the jersey is being stretched out of place, but lots of players on other teams look like that too, because their jerseys are being stretched out of place, so it’s ultimately no big deal; the asymmetrical pants piping bugs me, but I’ll probably get used to it; the flared sleeve striping looks awful and is the thing I hate most about this uni set; the matte helmets looked a lot better in late-afternoon sunlight than they did under the artificial lights of a dome. ”¦ Nate Schierholtz of the Cubs was hit in the head by an infielder’s throw while running out a ground ball last night, resulting in some chips in his helmet (screen shot by Ben Melancon). ”¦ The Lake Elsinore Store wore 20th-anniversary throwbacks the other day (from Charles Pannunzio). ”¦ Adam Brett Walker of the Cedar Rapids Kernels wore some nice striped socks yesterday (from Chris Taylor).

Tomorrow: My annual college football season-preview column — the biggest one ever!

Comments (144)

    That Phillies-DBacks throwback game was odd. The Phillies threw back to one of the greatest uniforms in the history of professional sports, while Arizona chose to wear the single ugliest outfit, top to bottom, that franchise has ever worn. Not nearly as bad, in an all-time sense, as the Phillies maroon pins are great, but still the worst thing the Diamondbacks have ever worn.

    Since the burgundy Phils and the D-Backs never coexisted, it’s a shame Arizona didn’t throw back to the minor-league Phoenix Firebirds. This is what they looked like in ’91, the last year the Phillies wore maroon:

    I wish the Phillies would return to the maroon uniform (with gray roads, not powder blue). There is too much red in the NL East and someone would really make the league a little more interesting with maroon.

    The Phillies, in particular, use red poorly. The red pinstripes aren’t quite strong enough, so they just look pink. The red cap with the white P doesn’t help; it’s probably the visually weakest red cap in MLB. Whereas the burgundy pins hold their color nicely, and the maroon cap with the larger old P logo was a strong cap. It has nice weight; visually, it’s a take-us-seriously cap and uniform, but the shape of the old P is still just playful enough that the whole thing is not dour.

    I for one would like it very much if the Philadelphia MLB team would make their day-game alternate their home game standard.
    I was never a fan of the original maroon pinstripe Vet-era uniforms; the throwbacks look even worse on the real grass of CBP.

    The ’70s … it burns! Unfortunately, the sartorial abominations that decade spawned are always threatening to come back–who knows why? Regardless, the Phillies are already wearing the uniform they should switch to, and never should have stopped wearing–i.e., the pre-1950 cream-colored duds with blue/red cap.

    Yes, a lot of the 70s uniforms were crazy. But there are a couple from the 70s and 80s that I think are great.

    The Padres need to go back to brown. But not some of the super crazy yellow designs that they had back then.

    I find it odd, too, that they didn’t throwback to an era where both teams could wear matching unis. In the very least, the Phils could’ve chosen an opponent that existed in the ’80s. Why not the Mets? I’m pretty sure they, like the Phillies, had matching stripes from the collar to the sleeve and down the pant legs.

    Glad you had a role “in this edition of the gam,”. I had always figured you for a leg man.

    Welcome back!

    Couple days late, but paul did a really good radio hit on tsn 1050 in toronto last week. Worth traxking down the podcast.

    There’s some broken html in the neighborhood of the note on Jonathan Berniers new mask.

    “..including Jonathan Bernier’s new retro Leafs gear and”>mask; “

    Perhaps a better solution to taming the wild Liger which we call “the Ticker” is to use a standard submission form similar to the comment system:


    Would that make the tide of ticker stuff easier to slog through? Could make it simpler to copy/paste into the ticker.

    That assumes that people can actually follow directions. ;)

    Plus not all ticker entries are created equal. Some things can be just a link and 5 words, while others need a few sentences of context to go with the link.

    Someone should just start a uniwatch subreddit and we wouldn’t need to worry about sending everything to Paul. Just post it to reddit like you would post a comment here and the cool/important/new stuff gets upvoted to the top.

    Paul — I can relate running a bunch of local news websites myself and, like you, being a bit of a control freak. A couple of things to consider, just from my experience: offloading the ticker, but then using the info from time to time for your own riffing might be the best compromise and allow you to have some life sanity.

    On ads: there’s ads and there’s ads. I’m not convinced that subscription model is ever going to work except in specialized cases (UniWatch might be in that category, but I don’t think so). So, you may want to look at a redesign of the site (and yes, I know you did one not that long ago) to move away from the blog-esque format and allow more, but non-intrusive ads. On my sites I do not allow flashing, interstitials, layers, etc., unlike the daily newspaper I compete with. My readers frequently comment on how unannoying my sites are…and we’ve really grown quickly.

    Lastly, on your ticker item (I used to cover NASCAR back in the old days — the 1980s), a number of schools have sponsored NASCAR teams, including, if memory serves, the University of Alabama in Sprint Cup this year.

    Anyhow….I remain a long-time reader and fan.

    I agree with Mike completely, from both a business and an editorial point of view. At the moment, Andrew Sullivan’s Dish is experimenting with probably the most promising model of a paid or subscription site. The keys seem to be 1. Large, highly motivated audience; and 2. Metering such that content remains visible and linkable for most who don’t want to pay, but limiting enough that truly frequent visitors must pay.

    On ads, it really is about format and obtrusiveness. UW feels like it was designed to present content cleanly, and ads accommodated as an afterthought. Which pushes advertisers to (understandably) seek more obtrusive presence. If ads are going to be present, it may be better to consider a redesign whose first priority accommodating ads in a salable but less obtrusive manner. That may feel like a “sellout” kind of move, but if ads are necessary, as they are in most publishing, then well-integrated ad space actually maximizes the potential for content to shine. Jargon jargon user-experience modelling jargon jargon, as they say in the industry.

    Agree with the counter-intuitive there – a design that incorporates ads will make ads less obtrusive.

    And I really hope he moves away from using DoubleClick – this site loads really slowly, and I think the DoubleClick’s ads are a big reason. And they never seem to be ads that are relevant to the site (and I can’t imagine this site’s viewers were ever huge fans of Snorg tees).

    I can’t imagine this site’s viewers were ever huge fans of Snorg tees

    True enough, but there have been several advertisers whose links I’ve followed. When the ads have been well-targeted, I’ve actually been appreciative of finding goods and services that fit my interests. Just as long as we don’t see dancing aliens hawking dubious mortgage products, I’m fine with ads.

    If you actually read the article I linked to, instead of trying to play “gotcha,” you’d find that the crab shack (a) has no relation to the old Sambo’s restaurant chain and (b) is named after its founder, whose name was Samuel and was nicknamed Sambo.

    Think harder.

    “Sambo’s” was named after original chain owner Sam Battistone, who was also the original majority owner of the New Orleans Jazz, and who reportedly, at least in part, moved the Jazz to Salt Lake City because he was a native and/or headquarterd (business) of the area and also affiliated with the Mormon Church.

    News articles during the five years that the Jazz were in N.O. constantly referred to Battistone and his restaurant chain – particularly when he sadly put concert impresario/sharpie Barry Mendelson as GM, who soon after fired immensely popular head coach Butch Van Breda Kolff about 1/4 into a season despite having the first winning record at any point in franchise history.

    It was a painful demise after that, with NBA scoring leader Pete Maravich blowing out his knee while coach Elgin Baylor had the team poised for the playoffs, and down the toilet it slowly, painfully went.

    But you never, ever read about the team’s woes or moving away without local sportswriters elbowing Battistone about owning “Sambo’s” reataurants ….

    One of Houston’s wealthiest early families, the Hoggs, had a daughter. They named her Ima. She grew up to be a philanthropist, a friend to the downtrodden, and a patroness of the arts, a remarkable woman in every way. She never married. All her life, she was Ima Hogg.

    My point is, if you’re going to give something a name, think long and hard about all the connotations beforehand. Sam Battistone,Sr. and Neil Bohnert were the co-founders (Sam-Bo). Maybe it was a simple case of not thinking things through — the chain was founded more or less at the time the Civil Rights movement was hitting full steam, so their timing couldn’t have been worse.

    On the other hand, they did use a “Little Black Sambo” theme in the chain’s decor.

    Also, I’m pretty sure it was Sam Battistone, Jr. who owned the Jazz, not the dad. I vaguely remember that the team was nearly bankrupt when it made the move. The story I’d heard as a BYU freshman in 1981 was that they couldn’t afford to update their stationery, let alone buy new uniforms: for at least part of their first season at the Salt Palace, the road jerseys still said “New Orleans Jazz”.

    Battistone, Jr. more recently has said that “Jazz” was retained because they held a “name the team” in Salt Lake, and the best responses they got were “Utah Stars”, “Utah Saints”, and “Utah Briny Shrimp”, and he thought they were all unacceptable.

    Battistone, Jr. more recently has said that “Jazz” was retained because they held a “name the team” in Salt Lake, and the best responses they got were “Utah Stars”, “Utah Saints”, and “Utah Briny Shrimp”, and he thought they were all unacceptable.

    There would have been a certain irony to a team calling itself the Saints only after moving out of New Orleans.

    The Jazz were no where near bankrupt when they chose to move. The move involved Battistone wanting to be closer to home or corporate HQ. Look it up – the Jazz had few big expenses or contracts, and good attendance. He kept the Jazz name because of timing and/or frugality.

    Cort, the Jazz’s jerseys NEVER said “New Orleans Jazz” – both home & roads just used a “Jazz” wordmark.

    You’re right that they just used the same uniforms, though – they didn’t update them until 1981.

    I don’t read the ticker. Only if I’m bored and want to read more later in the day. It does feel like the ticker has gone from 10-15 items to 50+. It feels like it is a much longer scroll than it used to be.

    I do like the times when you elevate something above ticker but below a main story. The small blurbs with an added picture. Similar to the three sections from this day.

    The ticker stuff feels more like it should just be on twitter.

    That’s my problem. I used to read the ticker religiously, but its grown way too big. It needs to be its own post, and separated by sport. Then Paul/Whoever can highlight the really cool stuff too.

    I agree. The ticker is too big with stuff I don’t find all that interesting. High school logo changes, stuff that doesn’t have to deal with uniforms, etc. I don’t really need.

    Some may like them so maybe non sports related ticker items should be in a different ticker submission. I’ve stopped reading the ticker due to its size.

    Honestly, I could care less about any ads on this site. I never even notice them. I don’t see how anyone can seriously have a major problem with them. Almost all websites have ads on them, and they are easy to read and browse through. Uni Watch is no different. The ads are fine the way they are.

    I agree. The ads are just “there” on almost every website, and I never give them a second thought. They’re fine. They actually are pretty nice as they’ve helped me discover a couple cool online retailers where I’ve actually purchased a couple Tees. I’d never have found them if not for their ad on uni-watch.

    The pop-under adds were really, really, really annoying when they were here. Paul said that pop-unders aren’t so bad (because they’re not pop-ups) but it’s still another window that I didn’t say should open that does.

    I like the Ticker, but sometimes it gets way too difficult to read through and I end up quitting halfway through. I don’t know if it is the style it is laid out or what or if there is just too much, but my ADD kicks in and I leave.

    I like the ticker, but maybe broken out as separate posts (maybe divided by sport?). It’s more work for Paul, but then, advertisers would like the extra pageviews, right?

    “Have I mentioned that the Ticker is a beast?:”

    I’m out of breath after reading today’s ticker…

    “Standing O” for Phil and all the other contributors… {{{{CLAP CLAP CLAP}}}}


    The weakest link are the insane numeral font(s). QB Ponder’s “7” is entirely different friom all other “7”‘s. The needless extra serifs and curves are distracting, and simply do not look good. If ANY team deserves a basic font, it is the Vikings.

    The Seahawk-ripoff shoulder treatment is a needless mess, and the pants striping is out of place – more appropriate to a 2098 future NFL film …. YUK. At least they wore White pants ….

    Tin foil hat time: I’m wondering if the flared serifs were designed just to make Adrian Peterson’s jersey more appealing to potential consumers.

    Note how the “8” seems to nest perfectly beside the “2” as the curved serifs seem to correspond with the rounded edges of the “8.”

    The other numbers on the other jerseys don’t look as good next to each other but IMO Nike probably didn’t mind that; perhaps the flared serifs came up later on in the design process?

    I immediately thought the same thing…That font was designed to work with Adrian Peterson’s 28 to sell more retail jerseys. I may actually be in the minority, bu I like the Pants striping. Different without being outlandish, like the last set tried to do. Lose the weird font (and perhaps the black facemask) and I think we have a modern classic (if they’ll stick with it.

    Yep! Dead on with the 28 appeal. The pants striping is different but that need not be bad. Mostly I wish it just matched the jersey in some way. Perhaps just a reversal of the purple pants.

    The pants striping is terrific. It breaks my personal preferences for football striping in a way that disproves the validity of my preferences. The shoulder thing, I want to like it, and I think it could work, but it doesn’t quite. The numbers? Please let them quietly be removed before next season.

    Not great, but still a step up from what they wore last season and still better than Seahawks, Cardinals, Jackwagons, Bengals, Falcons and maybe a few others.

    Click on today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press site and look at the rather deceptive headline that dominates the front page…

    …The article directly quotes Paul’s assessment, which basically says it’s an improvement but full of bugs.

    Laud: to praise, extol, hail…

    Tell me if I’m wrong about this, George. I am impressed by the faithfulness of you and other fanaticos del futbol ingles. North Americans know about unrequited fan fidelity (e.g. Chicago Cubs), but I’m struck by the way an Englishman NEVER switches loyalties and really HATES his team’s historical rivals. It’s as if every US baseball fan were as venomously passionate as a BoSox rooter vis-a-vis the Yankees. Wigan gets relegated, things don’t look bright, but I bet that — to coin a phrase — your ardo(u)r ain’t dampened.

    I had a discussion about this (I can’t remember if it was in real life or here or elsewhere on the Internet), where I argued that life might be better for supporters than in the Championship.

    If you support a club, like say, Hull, the best you can realistically hope for is a Top 10 finish, maybe win more matches than you lose and collect a Big 4 scalp along the way, but no big deal if you don’t. Otherwise, you’re slogging through a mediocre season hoping to stay above relegation places, knowing you’ll lose more matches than you’ll win.

    But in the Championship, it’s less predictable, and you’re actually playing for silverware! Any given match, anyone can win!

    I’ll just say that right now, I’d rather be supporting Watford or Brighton than Crystal Palace.

    Absolutely correct chaps – with just one slight addendum though.

    As far as the Championship is concerned we are finding it refreshing to play there, and go into games believing we can win (and the fact we’re not at the moment adds a certain frisson). In the PL we (my son and I) stopped going to our games at United, Chelsea etc – why should we go and see us lose heavily?

    As far as team loyalty – you are almost right Connie. It is very very rare for anyone to swap allegiance – and never on a whim or because of lack of success. Such people are below contempt. You stick with your team through thick and thins.

    Occasionally something happens in life that makes such a change possible. I was actually born and raised in Liverpool as a Liverpool supporter. When I married we bought a house here in Wigan (it was cheaper) and for a number of years I didn’t go to much football as we raised our kids. But when my son wanted to go to live matches I took him to our local team, Wigan. It was easy – I could support both teams as the Universes were so far apart.

    But then the impossible happened. Wigan rose and rose and rose – until they actualy became competitors of Liverpool.

    And I knew things were forever changed and sorted when I was interviewed on TV outside the visitors’ end at Anfield dressed in blue and white.

    So it can happen. But my changing allegiance happened over time, and for a reason.

    Paul – Welcome back! Phil did a kick ass job as usual fillign in.

    Oh, and I’m game for $25 a year.

    I voted to not pay for the site because frankly the ads don’t bother me; however, I probably would pay. This site is like crack. I need it every 30 minutes.

    I beleive that a Ticker solution should be found…I like a standardized form. Paul deserves more “down time.”

    Good lord, those Carp denim uniforms are bad. The team mentioned on their page that the logo was supposed to look damaged. I think that the red buttons give the uniform a jeans look, where a blue button would not. But don’t forget this is solely about merchandising.

    I love the Ticker. It fits into my attention-deprived lifestyle. I can scan it and not stop click on NHL or soccer stuff, and open the NFL stuff or whatever else catches my eye. It’s a rarity when I actually read the articles–unless it’s something that has piqued my interest.

    Not NASCAR, but University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH) is big with drag racing cars, and possibly other types of racing. The school pretty much specializes in mechanical work regarding engines and other aspects of working on vehicles.

    Welcome back Paul. BTW-It’s “Sprint Cup.” Not “Spring Cup.” But since it’s your first day back at school you get a pass.

    I’m not sure if the universities or their football/basketball programs actually paid for the paint, but Micheal Waltrip has driven cars ‘sponsored’ by ‘Bama and UK.
    Sterling Marlin is a huge Tennessee Vols fan, and he may have footed the bill to drive this car in the Busch Series some time ago:$T2eC16dHJGoE9nuQg2,6BP5hqbR)oQ~~60_57.JPG

    re: ads

    I like what Jon Gruber’s Daring Fireball does. Instead of using a blog ad network, he sells weekly sponsorships that includes prominent placement on the sidebar and a weekly native ad written in the site’s voice.

    Without knowing the economics or the page view counts, it seems like Uni Watch is big enough to support itself without an ad network, and the exclusive sponsorships would be less intrusive (good for readers!) and less cluttered/more focused (good for advertisers!).

    Suggestion: limit ticker to the 4 major sports, including college. Nobody cares about soccer or auto racing.

    I’m not nobody and I care about soccer, as do many others here. As I’ve said many times before, soccer might be the only sport for which people actively state their dislike (and try to make others feel bad for enjoying it). If I thought baseball was boring (I don’t, just hypothetically speaking), I wouldn’t tell a fan that it’s a sport where people mostly stand around or sit most of the game.

    It’s hard to get into soccer once you catch the excitement that is lawn bowling.

    I think the only sport I’d be surprised to see on here would be figure skating. Rhinestones don’t get much play here.

    Even the horses’ colors in horse racing have been covered, I believe.

    Ah. I don’t remember that.

    And while I think there’s a discussion to be had about the “sporting” nature of anything with an artistic component to the judging, that’s for another venue.

    I have a U. of Oklahoma game baseball jersey from some years ago where that little dude character covers up a Russell logo.

    Ive been noticing in the Bears preseason games most of the players have been wearing white cleats instead of the black they would wear.

    “… … Deadspin founder Will Leitch – who no longer writes for Deadspin but still writes a lot about sports – posted a fun response to my MLB Power Rankings (from Terence Kearns). …”

    Nice enuf guy, I suppose, but be never laid a glove on ya.

    Leitch is overrated, and this is another example. He made at least two references to outdated uniforms as if they were being worn currently (Mets black, Pirates pinstripes). If he can’t get that simple stuff right, then his whole column should be thrown out. This isn’t about ranking 2010 uniforms, it’s about ranking current uniforms.

    If the Yahoo logo-a-day is any indication of the quality of the final design, we’re in for a major disappointment (ok, it was always going to be a disappointment). Definitely a lot of very conventional and unimaginative concepts, from my amateur point of view.

    for those who don’t like ads there’s alwasy Adblock.. i never see any pesky ad popups on this site

    But that one would advocate using Adblock indicates the ads are intrusive and/or not well targeted. Sites like this depend on advertising revenue to survive. Viewing ads is the price of admission, and using Adblock, no matter how wonderful and useful it is, is shorting Paul.

    Obviously, whether you use ADblock is up to you. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a discussion about site ads that are less intrusive and more relevant.

    By default I don’t use AdBlock so that a site can make some revenue. However as soon as those ads become intrusive I’ll block them for the whole site.

    If it were up to me, I’d keep Uni Watch exactly as it is. I’d rather not go to several posts a day – generally, I only get time to visit the site once a day, and I’d hate to feel like I’m missing out…

    To the “anonymous” reader who included the article on throwbacks/third jerseys… THANK YOU! That was, indeed, a great read. That single article answered a tremendous amount of minutiae regarding jersey selections/decisions/etc.

    I also gleaned that “my” Football Giants are wearing the white alt. pants on 11/10 versus the Raiders and 11/24 against Dallas. It was buried in the text, but I’m thrilled to know definitively when they will be showcased!

    I am skeptical of the alternate pants, as I am a fan of the classic 5-stripe greys.

    On a side-note, the “team cleat” design, for the Giants, is a disaster (in my opinion). Some players wear classic solid black, others white-dominated with black, and most the grey/red/blue scheme. It’s a miss-mash and doesn’t look uniform.

    Yeah, that article is excellent. And I too pounced on the info regarding the dates when the Giants’ white pants will be worn, which to my knowledge has not been published elsewhere.

    The combination of the fans’ positive reaction to the throwbacks and the sales success of the jerseys led several teams to bring them back for the 1995 season. The throwback jerseys soon became an option across the NFL and teams began to wear them on special occasions.

    No one wore any throwback uniforms in 1995. After the 1994 season, the next team to wear a throwback as an alternate (so we’ll ignore the Jets 1998 uniform change) was the Chargers in 2000.

    That blurb just ruined the article for me.

    I’m getting nitpicky here, but didn’t the Cowboys wear the Double Stars in 1995 (vs Redskins and Eagles)?

    They did wear a blue double star jersey for a couple games, but that thing wasn’t really a throwback. It was more of a modern re-imagining (just like the Chargers current powder blue alternate, really). Even if you count it, that’s still only one team, not several.

    Thanks for clarifying that – it seems like the 1994 throwbacks inspired a lot of fauxbacks, but no real throwbacks for a few years.

    I would be fine with no voice in the Ticker at all. I feel like that was part of the initial point of it anyways – just to get quick hit uni news.

    It doesn’t say that Raul forced Ronaldo to change his number, but accommodating Raul forced the number change.

    I would be willing to pay 35 or 40 bucks to read uni watch if it came with a free membership card

    Welcome back! I’m good for $25 so long as you keep the ticker. Hire an intern to help, yeah you’ll be giving up the running commentary but you will also be helping a young person get a leg up in the world.

    p.s. Phil and his crew were aces in your absence.

    Ticker sometimes gets long. What if you split the ticker into subheadings based on sport ? Then readers who say are interested in hockey news might not have to scroll through all the college football uni news. Something like:

    College Football: item #1, item #2, etc.
    Baseball: item #1, item #2, etc.
    Hockey: item #1, item #2,
    Basketball: No uniwatch news today

    You get the picture.

    A secularized world still needs objects of worship. We not only want to perceive our athletes as superheroes; we would feel lost and cheated if they weren’t. Athletes used to be kids from the neighborhood, who worked in the local lumberyard or sold insurance in the offseason. There were better than us (at running and throwing, at least), but they were still one of us.

    The new Acropolis is the retractable roof stadium. Olympus is the 67 room mansion behind gated walls. And the chariot of the gods is a customized Escalade, with bulletproof glass, a safe under the floorboards, and custom seats, to accommodate behemoth drivers.

    I firmly believe that dressing them in durene cotton and wool flannel would humanize these guys, but I don’t think the public really wants that.

    good point, either that or make it separate it into different sections per sport/league

    The Ticker is a Beast, but it’s the best way to read the news, even if it’s massively long.

    Also, this was an NFL Network ad. Couldn’t they get the pants for the current jersey. Really?

    Perhaps the ticker could be reduced from a daily item to a 3 times/week thing (M/W/F). Also, there are a lot of items in the ticker that are of no interest to me, like soccer kits, goalie face mask art, European hockey uniforms, and the unending changes made to college football uniforms. Maybe an emphasis on pro sports teams of North America, and less coverage of all the rest would be more relevant and less time consuming.

    Jim (and everyone else who shares this view): The idea isn’t for the Ticker — or for Uni Watch itself — to be customized to your tastes. The idea is for it to cover as wide a swath of uni-related news as possible. That’s always been the concept. You can cherrypick the parts you like.

    Personally, I don’t care about Assie rules football or soccer or European hockey (or lots of other stuff) myself, but I still report the news on those fronts, because that’s what Uni Watch is about.

    Honestly I always read through the ticker and open new tabs as I go along. Once I’m done reading it I go look at the images. I just don’t click the ones that don’t interest me.

    I don’t know why, but it always surprises me when people that have niche obsessions (like uni design) don’t tolerate others with niche obsessions (like Aussie Rules in the US).

    Paul, I’d appreciate it if you could just keep the lead stories and ticker submissions to items that I find interesting. Thanks.

    To Jim, duh. This site was always “The Obsessive Study of Athletic Aesthetics, Curated to Match Jim’s Preferences and Worldviews”.

    What Paul does best is research, reportage, and opinion. The ticker is interesting, and I enjoy it, but I’d rather see Paul devote himself to more in-depth stories and interviews. If you can find a competent person to handle the ticker, turn it over.

    OR, you could turn the whole blog into a ticker. Larry King made a second career of his USA Today column, which was essentially a mix of new blurbs and strange, stream of consciousness editorializing (“Look for a major announcement from Tom Hanks later today…For my money, Angie Dickinson still has the best gams in the business!”) Buy some suspenders. And some enormous eyewear. Embrace your inner Larry King.

    “What Paul does best is research, reportage, and opinion. The ticker is interesting, and I enjoy it, but I’d rather see Paul devote himself to more in-depth stories and interviews. If you can find a competent person to handle the ticker, turn it over.”


    Also, I would pay $25 a year for this site. That’s about 14 cents a day for the this great stuff. I would not miss the ads…at all. But do what is most feasible, what allows you to make some sort of comfortable living, offers you the best opportunity to create and grow.

    I join in applauding Phil… great work during the hiatus. I hope you enjoyed your time off.

    I will still take the survey, but just a thought on ticker submissions: perhaps keep the bulk of them regarding the four major sports and FBS football and D1 men’s basketball unless it’s something really noteworthy.

    Japanese baseball, Aussie Rules Football, high school sports in general and minor league hockey just to name a few are nice, but maybe trimming that fat will help you keep the ticker to a more reasonable level.

    See, I find the major sports uni stuff pretty boring (if it was interesting, you’d see the stuff above the fold), and wouldn’t be as invested in the site if it weren’t for the offbeat stuff like Japanese baseball and European hockey.

    Welcome back Paul!

    I would happily pay $25 a year for this.

    I would miss the ticker, but the real reason I come here is for your voice. You’ve described yourself as a cultural critic and I enjoy the analysis and criticism most of all.

    Is there any reason why the comments can’t be used for ticker-worthy submissions? Instead of emailing you links and you having to sift through and edit them, just asking your readership to post them in the current day’s comments?

    Interesting article about Linn-Mar (Iowa) High School’s rebranding. It’s a shame they misfired on their new mascot. My main problem is that it unnecessarily incorporates a new color into the logo that is not part of Linn-Mar’s color scheme. Linn-Mar’s school colors are black and red. There are plenty of ways to design a lion logo that isn’t rendered in “realistic” colors but still makes it obvious what is being depicted. What’s worse, the addition of the dark yellow/gold color to the mascot’s face doesn’t make it look any more realistic since the mane is rendered in the school colors of red and black rather than in tawny brown. Nice idea on the rebranding, but disappointing execution.

    Man, just spent / wasted / enjoyed quality moments staring at the June 9, 1967 baseball standings from the Pittsburgh newspaper.

    $25 a year is a small price to pay. As of right now over 1200 votes for free but I suspect if they lost their access to the site 2-300 would find the $25. You spend more for less everyday ladies and gentlemen.

    Paul your voice is the driving force of this website and what keeps me coming back. That said your voice is best used when it’s describing the main story of the day and shines brightest when its about an obscure topic that probably only interests you and your readers. The ticker is great for a quick hit of the uni news and links to photos, I’m sure if you found a competent person to run it all would be well in the uni world. I would much rather see you devote your time to exploring new topics for the lead than killing yourself over the ticker.

    The ads don’t bother me since they are relatively non-intrusive. Not like other sites where if you barely scroll your mouse pointer over one it opens instantly. As for Ticker items: if something interests me, I’ll click it. If it doesn’t, move right along. Same thing with Collector’s Corner and the occasional DIY material. Do like the suggestions of grouping the items together by genre.

    I voted no on the “subscription fee” option for a couple of reasons. The first one, like several others have mentioned ahead of me, is that I honestly don’t notice the ads. The second reason is that I already have a Uni-Watch membership. I feel like having a “subscription fee” wouldn’t be completely fair to those that have purchased memberships in the past.

    that Bill White photo is peculiar, because i’ve seen another photo of Red Schoendienst wearing the same hat, but i always thought it was just some mistake because it looks hand colored. I’m going to dig deeper into this one, force something into the Card’s historical style guide maybe..

    figured it out, the year was 1965. The Cards had previously been wearing the all blue hats with the Red STL for both home and road uniforms, and when they switched to red hats in ’65, they decided to make the STL blue, and it lasted for only 1 year.

    Was this a prototype, or a spring training cap only? Why don’t the 1966 baseball cards don’t have these caps on the pictures.

    re: ticker

    I don’t think it’s the volume or scope that’s the problem, but the organization, and that’s always more work. And as anyone who writes can tell you, editing down is where you spend the most time.

    I would pay for this site. Then again, I also bought the 2nd season of Ricky Gervais’ podcast. His 1st season, when it was free, set records with nearly 300,000 downloads per week. IIRC, the paid episodes averaged under 30,000 downloads. It certainly didn’t ruin his career, but most people would probably slog through the script for a commercial for 10 times more exposure.

    I wish the ticker were more of a living thing, updated periodically throughout the day and with its own real estate, probably also with more per-entry distinguishing formatting. Switching to a two-column layout wouldn’t be easy to do, I’m sure, so maybe that’s off the table. Either way, I’m a fan of a higher frequency of articles, especially if it leads to better tagging and discoverability. (It’s not always easy to find particular bits on, say, the NBA, because each article tagged with it often has more stuff to dig through.)

    What about a message board similar to what we have where ticker submissions are directly added? Sorta kinda

    The answers in the comments, or even the poll are a poor litmus test for who will pay for the site.

    There are dozens of people who regularly comment ( me not really being one of them), versus the thousands who visit… they’re just less invested day to day.

    It’s generally a bad model to promise to forgo one line of revenue for another. Current ads are unobtrusive and generate revenues… add a paywall and continue to collect ad revenues as well. Add more obtrusive advertising (pop-ups) for those who don’t pay/login.

    I still don’t think that will provide you the cost/benefit you’re looking for, but I don’t begrudge you the opportunity to test any revenue generation method combinations you see fit. Read your analytics, and the audience will vote with their feet/eyeballs.

    ya. Texas Tech uni the logo was called (Betlin) Big Time was on the collar and marks-my dad ahad a few Oklahoma shirts and sweaters with that guy on it, I believe a jacket as well.

    i was watching the washington-buffalo game and saw in a crowd shot a little girl wearing what appeared to be a helmet hat style baseball cap. are these being sold again? and if so, anyone have a link?

    If you do hand over the Ticker duties, I hope they go to someone who’s as good as you are at condensing each item into a concise description. I still tolerate reading the Ticker mainly because even it may be long but it’s usually not overly wordy.

    I love the ticker.
    Years ago I visited daily to see what was new in the big 4 and to read Paul’s comments.
    For a few years now this site has been bombarded by know it alls who crash down on uni fans who are just basically uni fans and not internet attackers, IMO that’s why this site is not as interesting.
    It is impossible to eliminate these imposters but it is what it is.
    But I’ll prob check back every once in a while whenever I notice something uni-related on the old school television to see what Paul’s comments were.

    Twice in that 1967 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about pants/stirrups the writer says the Pirates stirrups were blue!?

    Possibly a laundry issue. The team still would have been buying the uniforms, so they might not have rushed to replace stirrups.

    did you guys lift that spot art without paying for it? I’m talking of the dude at the computer terminal with the letters shooting out at him. I can see the watermark, which is usually a tell-tale sign of unapproved us. Maybe it’s from a stock site?

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