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Another Battle in the White War of ’67

I’ve written before about the “White War” of 1967, which found the Washington Senators protesting the Kansas City Athletics’ use of white shoes by wearing white accessories of their own. But now it turns out that the Sens weren’t the only team that had issues with the Athletics’ white footwear.

New research by reader/historian Jerry Wolper shows that Cleveland manager Joe Adcock felt that a white-shod pitcher on the mound could distract a batter. He vowed to protest the game if KC pitcher Jim Nash (shown at right) wore white shoes in a game against the Indians. It’s all spelled out in this UPI wire story, which ran in the Pittsburgh Press on April 11, 1967 (click to enlarge):

The following day’s edition of that same newspaper reported that Nash stuck to his white shoes, and Adcock stuck to his vow:

A week later, on April 19, the Pittsburgh Press reported that Adcock’s protest had been rejected by American League president Joe Cronin. According to the article, “Under the present rule, there is no provision against white shoes, gold shoes, purple shoes, etc.” (click to enlarge):

It would be several years before other MLB teams began wearing red shoes, blue shoes, and so on, but this ruling appears to have been the first instance of such colored footwear being explicitly assessed as within the rules. Just one more thing we can attribute to Charley Finley.

(Today’s post wouldn’t have been possible without Jerry Wolper, so please join me in thanking him for his great research.)

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’Skins Watch: The Oneida Nation, based in upstate New York, is launching a radio campaign urging the ’Skins to change their name. I guess nobody told the Oneidas that Native Americans have no problem with the team name, eh? ”¦ A Canadian columnist thinks it’s time to stop using Native names and imagery in sports (from Sean Kautzman). ”¦ But a Cree Native who also coaches football thinks the ’Skins name is fine (from Kevin Freitas).

Baseball News: I love green and gold, but this 1970s softball uni is too much, even for me! ”¦ The single-A South Bend Silver Hawks now have a naming rights sponsor for their field — but not for their stadium, which will retain its existing name. Interestingly, the sponsor is a local Indian casino. Maybe that’s the solution Daniel Snyder should pursue: Sell the ’Skins naming rights to an Indian tribe. Problem solved! (From Tom Van de Kieft.)

NFL News: You know how NBC has the offensive and defensive players for each team introduce themselves (“Joe Shmoe, THE Ohio State University,” or whatever) at the start of each team’s first offensive drive? I don’t have any photos, but all of the Denver and Baltimore players introducing themselves last night were wearing last season’s jerseys, complete with the now-scrapped neck rolls. Odd. ”¦ It was raining when last night’s game started, which presumably explains why Peyton Manning was wearing a glove on his throwing hand. The rain later stopped, and Manning removed the glove. ”¦ Also from last night’s game: I didn’t see this, but Gordon Blau says a few Ravens players “were patted down, airport security-style, by a zebra-striped official” as they left their locker room and headed toward the field. At first I thought this had something to do with the new rule mandating knee and thigh pads, but Gordon says it was “an upper-body pat-down, and the players were all big lineman types.” Turns out the officials were spot-checking for illegal substances. Anyone..? ”¦ Some data-crunchers have come out with “The Unofficial 2013 NFL Player Census,” which charts the salary, race, experience, college, hometown, and other variables for NFL players. It’s fascinating stuff, and highly recommended. Check it out here. ”¦ If you’ve always wanted to see every NFL team reimagineed as a “Game of Thrones” house, today’s your lucky day (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ 49ers RB Anthony Dixon turned down a $24,000 offer for his uni number. ”¦ So yesterday morning I wrote that thing about the overuse of “beloved.” About 10 hours later, I’m out for my daily bike ride in Prospect Park, listening to my radio as usual (yes, I have a bike radio), and I hear this piece about the start of the NFL season, which describes Peyton Manning as — I swear — “Denver’s beloved quarterback.” Dude’s only played there one season! That’s it, “beloved” is officially on my shit list. … Good story about how various Titans players like to have their uniforms customized, and the seamstress who does all the work for them (big thanks to Adam Wegner).

College Football News: South Carolina will go all-white this Saturday (thanks, Phil). ”¦ New helmet on tap this weekend for Old Dominion (from Jonathan Leib). ”¦ The UVA student newspaper interviewed and quoted me in this article about college football uniforms. ”¦ UNC is going with argyle-patterned end zone lettering (thanks, Phil). … Andrew Edwards reports that Oregon State is using tartan-patterned goalpost pads! … Walker High School in Alabama uses West Virginia’s helmet logo. The “WV” stands for the team’s full name — the Walker Vikings (from C. Trent Rosecrans). … Missouri will be wearing a new black jersey tomorrow, UNC will be wearing solid blue, and Wisconsin will wear solid red (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Hmmm, looks like there’s a new version of the ProCap (from Tris Wykes). ”¦ Arizona State wore Whizzer White memorial patches last night. Further details here (from Marc Altieri). ”¦ “Went to my uncle’s for my grandparents’ 64th wedding anniversary found my grandfather’s Notre Dame helmet from back in the 1940s in the basement,” says Joe Mueller. “My uncle also said that he has more gems stored away.”

Hockey News: Team Canada’s Olympic jersey may have leaked last night. Or maybe not — no confirmation yet, although all signs point to yes. Consensus seems to be that it’s a stinker, at least among those who emailed me last night. I’m more of the “It could be worse” mindset on this one.

Soccer News: New logos for the Milwaukee Wave (from Kenn Tomasch). … Borussia Dortmund will wear glow-in-the-dark kits for night games in the UEFA Champions League (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Bizarre cultural crossover: This article about a new study relating to the situation in Syria has a photo of a Syrian rebel wearing a Manchester United scarf.

College Hoops News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a time-lapse video showing the court being laid down at my alma mater (from Sean Grogan). ”¦ New pickaxe-themed court design for UTEP. … Here’s a better photo than the one I had yesterday of Iowa State’s new sweatbacks. … New sweatbacks for Washington State, too.

Grab Bag: The football team at Peoria Notre Dame High School in Illinois uses SNOB (from Tony Shiffman). ”¦ One Marty Hick’s croquet partners had the group’s logo stitched onto a hat. … Some rugby teams are wearing Superman-themed jerseys (from George Chilvers). … “As you may know, Target is expanding into Canada,” says Matthew Walthert. “I think this banner, which has been on the side of our soon-to-be open store in Ottawa for a while, has a pretty cool use of logos and symbols.” … Good gallery of U.S. Open footwear here (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ I freely admit that I can’t keep track of all the different football helmet models out there, but Clint Glaze says Katy High School from Texas was using a new version of the Riddell 360 last night. ”¦ Guess who’s going BFBS? In the trailer for the Robocop remake, due out next February, one of the puppetmasters says, “Make him look more tactical make him look, ah… Let’s go with black” (nice one from Douglas King). ”¦

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MMUW update: I’ll be spending most of this weekend traveling to and from a wedding, which means I won’t see any of Sunday afternoon’s NFL action (although I hope to get home in time to see the Giants game at 8:30pm). And hell, even if I were going to be staying in town, I probably wouldn’t be spending what’s forecast to be a gorgeous early-September Sunday in front of either the TV or the computer. So our first Monday Morning Uni Watch of the season might be a little on the thin side. Still, I’ll do my best to catch up with whatever submissions, observations and screen shots you send my way — let ’em rip. See you on Monday.

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Comments (108)

    Per Mike Pereria the pat down was to check random linemen for “foreign substances”. I assume lubricants of some kind.

    a friend of mine works for the seahawks and says that they’re also checking for tacks/sharp objects in addition to silicone or other lubricants.

    Yep, Pereira tweeted that last night. Also, Tom Nalen (former Bronco O-lineman) tweeted the following “due to us broncos cheating by putting silicone on our jerseys, they now pat down random linemen. big fine if caught”

    PL:, if beloved is on your shit list, you’d better consider changing your hockey ticker logo, because Peter Puck is a beloved cartoon character. Incidentally, this “words on your shit list” could be a good idea. Why don’t you ask the readers what words they hate?

    Seconded. Plus, Paul can put any character, beloved or not, on his ticker, until Hanna-Barbera starts asking for scratch.

    Brian MacLeod spoke out against racist names and images, not Native imagery. He writes:

    “Many teams do adopt Native imagery in their names. The Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Edmonton Eskimos, Chicago Blackhawks and the Atlanta Braves are examples. But while they identify a race or elements of it, none of these refer to skin colour in a term that has been long recognized as derogatory. Their names, used in context of sports teams, are not themselves racist.

    But even then the effort can be lost in translation – for example, when Atlanta Braves fans engage in the awful tomahawk chop. And some teams inexplicably adopt garish logos, such as Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo. When you go down that road, imagery takes on a life of its own. Give some sports fans a chance to go gaudy and they’ll often run with it.”

    Redskins needs to go, as does Chief Wahoo, but not all Indian references are racist or offensive, any more than “Celtics” or “Trojans” are.

    For some of us, the argument isn’t that the use of Native imagery is inherently “racist” or even “offensive.” It’s that the use of such imagery is essentially cultural theft — using something that doesn’t belong to you.

    “Celtics” refers to Boston’s Irish-immigrant population. It’s case of an ethnicity celebrating itself. If a Native American school wanted to call its teams the Indians, that would be comparable to Boston calling its team the Celtics.

    So, tell me, if a Russian team were to call itself the Cowboys and use American Wild West imagery, would that upset you? Would that be cultural theft?

    Somehow I don’t think anyone would actually give a shit, because America doesn’t own that image, no matter how much Texas might think they do.

    Cowboys are neither an ethnicity nor a historically marginalized class. And I suspect there’s some Russian equivalent to cowboys — they certainly have a history of livestock agriculture.

    I think Russia has a less unfortunate history of interactions with Southwestern cowhands than the American mainstream has with indigenous people.

    Now, if CSKA Moscow were to rebrand as the Fightin’ Chechens, we might have a better analog.

    I think it’s a lot more egregious if the group that did the marginalizing then does the theft for good measure.

    In other words, if you already stole a continent from someone thru a near-genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing, it might be nice to at least let them control their own cultural imagery.

    The “historically marginalized class” bit troubles me. And, fair enough, I’m a straight white majority-religion guy born into the middle class in late-20th-century America, so I recognize that I speak as one of the least marginalized people in human history. Still. My Irish ancestors have been historically marginalized (largely at the hands of my English ancestors) to a degree not dissimilar to what American natives or non-Russian Caucasians have faced. Raising the question of historical marginalization does in fact get us to the ridiculous “but what about the Celtics” argument. If not the Celtics name, then certainly the racial caricature of the team’s logo, which overtly refers back to the Irish experience in Ireland and the English marginalization of Celtic culture as quaint, twee leprechauns and whatnot, rather than to any Irish experience in America, where Irish people have experienced almost no cultural marginalization whatsoever, despite the persistent but false myths of “No Irish Need Apply” discrimination.

    If historical marginalization is a principle in this debate, then we really do have to take a critical eye toward non-native cultural references, and on those terms the Celtics leprechaun really is very nearly in Chief Wahoo territory. Even if the Celtics name is an example of tribal self-identification. Would a historically black college be OK callings its teams the Niggers? No. Would a reservation high school be OK using Chief Wahoo as its logo? No. Perpetuating symbols of one’s own cultural marginalization, rather than the actual authentic content of one’s culture, is no more OK than perpetuating symbols of another’s cultural marginalization.

    That’s why I think it really is best to stick with the question of whether a thing is derogatory or not. Although the Celtics leprechaun perpetuates colonialist practices of marginalizing authentic Celtic culture, it’s not derogatory, any more than horns on a helmet is derogatory for a team called the Vikings. Whereas Chief Wahoo and Redskins really are derogatory, despite the innocent intentions of those who created and use them.

    A better term is Cultural Appropriation and its definition is much broader than Paul’s…”taking, from a culture that is not one’s own, intellectual property, cultural expressions and artifacts, history and ways of knowledge (Lenore Keeshig-Tobias).

    This includes movies, television, books, trademarks,….

    “If historical marginalization is a principle in this debate, then we really do have to take a critical eye toward non-native cultural references, and on those terms the Celtics leprechaun really is very nearly in Chief Wahoo territory.”

    No, it isn’t.

    If we were in England, then perhaps you could make the case. But we’re not, and so the comparison falls very flat.

    If the Celtics really are entirely divorced from the historical oppression of Irish people elsewhere, then why are they using a symbol rooted entirely in the place and time of that oppression with little or no connection to the culture and folkways of Irish people in America?

    If the standards are cultural appropriation and historical marginalization, then that really does open the doors to objections to things other than Native American imagery. Native Americans are not the only people who have been marginalized! But if we open that door, and then close it by waving an Indians-only wand, then we’re not actually dealing with principles; we’re creating an arbitrary rule about Native American imagery that has no principled relationship to broader notions of cultural appropriation and historical marginalization.

    I don’t actually think the Celtics leprechaun is objectionable. But I do think that arguing the Redskins name on the basis of cultural copyright or historical marginalization creates more problems than it solves. I think the simpler ground of respect is more sound here, and less likely to validate foolish “what about the Fighting Irish?” objections. And yes, “ownership” matters, but only in the sense that it’s appropriate to give the benefit of the doubt when people speak of themselves. If a person of native ancestry dons a feathered headdress or calls his team the Indians, it’s proper to assume that he does so in respect. When pale white guy me does either, the assumption of respectfulness is … less justified. It’s not that I can’t or must never use native culture or identity because “they” “own” it and I don’t; it’s that the bar is much higher for me to earn the assumption of respectfulness.

    Which reasoning allows us to dismiss ridiculous “but what about the Celtics?” objections without having to make up fanciful gradated scales of historical-marginalization-comparison or whatnot in order to pretend that there’s some principled basis for saying “Chief Wahoo no, Celtics leprechaun yes.”

    SCTV did a parody of Soviet television, back in the late 70’s. Every segment made reference to the “lazy Uzbeks”, who wore long beards and yak fur vests, and were so desperate for a buzz, they drank the battery acid out of law-abiding Russians’ automobiles. It was a pretty clever commentary on minority stereotypes. (Mike Royko once opined that every ethnic group is marginalized and hated by somebody, somewhere. except the Norwegians. He then encouraged people to start calling them “Noogies,” and oppress them.)

    Why is it proper to assume that an Native American who wears a headdress to a football game does it respectfully? Ceremonial headdresses had deep symbolic meaning. Wouldn’t any unauthorized or inappropriate use be offensive? Madonna has used crucifixes in any number of outrageous and provocative ways, offending millions of people in the process. Is the offense excused by her saying, “It’s OK – I’m Catholic?”

    I’m no fan of “Redskins” — I can’t see how it’s not offensive — but there is a long history of pejorative words being robbed of their power through appropriation. Some feminists have advocated women “claiming” the “c-word” as their own, to neutralize its toxicity. “Mormon” was initially a term of derision, used by opponents of the LDS Church. At some point, Church members decided to adopt it, almost as a badge of honor. Speaking of badges of honor, there was a time when gay groups embraced the pink triangle, the marking homosexuals were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

    Time changes context, too. If the Pittsburgh Pirates came out with a logo that featured a Somali dude toting an AK-47, people would go nuts. But show a guy in a puffy shirt and a twirled mustachio, and everything’s jake. Disney has made animatronic pirates, lustily chasing terrified mechanical damsels, a — wait for it — beloved theme park attraction. It’s a weird world.

    Sorry, folks. Our Only Daughter left for a study abroad in Europe last night, and I’m all edgy. Nothing like send your kid overseas when the sabres are rattlin’ in Washington. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I’m off the sweets. Verbosity is my only refuge.

    ” Disney has made animatronic pirates, lustily chasing terrified mechanical damsels, a – wait for it – beloved theme park attraction. It’s a weird world.

    The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was actually updated quite a few years ago to “tone down” all the implications associated with the pirates chasing the maidens around the sacked port city. From the link:

    In its original form, the Disneyland attraction contained a scene in which pirates were shown chasing attractive females in circles (achieved by simply placing figures on rotating platforms hidden below guests’ view), along with a comical reversal in which an overweight woman was seen chasing a pirate. Some guests were offended by this depiction, and in response Disney initially changed the woman chasing the pirate by having her try to hit him with a rolling pin. In 1997, this sequence was changed so that the pirates pursued women holding pies, and the large woman is chasing a pirate with a stolen ham.

    Wikipedia’s entry on the Pirates of the Caribbean also identifies these among link that have been made to the theme park ride over the years.

    Irish need not apply. I think that sign used to be relatively common in Boston, and while that’s not the same as what happened to the native Indian population, the quest then becomes when someone is marginalized. In other words, can whites in American be marginalized to a significant degree?

    There are no documented examples of “No Irish Need Apply” or similar signs in America. Literally zero. Such signs (and newspaper listings and such like) are well documented in parts of England and in Ireland. (see Jenson: link) So it’s natural that the cultural memory of anti-Irish discrimination persists among Irish-Americans – I heard this myth at my grandfather’s knee – but it’s a legend nonetheless.

    In America, people of Irish birth and ancestry did face widespread discrimination, but they did so as immigrants and Catholics, both groups that have faced systematic discrimination across much of American history. But specific anti-Irish discrimination? Not so much – we Irish-Americans went from stepping off the boat to running the place faster than any immigrant group in American history.

    Nobody stepped off the boat in greater numbers and started running the place faster than immigrants from Germany. Other than some heavy-German enclaves (St Louis, Milwaukee, Cincy) they distributed themselves broadly, were law-abiding and neatly dressed (not like us Irish boyos), and didn’t make a big fuss. They gave us brass bands (and silly band uniforms) and good government and lousy Civil War soldiers and… oh, I’ll stop now.

    “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”….. but only by people who haven’t been there more than once. What a terrible place to watch a game.

    I’ve been to Fenway twice and still love it (And I’m not a Red Sox fan). And, Tom V. is dead on about the Trop.

    I went to my first game there last season and found it to be the opposite. One of the best in the majors if not the best IMO. It’s kept its retro charm but got most of the modern features many want in a ballpark. It blows wrigley out of the water.

    5+ years ago I think many would agree with you but personally I fell in love with the place even though I really don’t like the Sox.

    When I was watching the intros during the game last night ad noticed all the neck-rolls, first thing that popped into my head was “I should get a picture of this for Uni-Watch”…but I knew it would already be mentioned.

    The really funny ones are the players who had the new uni superimposed over them – I’m pretty sure I saw Wes Welker in a neckroll uniform.

    I was acqauinted at one time with fornmer Raiders D-lineman Anthony Smith (yes, THAT Anthony Smith) who said he used to spray Pam cooking spray on his jersey so O-linemen couldn’t get a good push (or grab) on his jersey.

    Your mention of Peoria Notre Dame reminded me of the early 1990s Peoria Manual basketball team’s uniforms. Not only did they wear untucked jerseys with trim at the bottom, not only did they had the team nickname on the butt, but the nickname was reverse arched!


    Interesting couple paragraphs from the Redskins article
    But again, let’s get back to motive. He’s Dee Jay NDN in a band called A Tribe Called Red, which interestingly enough has a song remix called Red Skin Girl plastered all over You Tube.

    “Take a look

    Just one more time

    Beautiful smile

    Beautiful eyes

    That’s a Red Skin girl

    She’s so pretty

    She’s so fine

    Red Skin girl

    I’ll love you all the time”

    Nice, very nice. A love song.

    So Campeau is worried about his daughter being called Redskin, yet she can hear him performing on a song called Red Skin Girl? Interesting, very interesting. Quite the double standard.

    Last night was the first time I remember seeing a Broncos player go JOB (Jr on back) that being Chris Harris Jr #25. Can’t find a shot from last night, but older shots show Harris w/o Jr.

    Nice note on the “green and gold 1970s softball uni”..but here is a topper: I wore that type of uniform playing Legion baseball the summers of 1977-79, but our uniforms were PURPLE and the pants and trim stripes were purple with a lighter shade of purple, with low cut purple stirrups to match.

    Will try to find a photo, but many may have been destroyed for obvious reasons.


    The players in the NBC video intros were wearing last year’s jerseys because those videos are from last year; NBC only shoots a new video if that player is now on a different team.

    “…those videos are from last year”


    Seriously? How fucking lame is that? Did NBC blow it’s entire production budget on Carrie Underwood, so there’s none left to shoot player intro’s in their current jerseys?

    (disclaimer: I didn’t see much of the game last night and missed the beginning and all the player intros, so I have no idea if Underwood began her run, but I’m assuming she did)

    There was a small segment on Wes Welker about halfway thorugh the 1st quarter. He was wearing his Patriots jersey.

    Suggs wore his facemask from last year which was banned for this year.


    He had a different one earlier in the game…similar to Ngata’s. I’ll try to find a pic.

    i was just searching for a picture to see if he was one of the players on the list allowed to wear them… i wonder if they will fine him for being out of uniform

    As far as I know he was not given permission. He changed to his old mask during the pre-season after the NFL made the announcement. I’m sure he’ll get a pay up letter.

    The player into thing on NBC is odd because I saw an instagram from either NFL or the Broncos with images of players recording their intros for NBC just two nights ago. Strange

    Really subtle use of reflective inks on the Borussia Dortmund jersey: the Puma logo and the Bettman stripes. I’ve used them before on shirts and a little goes a long way. One of the best ways to use it is as a gray in any sort of gradient scheme. Looks normal during the day, pops at night.

    I wonder if they use it on the numbers as an outline?

    Re: Superman jerseys. Once again a mistake has been made by calling this rugby. The sport the Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors play is rugby league. Different sport. It was also mentioned in the article that Melbourne Storm wore a similar jersey earlier this year, again, a rugby league team. Part of the reason for this – Russell Crowe, who has an role in the movie is co-owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, maybe the most storied team in RUGBY LEAGUE.

    I think it’s important to differentiate between union and league. IMO league is a better game. In fact, I feel league could become a major sport if it distanced itself from union.

    It’s like the silly discussions people have over the word “football” – soccer and the NFL kind are both equally entitled to the word, even if most people in the world use it to refer to association football.

    Is the Game of Thrones link working for anyone else? All it does is take me to a yoga website…

    The wordmark in the new Milwaukee Wave logo uses the “Die Nasty” font (with the W, A, and V reversed), which was created out of the letters of the Kiss logo. (There is a Kiss album called “Dynasty”; hence “Die Nasty”.)


    Totally didn’t see that. Thanks.

    Might also be worth noting that the Wave have apparently changed from a blue and red team to a black, white and touch-of-blue team. As the Admirals did before them.

    I think we as a society should use… discernment (I know, they’re about to take this word out of dictionary) about appropriate use of ‘native imagery’. On one hand, Native American culture and cultural legacy is largely being wiped out; stupid sports teams logos and names. Using them in the ‘Skins way is both offensive… and bittersweet. Americans deserve to incorporate the native american cultural legacy just as much as we deserve to incorporate our judeo-western legacy and our other influences from around the globe. We can’t have the “melting pot” ideal if certain cultural tokens are restricted.

    Anyhow, the point is, we shouldn’t “ban” Native American imagery in our culture – which includes sports. They should be culturally appropriated and assimilated (example: the seattle seahawks logo, which no one complains about), the way Americans are supposed to.

    Assuming I’m reading this right I definitely agree.

    I feel like we could be going down a negative road by removing all Native American imagery. Yes offensive terms should be phased out, but getting rid of Native American names across the board seems like a terrible idea.

    I know about the Seminole people mainly because of FSU, they have historical relevance so they were certainly mentioned in my history classes growing up but not nearly on the level of the Cherokee people. The Sioux I know of simply because of the North Dakota debate.

    The Seminole Nation embraced FSU using their imagery and name, they work with the school and it helps their community. I feel more tribes should take this route instead of taking the stance that so many have taken in recent decades. They are underrepresented in the textbooks, and eventually the only memories of them will be the various rivers, lakes, and cities that bare their names. Control the narrative! The Illini withdrew their support for Illinois because Chief Illiniwek was a generic chief (I’m sure other similar misrepresentations contributed, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the new Chief of the Illini), instead of then ending your support why not use the connection to educate the general population?

    There was/is no one left in the Illiniwek Confederacy (it was not a tribe, it was a confederation of a number of tribes) to give permission and that’s why the Chief went away. Nobody withdrew support.

    While it’s true that the Iroquois Confederacy led a series of “near-genocidal” campaigns in the late 1600’s and essentially wiped out the Illiniwek, “Chief” went away because the NCAA wanted him gone and the UI trustees complied.

    Right – that’s part of the reason a lot of the polls show that Indians aren’t offended by Indian imagery and nicknames in sports. They wish they were represented in a respectful way, but they also don’t want to lose what little presence they have in popular culture.

    We can’t have the “melting pot” ideal if certain cultural tokens are restricted.

    I think you have it backwards.

    Once Native Americans have been assimilated into American society to the extent that, say, the Irish or Italians have, then we can talk about their iconography belonging to the larger culture. But we’re a long, long way from that.

    Once Native Americans have been assimilated into American society to the extent that, say, the Irish or Italians have, then we can talk about their iconography belonging to the larger culture. But we’re a long, long way from that.

    I think this has it backwards. I mean, yes, people of native ancestry should be more equally included in all aspects of American life, from economics to culture. But any cultural marginalization and ghettoization is bad, including the well-meaning idea that white or majority culture should keep “hands off” of any minority cultural signifiers.

    Native cultures are some of America’s great national treasures. We’d be a better people if we noticed the native heritage more. Take for example Australia, which of course still has immense problems with its own treatment and inclusion of native peoples. Still, Australian majority culture is much more open to and expressive of native culture, even though the marginalization of native people remains a pervasive problem. The presence and visibility of native culture, though, helps create a social environment where reducing marginalization is easier than otherwise. All Americans would be culturally richer if we paid more notice and respect to native cultures, and native peoples would be more likely to see their marginalization eased as well.

    Now, I’m not saying the Atlanta Braves nickname is some bold step toward raising American consciousness of the native plight. It’s not! I’m just saying that putting up a wall that says “no mention of native culture at all until exactly 1.5% of all CEOs, members of Congress, and actors are Native Americans” is itself an act of ghettoization that perpetuates, rather than ameliorates, the underlying marginalization.

    “Native cultures are some of America’s great national treasures. We’d be a better people if we noticed the native heritage more.”


    The problem starts with the notion of a melting pot. It’s a flawed metaphor: melting pots employ tremendous heat to separate desirable metals from dross, which is discarded. It’s advocacy of cultural hegemony, encouraging us all to “be American”: that is, white and Christian.

    We’re more of a stew: lots of different components, each lending flavor to and taking flavor from the others, all still retaining a recognizable and unique identity.

    I don’t understand why it’s cool for non-Maori New Zealand rugby players to do the Haka, but culturally offensive for UND hockey players to be called The Fighting Sioux.

    A useful and brief history of the term “melting pot.” You’ll notice that it was always used to refer to the melding of white folks. (“Murdering McKinley”, a short history of that assassination, offers a sobering analysis of American attitudes toward Slavic and southern European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century. They didn’t like ’em.)


    Assuming that is Team Canada’s hockey sweater. I agree with Paul that it is a “could be worse” scenario. Sure it has all the Nike template blandness that makes every nation’s uni look the same, and it looks a little unfinished.
    But i’m celebrating that it’s completely devoid of black, and you look at it and instantly recognize it as Canada.
    I’ll reserve total judgement until the numbers/pants/socks are released.

    I have a feeling (and I hope it comes to pass) that these (along with Team USA’s jerseys) will look much better over pads than they do as a fashion jersey.

    My biggest concern is that one sleeve is completely red, and the other has the white stripe on it. That would be ridiculous. Otherwise (aside from the ‘Nike touches’ on the shoulders and collar the overall design concept is solid IMO.

    That vested A’s uniform is perhaps my favorite uni ever, which is odd because I’m not an A’s fan and I don’t typically like vested baseball uniforms. But damn that looks good.

    I wonder if I need to go to confession if I look at a baseball uniform with lust in my heart.

    Yeah, any time I’m re-doing some teams uniforms in my head, they just end up looking like the 60’s Pirates uniforms.

    I wish the Pirates would go back to that look, but add the mustard top hat back in (the greatest hat of all time), that would be incredible

    The Pirates are a great example of the value of branding. They don’t stick with one uniform for long, but when they redesign, the same colors and trademarks are used. The result is that the team always looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Striking a happy balance between the inertia of the Yankees and the schizophrenia of the Padres, the Pirates have got branding game, as do the Mets, Reds, Orioles, Royals and Giants.

    “the Pirates have got branding game, as do the Mets, Reds, Orioles, Royals and Giants.”


    Except for when the Mets, Reds & Royals go BFBS, as all have done in the past. And what color do the two teams you also mentioned who don’t have BFBS tendencies have as a color already in their palette? Hmmmm.

    Spot checking for illegal substances is absolutely true. Players will put slippery substances on themselves and clothing to prevent the other team from grabbing on. This is true for both skilled positions and linemen.

    The Oneida Nation, based in upstate New York, is launching a radio campaign urging the ’Skins to change their name. I guess nobody told the Oneidas that Native Americans have no problem with the team name, eh?

    Why add that last comment above (…guess nobody told the Oneidas….)

    … But a Cree Native who also coaches football thinks the ’Skins name is fine (from Kevin Freitas).

    But not to the Cree Native comment?

    Could you please clarify what you’re asking, and why?

    I’m always hearing that Indians “don’t care about the name thing.” So the comment about the Oneidas was meant to refute that. If you find that to be a bit of editorializing on my part, well, yes — it is.

    But if I were only interested in presenting one side of the argument, I wouldn’t have included the Cree link at all, would I have?

    No you wouldn’t have. I respect that.

    My issue is the editorializing, the adding of your personal thoughts, on this issue and others. We get it, we understand your feelings on this issue and others, such as marketing on sidelines and post-game interviews. It’s exhausting and it distracts from the site and reduces the level of value it produces.

    Why not just post the link, like you did for the Cree link, and not add your personal feelings?

    Yeah, imagine me posting my personal thoughts, on my personal website. The nerve!

    News flash: This site is ABOUT my personal feelings. Always has been, whether I’m talking about stirrups, purple, or the ’Skins. I suspect you don’t have any problem with that, or even notice it, until my personal feelings happen to differ with yours. As for the effect this has on the site’s “level of value,” I trust you realize that the “level of value” you get from Uni Watch may differ from the “level of value” someone else gets. Different strokes and all that.

    In this case, I made my comment about the Oneidas because that news item runs counter to conventional or commonly expressed wisdom. In other words, it was noteworthy, so I noted it. There was no comparable situation for the Cree item except to run the item itself, which I did.

    I figured that would be your response, “my site, my rules”. I get it.

    I disagree with you that the Oneida news item runs counter to conventional or commonly expressed wisdom. This seems to be conventional or commonly expressed wisdom — witness the change in college sports, the Cleveland Indians using a C on their caps, the Braves removing their alternate cap.

    My point on the editorializing is that the Redskins name is really not about just sports anymore and your personal feelings on this are not about sports and uniforms, but something more.

    This site is about sports and uniforms and it is tiresome to read your personal thoughts, whether I agree or disagree, on issues that stray from the sites intended purpose (perhaps that is my issue, I don’t truly understand the sites purpose).

    I figured that would be your response, “my site, my rules”.

    Being allowed to express myself on my own site is not a “rule,” Chris — it’s pretty standard procedure for any blog, or any creative project. When you invoke “My site, my rules,” you make it sound like I’m carving out some crazy protocol for myself, when in fact I’m simply giving my opinion on something, just like I do on countless other topics. When I say a certain uni design is great (or awful), that’s no different than saying what I think about the ’Skins. I presume you have no problem with the former, so why gripe about the latter?

    I disagree with you that the Oneida news item runs counter to conventional or commonly expressed wisdom.

    You apparently don’t see how many comments get posted on this site about how “all the polls show that Indians don’t care about this stuff.” (Understandably, you also don’t receive all the emails that I receive expressing that same sentiment.) So when Indians take action to protest the ’Skins name, yes, that does run counter to what many Uni Watch readers apparently think.

    My point on the editorializing is that the Redskins name is really not about just sports anymore and your personal feelings on this are not about sports and uniforms, but something more.

    I see. So in your mind, sports and “something more” — whatever that unspecified something might be — are two mutually exclusive realms that never ever intersect, and should never be allowed to be discussed at the same time. Tell me, would you have said the same thing when Jackie Robinson was breaking into the majors? Or when the American track and field guys gave the Black Power salute at the ’68 Olympics? Or when Todd Jones went on a homophobic rant? “No, we can’t talk about any of that in the sports section, because then we’d be getting into ‘something more.'”

    I’m not saying any of those topics would have anything to do with Uni Watch (although the Black Power guys did each wear a black glove, which is kinda uni-related). I’m just saying that sports doesn’t exist in its own little bubble. Sometimes it crosses over into the larger world. And that’s definitely the case with the Native American thing.

    Look: We talk about team names all the time on Uni Watch — the Hornets becoming the Pelcians, the Bobcats becoming the HOrnets, etc. It’s all part of team branding, logos, and uniforms. So the notion that a team’s name isn’t germane to Uni Watch’s “intended purpose,” as you put it, is absurd. Team names are part of the Uni Watch game. At the moment, whether you like it or not, there’s a big national discussion taking place about one team’s name. You can try to ignore that discussion if you like, but I’m not going to. (Moreover, the ’Skins name is part of the larger issue of Native American imagery being used on uniforms. Or to put it another way, have you looked at the ’Skins helmet lately?)

    it is tiresome to read your personal thoughts, whether I agree or disagree, on issues that stray from the sites intended purpose (perhaps that is my issue, I don’t truly understand the sites purpose).

    I’ve already explained how team names are part of the site’s “intended purpose.” If my conception of Uni Watch doesn’t completely align with yours, that’s a pity for both of us, but I suspect we’ll both manage to carry on.

    As for my opinions being “tiresome,” here’s a thought: All the Native American stuff is lumped into one tidy section. If it’s not your bag, is it really so hard for you to skip over it? Jeez.

    “As for my opinions being “tiresome,” here’s a thought: All the Native American stuff is lumped into one tidy section. If it’s not your bag, is it really so hard for you to skip over it? Jeez.”

    Yep its easy, I do it pretty much every day, and I’m a guy who is kinda on board for a name change (Its not currently meant to be offensive, but the origins of the word is offensive, and that cancels out its current intentions).

    I also don’t always read the main article, or parts of the ticker. It’s not difficult, you just pass over the stuff you don’t want to read, you can even scroll down to it and give an eye-roll if you are moved to do so (it will have just as much of an effect on Paul’s future writings as complaining about it in the comments will).

    It’s his site, he’s gonna put forth his views, the beauty is he doesn’t force you to read anything, you have the option. You can pick and choose what you read, and he’s made it easier than ever in recent months (first by sectioning off the Native American Imagery, and then by sectioning things off by sport).

    I did not mean to insinuate that you have carved out your own crazy protocol. What I meant was that I expected part of your response to be that this was your blog, therefore you will run it how you see fit.

    I can skip past the Redskins section to read the other parts of the site. The point I’m making, which happened today to be tied to the editorial you chose to add to the Oneida news piece and not to the Cree news piece, is that it’s all over the site. For example, I agree with you on Nike, the proliferation of corporate logos on everything, camouflage uniforms and BFBS uniforms, but the editorializing with the same message every time is what I get tired of. Unfortunately I cannot skip past all instances of it.

    My point about the Redskins name being above sports is not that there are two mutually exclusive realms or that team names are not relevant on your blog. I certainly understand that sports crosses into culture and find that intersection interesting. In this case, the Redskins name is truly past just being about a football team name.

    This is your blog, I’ll be quiet now about this opinion of mine, and continue to enjoy your blog for what I enjoy it for.

    In regard to the A’s white shoes affecting batters, here is a cricket example from 20 years ago. Australian player Dean Jones requests that West Indian fast bowler Curtly Ambrose remove one of the sweatbands on his wrist because it was annoying him:


    Didn’t Lasorda demand Ron Guidry change his undershirt during the ’77 World Series, because I’d was frayed, and that was distracting to the batters?

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