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Brinke Is Totally Gonna Plotz


What you see above are some doodles made by former NFL Properties honcho Dave Boss — yes, that Dave Boss — while he was on the phone with a Chiefs exec in 1983. It’s one of many amazing archival documents featured in my latest ESPN column, which is about Stevens Wright, who designed the Bills’ logo back in the early ’70s. Turns out Wright also did lots of other work for NFL Properties, including the 49ers’ infamous one-day logo, the Pats’ abortive Proto-Elvis logo, and work for the Chiefs (who, it turns out, were pursuing a redesign in 1983, although they eventually decided not to go ahead with it), Vikings, and Broncos that never saw the light of day. He passed away earlier this year, but his family gave me access to his files, which are full of memos (including several from Dave Boss), letters, drawings, and more. It’s amazing stuff — here, knock yourself out.

Meanwhile, on the NFL throwback front: I was also supposed to have another ESPN column published yesterday morning or afternoon, but it got delayed and wasn’t posted until the early evening, which means most of you probably never saw it. It’s an exclusive interview with an NFL equipment manager who had some very interesting insights on the new rule restricting alternate and throwback helmets. I learned a lot from this interview, and I think you will too. Check it out here. And if you missed my earlier ESPN piece on the new helmet rule, you should start there. Together, these two pieces provide the most authoritative info on the helmet rule currently available on the web.

So I’ve basically turned out three ESPN columns over the past 48 hours or so. Plus you get all this bloggery. Not bad, right? Dive in and enjoy.

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Turning to our nation’s great universities, there were loads of college football developments yesterday, most of them pretty silly. One thing at a time:

1) The Terps unveiled the latest edition of their Maryland Hubris uniforms (if the slideshow below doesn’t work for you, click here):

And here’s a promotional clip about the helmets:

If you can take this stuff seriously, you’re way ahead of me. But here’s a very quick analysis: If you forget about the helmet, this is a seriously ugly uniform costume — the red-on-red format is too loud, and the stripe with the school name on the pants is embarrassing. The helmet does look interesting from the front, I’ll grant you, but the giant SNOB ruins it. As for each helmet being hand-numbered, that’s the oldest trick in the book: You take a product, pretend to treat it like art, and in the process make it even more of a fetishized product. Amusing but inconsequential.

2) Every Virginia Tech fan on the planet is freaking out because of this:

Further info here, and there are a few dozen amusing comments on this design here.

3) Missouri will have a new helmet tomorrow. As I had reported yesterday, it’s matte black with chrome decals; as I had not reported, the decals don’t fit very well over the helmet vents:

The helmet will be worn with this uniform. Wanna see a video? Here you go:

4) Fordham is taking flag desecration to new depths with its Liberty Cup uni design, which will be worn tomorrow:

5) Colorado State will wear this helmet decal to support the victims of the recent floods, and coaches will wear it on their shirts:

I’m generally skeptical of the “Let no tragedy go un-uni-recognized” approach, but that’s a really great design — simple, state-based, and it references floodwaters and tears simultaneously. Well done.

6) Whoa, check out the throwbacks Central Michigan will be wearing tomorrow against Toledo:

Guess they got permission to go with the small front numbers. Additional pics here.

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’Skins Watch: The Nepean Redskins — a youth team in Ottawa — are changing their team name (from Tony Redican). ”¦ Never thought I’d be saying this, but Bleacher Report, of all places, has written a fairly thorough, well-researched overview of the ’Skins situation. It’s lengthy but worthwhile — recommended. … Buried toward the end of New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick’s piece from last Sunday is this: “For what its worth, I’ve long avoided writing ‘Redskins,’ replacing it with ‘Skins.’ But not until last week did I know that, like Sports Illustrated and USA Today, I was supposed to issue a news release.” That’s a funny quip, and I guess he thinks Peter King and Christine Brennan are grandstanding, plus he wants us all to know that he’s been out front on the ’Skins issue for years. But if you’re trying to effect social change — or to persuade anyone to come around to your side of any debate, really — you need to explain what your position is and why you’re taking it. What if Mushnick, who makes a significant portion of his living by criticizing WFAN radio guy Mike Francesa, simply ignored Francesa altogether as a silent protest? Wouldn’t be nearly as effective, right? The one who’s really grandstanding here is Mushnick, who took a cheap potshot at other writers for no good reason except that he could. Still, it’s good to know he’s been ahead of the curve on this issue.

Baseball News: Check this out: Dave Parker went shopping in Pirates gear! And in his own jersey! Thing is, he was shopping in Cincinnati — shouldn’t he have been wearing Reds gear? He played for them too, after all (from Tom Mulgrew). … Typos happen to everybody, but this one is particularly unfortunate (from R. Scott Rogers). … Here’s something I kinda wish I didn’t know: Prince Fielder wears neon green socks. “I noticed this once before while watching a game on TV earlier this summer, but this is the first time I could confirm it,” says Harry Akers.

NFL News: Small NFL uni change that we all missed: The Broncos have changed the color of the captaincy patches on their white jerseys from blue to orange (great catch by Evan Hassinger). ”¦ Trent Richardson, who wore No. 33 with the Browns, will be 34 on the Colts (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Troy Polamalu is going to get a haircut. “Wonder if he will get it cut short enough to show the cross on the back of the jersey,” says Rich Eaken. ”¦ The Chiefs wore their red pants last night, which means they also wore their white socks — except for wideout Donnie Avery, whose red-topped socks are easy to pick out in this long shot (from Jeremy Baxter). ”¦ Every Giants team portrait since 1925 is available here (from Chris Flinn).

College Football News: Some Toledo fans are arguing over whether the team’s jerseys are black or a really dark blue (from Mike Siffer). … Arizona State is letting fans vote on the uni combo that the team will wear on Oct. 12 against Colorado (from Marc Altieri). … Here are Notre Dame’s sideline caps for the Shamrock Series game. “The Dome under the brim of a hat? Seriously?” asks a nonplussed Warren Junium. ”¦ Memphis will wear black jerseys tomorrow (thanks, Phil). ”¦ For reasons that are unclear, Jackson State’s jerseys were a mix of NOB and NNOB last night (from JJ Sledge). ”¦ The University of West Florida announced it will be fielding a Div. II football team starting in 2016. Pretty sure the helmet shown in that photo will not be the design they end up using (from Leo Strawn Jr.).

Hockey News: The Capitals have announced their third jersey schedule for the coming season. Interesting that they’ll be wearing it exclusively on the road — you’d think they’d designate it for at least one home game, no? (Thanks, Phil.)

Soccer News: If Mexico doesn’t qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup, it could result in a significant hit in jersey sales (from Joe Makowiec). … New third kit for Tottenham Hotspur (from Terence Kearns). … New third kit for Barcelona. ”¦ The headgear recently worn by Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney after he suffered a nasty gash to his forehead was developed by a company based in Brooklyn (from Yusuke Toyoda).

NBA News: The NBA logo has always been embroidered onto game jerseys. But photos of the Lakers’ new BFBS set show what appears to be a heat-pressed patch or sticker. Not sure if this is a new thing or just a quick fix they used for the photo shoot (good spot by Zack Kurland).

College Hoops News: Here’s a time-lapse video of the new James Madison court being installed (from Andrew Rader). … New uniforms for VCU. Here’s the rear view and the road jersey (from Sidney Helfer). … Kansas’s court has been refinished (from Adam Jackson). … New uniforms for Hofstra (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Remember when we were doing mash-up logos of all the sports logos in a given city a few years back? Someone has done a full set of them, and they’re great (from Brad Jud). … New marching band uniforms for Kansas (from Adam Jackson). … Why is the Italian national team wearing blue at the cycling world championships? Find the explanation here (from Sean Clancy). … A slideshow salute to the late Ken Norton included this gem: Norton standing by in the ring while Tina Turner skips rope. … Here’s a video of Australian cricket players talking about the “baggy green cap” they wear when representing Australia in international test cricket competition (from Graham Clayton).

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What Paul did last night: Webster Hall is way too big a room for my liking. But Deerhunter was playing there last night, and I’d never seen them before, and their Monomania album is easily my favorite record of the year so far, plus I really liked their previous album, 2010’s Halcyon Digest (although not so much the stuff prior to that), plus-plus I dig Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s side project, Atlas Sound. So off to Webster Hall I went.

It was a major drag. The band was completely backlit, so there was no way to really see what they were doing. I was standing really close to the stage but all I could see was a bunch of shadowy, semi-silhouetted figures. Might’ve worked if I’d been high, but that’s not my scene. I kept thinking, “Okay, on the next song they’ll probably switch to conventional lighting so we can actually see the fucking band already,” but it never happened. After half a dozen songs I decided not to throw good minutes after bad and went home. Dang.

Comments (167)

    According to the Colts roster, Richardson is switching from 33 to 34 (33 being held by RB Vick Ballard).

    If all the Maryland helmets were hand painted, I wonder how much the university paid for that mess?

    But Paul, I’m sure the helmets will be “beloved” in Maryland.

    That said, considering how much hands-on attention helmets get before a game (i.e., fixing scratches, re-applying decals, inflating), hand-painting doesn’t seem like as much trouble as the press release would have you believe. Plus, that’s Under Armour’s baby/loss leader – I don’t think any additional university resource went into it.

    I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not, but they are loved in Maryland. Residents of Maryland, students at the school and the school’s athletes LOVE these things.

    Which is why I find this blog’s panning of the uniform hilarious. Maryland is giving its fan base exactly what it wants regardless of what others think and you kill it. Sure, they’re trying to get attention. But Maryland is going crazy for them.

    I agree they’re too red, but they’ve been going with color themes since last year. And I really don’t understand how hand-painting helmets is the oldest trick in the book.

    Column I wrote about the pride unis back in college:

    But being good by people who have an emotional attachment and being aesthetically good are two different things. A lot of people like a lot of ugly things, especially when they feel a sense of ownership.

    Paul isn’t judging the uniforms by how “beloved” (which has become Paul’s bête noir recently) they are. He’s judging by whether they’re good or stupid, and you can’t fault him for leaning towards “stupid”.

    Also, he’s not saying hand-painting helmets is the oldest trick in the book. Pretending it’s some kind of value-added is the oldest trick in the book.

    A quibble about the logos of teams in the same city – it always bugs me when people think the Hurricanes and Panthers are in the same city, when Raleigh and Charlotte are over 160 miles apart.

    I realize having the same region name confuses people, but that’s like treating New York and Philadelphia (80 miles) or Hartford (110 miles) as the same place. Hell, Baltimore and Providence are only about 180 miles from New York.

    Geography Quiz: [No peeking off-site!] What’s the name of the big city 50 miles south of New York City?

    I’m going to be pedantic and say Trenton is southwest of NYC. But then, I don’t think Asbury Park qualifies as a “big city”, no matter how strongly Bruce Springsteen feels.

    I cheated and looked. South tip of SI to northern tip of Phili is about 46+ miles. It’s southwest though. Due south of NYC is rural Jersey.

    Boo you, you guys! C’mon. Proper reaction is rueful smile, acknowledgement of the cultural framing we’re all guilty of, etc. You know, “Hey, that’s a good one!”

    Now you’ve hurt my feelings.

    Great research. The article certainly added to helmet history. Hope future references will credit Paul for his fine work.

    Yeah, this is brilliant stuff.

    My favorite bits so far are the response from the Chiefs to his sketches, which can be summed up as “keep everything about our old logo but make it look new” and Boss’ note to Stephens in return: “Keep these simple. Obviously, they are not entirely certain of what they want.”

    Agreed. Great read.

    I wonder why owners of sports teams–especially back before merchandising took off–felt compelled to change logos? What is that thinking? Your brand is established. You have no competition. And–this is subjective, of course–your logo is good looking. (The Bills’ standing buffalo, the Chiefs’ arrowhead, the 49ers’ SF, the Vikings’ horn, Pat Patriot…etc.)

    Restlessness? The need to control?

    I can’t speak officially for the Bills, but as a kid in Buffalo at the time, the logo change was perfect timing for the team. They had a new stadium and the best running back in the league, OJ Simpson. The new logo displayed the team’s new found speed and captured my imagination so much that I painted a 8′ wide version on my bedroom wall. That went well, so I painted the new logo on my Bills helmet bank, Bills posters, and anything else with the old logo. I was all in!

    Man, is this ever true. There are three things that every kid in Buffalo had in the mid-Seventies: a French Connection (Perrault-Martin-Robert, not Pappy Doyle) poster on his bedroom wall; an OJ Simpson poster right next to that; and at least one article of clothing featuring that charging Buffalo logo, usually a red and blue knit cap with a big pom-pom on top.

    Much as I respect the beauty of the standing bison, my love is reserved for the one with the bolt.

    But quiet seattle was specifically asking about the pre-merch era, Chance. (Of course, there’s always been *some* merch, but it wasn’t a major revenue stream back in the ’70s like it is today.)

    Ugh. Poor reading comprehension this morning.

    Even if we take merchandising out of it, there is a great attraction for the shiny and new. You keep the brand from looking stale and generate excitement. And I like Jimbo’s point as well; sometimes you change to create a visual break from a period of futility, which goes hand-in-hand.

    Three possible reasons:

    1. Luck.

    John McGraw changed his team’s uniform designs, logos, and colors all the time. From my readings, at least a few of these changes were made in an effort to break slumps or change fortunes.

    2. Vanity.

    About 15 years ago, a Houston Astros front office worker told me that then-owner Drayton McLane hated their blue and gold “shooting star” design. McLane preferred red to blue, and as a Baptist and a Baylor fan, was uncomfortable with caps that carried Notre Dame colors. “He’s going to change to red and black,” the guy said (I have no way of verifying that story, but the guy was an Astros employee, and that’s what eventually happened.) Surely there are pre-merch examples of owners who simply didn’t like the way their expensive playtoy looked on the field, so they changed things.

    3. Affluence.

    The AFL Buffalo Bills originally wore silver and blue. Legend has it that Ralph Wilson, a former minority owner of the Detroit Lions, outfitted his new team in Lions castoffs that he’d picked up for a song. As the team took root and became profitable, they could afford a unique identity.

    Working for the Astros as a stadium tour guide in 2005, we were allowed to wear business casual or Astros jerseys to work as long as they weren’t orange due to Drayton’s dislike of the Texas Longhorns. Eventually we were forced to wear red polo shirts.

    Cort-The Bills didn’t use Lions hand-me-downs. They used Royal Blue while the Fordmen use Honolulu Blue (aka Air Force Blue). They bought the Rawlings-made uniforms from Frank O’Connor Sporting Goods in Buffalo. BTW-It’s Popeye Doyle, not “Pappy.”

    Thanks for the corrections, Terry. I knew Popeye — that was just brainlock — but I’m grateful to be straightened out on the Bills/Lions connections.

    Yeah, I didn’t know the big shake up with that article either.

    I liken the Italian’s style to that of the Dutch…no orange (or oranje) in the Dutch flag. But, it’s done for similar reasons.

    Though in the case of the Dutch, the flag used to match the national color, but the orange dye wasn’t reliable enough to use on ships.

    TH is characteristically well informed. Orange never ceased to be the Dutch national color — “Oranje Boven!” (Orange on Top) is a favorite cheer.

    Oh look at me, I’m Paul Lukas and I’m an insufferable douche who hates everything waaahhhhhhhhj. OMG THE SCHOOL NAME ON THE PANTS SOMEONE ARREST THE DESIGNER!!!

    Paul, you changed your name to John and became inarticulate? And where’s your yellow comment box?

    I’m starting to think that this guy isn’t really Paul Lukas….

    After years of suffering silently in the background while his sibling got all the glory, Big Cock Johnson’s far less creative younger brother decided to try his hand at trolling.

    Mine is Nashville’s. Looks like something you’d see hanging from the mirror of a greaser’s rat rod.

    The Maryland uniforms aren’t that bad in my opinion. There are some elements that don’t work, black shoulder parts and the name on the leg. I think black and name-on-pants could work but there are better options. They fixed the helmet and I like the look but the cost (figure what, a couple of hundred per helmet) just seems like money not well spent.

    As for Fordham with the flag desecration…Yes it’s flag desecration (which could be done without in any situation) but it’s Fordham (NYC area) saluting NYFD/NYPD NOB (in NYC) and it’s more of an unknown school in NCAAF circles, it almost goes unnoticed. Far different than a big program doing it, but still unacceptable.

    Maybe I’m an old fart but I think the kind of detailed shading and modeling of Maryland’s hubris helmets is not appropriate for a football team. Keep it simple enough that a child ought to be able to draw it. Airbrushing is for hockey masks.

    On the lack of home dates for the throwback white Washington Capitals outfit: Caps owner Ted Leonsis is sensitive about the economy and its effect on the ticket buyers. Some fans insist on wearing what the players are wearing too, and it is “unreasonable” to have the fans buy multiple jerseys. To solve the problem, the Caps exclusively wear red at home, without exception.

    Seriously? Wow.

    Has it occurred to him (or to anyone) that there’s no law requiring fans to wear exactly what the team is wearing on a given night?

    Ha, plenty of folks wear the retro whites to games. The real reason is probably to not go against the “Rock the Red” theme he’s successfully gotten the fans to buy into.

    Hey all,
    I’ve had a request from my 10-year-old niece to design a logo for her swim club, the “Thunderfish.”

    Aside from the obvious fish/nautical themed logos: Whalers, Marlins, Dolphins, Sharks, Mariners, Canucks, Bridgeport Bluefish, Mudcats… can you guys share some of your favorites?

    Looking for some creative ideas and a color palette that not-so-little kids will enjoy. Thanks, UW braintrust.

    You beat me to it – I was going to recommend you take a look at the Trenton Thunder and consider a fish-shaped thunderhead. Or dolphin- or whale-shaped or whatever. That, or a typical cartoon lightning bolt, but turned on its side with a sort of sperm whale face. For that, you could go with garnet with bright yellow – ahem, “gold” – accents for a fiery, electric look.

    Give a man a thunderfish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to thunderfish and he’ll eat for life.

    Bummer about the Deerhunter show. Their records are miss-but-mostly-hit for me, but I skipped a show here in the RVA last month for the very reason you cited, the fear that they’d be boring live.

    Speaking of RVA, I dig the new unis for VCU. Not that there’s anything wrong with good ol’ block lettering, but I feel like they’ve earned a nice, clean, signature look.

    I love the Maryland flag, and really dig the jersey (specially those shoulder panels) on the hubris uni, but we get it with the wordmark already.

    Great ESPN piece today Mr. Lukas. The Maryland unis are beyond horrible too. Just plain out and out ugly.

    You should hold a “Rename the ‘Skins” contest on here. Maybe give away a t-shirt or something. Maybe then Snyder will finally get the idea there are some pretty damn good names he can use other than Redskins.

    Always a day late I am! Bad thing to me about all this is Snyder. He is taking an untenable position. He could have turned this into a HUGE HUGE positive for the DC NFL franchise but instead chose to be stubborn and obstinate. I guess DC politics has rubbed off on him.

    I guess DC politics has rubbed off on him.

    Um, no. Stubborn and obstinate on the road to defeat and humiliation – that’s been Snyder’s business MO for pretty much his whole career. That’s why his “NEVER – you can print that in caps” statement is so telling. He has a history of digging in and escalating his rhetoric when his position becomes untenable, rather than looking for negotiated outs or tactical retreat options. So bully-boy language like “you can print that in caps” should be seen as a sign that Snyder knows he’s playing a losing hand, and he’s raising his bluff to the level of all-in, that being the only approach he knows. And, unlike the capitalist business world, within the NFL Snyder has no board or shareholders who can overrule or remove him. So he may be able to sustain his bluff as long as the commissioner lets him.

    Nike can’t be happy about this helmet thing. With no alternate helmets, a lot of teams won’t be wearing their alternate jerseys. With no alternate jerseys on field, there will be a lot less alternate jersey sales.

    As I’ve been saying for years now, if only anyone would bother to listen, Nike doesn’t control the NFL. Whether they’re happy or unhappy about this rule isn’t particularly relevant.

    I’m not saying they control them at all. I’m just saying that from a pure sales standpoint, this new rule will not make Nike happy.

    It’s not particularly relevant, no… but I would bet good money that the execs at Nike felt like they would be able to persuade the NFL to at least start allowing an alternate helmet, more uni combinations, etc., when they inked the uniform deal. Yes, the NFL has been very conservative when it comes to uniforms. But Nike is a brash company, and I bet at least planned to push the envelope as much as they were allowed.

    Now, it seems like the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction.

    it seems like the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction

    Oh, how I wish that were the case. Seems to me that the new helmet “recommendation” is the exception.

    It always bothered me that the University of South Florida was practically due west (technically, it’s probably west-southwest) from the University of Central Florida. Given the placement of the Orlando campus, it makes sense to call the Jacksonville campus the University of North Florda. But now I find out there’s a campus in Pensacola called the University of West Florida? Oy.

    I don’t see why the Tampa campus can’t be “West,” and Pensacola and Jacksonville can be “Northwest” and “Northeast,” respectively, and perhaps save the “South” name for a school down around, oh I don’t know, Miami.

    Never thought I’d be saying this, but Bleacher Report, of all places, has written a fairly thorough, well-researched overview of the ’Skins situation. It’s lengthy but worthwhile – recommended

    Howard Beck is having a good influence already.

    I read it and thought it was a well written article though the author seems to have a bit of dislike for Snyder.

    Nice design for Kansas’ band. Thank goodness they didn’t go BFBS. Marching bands are just as bad about that, especially on the HS level.

    Paul, your ESPN artical gels with what I know from my time in the equipment room.

    When the Equipment Managers are surprised by a rule relating to the uniform, then you know it wasn’t communicated by the league.

    Truly, though, on the NFL helmet issue…

    If player safety is their first and foremost priority, shouldn’t the league pull out the grandfather clause on discontinued helmet models? I would think the NFL and NFLPA would be able to find a way to make this work.

    It would seem to be simple to me: by a fixed date each year (possibly in June), the approved helmet list is sent out, showing all current models permitted. The teams circulate the list to the players, so that by the time camps open, they’ll be prepared to get used to any changes.

    Then, when a manufacturer decides to withdraw a particular model, the league must be notified before the deadline for the approved list for the upcoming year. Otherwise, the manufacturer must agree to continue producing sufficient quantities of that model through the balance of the season to keep the teams stocked. The only exception to the withdrawal rule is when a model needs to be recalled due to safety reasons.

    See, now, is that so hard?

    One thing, though: Just because a helmet is no longer made doesn’t mean it’s no longer safe, effective, etc.

    Helmet manufacturers (like all manufacturers) sometimes discontinue a given product in order to force people to buy a newer, more expensive product.

    Business is business, I’ll give you that. We see that all the time, and I’ve seen and heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth when a product that many people acutally like gets changed or taken away.

    I still think my idea has merit, though. I believe it would demonstrate a more active partnership between the league and the equipment makers, and it would take care of the alternate-shell issue.

    Given that helmets can only realistically take so much punishment over their lifetime, I can’t see the value of a professional player keeping the same helmet year after year – not in that league, not with that much money involved.

    Holy shit, Under Armour/Maryland really went too far this time. The helmets went past the football realm and slipped somewhere in between Hockey, NASCAR, and graffiti.

    That is the idea though, isn’t it? Every year they are going to push a little bit further to keep us talking about it, to keep us wondering “what the hell could they possibly do next?”.

    I am sure Nikegon will have some even more outlandish uniform combo around bowl season for the Ducks.

    Marylarmor’s biggest problem is that their program sucks and they won’t be seeing a post-season bowl any time soon.

    Marylarmor’s biggest problem is that their program sucks and they won’t be seeing a post-season bowl any time soon.

    Don’t look now, but they’re 3-0.

    Why don’t the Cowboys wear their double star unis from the aikman era in the 90’s as throwbacks? They wore their current helmet with those! A tacky but awesome jersey!!

    It’s sad to think that in 1994 teams wore incorrect throwback (Bills, Jets, Cowboys) helmets because they didn’t know any better. And now that they do know better, they’ll be forced to do it again.

    Actually the mid-90s Cowboys’ double-star throwbacks should more accurately be called fauxbacks.

    This :

    Doesn’t really look like this:

    I could get behind this if they go color vs color, with the Chiefs wearing all red and Bears wearing all navy.


    I find the name “Vikings” offensive. I as a whit man am disgusted by use of cartoon depictions of my race.

    It’s also a revival word. It had dropped out of use in Middle English and was brought back in around 1807. The Old Norse (modern spelling) would be vikingr (vik being an inlet or bay) and more or less meant those from the fjords.

    So unless you are a Scandinavian pirate and you can trace your family’s use of the word vikingr to some point before the nineteenth century, you have no grounds for complaint.

    The NBA screened logo deal is probably going to be league wide. In an effort to make the jerseys lighter, most of the graphics on the Adidas collegiate jerseys are screened this season, as we saw with the new Tennessee jerseys. The numbers are still stitched, everything else is screened. Supposedly, they’re doing this with all of their top-tier college teams.

    I wrote this in the comments late yesterday but got not response. I don’t see any Wizards aspect in the Washington mashup. Am I missing it?

    Maybe this can be cleared up, but couldn’t NFL teams just announce at the beginning of a season about the throwback games THEN allow players to have two helmets all season long? They could wear their typical helmets for games and practices, or even wear a throwback helmet for practices at times too.

    That way there are not “new” helmets being introduced in the middle of the season?

    I asked this yesterday, but a little late to get an answer I guess. If they have multiple shells for these discontinued helmets, how come they can’t just have a throwback shell ready for that one week?

    It’s interesting that Stevens Wright’s daughter explains the fans rejection of his 49er logo as partly a reaction against the de-emphasizing of the city in favor of the “team.” There seems to be a long history of team owners trying to do just that and it almost always backfires. For example, the NY (Football) Giants taking the “NY” off their helmets rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, and it seems few fans prefer names like “Florida Marlins” instead of more precise nomenclature. Wonder when owners will get the message that geography is important and that city-pride is usually more relevant to people than state-pride.

    But if Giant management had taken a fan survey at any point, 1976 to the 1990s, would GIANTS ever have been preferred to NY as a helmet logo? I would bet no. (“NJ” may have been a popular option though).

    To the people in the city, yes… But if you want to sell tickets to people outside the city it probably makes sense to broaden your reach. For every person in Manhattan that hated them changing helmet from ‘NY’ to ‘Giants’, there is probably a person in Secaucus who didn’t hate it.

    The Spurs alternate kid would be a good third for Man City.

    Which is another way of saying, I like it a lot.

    Assuming the Broncos wear the same captains’ patches on the home tops as the road tops, shouldn’t we have assumed the color of said patches would change with the color of the home jerseys?
    I’d hate to think we all missed it; rather, “yeah, we knew that.”

    Home jersey color changed last season, not this season.

    In other words, last season they did NOT wear the same captains’ patches on their home tops as on their road tops.

    So yeah, we *did* miss that.

    They refinished the floor at KU, but they still have the old Big 12 logo. Seems like I would have added the new logo first, but whatever.

    How come everyone is jumping on the Redskins to change their name, while the Chiefs (seemingly) get a pass? While not as blatantly racist as the term ‘Redskin’, it’s still using Native American imagery for a sports team, no? While I’m not approving of their name, it seems to me that Washington is getting singled out in this case. I’ve heard little noise lately about other sports teams with Native American names.

    Because Indian imagery isn’t necessarily racist. Like you said, “Chiefs” isn’t an overt slur, and while you could argue that the arrowhead logo is a reference to the image of Indians as “savages”, it’s not an obvious caricature like the headdress logo. Plus, the Chiefs don’t have a team-endorsed minstrel show like Chief Zee (their mascot is a wolf).

    Does that mean that if the Cleveland Indians, for example, got rid of their Chief Wahoo logo and replaced it with an arrowhead or a feather, that would be ok?
    I’m not making the point to be argumentative; I’m just trying to figure out where the line is in the debate.
    I was always under the impression that the argument against using Native American imagery was that it was wrong, period. I wasn’t thinking of in terms that it was ok, up to a point, but beyond that it was considered racist.

    I was always under the impression that the argument against using Native American imagery was that it was wrong, period.

    How nice it would be if the world consisted of singular arguments with no nuances or variations.

    I am of the opinion that all use of Native imagery in sports is unacceptable (except in a case like FSU, where a local tribe has given permission). Many others are fine with teams like the Braves and Chiefs but draw the line with the ’Skins.

    Lots of people, lots of opinions, lots of shades of gray. For now, though, there seems to be a growing consensus about the ’Skins. That doesn’t mean other teams have been “given a pass,” or that it’s hypocritical for someone to be OK with the Chiefs but not OK with the ’Skins. It means this issue — like most issues — is complex.

    I wonder why the Cleveland baseball logo doesn’t get as much attention as the Washington football nickname.

    After those two, everything else using Native American imagery is really in the second (much more debatable) tier of offensiveness

    I think if the Indians played in a major media market, featured a household name and/or were in contention for the World Series, it would be a different story. The ‘Skins controversy isn’t exactly new. It was a story back when they made their last Super Bowl appearance and I came across a Frank Deford piece about it from 2005.

    And for what it’s worth, they’re making Chief Wahoo less prominent.

    I remember it being an issue when the Indians played the Braves in the 1995 World Series. I’m just wondering how they’re flying more below the radar in 2013 compared to the ‘skins.

    For now, the momentum in this movement seems to have coalesced around the ’Skins, to the near-exclusion of everything else. It’s the one thing everyone in the movement seems to agree on. This doesn’t mean Wahoo or the Braves or the Chiefs are “flying under the radar”; it just means that the movement is directing its energy toward what appears to be the most suitable target.

    That troubles me a bit, since I see the ’Skins situation as just one facet of a much larger issue. I worry that if/when the team name is changed, everyone will say, “Well, our work here is done” and that will be that.

    My hope is that people will then turn their sights on Wahoo, and then on all Native imagery in sports.

    Right – if the Indians were more successful, we’d be seeing the logo more, and more people would respond to it.

    I’d say it’s the following factors:
    * Washington is a bigger market (both in population and media presence) than Cleveland.
    * ‘Skins have one of the more marketable young players in the league, and the Indians don’t.
    * NFL is more of a “national” league, in that fans are more likely to care about the league as a whole, while baseball fans seem to care more about their home teams and less about the whole league.
    * There’s more coverage of the ‘Skins because they made the playoffs after a long period of mediocrity, or worse
    * Snyder brought a lot of attention on it himself by launching a PR campaign and drawing a line in the sand with his “NEVER” comment.
    * As a DC-based team, it gets attention from politicians and non-sports journos.
    * Depending on how you feel about appropriating Indian imagery, the “Indians” name feels less offensive on the face than “Redskins”. One is an accepted formal term, the other is, at best, slang.

    It also seems like Cleveland and /or MLB has been tried to de-emphasize Chief Wahoo. Other than that thing with the alternate hats earlier this year, they use the “c” as their main logo.

    I think the Mizzou helmet is worse than Maryland. I am guessing they end up cutting the holes out. but if not…

    They don’t, unfortunately. (In care you aren’t familiar with Mizzou unis, this is a grey/chrome version of their secondary helmet. Usually features black face mask and gold decals)

    Pretty sloppy look, in my opinion.

    Great interview with the equipment manager. The rule actually makes a ton of sense now. Its nice to have actual information to drown out the static.

    But let me ask a question: if the issue is that there are players still in older helmets and the real problem is changing back and forth between older helmets and newer helmets, isn’t that also an issue? Shouldn’t the teams be getting the players into new models? I know there’s a reluctance to take anyone’s equipment away but if the new helmets are better and safer, maybe grandfathering shouldn’t be available.

    (this comment was brought to you by someone who watched Butch Goring play in the NHL for years with a helmet he bought when he was 12)

    Interesting – Deadspin dug out an old Rick Reilly column from 1991 in which he had a very different take on Native American nicknames:

    Rick Reilly 1991: “Put yourself in the shoes of a 10-year-old Indian kid. The Indians he knows do not walk around with painted faces. The Indians he knows do not shoot flaming arrows and dance around drums. The Indians he knows are not savages preparing for battle.”

    Rick Reilly 2013: “For the majority of Native Americans who don’t care, we’ll care for them. For the Native Americans who haven’t asked for help, we’re glad to give it to them. Trust us. We know what’s best. We’ll take this away for your own good, and put up barriers that protect you from ever being harmed again.”

    That’s too funny.

    To be clear: Lots of people (including me, and I’m sure including you) have changed their minds about lots of things over the course of 22 years. Nothing wrong with that — thoughts evolve, mindsets shift and grow and mature. Changing one’s mind does not necessarily equate with hypocrisy.

    But it would have been nice if Reilly had acknowledged his about-face, and explained how and why it happened. His failure to do so is intellectually dishonest.

    I don’t think Reilly is a hypocrite – people are perfectly entitled to change their minds at any time because of new facts or evidence, or because of persuasive arguments by someone else. To quote Emerson, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”.

    But to not acknowledge his previous position is a bit dishonest, no?

    SO, basically this Wright guy made one great design (Bills), 2 very infamous (Pats & 49ers) and the rest that never got on the field…not sure what the fascination is…but his work obviously wasn’t even up to par for it’s day…

    I don’t think proto-Elvis is “infamous.” If Flying Elvis had been put up to a fan vote in 1993, it would have lost to Pat Patriot, just like proto-Elvis did.

    In any case, for me this story was only partially about Wright. It was also just as much about getting a peek at how the NFL design process used to work, seeing all those internal memos and letters, discovering that the Chiefs were pursuing a redesign in 1983, etc.

    Agreeing with Paul… sometimes the process itself is whats interesting, not always JUST the end product. Placing the gentleman’s designs into “success” and “failure” buckets is besides the point, at least to me.


    Gary, Keith and Ron having a long conversation about Dice-K’s spikes. It started re zippers on top of the laces, has moved to toe plate, name embroidery and a Japanese flag.

    Dice is also going high cuffed, which he’s done at least once with the Mets, but I don’t think ever before.

    Out of curiosity, you mentioned that the venue was too big for your liking. What is the upper limit for you? Do you refrain from bigger venues as a rule? Are there any bands where you would break down to see at a place like MSG?

    Goodness, the Colorado Rapids Blue kit is gorgeous. No sponsor onthe jersey, and a ghosted state flag. Beautiful.

    As far as the Terps pride uni:
    1. The helmet looks better than the old one
    2. Red may be a little bright, but the other options were solid white at home, solid black like everyone else, and solid yellow
    3. Unlike Nike and Oregon, UA is using the teams actual colors.

    Its a pride uniform, its supposed to show pride. its supposed to have the state name and the coolest flag in the union plastered all over it. It does the job well. It doesn’t have chrome helmets, gfgs, digi cam, or any of the other things that every other school is doing. it is unique and it is ours.

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