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Gold on the Brain


Dressed to the Nines shows that the 1969 A’s wore green caps with a white “A” logo. So I perked up when reader Roger Faso recently pointed me toward this photo of A’s pitcher Ed Sprague. Although the photo is in black-and-white, it’s easy enough to see that the cap logo wasn’t white. And if you look at the various gray tones in the photo, it becomes evident that the cap itself couldn’t have been green — it was gold!

If you look at the thumbnails at the bottom of that photo page, you’ll see there’s another photo of Sprague, again with what appears to have been a gold cap. The telltale MLB centennial patch clearly marks both photos as being from 1969.

At first I was excited — this was a major find! Then I started doubting myself. Maybe we’d already covered this before and I just didn’t remember..?

I ran the photos past uni designer Todd Radom and Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber, both of whom said the gold cap was news to them. Then I contacted longtime A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who’s been with the team since 1968, so I figured he’d know the scoop. Sure enough, he wrote back right away: “We wore those for about the first month or so [of the ’69 season]. Then COF [Charles O. Finley] said they weren’t the bright ones he envisioned. Never again.”

Faaaascinating. This may explain something that’s always puzzled me: Oakland’s use of gold batting helmets around this period. It appears that the helmets matched the gold caps. But when the caps were scrapped, the helmets were retained.

Incidentally, I’d never heard of the photographer who took those Ed Sprague photos, Ron Riesterer, but his site is full of great old Bay Area sports photos, including galleries for the A’s, Giants, Raiders, 49ers, Warriors, and Seals — recommended.

I also sent an email to Riesterer, asking if he has more info about the Sprague photos (date, ballpark, etc.) and if he has any additional photos showing the A’s in gold caps. He was very surprised when I pointed out Sprague’s gold cap to him, saying he has no memory of that. He’s checking to see if he can pin down the location and date of the photo.

Meanwhile, we need to find more pics — preferably in color — of these gold A’s caps from early in the ’69 season. I’ve looked though a few wire service archives but have come up empty. Anyone..?

Meanwhile, let this serve as the latest lesson in how online databases aren’t always accurate or complete.

Finally, one footnote: Tom Shieber notes that many 1968 and ’69 Topps cards show the A’s caps with a black crown. “Obviously, they were obliterating the ‘KC’ on the cap, as the team was now in Oakland,” says Tom. “But why didn’t they just airbrush out the old logo? Actually sometimes they did. But why the inconsistency?” Good question. Anyone..?

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To those of you who are sick of ’Skins Watch: I’ve received a lot of emails from people who say they’ve had enough of the ’Skins Watch segment that runs here on the site, and there have been some posts in the comments section echoing those emails. So in the spirit of Daniel Snyder’s recent open letter to ’Skins fans, I’ve written an open letter to readers who have issues with ’Skins Watch. It’s totally sincere — no snark, not a stunt. You can check it out here.

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’Skins Watch: For three weeks now, Daniel Snyder’s defenders have been hanging their hat on Rick Reilly’s defense of the ’Skins name. As you may recall, Reilly’s credibility and moral authority in that piece were based on the fact that his father-in-law, Bob Burns, is (a) a Native American and (b) perfectly fine with the ’Skins name. Well, one out of two ain’t bad: Burns now says Reilly misquoted him and that he, Burns, is strongly opposed to the ’Skins name. At this point the whole thing has become embarrassing — it’s pretty obvious where this is heading, so just change the name already so we can all move on to other things. ”¦ 99designs received nearly 2,000 entries in their ’Skins-redesign contest. They’ve now chosen eight finalists — you can vote for your favorite here. ”¦ A Dallas/Ft. Worth-area weekly paper is the latest media outlet to come out against the ’Skins name (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Anyone who thinks Natives don’t care about the ’Skins and related issues should read a new report titled Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots, which has just been published by the National Congress of American Indians. ”¦ Here’s a funny translation of what Dan Snyder’s recent letter to ’Skins fans really meant (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ Reuters has run a well-written analysis of how lonely Snyder’s position has become (thanks, Phil).

Baseball News: Sports Business Journal reporter Eric Fisher has a source who’s contradicting my source regarding MLB changing its cap fabric next season. Fisher’s generally a good reporter (although he mischaracterized my piece as an “ESPN report,” when I actually wrote it for this here blog, not for ESPN), but hey, so am I. At this point it’s his unnamed source vs. mine. Frankly, I hope his source is right and mine is wrong, but I don’t think that’s the case. And remember, I ran the story by MLB, and they declined to confirm or deny. Draw your own conclusions. ”¦ Check out the radically different arching styles on Larry Doby’s and Satchell Paige’s 1948 Indians jerseys (great find by Jared Wheeler). ”¦ Jared also sent along this wonderful 1958 Sporting News article about the evolution of the baseball uniform. Recommended reading. ”¦ You can see lots of photos of shorts-clad Hollywood Stars by starting here and then scrolling for a bit (from Dave Eskenazi). ”¦ Looks like the kerning is a bit off on the first two letters of Justin Verlander’s NOB (from Omar Jalife).

NFL News: Bears WR Brandon Marshall made good on his threat/promise to wear green shoes for Mental Health Awareness Week last night, plus he didn’t wear the Bears’ striped socks, so he may be facing two fines instead of one. ”¦ In that same game, Giants WR Hakeem Nicks went with an unusual red-white-red sock pattern. I think those are just red tights with white tape around the calf. ”¦ Once Pinktober is over, the NFL will shift to GI Joe mode, which will include these sideline caps. Net proceeds will go to the Pat Tillman Foundation, the USO, and the Wounded Warrior Project. ”¦ Looks like DeMarcus Ware’s sleeve stripes were flaking off the other day (from Matt Barnett). ”¦ Some Chargers fans are apparently upset about old players’ NOBs showing up on current jerseys. This has been going on for years in assorted sports (at one point there was a New York baseball Giants jersey with Monte Irvin’s NOB, among other oddities). Yes, it’s silly, but so is just about everything else relating to $200 polyester shirts. It’s only an outrage if you assume that people have to buy this crap, which they don’t. Just ignore it and move on. ”¦ Someone on eBay is selling what he claims to be one of John Hadl’s old AFL All-Star Game helmets. Look at the decal on the back — “Looks like a men’s room logo,” says Gene Sanny. Anyone know what that was for? ”¦ Robert Griffin III says he helped design his high school’s uniforms (from Yusuke Toyoda). … I did a fun interview about NFL uniforms with American Forces Radio. I realize this will mess up the narrative for those of you who mistakenly think I hate everything about the military — sorry about that.

College Football News: This is interesting — check out these business card designs used by recruiters (from Kevin Mueller). ”¦ Many of you probably know this already, but Mike Cooper asked me why Michigan State has two different kinds of merit decals. The answer, which is got from a school spokesperson, is that the “Block S” decal is awarded for wins and turnover margin, while the “spear” decal is awarded based on production points. ”¦ Maryland will go black-red-black this weekend. ”¦ Air Force wore matte gray helmets last night (screen shot by JJ Sledge).

Hockey News: Jonas Hiller’s mask design for Sunday’s Mighty Ducks throwback game is the bee’s knees. ”¦ Speaking of masks, here’s a fairly in-depth look at Boston College’s freshman goalie’s new design (from Dave Levy). ”¦ This is fun: a set of BBQ/grill tools made from old hockey sticks (from Jason Hillyer). ”¦ Here’s an attempt to find the best rink in the NESCAC. ”¦ Gee, ya think the Fort Wayne Komets may have taken the ads-on-the-ice thing just a smidge too far? “How does anyone even find the puck?” asks from Mat Mikesell.

Soccer News: “After forcing Mario Balotelli’s first career penalty kick miss, goalkeeper Pepe Reina now wears Balotelli’s jersey to sleep,” says Yusuke Toyoda.

NBA News: Did you know the Jazz had a bear for a mascot? I didn’t. Not only that, but the bear was honored with his own special day yesterday, by gubernatorial proclamation.

College Hoops News: Duke is the first college program to get the same “SportVU” technology used in the NBA (from Paulie Sumner). ”¦ New sweatbacks for Penn State. “Same basic template that most other mid-tier Nike schools are getting,” says Matt Weidner). ”¦ If you’re going to use a racer-back template, you may as well have racing stripes. That’s the new South Carolina women’s uniforms. Interesting that the stripes on the shorts don’t wrap around to the front. Too bad about the GI Jane numerals (from Joel Mathwig). ”¦ New uniforms for Southern Miss (from John Williams).

Grab Bag: Pinktober has spread to fire truck design (from Tom V). ”¦ Here’s an interesting chart of racial diversity as broken down by sport (from Ben Fortney).

Comments (215)

    A bit of a glitch:

    For three weeks now, Daniel Snyder’s defenders have been hanging their hat on”>

    I could see Nike/NFL pushing to get teams to recreate old jersey designs and then slapping retired players’ names on the back and selling them. Just one more way for them to make that much more money.

    The worst part is how Nike comes into your bedroom while you sleep and says “We have a neeeeeew produuuuuuuct. Give me your moneeeeeeeeey.”

    New here. About the gold caps, I remember seeing an image from a cap collector’s (not mine) blog. Here is the link (not sure about etiquette of pasting this), along with images of other oddball MLB caps.

    Guess that didn’t work. The website is called “The Ballcap Blog” and the posting is called “Holy Grails” from August, 2010. There’s images of the white Senators cap, the Astros 70s prototype, and the gold A’s cap among others.

    I don’t have strong feelings about the Redskins name issue either way, but I do wonder this: if Paul and his fellow writers are successful in this campaign, do they plan on addressing more issues that adversely affect the Native American community (alcoholism, suicide, ancestors being robbed of their land and nearly exterminated, etc.)?

    Or will this symbolic change be enough?

    The issues you list don’t relate to their beat, so why would they? The Redskins name issue pertains to the uniform and sports beats; once it goes away, it’s no longer in their sphere of influence.

    Perhaps they’ll move on to the Tomahawk Chop.

    I’m curious too, but I’m guessing the ‘Skins thing is a confluence of football replacing baseball as a national sport (which is to say, people care about baseball, but their interest usually doesn’t extend outside their local teams), the large presence of national media in DC, and ( potentially) offensive names being harder to avoid than offensive logos.

    There was an Atlantic piece I read a couple of days ago about how football has become a conduit for national conversations about things of interest, and that kinda makes sense. Put that in Washington, and it explodes.

    Also, it probably helps that like you say, Indians are minimizing Wahoo quietly, and Snyder has been clumsy in his response to critics.

    Gordon: a fair point to an extent about the Redskins issue being within an area that he can influence somewhat. But at the same time if the well-being of Indians is that important there are plenty of other ways to make some difference or bring attention to other issues.

    Although I think the case could be made that spending too much energy on symbolic issues can cause more serious issues to be forgotten or ignored.

    This reminds me of someone who once questioned my career path and my desire to work with a specific group of children facing hardships. “Why not kids in El Salvador, or Africa? They need it more.” Maybe, but my skills and interests didn’t lead me to El Salvador or Africa. There’s other people who do that, and they’ll do it better than I could.

    I think there’s an implication in this comment that if these writers don’t go all in on solving every woe of native people then they’re being what, hypocrites? Self serving? Activism tourists? Or are they doing what they can within their sphere of influence and expertise? Maybe it’s better if sports writers don’t get over involved in non-sports issues, and let the experts in other fields handle those other fields. Isn’t that the benefit of specialization?

    Thanks, Berto, for saying everything I was about to say, and more.

    I also take issue with the notion that I and others are simply fighting for “symbolic change.” The change, when it comes, will be about symbols. But it will be more than merely symbolic.

    I was careful not to say that Paul or anybody else was a hypocrite for not going “all-in” on every issue. The question was more about whether his concern for Indians was such that if he succeeds in this crusade will he move on to something else or be satisfied that he’d done his part by pressuring the Redskins to become something else.

    I will admit that calling the change “symbolic” does come across as a bit of an insult. But a symbol is what you’re trying to change.

    Maybe the question I should have asked is if he planned on moving on to another team that uses Indian names or symbolism, or is Redskins the only one that offends to that point?

    Dismissing the ‘Skins issue as just “symbolic” ignores studies that show nickname and imagery affect Native American youths’ self esteem. And when sports imagery is about the only place Indians are represented in mass culture, the question goes beyond whether enough people are offended – we have to ask how happy we are about reducing a group of people to caricatures and minstrel shows.

    Also, as a minority in this country, the debate makes me wonder how *I* would be treated if my group were less economically successful. I face very little overt or institutional racism day to day, but I still see enough subtle, often inadvertent discrimination to know that it could easily be different. And if my culture were being misappropriated, I would hope that a bunch of white guilt-ridden liberals would stick up for me and be offended on my behalf.

    Got any links to those studies? I’d like to see exactly how they determined that a Native American child’s self esteem is affected by the name of a football team more than by all of the other issues that the average Native American family might be dealing with.

    Ah, terrible, but doesn’t our society consistently showcase imagery that affects our self-esteem? “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Skinny is in,” and just about everything ridiculous one sees on BET regarding African-American culture?

    I absolutely get institutional racism. It’s there, in abundance. I also get racism’s impact on self-worth. My suggestion is … we all have to learn to cope. I don’t this is the end-all, be-all answer (coping). But it has to be an answer in this country, what with ALL the negative impacts to our individual self-worth.

    I hate to play the White Privilege Card, but this is like the most WP thing ever. There isn’t exactly a shortage of positive imagery of white people. Though I agree, it sure would be nice for a white person rise to some position of authority or dominate Fortune 500 boardrooms, but still.

    Bah, terrible, white people have problems, too. Ask a woman about the imagery she sees everyday … and whether or not it’s typically “positive.”

    Well, we can continue discussing skin-tones, image and perceptions, or we can get at the “institutional” problem, which begins with the issue of poverty, then health (food and nutrition and access to care), and also welfare (having a roof), then education*, a job, and on down the line.

    You gotta solve the human essentials first: poverty, food and housing. Then you work on education* (which leads to employment and human welfare).

    A key piece of education is learning no “other” can take your self-worth, unless you allow them. Feed the kid first. Then s/he’s ready to learn and build self-esteem.

    At the end of White Men can’t jump, the white man is actualized and his place in society is affirmed when he does in fact dunk. He also grows as a person. It’s really just another film showing how white people can become even better white people with the help up their brown friends.

    terrible: The Redskins issue is by definition symbolic. This does not mean that symbols are not important, just that their actual impact on people is much more abstract.

    What is interesting is that some people (including Indians) are fine with Indian symbolism on sports teams because the teams wouldn’t be using these images if they didn’t want their team to embody them. “Redskins” and the team logo may offend some but clearly the team is not using them because they want to offend Indians.

    Now, the cynic in me suspects that white liberals would rather simply not be reminded of our ancestors treatment of the natives and thus the crusade to get rid of such team names serves to help us forget about them altogether. Some Indians, I understand, have pointed out that if you get rid of sports iconography, what is left in American culture of the Indians? Casinos?

    Intent is (mostly) irrelevant here. It’s possible for well-meaning people to do shitty things, you know. But it’s the misappropriating of imagery here. In sports, they use Indians as shorthand for “fierce” and “spirited” – essentially reducing various disparate cultures down to buzzwords.

    cynic in me suspects that white liberals would rather simply not be reminded of our ancestors treatment of the natives

    Huh. This is the first time I’ve seen liberals being accused of not wanting to dredge up unfortunate happenings from the past. Interesting.

    Some Indians, I understand, have pointed out that if you get rid of sports iconography, what is left in American culture of the Indians? Casinos?

    And that’s why many Indians don’t come out against native imagery, even potentially hurtful ones, for fear that they disappear completely. My hope is that we don’t live in a binary world where we have to have slurs and caricatures or no imagery at all.

    Kind of wondering the same thing Danimal. How many of those advocating for change have been on a reservation? How many truly know the devastating facts of how bad Native Americans have it?

    The reality is, the Washington team’s name is a minor concern for this population. An attention-grabbing, symbolic one, sure. But how much time, energy, effort, money and media attention will focus on this population once the name inevitably gets changed (and Snyder goes laughing to the bank)?

    I get Berto’s point – like him, I, personally, can’t help “everyone” in crisis. But that’s a pretty flaccid retort here. This issue is bigger than just Indians, racial justice, and a sports nickname.

    Who’s willing to sacrifice for the betterment of our society?

    Bobby Kennedy struck a chord with folks stumping on the subject of Indians’ poverty (and black ghettos + poor white mountain families, i.e., poverty in this the richest of countries) during his brief campaign for the presidency in ’68.

    Will those leading the charge for change care about solving the real, devastating issues associated with Indians (or any other population in poverty) in ’14 and beyond? Or, will they move on to other “surface” issues?

    Geez, I’m sorry folks aren’t hard for my retort. My entire career has been focused on the betterment of society. But still, we do what we can where we can. Should Paul, or any of these other writers quit their jobs and go work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs?

    We don’t look at Woodward and Bernstein and say, “But they didn’t do more. Washington still had problems. They weren’t really committed.” Well no, they’re writers. They did what they could, and then they kept writing.

    If I donate to Movember, or talk to people about renal cell carcinoma, I don’t feel like I have to follow it up by becoming a doctor and joining cancer research at NIH. Why hold journalists to a different standard?

    One more beef for today…did a blog that describes itself as being devoted to the “obsessive study” of sports uniforms just refer to Chargers fans as being “silly” for wanting historical accuracy when they buy a jersey? If they really cost $200, I’d say their complaints are valid. If they were talking about a $10 shirt, then it’s kind of silly.

    Anyway, Paul, love the blog and sorry about giving you a hard time this morning.

    The silly part is spending the $200 to begin with. Fan jerseys are not uniforms — they’re just merchandise. Uniforms are what the players wear.

    I must say, the mock up of the $200.00 Ryan Leaf “retired” authentic jersey was the best laugh I’ve had in awhile!

    I’m just curious where you can find a $10 team merchandise shirt. Even most of those are north of $25.

    The absurd part is how outraged the people were. Nike isn’t forcing them to buy these jerseys, and if they really want the throwbacks they can get them through Mitchell and Ness.

    I get wanting Nike to make actual throwbacks (especially if they have the license to do so), but to complain about them slapping retired players’ names on the back of uniforms, especially in the way the guy does is just childish.

    Hell this move actually saves some fans money, as in the past getting those names on the back of jerseys would require paying extra to get customized jerseys. These are no more expensive than getting a Rivers jersey.

    Also keep in mind that a lot of former players that come back for halftime ceremonies are being outfitted with current jerseys. Bart Starr was wearing the current sleeve pattern when he was honored against the Redskins, and last year a number of players were honored wearing the same current sleeve pattern.

    Odds are if Fouts comes back for a ceremony he will be wearing what the Chargers’ Shop is currently selling. Hopefully Nike will start making actual throwbacks or whoever has the license for those jerseys will start cranking out more options, but until then its not like Nike is forcing fans to buy these, so any outrage is ridiculous.

    bit of a misprint on the racial diversity sport chart. under NBA, it should read: “white” “black” “spurs”

    The article on the Chargers using new uniform styles for old played in something I would guess is league wide. A sports store is selling Joe Montana Nike jersey with the Lamar hunt crest patch on it.

    RE: Doby/Paige arching….

    I imagine two seamstesses (sewing people) being told, “Make the “E” centered and then arch the edge of the letters to align with the armpit seam.”

    One arched the top of the letters to meet the armpit, the other arched the bottom to meet.

    paul i dont know why you give so much concern to those unimpressed by the anti-‘redskins’ arguments. i dont give a rat’s behind either way, so i only give skinswatch a very brief glance. shouldnt be hard for people to bounce over it.

    i think that the treatment of skinswatch on the site really lends credence to your efforts to make this a kinder, gentler uniwatch. i for one appreciate it!

    Agreed. I believe Paul hit the correct tone. His interpretation has been very fair and as a Washington fan I’ve had some comments back and forth and in all accounts it’s always been respectful. I do agree though that there are commenters that just go over the top, but hey we live in an internet age where people hide behind fake identities and say obscene stuff on blogs and chat rooms (I believe Joe “Big Cock” Johnson would be an example.)

    The open letter was terrific and welcoming.
    I find Paul, Phil’s and most other critiques of my viewpoint (I’m not convinced that a Redskins rebrand is warranted), well-thought out, frank, tolerant and respectful.
    I’m often challenged to reconsider my position based on the feedback/replies posted.
    Sure, anyone can an off-moment and post an emotion-heavy/erroneous/no-so-well-stated opinion occasionally, but there are very few “over the top” folks here, but Uni Watch is a family, and a crazy uncle or 2 makes me feel right at home!

    Sally Jenkins wrote a great column about the DC NFL team name and the owner. I don’t even know who owns the other Native themed franchises since Ted sold MLB Atlanta.
    I still find it interesting/disappointing the writers protesting the use of the name using the name in their argument.

    I appreciated it as well. I had concerns that were addressed in your open letter, namely the comments sections. I guess I just really appreciate the emphasis on being civil to eachother, regardless of which side of the debate you are on.

    Yeah… and now you’ve got me thinking. I’ve always assumed it was a hat they wore on field, but again, to the Dressed to the Nines it’s not to be found.

    I was only making an aside comment regarding the A’s, not directly commenting on a white whale/holy grail type thing.

    Makes me wonder if the green bill was just a mistake on the part of American Needle. As for the photos of the gold A’s batting helmets, Campy and Bando are wearing the “OAKLAND” jerseys that were worn only in ’68, so did the gold batting helmets predate the gold caps?

    Better yet: can’t anyone persuade the Athletics to REMOVE that stupid apostrophe-S that’s defaced their cap for decades now? It’s one of the most annoying excrescences, and hands-down the easiest to fix, in all of MLB cap design.

    The ‘redskins name debate’ wasn’t taking over the site but it did really overrun the comments section. Easy enough to skip over the dedicated portion of the ticker but hard to avoid it in the comments, so I now just skim or don’t read the comments.

    I established my opinion (I’m in favor of a name change) but the seemingly endless loop of debate in the comments section got old real fast. I still enjoy the rest of what’s offered, though.

    A concern of mine is that judgement is being passed on the character of commenters. I believe good people can be on either side of the discussion. What is at play is more about a shift in societal attitudes which can be slow but appears to have an inevitable conclusion. Case in point: Attitudes about smoking were far more relaxed fifty years ago than they are now. I won’t delve into the science that brought this about, but I also can’t say “Smokers are evil, nonsmokers are good”; that would be a childish generalization. People of good character were on both sides.

    Jack Shafer’s article is incorrect. I have several old Redskins media guides and a book written by Corrine Griffith. The original lyrics to “Hail to the Redskins” read just like the lyrics do today. There was a brief time in the 60’s when the song included the scalp’em lyric. I’ve done a lot of research on the name and much of the recent backlash is full of misinformation.

    The Reuters piece, I think. It talks about how the “Scalp ’em” line was removed in the 1970s.

    Thanks for posting your letter about the Redskins updates. I am one of those readers who is simply tired of and disinterested in the whole issue. The sad thing for me is that for the past few weeks, I will see the ‘skins section and skip it like usual, but then feel sufficiently beaten down that I skip the rest of the ticker as well. The ticker used to be the highlight of my mornings.

    I don’t quite understand how skipping past ’Skins Watch makes you feel “beaten down.” I’m not making fun of you, Robert (especially since I know you’re a smart, thoughtful guy). Can you try to help me understand?

    Is the mere knowledge the ’Skins Watch exists, and that other people are reading it and enjoying it, troubling to you? Like, is it a reminder that makes you feel out of step with Uni Watch, and/or out of step with me?

    Maybe if it wasn’t always the first part of the ticker (when there is something, of course), people wouldn’t be as put-off by it.

    Of course, then some of those who support this segment could misinterpret the move as a sign of diminishing importance.

    I don’t like being a grammar nanny, but this happens to be one of my pet peeves so:

    The word you’re thinking of is “uninterested”, not “disinterested”. The latter means that you don’t have a stake in the matter (which I guess is true for most of us), and is roughly synonymous with “neutral”.

    The symbol on the back of the Hadl pro bowl helmet is for a company called Protective Products. They made a lot of helmets for the Dallas Cowboys, Baylor Bears and other Texas teams, among others, in the 1970’s. Their suspension helmets are virtually identical to Riddell’s at the time the TK2.


    Jeff, have you ever seen the Protective Products logo prominently featured on the back of a helmet before, like it is on that Hadl helmet?

    Not a “1960’s AFL All-Star Game Used John Hadl Football Helmet”. It could be the 1973 Pro Bowl (1972 season) helmet

    Yeah, I thought Hadl was a single bar guy in his AFL days.
    He must have switched to the Dungard after the merger.

    FYI, the figure in the Protective Products was a play on two upper case P’s back to back.

    *Chuckle* Dan Snyder’s position is ‘lonely?’ Isn’t every NFL owner’s? Snyder may become Robinson Crusoe but it’s still his decision. So much for the tide turning.

    No, in point of fact it’s not Snyder’s decision. It’s the league’s. If Snyder wants to change his team name, the league can tell him no. And if Snyder wants to keep the team name, the league can require him to change. Snyder’s intention is important, of course, but ultimately he’s not the final authority on this question.

    “…the league can require him to change”.

    Citation, please? I’d like to learn more about the rights of the ‘franchisee’.

    How very Danny Kaffee of you!

    As a practical matter, citing ‘The League’ as some sort of by-the-book Trumper Of Bad Decisions And Incorrect Ideas is risible. This is one of the most insular groups in sport if not all of business. And why not? Doing it their way, however flawed it may be, has garnered them billions. They believe they are accountable to only themselves, occasionally sending their errand boy Goodell out to deal with the slings and arrows. Hammering Goodell is like hammering Jay Carney; it may get some headlines (the media loves performing its cage-rattling pantomime) but it’s unlikely to affect their respective bosses.

    The owners have given overt or tacit approval to the relocation of franchises (David Harris’ book, despite its age, is relevant here), to the shakedowns of cities, counties and taxpayers over stadium deals (and subsequent reneging on such deals), and to well-organized if quiet campaigns to get shot of ex-players’ lawsuits for injury compensation (well beyond the recently-announced settlement). They are far more concerned with what the wants and needs of their fellow owners. In most cases those owners want and need most to keep their options open and so any conflict among them, let alone censure, is rare even in the most extreme circumstances e.g. franchise movement.

    In sum, Snyder may be influenced or even pressured by his fellow owners but that assumes a Mike Brown or a Jerry Jones would first agree with and then give voice to such a crusade. The likelihood that the owners as a group would force his hand is even more remote. Which puts the decision back in Snyder’s hands where it is and has always been.

    A well-put perspective, though I had to look up “risible”.
    You learn something new from Uni Watchers everyday!

    The commish of the NFL was the one who has said that the decision is up to Synder alone.

    Gooddell probably realizes that if he tried to force the Redskins on this issue Synder will just dig in his heels and probably file a lawsuit.

    Also, if the other 31 owners voted to force the change that would basically mean they’re giving up control of their own teams’ intellectual properties. It might occur to Jerry Jones, for example, that in the future the “Cowboys” name might come under fire for the association that cowboys have with killing Indians.

    So I predict that the NFL will allow Synder to make the call.

    ‘Skins Watch: At least Paul allows debate. Unlike a certain major metropolitan newspaper located about 3,000 miles west of here which will not print any letters to the editor which disagree with their take on climate change.

    And here’s a simple solution for those who feel this topic is taking over the site: just skip over it and any comments. Like complaining about a TV show. If you don’t like it change the channel.

    I do agree with ‘Skins name change, but actually wish it were lower on the ticker. But I also think it is inconsistent to hammer the ‘Skins while the Braves actually pass out foam tomahawks to have 50,000 people chant like Indians and motion their arms in an aggressive way.

    I wonder how many people visit this site and just skip past that section. I would love if Paul could have a poll for this (maybe he has and I missed it?)

    I respect what Paul is doing regarding the issue, but as a casual semi-obsessed uniform nut, I really enjoy reading about the four sports and college related uniform items. It is Paul’s blog and he runs it how he wants, but if the major consensus is that more people skip it than read it, I would hope Paul would remove it from its place of prominence as the first thing after his generally interesting articles and put it towards the end.

    Of course, if any stats were to suggest that more people do not skip it and actually read it, by all means, it deserves that spot.

    I also think it is inconsistent to hammer the ‘Skins while the Braves actually pass out foam tomahawks to have 50,000 people chant like Indians and motion their arms in an aggressive way.

    I don’t “hammer” the ’Skins. I’m simply passing along links to stories about a topic that is currently very prominent in the news. If you’ve been following my work on this subject, then you know I’m also opposed to Native imagery being used by the Braves, Indians, etc.

    a casual semi-obsessed uniform nut, I really enjoy reading about the four sports and college related uniform items.

    The ’Skins storyline *is* an NFL uniform item.

    I noticed the new design of putting the laces at an angle. Is this actually a more comfortable ergonimic design or simply a way to make the advertising space bigger? I really despise the way the swoosh doesn’t stay on the side of the cleat and instead moves to top center. It’s just not right.

    laces set to the side is a basically a soccer boot design. Removes the laces from the general surface area of where the ball would typically make contact with the foot. Same idea as when a place kicker wants the laces of the football facing away from him.

    But were you wearing camo when you did the interview? Camo hat, camo shirt, heck camo socks, anything? If not, why do you hate the troops?

    Could it be that New Era will just make the regular cap designs in Diamond Era along with the regular version? If it’s cool, they wear the normal polyester but during the hot summer days they can wear the Diamond Era. That would go along with the whole “Player’s Choice” Instagram campaign. Majestic did that when they launched the Cool Base jersey.

    I got a solution, make the REDSKINS part collapsable, like a spoiler tag.

    Honestly, my view is I don’t see why it has to be a DAILY section, like once a week I can see, but every day? Like its breaking news when some random person whether its the president or some blogger makes a stance on it?
    And it would be equally annoying if it was a section FOR them keeping the REDSKINS name and links to everything about that everday as well.

    Wasn’t there something similar when it was first reported the nba may put ads on their uniforms? I mean that was 100% about uniforms and I even thought a section everday was a tad annoying.

    Curious if anyone knows/keeps track of how many NCAA Men’s Basketball Teams now have the basic template Nike sweatback design, as referenced with the new Penn State jersey today?

    Neither of those Eric Fisher tweets in any way contradicts Paul’s source regarding the fabric switch. He paraphrases his industry source saying the 5950 will still be worn in 2014, and that MLB & New Era are in talks to extend the contract past 2014. Thing is, a 5950 with mesh is still a 5950. They didn’t stop being 5950s when New Era switched from wool twill to poly twill, so we wouldn’t expect them to stop being 5950s when they switch from poly twill to poly mesh.

    In all likelihood, Paul’s source is right, and so is Fisher’s, and they’re speaking about two different issues. (What the game cap is made of, and what it’s called.)

    Rick Reilly needs a good, swift boot to the head.

    If he really misrepresented his father-in-law’s opinion just to better fit his own article, then he ought to get a lot more. I’d think such a blatant breach of journalistic integrity would be suspension-worthy.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the fallout from this is.

    That response just rubs me the wrong way.

    It’s one thing to stick to your guns when you believe you’re right, but sometimes it’s better to just take a mea culpa than to come off as a manipulative DB.

    Paul, if you hope your source is wrong about MLB changing its cap fabric that means you would prefer to see less texture on the hats. You always seem to like texture in jerseys, patches, and uniform insignias in older photos. Is this a matter of not liking texture on hats in general, not liking how this specific texture looks, wanting to keep things the way they are, or something else?

    An interesting nugget buried in the Sporting News article: Eddie Stanky ordering jerseys with a sun collar well after they were pretty much gone from baseball otherwise. A quick google images search did not yield any photos–perhaps a more arcane uni quirk quest than most.

    … Here’s an interesting chart of racial diversity as broken down by sport (from Ben Fortney)….

    Fascinating. Unsurprising, but still fascinating.

    I was going to leave a comment about how adding the NHL’s breakdown would make for the least interesting bar chart ever…

    Then I did a quick review (and some math) and found that almost 4% of the NHL population is of black/African descent, which is much more than I would’ve guessed. If my math is right, .6% hispanic descent.

    What I find really interesting about that chart are the racial “categories.” White, Black, Latino, Other…
    According to the report upon which this chart is based, 8.3% of baseball players are African American. It’s easy to say that visually, the number of black players is FAR FAR FAR higher than the 8.3% who are black Americans. Many of the darker-skinned players, obviously, are Latino. I guess the over-simplification of the chart categories leaves a little to be desired in my mind.

    And if almost 4% of the NHL is black, that’s about half of the MLB’s current percentage. But in the NHL’s case, very few are African American. Although, I did here Tiki Barber, one day, refer to PK Subban as African American….when he’s really Jamaican-Canadian.

    What complicates issues is that there’s a sizable number of Haitian-American players in the NFL. Culturally, they have more in common with other “black” players than Latino baseball players, but they’re technically of Latin American origin (even if they’re Francophones).

    Also, do Manny Ramirez of Washington Heights and Mark Texeira of Annapolis, MD fall under black/white or Latino?

    Agreed, TH. And what about the recently disgraced Francisco Cervelli? Italian father, Venezuelan mother, growing up in Venezuela.

    I guess seeing in a chart that about 10% of the league is “black” is completely at odds with what my eyes see when I watch the sport.

    Well, the experience of a typical MLBer from the Dominican Republic is far different from that of, say, BJ Upton, so to lump all players of African/Caribbean descent as “black” is not very useful. So I thought a better descriptor may be “US-born black”, but then, that doesn’t account for first or second generation immigrants like Manny. Though I don’t know if that’s a significant enough population to warrant combing out.

    This speaks to a sentiment that has bothered me for a long time. I often read that the lack of African American players in baseball is an affront to Jackie Robinson’s legacy. But all players of color are a part of Robinson’s legacy. Whether it’s an Upton or an Ortiz, it’s still a part of Robinson’s impact.

    I find anyone who uses the term “Nazi” in any way, shape or form offensive…comparing anyone to racist, genocidal maniacs (including oneself) is wrong…stop using it…

    ha! here is the funny part. for a bunch of people that are so oppossed of the Washington ProFootball Team.. seems to me that the team logo would be the last thing CONTINUELY posted on the UniWatch blog. Ya know?

    On the other hand, our site analytics show that relatively few people read the comments, and even fewer actually contribute to the comments.

    We are the 1%!! We are the 1%!!

    My only problem with your open letter, Paul, is that it’s an open letter. I always thought it was kind of a lame way to tell people you’re releasing a statement about a controversial subject, but that’s just my personal opinion.

    Otherwise, it’s refreshing to see anyone tackle criticism and counter-arguments as well as you do. Hell, you’re better than half of the journalists and “journalists” I read on a better basis. So, thank you for that.

    Also, I do see people talking about the ‘Skins Watch. Maybe if it was after the Grab Bag (so they don’t get angry at the ticker until the end?) or if your Webmaster could support it, a collapsible tag? But I guess if you do that, people would just buzz right over the section…

    I’m just not a fan of the term “open letter”. If it’s open, I feel like there should be a single, concise reply and that usually doesn’t happen so…just a personal nuance.

    Love those Ron Riesterer photos from the early ’70’s, especially the NHL.

    The expansion had taken place so bright new colors came into to play with the Seals, Kings, North Stars, Blues, etc. Very few players wore helmets and there were several goalies who played without masks. Those pre-cage goalie masks are just so compelling.

    Also, the ice and boards are free of advertisements. I miss that.

    Those Seals photos brought back many memories of the glory days of the early and mid-1960s pre-expansion Rochester Americans that won back-to-back Calder Cups in 1964-65 and 1965-66. Gerry “Tex” Ehman, Wally Boyer, Billy Hicke, Ted Hampson, Gary “Suitcase” Smith, Gary Jarrett, Billy “Hinky” Harris and Charlie Hodge all played for the Amerks during those years.

    In those pre-helmet days you could tell who a player was by a glance and you didn’t need a Berlitz course in order to pronounce his name.

    Any reason why there was no pink in the Giants – Bears game last night? No pink on the players or officials.

    Not complaining, just pleasantly surprised!

    I didn’t watch much of the TNF game last night, but what I did see seemed to have much less pink accessories than the Sunday games had.

    Didn’t see very much pink at all last night. It was refreshing to see a pro football game look like, you know, a pro football game!!!

    I hope this trend continues through the weekend and on to the rest of the month! But I’m sure it’ll be over-corrected on Sunday to make up for the lack of pink last night.

    “Gee, ya think the Fort Wayne Komets may have taken the ads-on-the-ice thing just a smidge too far? “How does anyone even find the puck?” asks from Mat Mikesell.”

    Weird that the ice is so over-done but the boards are clean.

    Paul, I’ve been following ‘Skins watch with interest.
    My one question is why there is so much focus on the Redskins, and the Braves and Indians seem to be getting a pass for now. Chief Wahoo and the Tomohawk chop are so glaringly racist. Is the idea that if the ‘Skins name goes, the others are to follow? Sorry if you’ve already covered this.

    It seems pointless to speculate; all it does is cause heartburn. If I were to dwell on all trends, my biggest worry would be that peanuts will be illegal in fifty years.

    They still allow peanuts is sports stadiums? Wow. I’d be afraid that 1 of the 50,000 people coming in might be allergic to peanuts and could file a lawsuit for them being negligent.

    And of course…I just looked at earlier comments, and see that it’s being covered already. Oops.

    I wonder if the retired players are getting a cut of these current jerseys with their names on them?

    With Mitchell & Ness, each player is signed to a contract.

    I’m sure the bigger name guys like Fouts are compensated. What if I create a custom jersey of an obscure retired player on NFLshop?

    The other interesting angle on this is the amount of non-licensed generic jerseys & Chinese knock-offs being signed for eBay auctions by current & former players. The money they are being paid for these signings might be better than their cut from Nike, but hurts their long term marketability by flooding the market with these non-licensed & illegal Chinese jerseys.

    I just did a test on NFLshop, and the popular retired players are prohibited on the custom jersey option, but lesser known players passed through.

    I’m surprised this can of worms hasn’t been opened yet, since lesser known retired players outnumber the popular stars like Fouts (who is probably being compensated).

    Just because the site lets you put the custom jersey in your cart, and even if it completes the transaction, doesn’t mean you can actually order one. We’ve seen that in the past from the MLB shop.

    You’re right. So how does a lesser known retired player find out if his name/number passes through the system (other than buying his own jersey)?

    Dan Fouts gets paid for his likeness, but they don’t? Certain names get the auto filter but others don’t?

    We’ve already seen retired players get $765 million; I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue doesn’t rear its ugly head…

    Paul, you conclude your open letter by saying you think “the endgame is in sight.” I don’t agree, but for a very specific reason that may just be lack of imagination or insight into NFL processes on my part. The piece of the picture I’m missing is this: How exactly does the endgame play out? It’s like, I understand Step One: Public Discontent and Step Three: Washington NFL Team Adopts New Name. But what’s Step Two? Or, put another way, what is the endgame here? Not the result – in the metaphor inherent in the word “endgame,” the word refers not to the outcome (which would be mate, draw, or resignation) but to the final sequence of moves that produces the outcome.

    So if the outcome is Washington NFL Team Adopts New Name, how does that play out? Do you see Snyder folding of his own accord? Do you see the league forcing his hand? Is this a sudden fold, or a more drawn out, possibly behind-the-scenes process? I mean, I can imagine a press conference at which Dan Snyder unveils a new name and logo for his team. What I can’t imagine is the process that causes that press conference to happen. It’s the lack of any concept of that process that leads me to think we’re no nearer than five years from a change in team name, and frankly the public furor is not likely to last that long, so it still seems plausible to me that Snyder and the league can ride out the storm.

    So I’d be curious to know more clearly how you think a change would happen on a shorter timeframe.

    I see other owners deciding that the ’Skins brand is bad for business — everyone’s business. As I’ve mentioned before, imagine if the ’Skins make it to the Super Bowl — it would be a PR nightmare for two weeks, completely overshadowing the game and its sponsors. You can bet those sponsors are already letting the league know that the ’Skins situation is becoming a very unwelcome distraction from their messaging.

    The other owners can’t directly force Snyder to change the team’s name (or at least I’m not aware of any mechanism that would allow them to do that), but they can use leverage in other ways — by refusing to approve stadium-renovation funds, e.g. A lot of the NFL’s machinations depend on good faith between the owners, and one guy poisoning the well for everyone else is not going to be looked upon in a favorable manner.

    Tongue in cheek :) but all it takes is Wellington Mara to not the “Redskins” name and Goodell will have them renamed tomorrow. Mara got his way when Washington and Dallas didn’t collude with the other owners to a pretend salary cap, so he’ll just called Roger and remind him how important his 0-6 team is!
    (Sorry couldn’t resist but the conspiracy theorists love the NFL in NY/NY Giants connection)

    You know, that really doesn’t seem that far fetched. They say Goodell works for all owners, but he certainly did no favors to the Cowboys and Redskins with those ridiculous salary cap hits.

    From what I’ve read, the courts could decide to invalidate the team’s TM protection (ongoing Harjo case). This would allow anyone to make and sell team branded products and hit Danny in the wallet. The speculation then is that he’d change the name in order to maintain his ability to control the rights.

    I’m not an IP lawyer so I’m clueless here, but how is that different from other teams that have generic, seemingly non trademarkable names like “Jets”?

    ‘Harjo’, first filed in 1992 after the Redskins won their last Super Bowl, ended in 2009 when SCOTUS denied to hear the petitioners’ appeal.
    Another appeal,’Blackhorse’, was made made to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the Patent Office but, from what I have read, it will be limited in evidentiary scope and will pretty much echo what was argued in ‘Harjo’, which (and I’m not a lawyer or a seer) seems to translate to a ‘win’ for the Redskins to retain trademark rights.

    “This would allow anyone to make and sell team branded products and hit Danny in the wallet.”
    Knock-offs are already problematic and hit the NFL’s collective wallet, since merchandise sales are part of the league’s revenue sharing agreement IIRC.
    A unnecessary, rushed, and/or reactionary ‘official’ Redskins rebrand could be potentially harmful as well when you consider that the Redskins ‘as-is’ are one of the NFL’s top selling brands with a loyal existing and (it think) expanding cutomer base.

    It could be worse…Yogi Berra used to walk around the clubhouse with nothing but a cigarette when he managed the Mets.

    It is obvious that the Redskin name was going to continue to dominate UniWatch. Sure we can skip over it or scroll past it. I figured the letter to readers would say what it said.

    It would be nice to just have a link instead so all those white people who are against the name can click it.

    If the name ever did get changed,then would be the time to write about it. The controversy is not really about uniforms.

    I still love the site and read it daily.

    So would Paul be up for linking the Skins watch or will it still dominate this site forever?

    Larry, you begin and end by saying that the site is “dominate[d]” by ’Skins Watch.

    I respectfully submit that you are either willfully exaggerating (in which case I hereby request that you stop doing that) or lacking in any reasonable sense of perspective.

    As noted in the very first point of my open letter, ’Skins Watch is a relatively small and easily skipped-over element on the site.

    As for the controversy not really being about uniforms, I respectfully disagree. As noted in my letter, team names, logos, and branding have always been part of Uni Watch’s coverage.

    Larry, you’re a longtime valued reader, but I confess that it’s frustrating to take the trouble to address and refute specific concerns and then have you repeat those concerns as if I hadn’t addressed them. You’re not even coming up with a counter-argument to my points — you’re simply repeating the original points that I already responded to. That doesn’t move the ball.

    I guess my point is that until it has been proven that a huge majority of native Americans want the name changed,then it would be an issue worthy of write up. Sure media people can have their opinions about it but the people really affected by a nickname are the ones to rightfully complain.

    Ok I exaggerated about dominance. But it is the first thing we have to see after the daily feature.

    So Paul would you not be ok with linking the daily articles or since it is your site would you rather push your agenda on those who do not need to see it every single day. I am guessing you want to push it on everybody. And we all understand that it is your site so you can do what you want.

    I for one have not been on here complaining constantly about the issue. I do not get the desire for it to be in a uniform blog.

    I am not turning a blind eye to legitimate concerns of native Americans. But as I said until we know that a vast majority are against it then it makes little sense.

    An old girlfriend of mine had been married to a native American. The Pomo tribe. They were from Cailfornia. She has 2 daughters and I had never heard the 2 girls complain or say Redskins was offensive to them.

    1) Your main argument seems to be that you don’t think this topic is relevant to Uni Watch. That’s a perfectly legitimate argument, but I strongly disagree. I think it’s extremely relevant. I’m afraid we’re going to have to agree to disagree there.

    2) Larry, you are using very loaded language, like “push your agenda.”

    Tell me, when I advocate for stirrups, am I pushing my agenda? If so, do you have a problem with that? Why or why not?

    When I came out against NBA uniform ads, was I pushing my agenda? If so, did you have a problem with that? Why or why not?

    When I critique the overuse of swooshes, am I pushing my agenda? If so, do you have a problem with that? Why or why not?

    3) No, I will not be marginalizing the coverage of this issue (or any other issue) by putting it one click further away. I see no reason why this issue (or any other issue) should have second-class status like that.

    4) I’ve yet to hear a good reason why you (or anyone else) can’t simply skip/scroll past ’Skins Watch.

    Again I am smart enough to understand the nickname is an issue. I just think the daily complaining is a bit much.

    I will scroll past the section unless some major news comes out and the name is ever changed.

    Again with the loaded language. It’s not “complaining,” Larry — it’s simply linking to news stories about a developing topic of interest.

    Note that I haven’t once referred to YOU “complaining” or “whining” about ’Skins Watch. I wish you could stick to the issue at hand without using accusatory, personal language. It’s beneath you.

    In 2006 the Pomo successfully convinced a small-town high school in their historic territory, Kelseyville High, to drop its “Indians” mascot.

    Spirited discussions like this are exactly why I log on as often as I can. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Is there a sort of middle ground here with the Redskins ticker? Maybe only do it every other day? I mean, let’s face it, from day to day not much changes. It’s just more stories and more debate. I don’t even bother reading most of it anymore, as there just isn’t much new content. Perhaps some of the criticism might subside if UW was more judicious with the amount and timing of content?

    We get it. Paul does not like the name and Phil does not like the name. But to write about it have have about it every single day is a bit much. It is not changing for a while and if it does then would be the time to write about it.

    As I said it would be great to have the daily griping in a link so those who hate the name can click the link.

    Larry, what you consider “griping” is simply coverage of a developing story. If you’re not interested in the story, skip over it — why is that so difficult?

    If there’s news on a given day about a Uni Watch-related topic, why would I hold it back for a day? Makes no sense.

    I wouldn’t hold back soccer news for a day, or hockey news. Why should I hold back ’Skins news? It’s a developing story on a topic relevant to Uni Watch.

    Your request implies that the ’Skins topic is in some sort of marginalized, less relevant class. That is not the case. It’s no less (and no more) relevant than anything else we cover, and will continue to be treated as such.

    Are you against putting a link for the issue is my question and if so why? That makes sense. Then those who want to read it can do s simple click.

    I think I know the answer.

    I do try and skip over it but that is not always as easy as you make it seem. It is like a wreck. Sometimes hard to turn away.

    Are you against putting a link for the issue is my question and if so why?

    I see no reason why that issue (or any other relevant issue) should be marginalized into second-class status by being one click further away.

    I do try and skip over it but that is not always as easy as you make it seem. It is like a wreck. Sometimes hard to turn away.

    No offense, Larry, but come on — you’re asking me to save you from yourself? Please. You’re a grown-up. Read what you like and skip what you don’t like. It’s not that hard.

    No problem. I did know the answer for not linking it.

    I do not agree that is marginalized by linking it. It would solve the problem that many of us who do not think daily articles or mentions are necessary. Heck you had 7 links in the skinswatch anyhow.

    I think the option to choose a link would benefit all. Instead we are all forced to have the section the first thing after the daily feature. It is your agenda and we are stuck with it. I get it.

    Larry, I don’t appreciate your continued insistence on referring to my “agenda,” as if it’s some sinister machination. We can agree to disagree, but your continued use of inflammatory language (“dominate,” “agenda,” etc.) is disappointing. Maybe you’re just having a bad day — I know you’re better than this.

    Dont mean to come off across that way Paul. As you know I have not really weighed in on the issue very much in the past. Maybe a sentence or so.

    I am a very easy going and laid back guy. I was just making a suggestion for those who do not feel the same way you do. Seeing your letter to all reminds me that others are not happy with the overabundance of mention about a teams nickname in a very cool uniform blog.

    You must understand not everybody has the same opinion as you do. It is apparent you are just blowing off those who are not in agreement with you. Such as with the purple for uniforms. I like some of the teams that wear purple. You do not.

    And still more loaded language — now you accuse me of “blowing off” those who disagree.

    Larry, you’re welcome to disagree with me on the subject of the ’Skins name. But you’re not arguing the case for the ’Skins name; you’re arguing for how I should run my own website and telling me what does and doesn’t belong on that site. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to make those decisions. And that’s not “blowing you off” — that’s the reality that this is my website and you don’t get to tell me how to run it, just like I wouldn’t tell you how to run yours.

    I would love it if you could post just one comment today — just one — that doesn’t include inflammatory, accusatory language. Just one.

    I never said you have to run your site a certain way. I merely made a suggestion. I prefer a link for those who really want to read about it. I know how it is. I know we will have daily skinswatch. Now you do not like me using blowing off those who dont agree with you but what else would you call it? Yes it is your site. we all know that. Yes you can write about the Redskins name as much as you want. We know that.

    No you do not HAVE to be considerate of those who do not agree with you. I get that. Can you honestly say that you are taking into consideration the views of those are not in agreement with you?

    I already said I know people of native American descent who I am still in touch with. They have no problems with a football teams nickname. I have said until it is proven that a vast majority of native Americans are offended by the name and want it changed, that I do not think media members should speak for them.

    I have said before I have no problems with the use of Mario Brothers and other Italian stereotypes that some may not like.

    It is a sports nickname that was not meant to offend anybody. Non native Americans should not speak for others.

    Bottom line is if the name is ever changed I will live with it. I am not a Redskins fan anyhow. The football team. I enjoy the history of the team just like the history of any sports team.

    Larry, if I didn’t take opposing views into consideration, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If I didn’t take other views into consideration, I wouldn’t have written that open letter today.

    If you think getting exactly what you want, or having every request or suggestion granted, is the only measure of consideration, and if you think my choice not to give you exactly what you want is the definition of “blowing you off,” then I respectfully submit that we define those terms very differently.

    Also: Has it occurred to you that there are many readers who like ’Skins Watch just the way it is? If I gave you what you wanted, would I be blowing *them* off?

    The reality it is that there’s no way to please everyone, so I do my best to format the site in a way that, in my judgment, makes the most sense. If you disagree, that’s fine. But casting yourself as an aggrieved, blown-off victim (and casting me as an unreasonable, inconsiderate blowhard) isn’t doing you proud. The fact is that I’ve been very patient with you today, because I value your many years of contributions to the site. But you have consistently resorted to exaggerations and accusations. It’s very, very disappointing.

    I think we’re done here. Let’s move on.

    Non native Americans should not speak for others.

    This comes up often and it disturbs me every time. The implication is, basically, “This doesn’t concern you, shut the fuck up.” And I’ve said this before, but my thinking is, if we’re going to be comfortable casually tossing around a slur against this group, what’s to stop them from using slurs against me and misappropriating my culture (well, other than the privilege afforded by my diaspora’s socioeconomic standing)? It’s a mater of decency and it affects us all.

    And this idea that this is some white guilt PC campaign ignores the fact that this is Ladonna Harris was against the nickname in 1972 and the Oneida Nation hasn’t exactly been subtle about their opposition.

    I’m not implying anything, Paul… I’m just saying that it’s obvious a lot of readers (myself included) see this as a different thing than the usual, sport-specific ticker sections (which, by the way, are really fantastic with the new separated sections!).

    And, really, from day to day, there isn’t a whole lot of narrative progression in this story. You’re not going to do the story any less justice, or treat it disrespectfully, if you take a day off now and then and lump stories together the next day.

    It’s clear you’re emotionally invested in this story, and I definitely respect that. And it’s your site, so you can do what you want. But it’s undeniable the daily ‘Skins ticker is garnering a much different kind of reaction and following from the readership than news about new soccer kits. And not everyone sees it as directly tied to the site’s mission as you do. Myself included. I know you’re not going to agree, but that’s just my opinion.

    I REALLY like those Eagles uniforms, and disappointed they only wore them that one time. I was hoping they would wear them a couple times a year going forward.

    On the subject of jerseys with old players’ names:

    If I were going to get a New York Jints jersey, I’d be strongly tempted to get one with Doug Kotar’s name and number.

    Paul attempts to take the high road in the Skins debate, but he has an agenda and it shows. That’s fine and dandy by me, but at least be honest about your intentions.

    Did you actually read my open letter? Yes, of course I have an “agenda,” if by that you mean I have a point of view and a desired outcome. Just like I have a point of view and a desired outcome on most issues that get discussed here.

    There’s nothing sinister about that. It’s standard cultural criticism and advocacy journalism, and I’ve always been upfront about that, whether I’m advocating in favor of stirrups or in opposition to Native American imagery in sports.

    If there’s some other way in which I haven’t been “honest about [my] intentions,” please explain. Thanks.

    The criticism I often read and hear from opponents of the anti-‘Skins coverage is to stop being so easily offended and to “get over it”. Yet it’s the same people who are disproportionately outraged at the presence and mentions of this controversy.

    I feel like we are lacking real creative talent in our current primary options of Redskins’ redesigns. Let’s look at each of them. Griffins should be out of the question with RGIII behind center. No one will like that name if RGIII flops or leaves etc. You can’t name a franchise of a sophomore QB. Warriors is a nickname that just feels so grade/high school. It is like being named the Bobcats. In addition to that, the name is almost exclusively portrayed via Native American imagery. Do we really want to rename the Redskins with a name that was stripped of Marquette for the same reason we want the Redskins gone? Next is the Redtails and Renegades, both of which are just “eh” attempts at maintaining the R logo the current team uses. Plus do we really want to name the team in our Nation’s Capitol the Renegades, a synonym for a traitor or deserter?
    We have to have better options than this? I did some thinking and came up with an idea. The Washington Paratroopers (or just the Troopers). We could use a lot of the current logos floating out there for Warriors, with a much more satisfying name. More importantly, it fits D.C.
    What do you guys think?

    Well, they could always bring back the Washington Federals from the USFL… but wearing green and having an eagle on the helmet probably wouldn’t go over very well in the NFC East.

    I wonder if Washington Indians would fly. I mean, supposedly the issue with Cleveland is the *ahem* “racist” logo, not the name, and everyone complains more about the Redskins name, not the logo…

    To go thru all of this (I will let YOU decide what “this” means), and then name them the Indians? Ummm no. That doesn’t even make sense. Just no.


    I’d push back a bit on Renegades and Redtails. I’d think that maintaining the team’s very popular, iconic R logo would be seen as a feature, not a bug. And Redtails does more than preserve the R, it preserves the form of the name, potentially making it easier for diehard fans to adapt over time. It’s also a locally meaningful cultural reference. Renegade isn’t synonymous with traitor, and if it were, what’s the problem? This nation was born in treason and founded by traitors. My problem with Renegades is that it’s thematically too similar to Cowboys – and also that calling oneself a “renegade” or a “maverick” has become the most ubiquitous stupid cliche in Washington, DC.

    As for alternatives, I’ve come to pretty strongly favor either Pigskins or Americans.

    Unfortunately, the Washington Federals and Washington Generals have already been used in ways that make either unlikely to be considered for an NFL team. Either would be my choice if it were a possibility.

    Washington, the city, has two kinds of team names: The Nationals/Capitals/United, and the Wizards/Redskins. Patriotic, or people. Ultimately, I’ll be happy with any new NFL nickname that moves the team over into the patriotic category.

    I thought “Redtails” was floated because of the link to the Tuskegee Airmen. Last I checked, Tuskegee is in Alabama, not the District.

    Right, and the Tuskegee Airmen were … wait for it … African-Americans. For reasons that one hopes would be obvious, that makes them kind of a big deal in DC. They teach about the Tuskegee Airmen in school here and everything.

    Besides which, there’s zero connection between Redskins and DC as well. That’s a Boston reference. Last I checked, Boston is in Massachusetts, not the District. So even if one is a literalist about Redtails, it’s not less connected to DC than Redskins. So no loss.

    There’s already a Washington Renegades, and I’m pretty sure they have a TM. Not that the financial might of the NFL couldn’t crush them, but taking down a gay rugby team might not get the kind of positive press a name change would be after.

    I find the design of the cleats that Marshall is wearing interesting. Aren’t those the Nike Hypervenom Soccer cleats?? Does he always wear soccer cleats when he plays? (I own those exact cleats)

    Another example of how you should be careful when on eBay. That type jersey was sold at the Notre Dame Bookstore for many years. They’d stock the numbers of the four undergraduate class years currently in residence (so, if they were presently selling them, you’d be able to get jerseys with the numbers 14, 15, 16, and 17 on them). You’d buy one with your class year on it.

    Never worn at a football practice by the varsity. At least by guys actually practicing…

    Paul, thanks for the ‘Skins Watch. It’s been enlightening. I have one note that I read somewhere (maybe in one of your links) that I thought was the best name choice possible.

    The Washington Americans.

    If done smartly, the ‘Skins could rebrand themselves and then, working with Native Americans, keep the motif (though not the logo). What better way to honor natives than by calling them (and the football team) The Americans? Puts a whole new spin on things, works with being the DC football team, works well with the Nationals AND solves the whole issue in a very honorable fashion.

    I mentioned purple uniforms. I was thinking of teams in NE Ohio or western Pa. I can not think of many or any offhand high schools that use purple. I know there has to be some but it is obviously rarely used.

    New Rochelle High School (my alma mater) teams are called the Huguenots and the school colors are purple and white. My college teams were the Albany University Great Danes and their colors were purple, athletic gold and white.

    My alma mater in St. Marys, West Virginia is called the Blue Devils, and their colors are Purple and Gold.

    As Paul and others have stated many times, it is his site, and he may put whatever he likes on it. I often disagree with his opinions, but respect the fact he is free to express them as he wishes on his own site. Bottom line: scroll past the Skins Watch content if you wish. Also, the first line or so of every comment entry clues us in on what it is about. If it is about the Skins issue, and you don’t want to read it, just roll on past. Excercise your freedom to ignore it. He has the same feedom to ignore your comments if he doesn’t think they merit a response.

    Seriously. I’m perplexed by people who are offended because Paul chooses to present his point of view on a platform he created specifically to present his various points of view, and he won’t present his point of view in a the exact way they want.

    PL, while I like your attempt to placate the masses with an “open letter”, the problem here is, yes, there are grumblings that you’re not showing the other side of the debate enough. And I should know. When I sent you my internship application, it included a link to my site which, at the time, had an opinion piece on why the Redskins controversy was stupid. Now, I wasn’t expecting you to put it in the ‘Skins watch, nor am I asking you to, but honestly I’d think that since Skins watch is becoming a bigger part of the site here, you’d at least maybe consider a non-journalist’s opinion.

    Incidentally, I’m curious, I know you said that I didn’t get the position because there were better applicants, and I don’t doubt that, but did the pro-Redskins piece knock me down a peg or two?

    did the pro-Redskins piece knock me down a peg or two?

    Not in the least. But your cover letter’s reference to “soapbox ranting” didn’t help. Neither did your inconsistent styling of “Uni Watch” (which you variously referred to as “Uni-Watch,” “Uni-watch,” and “Uni Watch”).

    Hey, you asked.

    Also, you said your primary availability would be on Friday, and I’m looking for someone who can work M, Tu, W, or Th. (There was no way for you to know that, as I hadn’t specified it, which I probably should have done. My bad.)

    G.I. Joevember.
    No mustaches in the army.
    Something’s gotta give.
    Mustaches are unpatriotic!
    //Flawless logic.
    //I’ll turn off the sarcasm button now.

    Mustaches were a huge military thing before the use of chemical weapons. That’s why the Mennonites and Amish (staunch pacifists BTW) wear mustacheless beards. But gas masks and mustaches don’t play well together, so the military went on an anti-mustache binge under the diktat of the folks who also supported prohibition and Jim Crow.

    Looking at the old Cleveland jersey photo with Satchel Paige I wouldn’t be so quick to say the lettering arch is significantly different. It could just be due to the fact he’s wearing a larger, baggy jersey top so the sides are drooping because it’s too big for him.

    Look at Doby to the left of him, the E is in the same spot and his jersey is much more form fitting. He’s wearing a jersey that fits his build better and therefore it doesn’t slouch. The Cleveland letter patches spread out across his chest as they should.

    Satchel Paige on the other hand appears to be wearing a less form fitting jersey on top of being slouched over the way he’s sitting in the dugout. A bigger jersey would mean the sides would slouch, especially as he’s not standing up with better posture and his chest out. He was 42 at the time and appears to have a slighter build than Doby.

    I bet if you had that jersey today and held it up straightened out instead of the sides slouching downwards it would have far less of an arch than it appears to have in this photo.

    As a kid growing up near Oakland in the late 60’s, I had a souvenir helmet in “gold”, but I don’t recall the on-field gold caps. At that time, I wondered why my helmet wasn’t green, since by then, the A’s were no longer wearing neither the “gold” caps nor helmets. Back then, I also had a green cap with white “A” on it, and recently bought the American Needle re-creation of it for sentimental reasons. Additionally, I believe around 1993, they brought back the all green cap with the white “A’s” on it, and fortunately bought one of those on a clearance sale when they decided to no longer wear them.

    Watched the USA-Jamaica WC qualifier tonight, and maybe it was the standard def TV signal, but the USA kit with navy and white shirt/silver numbers looked like they were channeling the 1960s Raiders!

    Well….I always have, and still do hate the Skins Watch ticker, but after reading you address to me and those like me, I have a whole new respect for you as well as it. May the best side win.

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