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Uni Watch DIY Project: Have Yourself a Merry Little Tree Topper

A few years ago reader Marty Hick used an angel figurine and a GI Joe toy to create a tree topper based on himself and his wife, Holly (top left). Last year the angel/Holly was preggers (top right), and this year Marty and Holly have been joined by their daughter, Clara Jane. Nice!

Marty, as you may recall, is also the king of jersey-themed cakes, so it’s no surprise that he’d come up with a great Christmas project. Nicely done, Marty!

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Click to enlarge

Marty isn’t the only Uni Watch reader who’s been busy as an elf lately. One of the highlights of each holiday season here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of a batch of uni-themed cookies from the lovely Elena Elms, who in past years has created striped stirrup cookies, uni-clad snowman cookies, and more. This year, as you can see above, she created cookies based on a certain set of theoretical T-shirts — so cool! The two cookies at the bottom are based on David Wright’s shoes from last summer’s MLB All-Star Game.

Thanks so much, Elena — you’re the best!

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Is that a puck in your pants or are you just glad to see me?: Crazy scene last night in Buffalo, as the Sabres beat the Coyotes in overtime when an airborne puck landed in the pants of Phoenix goalie Mike Smith, who then backed into his own goal, not realizing he was carrying the puck with him. You can see the whole thing in the video above.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

The photo above was from this 1970s Chargers Christmas card. Check out other vintage NFL cards from the Bengals, Broncos, Steelers, Falcons, Niners, and Cowboys. From all of us here at Collector’s Corner, (wait, it’s just me!), Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you all the uni-related stuff you asked for.

But before that, we have business to take care of. Here’s some cool stuff that won’t be under the tree ’cause it’s too late, but you can buy ’em with that money grandma tucked into your Christmas card, right?

• Here’s a 1967 NFL model kit, from Aurora. A model kit, who knew?

• Oooo, one of those cool 1960s Technigraph Helmet Wall Plaques, for the Falcons — still in its original packaging after 46 years!

• Nice-looking Danbury Mint model of Candlestick Park (in a baseball configuration, no less). Oh, you want a ’Stick souvenir that’s a little more authentic? No problem.

• Here we have some nice-looking 1970s NBA Dri-Mark vinyl stickers.

• Here’s the official NFL Quarterback Game from the 1960s. I wanna say that’s Gloster Richardson on the cover (No. 31). And is No. 70 Sam Huff?

• Here’s the Browns’ phantom “CB” logo on a 1960s Hormel tin coaster.

• Cowboys flashback time: These are the precise stickers that graced our family’s Ford LTD station wagon in Dallas.

• Here’s a 1960s cushion from the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals (forerunners of today’s Sacramento Kings). I recognize some of those Cincy-area car dealers from my youth, too.

• And we’ll wrap up the way we started — with a Christmas card: Reader Michael Clary sent in this one. Take a close look at what those kids are wearing!

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik. (Thanks again for filling in for Garrett today, Mike.)

Baseball News: Maryland will have a few new uniforms, including a state flag-inspired design. ”¦ Abilene Christian will also have new uniforms (from Christopher Mycoskie). … JJ Sully found a newspaper article that gives some more detail about the Lou Gehrig ambulance that Paul posted a photo of last Friday. The article is on the left side of the page, the second item “Setting the Pace.”

NFL News: Six 49ers Ticker entries upcoming: A lot of old 49ers programs (and old advertisements) are in this gallery (from Al Cummings). ”¦ Construction crews installed the “A” in the new Levi’s Stadium wordmark (from Brinke). ”¦ Speaking of the new stadium, “Yes, that card stunt is a Levi’s ad,” says Phil. “Not that I think card stunts are sacred, but is nothing sacred anymore?” ”¦ Also from Phil: The 49ers’ former owner had trouble opening a beer bottle last night. ”¦ Colin Kaepernick switched cleats at some point during the game (from Richard Giron). ”¦ John Pritchard saw an upside-down NFC logo in the 49ers locker room. ”¦ Titans DE Ropati Pitoitua didn’t have the Bud Adams memorial patch on his jersey on Sunday (good spot by Charley Collier). ”¦ A Bengals fan at Universal Studios in Orlando created her own Tyler Eifert jersey (from Kyle Speicher). ”¦ I wonder if these Lions playoff tickets will be redeemable in Chicago or Green Bay two weeks from now (from Phil). ”¦ Brandon Blaikie found a vending machine that dispenses team-branded paper footballs. ”¦ Remember gumball helmets? I collected them when I was a kid in the mid-1990s (I still have almost all of them), and when my dad bought me a miniature Christmas tree in 1999, he made a few gumball helmet ornaments. My dad, a big DIY guy, drilled a small hole in the helmets and inserted a twist tie through them. Probably my two favorite ornaments on my tree.

College Football News: “Here’s a fun quiz on the glut of oddly-sponsored bowl games,” says Gordon Blau. “I did surprisingly poorly.” ”¦ Jared Wheeler sent in this awesome photo from 1973. Not only is the holder’s jersey severely torn, but the kicker appears to be barefoot. ”¦ A Missouri linebacker posted a picture of a chrome Mizzou helmet. ”¦ Ohio wore their “brick” jerseys for the Embarrassingly Named Restaurant Chain Bowl. ”¦ Oregon State will wear black helmets, black jerseys and white pants in the Hotel Bowl, Ohio State will wear red “rivalry” jerseys for the Credit Card Bowl, and Stanford will wear all white for the Rose Bowl. ”¦ Forbes examined the tax-free world of college football (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ George Gipp’s letterman sweater is on display at the Reagan Presidential Library (from Kenn Tomasch). ”¦ I went to Twitter last night to find out why USC linebacker Marcus Cotton taped the number 25 to his helmet in the 1988 Rose Bowl. A bunch of Tweeters said that it was because RB Steven Webster, No. 25, suffered a major knee injury a month prior versus UCLA, but @Naly_D watched a recording of the game and submitted the hardcore proof. Attaboy Naly_D, I award you a helmet sticker. Zach Conrad gets a sticker too for noticing Cotton’s helmet in the first place and sending in the screenshot. … In the 1979 Cotton Bowl, Notre Dame coach Dan Devine had his full name on the front of his jacket in big honking letters. “Did people really not know who he was?” asks JJ Sledge.

Hockey News: An AHL referee wore a Go Pro camera on his helmet during a Charlotte Checkers game this month (from David Firestone). ”¦ Here are the five worst Christmas-themed hockey sweaters ever (from Phil). ”¦ Related: The Lake Erie Monsters wore ugly Christmas sweater jerseys on Saturday (from Tom Pachuta). ”¦ “Recently spent the night at the Frozen Frontier,” says Mike McBride. “During the snow globe Alumni Game I noticed that Marty Biron was rocking some red pants in goal. Looks like they have the NY Rangers logo on the bottom portion.” ”¦ The Kings still use the old Twitter bird logo on their boards (from Kevin Wang).

Grab Bag: The Phoenix Suns are already using Adam Silver signature basketballs. Silver takes over as NBA commissioner in February (from Joshua Edney). ”¦ John Koziol found a few old buttons and an NFL logo sheet in his uncle’s basement. “Really like the Bucks logo!” he says. ”¦ Great photo of the groundbreaking for the World’s First Air Conditioned Domed Stadium, better known as the Astrodome. “Complete with pistols!” notes Phil. … Here’s one of the best repurposings of the mark of the beast ever (from David Firestone).

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And to all a good night: My sincerest wishes for a happy Christmas Eve to one and all. If you’re traveling today or tonight, travel safe; if you’re with family and/or friends, enjoy them; and if you have to work, thanks for keeping the world running while the rest of us get to play.

As for me, Santa brought me an early present: Remember my “Twist-Ties vs. Bread Clips” article, which ran in BusinessWeek back in March? It just landed on The New Yorker’s list of the year’s best business journalism — a nice surprise (and one that I wouldn’t have known about if Phil hadn’t spotted it and told me — thanks, buddy!). The twist-tie article was also a year-end pick by The Atlantic. Naturally, it’s nice to be recognized, but it’s even nicer when the article in question is about such an obscure topic. Nice to see that it resonated with people.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the list of year-end raffle winners. See you then.

Give the Gift of Uni Watch!

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Comments (43)

    Thanks, Elena Elms.
    I wasn’t expecting to see that this morning… or any morning. It’s a Christmas miracle. Thanks, Paul Lukas.

    Oh, and your cookies look terrific, Elena Elms.

    “…GI Joe toy”

    Please don’t use the word “toy” when referring to GI Joe.

    PS: No Kung Fu grip???!!

    Dear Paul and the entire UW Crew,

    Thank you! It’s been a great year. I appreciate what you do for the community.

    1) Hard to tell, but it looks like the old Dolphins logo on the paper football vending machine.

    2) The ND equipment staff probably wanted to make sure that no one else took Devine’s coat.

    Maybe Dan Devine had the conspicuous jacket so he’d be sure of having the chance to wear it on a nippy day, rather than it migrating to some other denizen of the sideline.

    The message if you get all questions right on the obscure bowl quiz is amusing, as are most of their fake bowl games.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

    FWIW, that 1973 placekicking photo is fraught with history. The holder sporting the torn jersey is none other than Condredge Holloway, the first blacking starting QB in SEC history, for whom the torn jersey was a signature look:

    And the barefoot kicker, Ricky Townsend, was himself an All-American as well.

    , and The holder sporting the torn jersey is none other than Condredge Holloway, the first black starting QB in SEC history (and an All-American baseball player to boot), and the placekicker

    That 1973 placekicking photo is fraught with history, The holder is none other than all-time Tennessee great Condredge Holloway, the first black starting QB in SEC history. For whom the torn jersey was somewhat of a signature look:

    And the barefoot kicker, Ricky Townsend, was himself no slouch:


    “Jared Wheeler sent in this awesome photo from 1973. Not only is the holder’s jersey severely torn, but the kicker appears to be barefoot.”

    2 of Tennessee’s finest from 11/3/73 vs. Georgia…

    Ricky Townsend:


    Condredge Holloway:


    Go-Pro ref was pretty fascinating. Very good insight into what goes on at ice level the everyday fan doesn’t get to see/hear.

    …see and everybody made fun of Jerry Jones for having his son-in-law wipe off his glasses, but if Mr. DeBartolo had had a son-in-law at the ready, it would have saved him this embarrssment.

    My brother and I used to combine paper football and gumball helmets. We split up the helmets (about 10 each) and placed them on the table as our defense. Then we played a game of paper football with the regular rules. The idea was to knock the helmets off the table to clear space for a touchdown. The game ended when the last helmet was knocked off the table.

    My best friend and I used to play the very same game with our gumball helmets…since this was in the early 70s, we called the game “Plunk Plunkett”…

    Also, congrats, Paul, on the recognition for your bread clip/twist tie article. I hadn’t seen it before. Faaaaascinating. Really! I’m a twistie tie girl myself–so much more versatile for other uses, like an impromptu ponytail/braid-fastener.

    Thanks, Elena. I have soooooo much great material that ended up on the cutting room floor from that article — I could do another piece, three times as long!

    Merry Christmas to the Uni Community..

    Funny thing about those can’t-be-used playoff tickets featured in today’s ticker.. As a season ticket holder of the Football Giants I have quite a collection of these “obsolete” tickets.

    Since teams make season ticket holders purchase playoff tickets weeks in advance (even if the chance is slim the team makes it)I have stubs back to 1987 (the ’86) season. Although both tickets were used that year on the way to Supe XXI, in the subsequent years there were some “obsolete” game stubs. I can’t recall a season where the Giants were completely eliminated and both tickets were useless.. I’d have to dig.

    Either way, momentos I’m glad I held on to!!

    That isn’t a model kit. Those are miniature football players you played with. Bigger than the electric football type that you could paint and even included a referee. Imagine what people would do with them these days. There were actual football model kits by Aurora. One of Jim Brown, and one of Johnny Unitas.

    In the video of the AHL ref with a GoPro, a lot of NHL players are on the ice like Boychuk and Sutter. I don’t follow hockey but I hear those names a lot from my Chicago friends. Interesting.

    “During the snow globe Alumni Game I noticed that Marty Biron was rocking some red pants in goal. Looks like they have the NY Rangers logo on the bottom portion.”

    Those are Rangers pants. Probably left over from his time with the team.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    That model kit in the Collector’s Corner is pretty disappointing. According to the package, you should have the Niners & Bears–two of the best-looking teams in the league–and the owner painted them all! Judging by the colors used, my best guess would be a late ’80s-early ’90s paint job?

    Ryan, those weren’t a model kit. They were figures that came in all white and all blue. I had them when I was a kid.

    Are twist ties and/or clips actually better at keeping freshness than doing the “twist and tuck” method with the tail of the bread bag?

    I hate ties and clips. I’ve always twisted and tucked.

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