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Let’s Just Say I Won’t Be Watching Bruno Mars at Halftime


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Amidst all the Super Bowl-related media events, fan events, industry events, corporate events, promotional events, sponsor events, and events for the sake of having events, there’s only one event that has held any interest for me: Animal Planet’s media party for the Puppy Bowl, which I was lucky enough to attend last night.

The little fella I was holding in that shot is named David. He won’t be appearing in the Puppy Bowl (and neither will any of the other puppies in the photo set I’m about to show you), but that’s okay. Pretty much any puppy is fine by me, and they had lots of them on hand last night.

The party, which included tailgating-style games, a puppy locker room, assorted Puppy Bowl memorabilia displays, a stadium-style “playing field” (complete with scoreboard), and — of course — a gift shop, was held at Discovery Times Square in Manhattan. You can go there and see the whole thing for yourself — for free, even! — for the rest of this week (although you probably won’t be treated to an open bar or hors d’oeuvres presented on gridiron-themed serving trays like I was). It’s fun. Go!

Before we get to the rest of the photos: I’m going to have two Super Bowl-related ESPN columns this week, one of which — about how cold weather affects equipment choices — is now up. Not sure when the other one will be posted — maybe today, maybe tomorrow.

Now then, here are more photos from last night’s event (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

My thanks to the Animal Planet folks for inviting me; to Uni Watch reader Dan Murphy, who recognized me and said hi; and to the very nice woman named Emily (didn’t get her last name, alas) who took the photo of me and David.

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Baseball News: MLB, following through on a long-simmering idea, has approved optional padded caps for pitchers. The padding, which will increase the weight of a cap from about three ounces to 10 ounces, will be sewn into the standard 5950s by New Era. Interestingly, Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who was badly injured by a line drive to the head in 2012 and has been lobbying for the development of padded headwear for pitchers, says he doesn’t like this version of the cap and won’t be wearing it, which is the kind of negative endorsement that will likely keep lots of other pitchers from giving the cap a try. Still, it’s a good step. The more interesting question is whether the protective caps will become popular — or mandatory — in youth leagues. … HydroGraphics, the company that has revolutionized college football helmets, is getting into the batting helmet game, as seen with these “black satin” helmets (whatever that means) for Oregon State (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a good piece about the story behind the Reno Aces’ name (from R. Scott Rogers). … Last week I showed a photo of Claudell Washington’s double-decker FNOB from 1974. Now I have a much larger, higher-res scan of that photo (big thanks to Doug McWilliams, who took the photo). ”¦ 100th-season cap logo for the U. of Florida (from Ryan Bohannon). ”¦ Steve Beck bought a new Cubs authentic cap and was surprised to discover that it’s a lighter shade of blue than an older Cubs authentic in his collection. According to the MLB Style Guide, the Cubs have had the same official shade of blue — Pantone 294 — at least since 2000, and probably for longer than that, so I figured the color difference between Steve’s caps was just a case of lousy quality control by New Era. But it turns out that the 2014 caps listed for sale on really do look lighter than the pre-2014 caps. Hmmmm.

NFL News: Here’s the best article I’ve ever seen about the origins of the Seahawks’ logo. Highly recommended (big thanks to my old zine comrade Steve Mandich). ”¦ Bed Bath & Beyond is selling a line of mini-fridges with throwback NFL team logos (from Jon Solomonson). … Here’s a pretty funny Terry Bradshaw sneaker commercial from 1979 (from Harry Michelson). … Here’s a slideshow of NFL players in the “wrong” uniforms (from Ryan Rodriguez). … “I was driving home on Monday across the George Washington Bridge [insert obligatory Chris Christie joke here ”” PL],” says Alex Putelo. “They must have been running a test, because the main cables were lit up in Super Bowl colors — lime green on the New York side and orange on the New Jersey side. Also, the Empire State Building has been featuring Seahawks and Broncos colors all week.” … Some people see Jesus in a grilled-cheese sandwich, but reader Dave Bloomquist sees a Seahawks logo in his bathroom sink. … The South Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey is getting in the Super Bowl spirit (from Vince Serritella). … As you’ve probably heard by now, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will wear a Texas Rangers uni on a baseball card this season. ”¦ New Jersey Transit has workers — or maybe volunteers..? — wearing Super Bowl-themed jerseys (from Eric Wright). … You’re probably already sick of this year’s Super Bowl, which makes this a perfect time to show you next year’s Super Bowl logo on a football.

Hockey News: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was wearing an NFL base-layer shirt for a postgame interview the other night (from Ryan Evans). … Yesterday was Bell Let’s Talk Day in Canada, a promotion designed to raise awareness of mental illness. The Jets marked the day by wearing Rick Rypien warm-up jerseys. Rypien, who had a history of depression, committed suicide shortly after signing with the Jets in 2011. … Can someone explain why Cal Clutterbuck of the Islanders was apparently wearing blackface during a team practice? I’m assuming there has to be a rational explanation, but I can’t imagine what it would be (from Mike Engle).

Basketball News: Whoa, check out the warm-up pants worn by Alvan Adams of the Suns in 1976. “Very ’70s!” says Leo Strawn Jr. … Pink jerseys upcoming this Friday and Saturday for the Idaho Stampede of the D-League (from Brad Iverson-Long). … Throwbacks on tap this weekend for Kent State. … La Salle is adding a memorial patch for Tom Gola.

Grab Bag: The South African National Football Association, or Bafana Bafana, is switching from Puma to Nike (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s a look at the USA’s two-man bobsled — not the uniforms but the bobsled design itself — for the upcoming Olympics. … Speaking of the Olympics, here’s an infographic of Olympics trivia. … And here’s a slideshow of notable Olympics uniforms that have been released so far (from Peter Schultz). … New athletics branding for East Carolina. Further info here (from RJ “Rick James” B). … New kit sponsor for Irish rugby (from Josh Jacobs). … Teams at the University of Illinois Springfield will still be called the Prairie Stars after all (from Nick Yelverton). ”¦ R. Scott Rogers has just discovered that Greneda, where he and his wife will soon be traveling, has outlawed the wearing camouflage by civilians. “Which I guess means I have to leave my digital-camo Nats cap at home,” says Scott. “Darn!” ”¦ Best photo of the day (well, except maybe for me with the pooch) comes from Mike B., who sent along this spectacular 1930 shot of ski jumpers wearing some killer sweaters — and neckties!

Comments (98)

    It’s not a test, the color of the lights on the Empire State Building is based on fan voting –

    For example, today, you vote (based on tweets you send with a certain hashtag) for which team you think will dominate the passing game. Then, the Empire State Building will be lit up in the winner’s colors tomorrow.

    A guess on Clutterbuck — the Islanders’ equipment staff had eye-black available for the outdoor practice and Clutterbuck thought it would be funny to get carried away.

    You would not believe the vitriol spewed at me after I asked the NHL why it chose to use a Clutterbuck blackface photo on Twitter last night to frame the Stadium Series games between the Isles and Rangers tonight.

    People actually called me racist for asking the NHL to provide a little context on their photo choice. All I wanted the NHL to do was cover its ass: explain the photo, and move on. Sure, it’s still in bas taste by the player, but for the NHL to use one of those photos without explaining is idiotic in terms of a PR move.

    I know the reason, and I know both the Isles and Clutterbuck have given statements regarding why he was wearing the black glare stuff all over, but Islanders fans astound me with their “give it a rest, it’s clearly a joke, you racist” commentary. Because I’m the one who looked like I was wearing blackface, obviously.

    Lukas is just as ignorant for using words to describe something without researching them…instead of using a line like “carried away”, he is trying to instigate an issue when none is present…

    I beg your pardon?

    I specifically said there was probably a rational explanation. And it turns out that there was.

    I think we both know who is “trying to instigate an issue” here. (Hint: Not me.)

    PM, I don’t see where he said “carried away”. In fact, it’s not even in the Ticker for that piece.

    It was Katie Strang who wrote, “Cal Clutterbuck said he didn’t mean for eye black to be offensive in any way. Said he tried applying it and just got out of control.”

    And the issue is present, especially since hockey is view as “a white man’s sport”. Tyler Bozak and Raffi Torres were both condemned on the internet for wearing blackface at Halloween as part of a costume. The NHL is aware of the backlash it faces when things like this happen.

    Sometimes, one has to think before doing.

    “Tyler Bozak and Raffi Torres were both condemned on the internet for wearing blackface at Halloween as part of a costume.”


    can’t imagine why…

    The beard exacerbates the ‘blackface’ effect; minus the beard, we probably wouldn’t be talking about it, unless he decided to go all the way to the jaw with it.

    Even this is not as overzealous as Toronto’s Paul Ranger who went with diagonal jungle war paint in the Wings/Leafs Jan. 1 outdoor game. This is just stupid:

    My first thought of Clutterbuck was the whole Hogan’s Heroes/Great Escape face blacking in WWII movies/TV shows for camouflage. I didn’t equate racism, and he stated he didn’t mean it that way. As for Paul “instigating” something, no. He stated that he assumed there was an innocent explanation. Why do people always look to pick fights with Fearless Leader?

    Re the Cubs hat color, a team’s officially designated color has no bearing on its cap color. New Era doesn’t distinguish between slightly different official team colors; all teams with a medium blue get the exact same dark royal caps. Just like all teams with dark navy official colors get caps in Yankees midnight blue. Either New Era has tweaked and lightened its single shade of Royal (most likely, least newsworthy) or it now offers multiple versions of royal blue to more closely match official team colors (least likely, most newsworthy and welcome).

    I wonder if the Cubs asked for the lighter shade of blue. Their previous blue caps were always darker than their alternate blue uniforms.

    I initially thought it could be a manufacturing issue given how more and more New Era caps are being made overseas.

    I think there has to be a change. One says “Chicago Cubs Authentic Collection On-Field 59FIFTY Game Cap” and the other says “Chicago Cubs 2014 Authentic Collection On-Field 59FIFTY Game Cap.” Why designate a year on the new one if there isn’t a change? If they didn’t make some kind of change, they’d all fit under the same description.

    Actually, Scott, that’s not quite true. While New Era does “round off” team colors to a limited palette, they offer two shades of both royal and navy.

    You can see it in this photo – the Cubs have traditionally used the darker royal (along with the Rangers and Dodgers) while the lighter royal is employed by the Brewers, Mets, Royals and Blue Jays.

    This looks to me as though New Era has simply switched the Cubs to the lighter shade, but was it a conscious decision and who made it?

    I noticed that the Cubs shade got darker quite a few years back. I have an older New Era Cubs cap from the late 80’s and it is lighter than the newer models. If I have a chance, I will post a picture.

    I think of the two shades of navy as midnight (Yankees et al) and purple (Brewers et al). New Era’s lighter navy seems to have a strangely high red value.

    FWIW, the “light navy” teams are the Brewers, Rays, Padres and Indians and “dark navy” are the Yankees, Tigers, Braves, Twins, Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox and Indians.

    Yep, the Indians use a light navy for the Wahoo cap and a dark navy for their block C cap. Yikes.

    Suffice it to say I wouldn’t want to be the guy in charge of distinguishing Honolulu blue, cyan, Pacific blue and periwinkle. But I pride myself in being able to distinguish “dark blue” from “navy blue”. Sometimes navy blue looks black, but dark blue always looks blue.

    I had a 1987 Cubs cap (now worn out and gone), a 1994 road cap (first year with the red bill; the one in the photo), a 2002(?) BP cap (thick mesh; C-with-walking-bear logo), and a 2007-ish game cap. All are the darker royal except the BP cap, which is the lighter style.

    The “dark royal” caps are all darker than their royal alternate jerseys, but lighter than their mid-2000s practice jerseys, which are now surprisingly hard to find photos of online (but here’s one).

    I really like that darker style jersey. I’d love to see it brought back.

    While it’s an obvious rip off, kittens are cuter than puppies.

    It’s not about who did it first, it’s about who does it better. Or something like that.

    Shouldn’t Uni Watch be campaigning to get the Seahawks to change their logo? After all, isn’t this simply appropriation of Native American iconography that doesn’t belong to us (us, as in, non Natives)? Unless I’m wrong, I seem to remember this being one of Paul’s main arguments against Native American nicknames in sports.

    Isn’t the manufacturer of the Cubs hat New Era and not Majestic? If it is a Majestic hat, could be a quality control issue between manufacturers.

    Just an FYI, the “black satin’ for the Oregon State helmets is just the finish of the paint. It’s pretty much the same across the board for all types of paint, i.e. Flat or Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss, etc. Just wanted to throw that out there since you seemed a little perplexed why they called it that.

    Someone on the New Era Cap Talk message board said the Cubs actually changed their shade of blue in the style guide, so that’s why the hats have a different shade. I’m on mobile so I can’t link to the exact post.

    The Reno Aces story was interesting, in that I never made those associations to the name.

    My father’s gone to Reno annually for the Reno Air Races…

    So, in my skewed perspective, I always thought it was a nod to flying aces.

    I really like the fact that the logo is remarkably refined and restrained. Does anybody know who did it a few years back? (Doesn’t look like the Brandiose template… and they’re certainly not known to show restraint, ha.)

    just heard about it this morning and figured it would’ve been emailed in about 17 or so times already

    Even though the Puppy Bowl starts at 3? Just it just keep going and going until the end of the night?

    I don’t watch TV before the Super Bowl — I figure I’ll already be watching plenty of TV once the game starts. I’m usually outside doing something during the afternoon.

    Re: Dustin Byfuglien

    I wonder if the NHL will acknowledge Byfuglien’s display of The Shield in some way. If this were the other way around, Roger Goodell would likely hand down a hefty fine for this sort of sacrilege.

    I also wonder why Byfuglien would be sporting NFL apparel at all – do there not exist adequate base layer shirts with the NHL logo on them?

    I’ve noticed hockey players tend to use whatever undershirts they want, just as long as it matches the color.

    From watching 24/7 on HBO, Dion Phaneuf wore a navy blue Nike undershirt in some scenes. I have seen some other players wear Under Armour undershirts.

    On the Cubs hat color, although Pantone colors are the universal standard for design color matching, there is no Pantone fabric or dye. So really you’re just getting close to the Pantone value, not exact. Fabrics have different color standards, one of the major ones being Dystar which also produces dyes for fabrics.

    True, but New Era is remarkably consistent with its dye colors year to year (see a couple comments up).

    New Era offers two shades of royal blue; the Cubs have used the darker one in past seasons, but the new cap appears to be in the lighter shade.

    No doubt. Didn’t mean the dye lot had shifted or anything, Just saying the Cubs not changing their Pantone doesn’t mean a change wasn’t made since there is no true “Pantone 294” Fabric or dye. Someone in the new ownership could have preferred the other blue and they used the patch as a reason for the change, or this was the first season they could make the change.

    With more New Era hats being made overseas in China, I wondered if this was a gaffe by the factory. Maybe they used the wrong shade of royal blue and they couldn’t do anything but just sell the product anyway?

    The New Eras made in China have a much different quality to them; the material feels different and the hats tend to fit much bigger, especially the top of the crown.

    I thought the Green Seatle uniforms were from several years ago and not part of their combination, regardless of color on color rules.

    This is true. The Seahawks do not currently have a neon green jersey option. NFL rules only allow for one alternate jersey, and for Seattle, it’s gray.

    Not a huge fan of the ECU brand positioning. Full-page ad on the back page of the sports section here in Raleigh to launch it.

    Comes across as too “one-down.” i.e., underdog, victim, etc. It’s certainly accurate in these parts (sort of 3rd tier behind UNC and NCSU). However, when they articulate it, they should find a way to emerge from the “negative” and spin it positively.

    Does anyone know why on the espn homepage why you cant click on the local espn sites like boston chicago la ny dallas anymore? It use to be to right of espn logo and now its just red area. Its been like that for a week or so i think? Senor Lukas you work there what are your comrades doing?

    The thing hasn’t been expanded since 2010, after starting in 2009. Perhaps it hasn’t been as successful as ESPN had hoped it would be, so now they’re de-emphasizing it by taking it off’s home page.

    I was really bored this weekend and I happened to come across the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series. The then-current leg of that was being played in Las Vegas.

    One thing that jumped out at me almost immediately was the crest, or logo, for Team USA.

    You can check that out here:

    I will admit immediately that I’m a rugby outsider and really had no idea what was going on in that tournament. If I find it on TV, I usually stop and watch it, but I don’t watch enough to really learn what is actually going on on the pitch.

    With all of that said, the USA Rugby logo looks an awful lot like the Atlanta Thrashers logo, does it not?

    That can be viewed here:

    I don’t know if that’s ever been mentioned here, but I found it kind of interesting. Maybe another reader has a little insight about that.

    I will admit too, I have no clue which came first. Maybe the Thrashers logo looks an awful lot like the USA Rugby logo. Again, looking for a little insight on it.

    Meh, I’ll be at work anyways (no Steelers=no Super Bowl worth watching, although I do like this year’s matchup) so I won’t be watching Bruno Mars at halftime anyways. In fact, any sane person over the age of 25 probably won’t watch anything with Bruno Mars. Hard to believe, too, that this year is the 10th anniversary of the most infamous (and NSFW) non-football related moment at the Super Bowl.

    I guess it wasn’t covered in the Ticker yesterday, but WWE hosted WWE Raw in Cleveland Monday night and had a “Battle of Cleveland” match between Cleveland-area natives Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. Ziggler wore a customized Cavaliers jersey to the ring while The Miz wore Browns-themed ring attire and wore a Jordan Cameron jersey to the ring.

    Not sure New Era uses the same shade of colors for every team. The Yankees have a “dark” navy blue cap, while the Indians have a “light” navy blue cap.

    Re: the Seahawks logo origins. Dan Snyder- this is what “honoring Native Americans” actually looks like.

    Also, I was up at the Tulalip resort two weeks ago and they were selling Seahawks-ish gear but with the traditional osprey carving design on a modern-helmet and modern colors, including the neon.

    Sorry, neon is kind of our thing here. The only team not to wear it never, ever makes the postseason. Coincidence?

    From the ESPN piece:

    the first quarterback to wear gloves in a Super Bowl — and possibly gloved NFL quarterback, period — was Chicago’s Jim McMahon in Super Bowl XX. But that had nothing to do with cold weather — the game was played indoors.

    IIRC, McMahon wore the gloves in that game because he’d worn them throughout the playoffs in sub-zero temperatures at Soldier Field, had gotten accustomed to and comfortable with them so he wore them in the Super Bowl.

    Not sure if McMahon was actually the first NFL QB to wear a glove on his passing hand during a game. I remember Phil Simms wearing the same gloves in the divisional playoff game at Chicago that same season.

    Paul–re the ESPN article, a little more back story on Jim McMahon wearing gloves in SuperBowl XX. McMahon had worn gloves for the Bears two playoffs games, as both games were pl;ayed in a cold and/or windy Soldier Field. McMahon opted threw the ball very well in those games, combined he had 104.9passer rating for the NFC playoff. McMahon even commented he even threw a better spiral with the gloves than he usually did. Thus, McMahon opted said he decided to wear gloves not to fight any cold weather, but to duplicate the success he had with gloves in cold weather. It worked, McMahon thew for 256 yds and 100+ passer rating as the Bears won 46-10.

    If NFL rules don’t allow for color-versus-color games, does that mean the NFL doesn’t consider the Seahawks’ gray alternates or the Patriots’ old silver alts as colors? Quick Google research shows they each wore those against teams wearing their colored jerseys. Is it actually a light vs. dark rule?

    Does the Seahawks logo have to be changed now that it is
    patterned after a native american idea?????

    Earlier today I read about the ‘Phoenix Coyotes switching to Arizona Coyotes’

    Really? what is the reason for this?

    Because the city of Glendale has made a lot of concessions to keep the team there and it seemed inappropriate for Coyotes to carry name of another city.

    This is going to sound petty – but why when they do something retro for the Rams do they always use the 50-60’s version of the logo? I guess that’s the history for the franchise, but I always think they should use the mid 90’s logo for the St. Louis team. St. Louis doesn’t have any relationship with the pre 1995 teams, uniform or logos. Im fine when the Rams where their throwbacks from the 90’s (although Nike uses too bright of a yellow and the Nike neck roll never existed) but the sideline gear should use the mid 90’s St. Louis logos, not the 50’s ones.

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