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[Insert Joke About Mets’ Projected Win Total Here]

I’m turning 50 years old today. It’s a big, round number, and I know I’m supposed to feel all midlife crisis-y about it or some such, but I don’t. For one thing, everyone tells me I don’t look like I’m anywhere near 50, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t just because they’re being nice. I’ve always looked a bit young for my age, and now I’ve reached the point in my life where that’s a good thing.

More importantly, I don’t feel 50. In fact, I’d say I feel about the same as I did when I turned 35, which isn’t that surprising, because my life is pretty similar to how it was when I was 35. I eat the same, drink the same, and mostly dress the same, because I weigh the same. I have most of the same habits and routines (some of which are laughably analog for our current digital era, but I stick with them because I like them). I still see lots of movies and live bands, although not as much of either as I once did. I watch much less TV than when I was 35, but that’s because I spend much more time on the computer — I traded one idiot box for another, so it’s basically a wash. I still drive an old-ish compact car (not the same one I had when I was 35, but fairly similar). I still live with two cats (not the same ones, but just as lovable). I make more money now than I did when I was 35, but I don’t spend much more than I did then, because my priorities, sensibilities, and practicalities are largely unchanged.

Some of this is all for the good — it’s nice to be able to live pretty much the same life I had when I was younger. But there are times when I wonder if this stability indicates a lack of growth, or maybe a failure of imagination. Shouldn’t I have expanded my parameters more? I often like to say that I’m an adult but not a grown-up, which is a fun quip, but does it really mean I’m just immature? Maybe. Okay, probably. Something to work on. (Go figure: Most 50-year-olds are worried about feeling too old, and here I am worrying about feeling too young.)

It turns out that the biggest difference between now and when I turned 35 is, of course, Uni Watch, which hadn’t yet been born 15 years ago today. Its water was about to break, though — I already had the idea for it and was shopping it around to various media venues, but it would be another two months or so until I found a home for it. Every editor I approached at that time (including the one who eventually said yes) told me, “It’s a fun idea, but do you really think there’s enough there to sustain a monthly column?” Nobody suspected that Uni Watch would prove to be such a durable project, or that the uni beat could provide enough fodder for monthly weekly daily content.

So while it’s nice that I’m turning 50 today, I think the more remarkable thing is that Uni Watch will be turning 15 in late May. Maybe we’ll have a party for that. We might even have an anniversary patch — stay tuned.

I have lots of birthday plans, none of which involve doing even a lick of work, so I’m outta here for the day. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you next week.

+ + + + +

’Skins Watch: NPR’s ombudsperson has posted a good, thoughtful piece about the ’Skins name. Bottom line: The network will continue to refer to the team by its full name, because that’s the name of the team. … Joe Posnanski has amended his article from earlier this week to indicate that there was a connection between the Indians’ team name and Louis Sockalexis after all, although Pos says he “still [doesn’t] think the team was named Indians for him or to honor him” (from Perry Sailor).

Baseball News: Torii Hunter sure has a lot of stuff written on his glove (from John Muir). … The Dodgers played an exhibition game against the Australian national team yesterday, and the Aussies had a player with FIOB — but with the initial after the surname (from Colin Clerkin). … Lots of uni-notable aspects to this old photo of Willie McGee. First and most obviously, the mix-and-match uniform. Second, what’s written under his brim? I blew up the photo and flipped it upside-down, and it appears to list his stat goals for the coming season: 100 runs, 80 RBI, 50 SB, and some other stuff I couldn’t make out. But best of all, check out the dude in the background! (Big thanks to Keith Olbermann.) … Tons of old baseball program covers here (from Andy Moursund). … Good video on how the Sydney Cricket Ground was set up for this weekend’s Dodgers/D-backs games (from Tim Lewis). … Interesting story about what’s going to happen to the Field of Dreams field (thanks, Ek). … Typical slate of absurd promotional unis on tap this season for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (thanks, Phil). … The Phillies were supposed to wear green on Monday but the game got rained out. Tuesday was an off-day and Wednesday was a road game, so they finally wore the green jerseys yesterday (from Harrison Tishler). … In a related item, does anyone know if the White Sox refer to March 17 as Halfway to Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day? …Remember those protective caps that pitchers were supposed to be able to test-drive during spring training? Turns out they haven’t been available (thanks, Phil). … New BP caps for a slew of minor league teams (from Michael Trautman).

NFL News: Here’s Steve Smith’s new Ravens jersey with SrOB (from Ted Bloss). … Lots of old pro football program covers here (from Andy Moursund, who also has a set of program covers from historically black colleges). … Holy moly, look at all those wristbands! That’s Elbie Watts, from a 1986 game. Also note the Spider Lockhart memorial patch being worn by Ottis Anderson (big thanks to Jeff Ash).

Hockey News: Love this Bruins-inspired pennant (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a video about the LED “celebration lights” at the Canucks’ arena (from Scott Lederer). … New mask designs for Blues goalie Ryan Miller and Caps goalie Jaroslav Halak (from John Muir). … Mike Fisher painted a Star Wars-themed goalie mask for a local goalie in L.A. … Anyone know why the Red Wings wore white at home last night against the Penguins? (From Aaron McHargue.)

Soccer News: Everton has extended its sponsorship deal with Chang beer (from Mark Coale). … What if European soccer teams got American logo treatments? They might look like this (thanks, Phil).

NBA News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s probably the best, most thoughtful analysis I’ve seen on the issue of ads on NBA jerseys. … Imagine if each NBA team was a corporate brand (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: A UVA hoops fan managed to get down on the court when he noticed that all members of the team’s coaching staff dressed alike, so he dressed that way too (from Kevin Wright). … The other day I saw a VCU basketball ad on the side of a NYC bus. “Why the hell would VCU be running ads in the New York market?” I wondered. Turns out they’re feeling pretty flush (from Tommy Turner). … Vote for your favorite Oregon basketball uni design here (thanks, Phil). … A year ago I wrote an entry about Nic Schultz, who had built a very cool logo-based DIY bracket. Here’s what he’s come up with this year, and here’s the jpg it’s based on. “I tried to put a lot of emphasis on individual weekends, so there was clear separation between the first rounds, Sweet 16 and Final Four,” he says. “It’s still a bit overwhelming at first glance, but then again so is keeping up with the action today and tomorrow. When you look into it and find a team, though, it’s pretty easy to track and follow that team’s progression.” … Yesterday I posted a photo of Iowa’s late-’80s uni design, which featured a faux/simulated untucked design. Now, thanks to Scott Jamison, we have a much better look at that design. Jimbo Huening provided additional views here and here, and he also points out that a replica of those shorts is sold by Uni Watch advertiser Retro College Cuts. … Here’s a March Madness logo quiz (from Kurt Esposito). … Michigan State’s throwbacks had off-center uni numbers earlier this season, but last night the numbers were centered. You can see the before/after versions here (from Zach Conrad). … Here’s the story behind Albany’s two-tone uniforms (thanks, Phil). … An NC State player was missing the “a” in his Adidas logo last night (good spot by Joseph Hiley).

Grab Bag: A player in the Kentucky high school state basketball tourney was wearing plaid shorts under this uniform the other day (from Jim Joseph). … Bizarre two-tone football helmets for Signal Mountain High in Tennessee (from Harry Akers). … Rebranding coming up next month for Illniois athletics (from Eric Lovejoy). … Eric Bangeman was watching some old USFL footage and spotted Houston kicker Tony Fritsch rotating his facemask downard prior to a kick. And yes, Tony had quite the gut in those days.

Comments (104)

    Paul, may you have a great day on your big birthday (I’m right behind you) and an excellent year.

    (I seriously made this before today’s post — even though it’s very similar to the splash photo):

    <Lukas 50

    Have a great one buddy!

    Very good article by NPR. Reporters aren’t supposed to inject opinion in their stories. They are supposed to reports facts period. There are editorials for addressing the Redskins name and the need for it to change but in normal reporting that editorial view should not be part of it. Part of the issue with today’s media is that in covering regular news, etc, editorial opinion enters. Who, what, where, why, when, and how are what a good reporter is supposed to cover.

    Paul, happy birthday!! At 50 (I’m 56), you shall start receiving all sorts of senior snail mail and maybe even some to your personal email. You are taking another step closer to being a geezer like me!! You will also realize in time us geezers can get away with more stuff than younger guys. That can be advantageous. Welcome to the wonderful world of the 50s!

    I fell asleep right before the Wings game started (it was one of those days that I was just completely dog-tired by that time), and didn’t wake up until the late-night replay was ending (just in time to see Alfredsson’s OT game-winner). So if they mentioned anything about why they were wearing white at home (AS IT SHOULD BE), I missed it.

    Considering neither the Wings nor Pens were going back-to-back, it is pretty odd.

    From what I’ve been able to find on Twitter, there appears to be no special reason for the color switch. According to reports, the Red Wings asked the NHL to wear white at home for a couple of games this season, and this was game #2 of that request.

    The Penguins are rather accommodating in that regard. They exchange white-at-home games with the Maple Leafs (one each in Toronto and Pittsburgh) every year it seems.

    This is the first time I can recall the Red Wings and Penguins playing a white-at-home game. (Since the NHL moved to colors at home, of course.) And if they’re exchanging games as they do with the Leafs, watch for the Pens to wear white at home against Detroit on April 9th. I just hope this “Score three goals by bouncing the puck off a Penguins defenseman” thing doesn’t come along with it.

    First time maybe because they’ve been out of conference prior to this year.

    The Red wings have been wearing white at home a couple games a season for several years now. Seems like they used to do it against old rivals like when the Leafs came to town.
    I think it’s their traditionalist team’s way of having an “alternate jersey” without actually having one.
    I don’t remember where I read this, so don’t quote me on it, but I recall it being said that the red wings wear white at home because so many fans associate the white sweater with Joe Louis Arena. They are trying to appease those fans who think the wings just ‘look right’ wearing white in the Joe.

    Back in 2010 they wore their winter classic uniform at home for the final game of the season (Chelios’ final reg season game for the wings and he skated out as a forward). I don’t believe they’ve worn this years’ winter classic uni at the Joe though. Prior to that, i think you have to back 2 decades to see the wings wearing a non-primary uniform in the Joe.

    I still say the NHL should do like they did in 1991-92. Wear white at home in the first half of the season (like the first calendar year part (2013)) and then switch to dark at home for the second half (like the second calendar year part (2014)). Then everyone’s happy.

    my two cents, and as a pens fan, is that you never forget a cup being hoisted by another team on your home ice. sid and those ’09 boys are forever going to be shown in quick montage pieces wearing white at the joe. and since the wings like to go white at home for the fans (in moderation) why not do it for when pittsburgh comes to town? pair this with the fact that the pens went to detroit earlier in this season, wore white, and housed the red wings 4-1. as a baseball guy, i’d like to think that hockey guys are just as superstitious and make opposing teams mix up their wardrobe if you want the outcome to be different this time around. total baseball move.

    Happiest of Birthday’s Mr Lukas!

    As you Celebrate five decades of living la vida Lukah, not merely one night of celebration but every day, doing the things that make one happy… few really get to do the that in their lives. A true Master of the Uni-verse.

    So get to it.

    McGee photo: What is up with the stirrups on the guy in the background? It looks like there is a stripe on his shoe to match up with the stirrup. Do mine eyes deceive me?

    Looks like a sole of some kind at the bottom of his foot.

    ????

    Maybe that’s just something on the ground. ???

    Shower shoes, maybe.

    It would explain why he seems to have blown out his ACL.
    Or maybe he photobombed Willie once too often and got Kerrigan’d as a result…

    Odd that Signal Moutain opts to show the wrong side of its helmet on its own website.

    (and their screaming eagle scared me to death!)

    Happy Birthday Paul, not to suck up to the host of the site, but I would have thought mid-40’s based on the pictures you post, must be the Brooklyn air.

    Watched some of the Manhattan/Louisville game last night. If my television set wasn’t playing tricks with color shades, Manhattan has to wear one of the best shades of green I’ve seen. What I saw, it would appear to be somewhere between the shade of green the Boston Celtics and what the Philadelphia Eagles use, a very rich shade. Is my television/lighting of the arena tricking me, or was it relatively unique?

    Not only that, but they had one of the best fonts ever. Wish they could have lasted longer in the tournament.

    Happy Birthday, Paul!

    Happy Birthday, Paul!

    Best wishes on today, and enjoy the milestone birthday as a 35 year-old would. ;o)

    Happy Birthday, and here’s to many more great years!

    Happy birthday Paul!

    Last night’s Pens-Red Wings game was a scheduled white-at-home game for Detroit.

    The Americanized soccer logos are great. Catalan Rebels are a nice touch, and I’m assuming Yellow Submarines is Villarreal.

    One quibble – isn’t “Romani” a gypsy tribe and not Lazio’s hometown?

    It’s a Sioux/Lakota thing. There is no such thing as a Sioux tribe, “sioux” is a pejorative used by smaller tribes in the Great Plains region to describe militaristic Lakota tribes. Romani is the appropriate term, “gypsy” comes from European myth that they look “Egyptian” despite them being originally from India and settled to a degree in Romania.

    Sioux = Nazi
    Gypsy = Nigger

    Thanks, though for what it’s worth, BBC, which is usually sensitive about this sort of thing, still uses the g-word.

    Though, also for what it’s worth, womenfolks refer to “peasant skirts” instead of “gypsy skirts”

    Happy birthday Paul. I promise to never ask for a UniWatch membership card inspired by my alma mater, UAlbany’s shorts.

    Re: Ticker aside in the MLB section: Halfway-to-halfway-to St. Patrick’s Day would be June 17, no? Let’s not give the White Sox any ideas.
    Re: Tony Fritsch in the Misc. Ticker: I distinctly remember Scott Player would also lower his facemask out of the way when it was time to kick a ball. That is a nice screen cap though.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. LUKAS!

    Been a while since I last commented on the site. What I took away from today’s post:

    – This replica that probably used some stock from 2012 has the black collar. IIRC, the Ravens booted that last year.

    Aww, man. I actually really liked the off-center numbers. Kinda disappointing. Glad they kept the socks, though.

    – Gotta love that didas quality.

    We’ve gone to plaid.

    Lastly, happy birthday, Paul. May your day be filled with loved ones, laughter, and other things that don’t suck =)

    Happy birthday, Paul! I’m a huge fan of Uni-Watch…thanks for bringing it into the world.

    Happy birthday, Paul!

    May you find yourself in a purple patch this year… ;-)

    Think I’m gonna buy one of those “Your Ad Here” blocks on the Signal Mtn. web site and put up a reminder that the helmets look stupid.

    Happy Birthday Paul!
    Maybe it’s a topic better suited to one of your Ask Me Anything features, but I’m curious: what are some of your “laughably analog” habits and routines?

    In Minnesota we call plaid shorts worn under other shorts “boxers”. They’re underwear. Anyone else?

    This is the comment I was looking for. Those aren’t shorts, they’re his underwear!

    Happy birthday, Paul. You should feel proud about where you are in life and the continuity you’ve managed since your mid-30s. You seem content at 50, which seems to be somewhat rare. Many happy returns!

    Thanks for keeping us all a little younger by making us that much more curious, whether it’s about sports uniforms, old report cards, random collectibles or candelas. Happy Birthday!

    Enjoy the day and it’s blessings, and a touch of sorrow to show the difference. Break out the Fernandez uni

    The White Sox do a halfway to St. Patrick’s day promotion in September, the closest home Friday game to Sept. 17. They usually give away green caps or replica green jerseys. This year it’s September 12 and they’re giving away Irish flat caps.

    Another circular logo. Yawn. I guess it’s better than the badge, but neither one was very good, and the team name itself is as bland as possible, so… yeah, good job.

    I largely agree! I’m just saying, given the options on offer, they got the choice right. It’s not necessarily bad, though, so a good pair of uniforms could definitely salvage the team from the yawn-heap of history.

    And the A-10 plays its conference tournament in Brooklyn, so it’s not a stretch for teams in the league to reach out to fans/ potential recruits in the NYC market.

    My mom went to VCU and she is from Long Island. She said she knew a few classmates there that did too. And that was back in 1980ish.

    Have a “fantastic” birthday, Paul. Thanks so much for everything, and keep doin’ you.

    Oh my. The 1965 NFL Championship Game program has the wrong helmet for a participating team! I guess there were some drawbacks to the normative three-martini lunch . . .

    Call me crazy, but I kind of like the sponsor/ads on jersey idea (I like no ads better, surely). Although, I’d rather it be more obvious like the European/premier league style. I don’t particularly like the idea of a small patch of advertising, if you’re going to do it, go full out in this case.

    Two things about it. I’m sure the teams with the superstars will fetch a premium compared to, say, the Bucks. How will the ads be decided? The highest bidder? And what if the superstar leaves via free agency? I’m sure the company won’t be to happy about paying a small fortune to have LeBron run around with their logo, only to see him leave via free agency.
    What if Adidas sponsors the Heat? Will Nike allow LeBron to even play? All that garbage is sure to give executives heart burn.

    Happy birthday Paul! :o

    * ad rates – I can’t imagine it would be much different from how it’s done in soccer. Bigger market teams get bigger, longer contracts with bigger companies. And it’s not like they don’t know when player contracts end.

    Also, you see Nike-sponsored players showing up in ads for NBA/Adidas gear, so that’s a moot point, I think. In Europe, each player negotiates image rights to take care of situations like Messi, an Adidas guy who shows up in Turkish Airlines ads but wears a Nike shirt with the Qatar Airway logo, but that stuff is collectively negotiated with the NBPA.

    I’m with you on the point that the bigger the ads, the better. There would at least be a certain honesty to the crassness if NBA ads were as prominent as European soccer ads.

    I suspect that teams would command different prices, but that the revenue would actually mainly be captured by the league, not the team. That is, if you want to sponsor the Heat, you negotiate a contract with the NBA, your ad goes on the Heat jerseys, and then the NBA takes all of the revenue from all of the jersey sponsorships, takes a cut off the top for the league, and then divides the remainder into 32 equal payments.

    I will guarantee that he has already got that piece of mail….they are very thorough

    Some people call it “over the hill”. I prefer to call it “Turning Agbayani”.

    Now then. The ads on the unis? No!!! It looks like crap in Europe, it looks like crap for auto racing, and watching the local minor league teams play that already have them it looks like crap there.
    We already have the broadcasts, half time shows, pre & post game shows sponsored, play on courts corporate that are sponsored, and in arenas named after corporations. Those arenas and courts are already plastered with enough ads to more than cover anything that’s needed. We do NOT need ads on the uniforms as well.

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering troubles
    with your RSS. I donî–¹ know why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having similar
    RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

    And I thought the milestone birthday you were refering to was 40, and that was hard to believe…50!?!!? Congrats!!

    oh man, those Historically Black College game programs are NICE!

    also,
    Happy Birthday, Paul!
    here’s to 50 more

    First off, Happy Birthday to you!

    Second, as somebody who will hit 50 in 6 months, I totally agree with you about feeling too young, rather than too old. Does that mean I’m immature? Yeah, maybe in some ways. Oh well.

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