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A Typographical Quirk at the World Cup

About 25 years ago, when I was working as a book editor, I was introduced to the concept of a ligature. That’s the typographic term for what happens when two letters or characters are joined together in a single glyph or symbol, like in the examples shown at right (further info here).

Ligatures on NOBs — LOBs, we can call them — are rare, at least in North American sports. Has there ever been one in the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB? If so, I can’t think of it. But several Uni Watch readers have spotted one at the World Cup. It involves the “IJ” letter combination, which in the Dutch language forms a digraph (that’s a single phonetic sound) that is sometimes written as the following ligature:

That ligature appears on the Netherlands soccer player Wesley Sneijder’s NOB, as you can see here:

Pretty cool. Oddly, though, two of Sneijder’s teammates — Stefan DeVrij and Georginio Wijnaldum — also have the “IJ” letter sequence in their names, but their NOBs show those letters as conventional characters, not as the ligature:

Can anyone who’s fluent in Dutch tell us more about this? Is there a linguistic reason why Sneijder has the LOB and the other two players don’t?

It’s also worth noting that Sneijder has played on lots of teams besides the Dutch national squad. Every other rear-view photo of him that I could find, from any point of his career, shows him without the LOB (click to enlarge):

The ligature isn’t the only uni-notable thing about Wesley Sneijder, incidentally. He also appears to be wearing an orange wedding band, or at least orange tape:

And as long as we’re talking about wedding bands, Brewers reliever Will Smith appears to be wearing his wedding ring on a necklace:

As some of you may recall, Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison used to do the same thing, although I’m not sure he still does it. (If you want to know more about athletes wearing wedding bands, check out this ESPN column I wrote back in 2011.)

(My thanks to readers Callum Johnston, Comrade Robert Marshall, Neil ODonnell, and Dan Ullsperger for their contributions to this section.)

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

I had this Bart Starr book! If you’re like me, back in the day you ordered Scholastic Books at school. You’d get this form to fill out, check the boxes of the books you wanted, and then in a week or two, boxes with each student’s name would show up and you’d fork over your cash. Ten books, six bucks or so. It was Amazon long before Jeff Bezos thought of it. I’d get a ton of them and read ’em all instantly. Anyway, when I got this Bart Starr title, I was immediately taken with the cover art. “Oooh, he’s doing an underhanded lateral.” And I remember the back of each book: “New York-Toronto-London-Auckland-Sydney-Tokyo.”

Here’s the rest of this week’s haul:

• I also collected these MLB cardboard mini-posters, like this Padres one (with, er, Pete Rose on the front).

• Look at this 1960s Angels Stadium postcard! (My wife just pointed out she used to sit in the top deck on the left.) Look where those cars are parked — “Smash windshield/Win a new suit”?

• Cool 1970s CBS Sports Radio poster. Is that Bill Buckner at first base?

• Great early-1970s NFL poster here. All the unis look accurate for the period except for the sleeves on the Vikings player (who should be Mick Tinglehoff), and I don’t think the Iggles wore the top stripes/bottom stripes look with the green on white helmet.

• Great graphics on this dramatic-looking 1984 USA Olympic hockey poster. The team was outfitted by Levi’s that year, incidentally. This was before Nike got into team sports.

• A lot to like on this 1978 White Sox scorecard cover. Pumas on the A’s catcher, the infamous Chisox clamdiggers, and, my favorite, the treatment on the “78” top right corner. Totally of the period.

• Speaking of scorecards, take a look at this California Angels 1968 cover design. You’d never see a team name rendered in all-lowercase lettering nowadays.

• This NFL mini-helmet/goalpost kit from the 1970s is in perfect shape. Rare to see one of these with no missing pieces.

• Nice-looking 1960s Atlanta Falcons bobblehead, although it’s missing some striping on the top. We’ve all seen this design before, but I’ve not noticed them having sleeve numbers like this guy (“00”) does.

•  And from reader Bruce Menard, here’s a real prize: a 1970s Willie Stargell “black man’s” electric razor.

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Culinary Corner: One of the nice things about my apartment is that it comes with a backyard, and one of the nice things about my yard is that it comes with a bunch of raspberry bushes. They were already there when I moved in 14 years ago, which is handy, because I’m not so great at planting and gardening.

Every year, like clockwork, the raspberry bushes fruit two times — once in early July and again in early to mid-October. During those two periods, I can usually pick about a pint of raspberries per day (and on some days two or three times that much) for about a 10-day span. We’re in the midst of this year’s early-July crop right now, so I’ve been out in the yard each day, picking. Here’s what I came away with yesterday (click to enlarge):


The branches and stems of raspberry bushes are lined with small thorns, so I always get scratched up when I go picking. It doesn’t hurt much (the thorns are almost more like stiff little hairs), but it itches, at least for me. Not sure if that’s a universal thing or if I’m just mildly allergic to the thorns. Whatever — it’s totally worth it, and I’ve come to associate the itching with the pleasure of enjoying the berries. Sort of a “No pain, no gain” kinda thing.

I’ve tried the berries in lots of recipes over the years — raspberry jam, raspberry cobbler, raspberry ice cream, etc. After considerable deliberation, however, I’ve concluded that the following preparation is the best one:

1. Dump the raspberries into a bowl.

2. Eat all of the raspberries.

That is all.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: Following up on yesterday’s main entry, A’s beat reporter Susan Slusser reports that Jeff Samardzija will wear a generic “National League” jersey at the All-Star Game and sit with on the NL team’s bench. … Calling all rich people: Rare Babe Ruth items — including game-used size 42 baseball pants, a palm print of his right hand, and the contract that moved the Great Bambino from the Red Sox to the Yankees — are going to be auctioned on July 12 (from Tommy Turner). … Mets manager Terry Collins has no issue with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel’s discolored hat brim (thanks, Paul). … In other Mets news, they wore their “Miserable Monday at Home” camo uniforms last night. … Uni Watch friend MLB Cathedrals posted a rendering of the proposed Labatt Park, a never-realized stadium for the Montreal Expos. ”¦ The Dodgers have pretty much stopped wearing their primary road grays (from Jim Carlisle).

NFL News: Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams gave up his first class seat to a uniformed Marine, although many commenters think the guy may have been a fake (from Ethan Hagen). ”¦ Look where they incorporated the “LA” into the design of this Rams tape measure from 1989 (from Keith Olbermann).

College Football News: The East Carolina University Pirates Equipment Staff took to Twitter to show off their new jersey font (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Rumors about the Blues having new uniforms have been circulating for a while now. Yesterday Icethetics provided details, and it looks like the team will be going with a back-to-basics look, although they’re planning to keep their alternate jersey, at least for now (thanks, Paul).

Soccer News: Fact or fiction: Reader Chad Gilman thinks the lion’s tongue in the Netherlands’ World Cup jersey crest is a Nike swoosh. “It has always been a bit swooshy in the past, but it seems to be practically identical now.” What does everyone else think? ”¦ New kits for Man U.

NBA News: During Sunday’s Heat/Nets Summer League game, Kendall Gill shared a story about Michael Jordan once shutting up a trash-talking Jim Jackson by pointing out that Jackson was wearing Jordans (from Britton Thomas).

Grab Bag: … Here’s a behind-the-scenes video of the University of Oregon equipment staff. … New Era and Spike Lee are teaming up on a mini collection of red New York Yankees caps. Man, I love that 1996 World Series patch (from Tommy the CPA). … Pro cycling rider Michael Rogers of team Tinkoff-Saxo has created a vest that makes carrying water bottles easier. It is called the BAR jersey and debuted at the Tour de France (from Sean Clancy). … “I was at the 4th of July parade in Annandale, Minnesota, and noticed that the St. Francis marching band was wearing baseball uniforms, including high-cuffs for the flag line and TNOB,” says Adam Northenschold. “Granted, they look more like a beer league team than one on a diamond, but I haven’t seen that in a parade before.” … Here’s an Esquire article on how Vietnam Navy SEALs inspire fashion today (from Tommy Turner). … These NFL-NBA logo mash-ups are pretty interesting (from Peter Schultz).

Comments (166)

    As for the logos themselves… here’s the link for all 32 teams: link

    A few of them work rather well (Vikings, Cowboys, Giants), but most of them are kinda meh… the Raiders/Lakers is especially bad.

    I thought the Jets/Nets mash-up was especially meh (by ‘meh’ I mean super-pedestrian-clip-art-meh…), so I link using actual elements of both teams logos…


    That was me, speaking for me. I stand by my proclamation.

    *backs down and Tickerizes logo mashups on Thursday*

    The i and j combo more commonly make a y with two dots over it in Dutch.

    There is one NFL player that could do this to his Jersey which is Boldewijn from Boise State. I looked at his Boise jerseys and it seems like he seperated the letters, I wonder if he could change that in the NFL.

    It really just comes down to family preference but the old school way would be to connect them, and most often, that makes a y with two dots above it.

    Dutch great Johan Cruijff looks like he had it written according to custom of the country he was in.

    Ajax(bad angle, but one can make out the J): link

    Washington: link

    There’s some inconsistency with Ruud van Nistelrooy. He’s worn link wherever he’s played, but lists him as link.

    That Bart Starr book cover is kinda odd… the white football is totally out of place. As far as I’m aware, the NFL only used a white ball for night games for a few seasons in the 50’s, before the Packers started using that uniform.

    According to the article linked below, the white football “made an exit from the field of play in 1956.” Depending on whether you interpret that statement as saying the ball was last used in 1955 or in 1956, Starr could have played a few games with it, since his rookie year was 1956. Of course, Starr was a 17th-round draft pick who only attempted 44 passes in 1956, so I’m guessing that this cover is more an instance of creative license (or error) than any attempt at recreating an actual Starr moment.

    The Packers didn’t start using a helmet logo until 1961, so, yeah. The ball hadn’t been used for at least 5 years so it’s hard to believe it was a mistake rather than an intentional choice. It certainly seems like an odd decision to make, though. I wonder if any other books/posters/etc from the 60’s use a white ball like that.

    The white ball is definitely artistic license, not a mistake. Same goes for Bart’s feet sinking in a green “swamp”. Like Brinke, when I was a kid I LOVED that illustration the moment I saw it.
    I wish I could figure out who the illustrator of that art is, but the name is difficult to read. R. Asaro? Rasard? Anyone know who the illustrator is?

    Arjen Robben has also been wearing the orange tape in lieu of his wedding ring. (I think I learned of this here on Uni Watch if I’m not mistaken.)

    Perhaps the Snijder jersey is an “oh shit” moment.

    As in the uni maker saying, “Oh shit! I forgot the “I”!!! Maybe I can just slip it in here and no one will notice. Besides, it’s kinda of cool.”


    No. It’s by design, so to speak:


    Moreover, a new shirt is created for each player for each game (as evidenced by the screwing on the front of the shirt where the Dutch flag is paired with that of their opponents). As he’s had that printing of his name for all his games in the Finals, it’s not a one-time attempt to correct an error.

    I would say it’s the direct opposite. Sneijder is a Nike player. So of course they ran it up the flagpole with him. His jersey is only Dutch player specific jersey that is being sold on the Nike website. link

    I think Nike simply ignored the other players.

    If you like that image of LaBatt Ballpark, you’ll REALLY love this: link

    It looks like the site stopped being updated before the Marlins moved into their new home, which is a real shame. I used to visit the site almost as much as Uni Watch, once upon a time.

    In any case, you’ll see documentation, stories, and theories on the structures used for professional Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Olympics, Race Tracks, and Soccer, past present, and future!

    I know you guys don’t like the Mets Military Appreciation Night jerseys and caps, and the topic has been Beaten. To. Death.

    But man, “Miserable Monday at Home?” Did you replace “military” with “miserable?”

    I know the Mets were planning to let servicemen and servicewomen in for free on these nights. I’d be curious to know how many are taking advantage.

    I’m not going to purchase a camo jersey or cap because I don’t care for the look. But I do like the intent and appreciate the effort. I was at a Cubs game recently, and twice the team and uniformed servicemen on the field — and they got the loudest cheers of the day. It was nice.

    How do you know that those uniformed servicemen at the Cubs game are decent human beings? They could be scumbags and everyone blindly cheered for them anyway. That’s my problem with the camo/military worship. Aside from the fact that it looks terrible on the field, it’s kind of dangerous to blindly worship something or someone without knowing all the facts.

    But, soldiers are the ones responsible for you having the freedom to act like a sanctimonious douche on the internet. Maybe not all soldiers are heroes but all of them leave their friends and family behind to put their lives on the line. I’d say that’s deserving of some respect.

    soldiers are the ones responsible for you having the freedom to [gratuitous insult].

    That is demonstrably untrue. If the U.S. military were scrapped tomorrow, the First Amendment would still grant me (and you) the Constitutional rights to express myself.

    I’m not saying our military *should* be scrapped tomorrow (it shouldn’t). But our freedoms come from our laws, founding documents, and ideals, not from our military. That’s why we have civilian rule over the military, not the other way around.

    I’d say that’s deserving of some respect.

    Nobody said it wasn’t. But celebrating the same group over and over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all others, is nobody’s definition of “some respect”; rather, it is a relentless campaign of political messaging that creates the impression of a privileged class.

    When there are special uniforms for Peace Corps volunteers, social workers, teachers, and other deserving groups (or, better yet, when the sports world just sticks to sports uniforms), we can talk. Until then, this is just cheap pandering.

    So we should not applaud a soldier being saluted on the field of a baseball game on the off chance that he might be a “scumbag?”

    I think there’s a difference between saluting and “worship.”

    I’d rather take the chance of cheering for the soldier knowing that he is representing all the people in the armed forces than not cheer worrying that this particular person might not be worthy. It seemed like a nice tribute considering that we still have many people in harm’s way.

    I also recognize that you shouldn’t cheer if you don’t feel moved to. It’s not like any one is forced to buy the cap, stand and applaud the soldier or even stand for the National Anthem.

    I do disagree with the “Not all solider line…” if used as a reason to not honor veterans or active duty soldiers.

    If people think there should be days or caps to honor other groups, be proactive about it. Start a petition drive or campaign and convince MLB that it is needed. That, to me, seems like a more positive way to go. (And I’d happily sign the petition for first responders and teachers.)

    A bunch of healthy men of military age who avoided service during wartime dressing up in soldier clothes to play a children’s game for money comes a hell of a lot closer to “worship” than to “tribute.” Any practicing Christian would recognize the strong whiff of idolatry in the air when “tribute” crosses over into self-aggrandizing fetishism as the Mets do with their soldier drag unis. This calf may be camo instead of golden, but it’s just as unholy.

    All the stuff teams like the Nats do to actually honor and sometimes even serve our servicemembers and veterans is commendable and should be praised. I’m often the first on my feet for a standing ovation when the military guests are announced at the ballpark. But the dress-up and drag and look-at-me commercialism of the military-themed uniforms has got to stop. It is not merely crass, it betrays core founding virtues of our republic. Rather than arguing the aesthetics of it, I just wish those who excuse the camo unis would read the Federalist Papers and take the principles therein to heart.

    Serendipitously for Nike, the lion’s tongue has been prominent in the KNVB crest for time immemorial:
    As in the coat of arms for the Netherlands itself, on which the KNVB crest is premised:

    House of Nassau has been using that swooshy tongue since the 1200s.

    I’m afraid that Nike may now take a tip from UW, and alter it further in the name of branding. Imagine, just the tongue conspicuously a different color.

    … or if they’re able to get it past whatever company takes over the Dutch brand after Nike, a la Reebok & the Denver Broncos, and the swooshes visible on the pants legs made when a player was crouching in a 3-point stance.

    Had to do a double take on the attribution for the Rams tape measure. I love that Keith Olbermann is a Uni-Watcher. (I assume that is the actual KO.)

    I remember them having it in the end zones in Anaheim Stadium in the 80s, even up until they moved to St. Louis.

    I recall seeing that particular LA Rams logo used in endzones in Tecmo Super Bowl (the original NES version used generic “Tecmo” endzones).

    according to creamer, it was used for a decade (mid-80s to mid-90s), and i recall seeing it quite a bit during that time…


    Those raspberries look damn good! The berries around these parts are out too but I haven’t been able to confiscate any as yet for my stomach.

    Be careful if you do, they can spread quickly – especially in a sunny spot. My folks had a big patch of raspberries (roughly 25′ x 8′) and it was a constant challenge to keep them from knocking the strawberries, rhubarb, leaf lettuce, etc out of the garden.

    Do you have any photos of Sneijder in the orange uniform or the other players in the blue uniform? Maybe the blue uniform has the ligarture but the orange doesn’t.

    The ligature thing reminded me of something I’ve noticed in the World Cup coverage.

    Mesut Ozil for Germany has his name spelled on his jersey as I have typed it. But, if the TV coverage puts up a graphic for him (if he is subbed, etc), it spells his last name Oezil.

    I don’t have any screen shots, but look for it in today’s semifinal.

    Anybody else notice this?

    I’d noticed this one, Doug. His name is more properly written Mesut Özil, but (certainly no expert in this one; I looked it up because I was curious) Oe is apparently an acceptable rendering of Ö for languages and typefaces that don’t have an umlauted O available.

    Why his jersey is rendered OZIL as opposed to ÖZIL or OEZIL, though, I have no idea.

    His jersey has link.

    Speaking of which, I appreciate that The New Yorker places an ümlaut over the second of two consecutive vowels, though the magazine’s copy editor pointed out that the link.

    Nice catch. I hadn’t gone looking for a photo, and was going off the original post, since I had no memory of seeing the back of his jersey when I watched US/Germany (the only game of theirs I was able to catch.)

    In that case, then, strike my second paragraph, and the rest stands as-is.

    “oe” is frequently employed to stand in for “o” with an umlaut over it, especially for us non-Teutonics who don’t have the faintest idea how to find an umlaut on their keyboard. To confuse matters more, many German names (especially South german names) feature “oe” as the correct formal version. Same sound.

    The Dutch “ij” only rarely appears as anything but “ij.” To pronounce, try making a sound that is 50% “eye” and 50% “eh.”

    Tune in tomorrow for Chaucerian orthography.

    The FIFA graphics (used for the starting lineups shown after the national anthems, the substitutions, and such) don’t use umlauts, diacritical marks, or accents. So on those, you’ll see “Oezil” instead of “Özil,” “Loew,” instead of “Löw,” “Juergen” instead of “Jürgen,” and so on.

    I’ve noticed some Hispanic teams including the first initial after the NOB. Don’t recall seeing this prior to this World Cup.

    The whole Costa Rica team does it, but I haven’t seen any other team do it. Côte d’Ivoire has first name after last name (i.e. “TOURÉ YAYA”), though.

    Colombia has the most variety in NOB formats:

    Last name: YEPES
    First initial, last name: C. ZÚÑIGA
    First name: JAMES
    First name, last initial: JACKSON M.
    Nickname: TEO

    Indeed. That was the Rams’ primary wordmark from ’84 until they moved. There’s really nothing particularly noteworthy about the tape measure, it just shows that the NFL has been putting its team logos on nearly every item imaginable for a few decades now.

    “Classic look coming to the St. Louis Blues”

    They need to go back further, but it’s a start.

    I’m not sure why they continue to use royal blue along navy blue. The contrast isn’t strong enough. Call me a reactionary: I wish they’d go back to the Garry Unger uniforms.

    The last blue design with the Rbk Edge piping did not age well. Flames, Sabers, Avs, and Preds are the only teams left with that awful piping. Back in ’07-08 there were 8 teams (Atl/Buf/Cal/Col/Edm/Fla/NSH/Stl)

    Now if only the Pens, Sens, and Caps would ditch their awkward side paneling.

    I’d have to figure that this new uniform set will knock the Blues up a few spots in the Uni Watch Power Rankings – assuming they formally debut them in time to qualify for the next ranking.

    Dropping the apron strings is a great thing! I wish the Avs would follow suit.

    the story about DeAngelo Hall giving up his seat to a potentially fake Marine is interesting as hell. The guy apparently has a lot of things out of order on his uniform, including wearing his “cover” (hat) indoors.

    Eww. Who would pretend to have served?

    I was at an AF2 game some years ago where the Army was recruiting, and giving out doodads, and the soldier offered me a lanyard with ARMY on it in black and yellow.

    I politely refused, because I looked old enough to have served a few stints, and didn’t want anyone thinking I had done so and given me the honor which goes along with it.

    I can imagine lots of rationales for impersonating an armed forces veteran. Get a store discount, pick up women, get favorable treatment in a job interview (some civil service jobs are reserved for, or give special treatment, to veterans), get adulation as a hero, cover up a dishonorable discharge or failure to complete basic training…all are sleazy and despicable, and some of those are criminal.

    There’s a video floating around online of an actual vet heckling an impostor on a college campus. He confronts the guy, then rattles off about 6 different things wrong with his uniform – then campus police come and take away the real vet. Sigh.

    “There was an attempt last year to criminize all of them, but it was struck down by the Supremes.


    Diana Ross is such a bitch…

    The Eagles did wear that striped jersey with their white helmets in 1969. link

    Even though the only photo they used was blurry what’s supposed to be Roger Staubach in the middle looks more like Joe Namath.

    I have seen several LA Rams things that have that logo. They must have done it for a while.

    Chris Creamer’s site isn’t always strictly accurate with the dates, but link as 1984-1994.

    Always loved that. Maybe we’ll see it make a return; it still works.

    You’d never see a team name rendered in all-lowercase lettering nowadays.

    More’s the pity. Toward the bitter end, the Expos pulled the plug on their timeless expansion-era uniforms, in favor of something pinstriped and plain. It reflected the passing of the torch from 1960s-70s design (European and geometric) to 1990s-2000s
    design (aggressive and mascot-oriented).

    I wouldn’t call link “aggressive and mascot oriented. Most of the early 90s MLB uniforms and logos were trying to go for the “retro” look that Camden Yards ushered in.

    The Washington NHL team still uses lower-case for their team name wordmarks, right?

    Exactly. Both the primary logo on the jerseys and the lesser-used “caps” are all lowercase.

    The 1960s-70s uni aesthetic was of a piece with the ’60s-’70s ballpark aesthetic. Whatever its occasional charms, it was by & large disastrous, worse even than an aesthetic dead-end–it was fundamentally anti-aesthetic, ultimately concerned with spiting and inverting the groundlings’ notions of “attractive,” “useful,” or “enjoyable.” Extirpating its traces from MLB was, and is, a worthy & necessary act of aesthetic hygiene.

    Objectively, I think you’re right: Subjectively, this was the era of my childhood, and of the creation of my aesthetic sweet spot. As I like to lecture my curmudgeonly friends who rage about the state of sports/automobile design/popular music, “if you’d like to know what is right about it, ask a twelve-year-old kid.”

    “New Era and Spike Lee are teaming up on a mini collection of red New York Yankees caps.”

    Except that the Yankees don’t wear red caps unless forced to do so by MLB’s latest cash-grab scheme. Stupid look, which means that they’ll make a gazillion dollars off it because there are enough morons out there who will buy them.

    I’m afraid I disagree. They’re like pop art. As long as the team doesn’t wear them on the field, no harm.

    funny MJ story. I always think Jordans are Nikes. But is the correct brand Jumpman ?

    Brand is Jordan, the logo is Jumpman.

    The brand’s owned by Nike Inc., but the product development, etc are done separately. It’s treated like other brands owned by Nike, like Hurley and Converse, and Cole Haan in the past.

    Do those raspberries actually taste good, or do they taste more like random fruit growing in your yard (i.e. not very sweet)?

    So the link after some racist-y tweets from a past life surfaced. Which is, like, whatever. Snyder and crew are really bad at this stuff.

    The interesting part is that in his past life, the blogger was responsible for the George Allen “macaca” video.

    Did you ever see that mockumentary about the London Olympics organizing committee, with the Downton Abbey guy? It was a six or eight episode program in the UK.

    Everything they did went as wrong as it possibly could: they were abject incompetents, complete disasters. There was not a thing they touched that did not end up causing massive problems, enormous embarrassment.

    Sometimes it feels like Daniel Snyder is making the US version of that show.

    link? That sounds amazing. I need to watch it.

    That, for all of Snyder’s bumbling, he owns one of the most lucrative sports properties in the world speaks to the power of the NFL. It seems utterly impossible to lose money owning a pro football team.

    Also, the ‘Skins name controversy (and yet another bad potato joke) link, so hooray political correctness run amok!

    The Dodgers have pretty much stopped wearing their primary road grays (from Jim Carlisle).

    No great loss. The fact that there’s an “LA” on the cap and the sleeve to reference the “Los Angeles” on the front is overkill. It would make more sense with the Dodger “D” as a hat monogram. Can we have a moratorium on sleeve patches?

    Is it just me, or does Bart Starr look more like he’s bowling than like he’s throwing a lateral?

    I had the same book as a kid, and I was always puzzled by the pose. I could never figure out who threw a football like that, until I got into playing football and realized it was, as we called it “the referee throw.”

    Even as I go to high school and college games now it reminds me of the cover every time an official underhands a spiral to another official to spot the ball.

    Haha…I guess the bowling follow through never stuck in my memory. It was the ref’s throws that reminded me of the book, not vice versa.

    Was it just me, or did anyone else see the red helmets in the upper left corner of the Oregon equipment video at about 25 or 26 seconds in?

    I’m an Oregon alumnus and one day I was lucky enough to tour the equipment room. They have a collection of helmets from all over the Pac-12 and all over the country. I think maybe the equipment managers swap helmets with other schools, kind of as a sign of goodwill, like how soccer players trade shirts after a match. However, they had a lot of helmets from teams I know we’ve never played, like I remember them having one of the Army digital-camo helmets, and you can see a Seahawks helmet earlier in the video.

    That postcard would be of “Anaheim Stadium,” not “Angels Stadium.”

    (I think nitpicking is OK here, right?)

    I’ll join the nitpicking, wish they never enclosed that stadium (wasn’t it referred to as “the big A”?). As a kid I loved that structure above the scoreboard.

    Yes it was. And on the rare clear day after a Santa Ana wind, the big A itself was visible for an incredible distance.

    I like wedding band stories. David Carr taped over his wedding band while with the Texans, and it was seen as a romantic gesture, until Texans fans decided they hated him. Then it was just one more reason he was a loser.

    My company handles a lot of fairly caustic chemicals, and every time I was exposed to them, my wedding band got totally chewed up. I got a pair of those rubber rings that were advertised here several months ago – they’re great. Impervious to damage, easy to clean up when you’ve been dealing with mucky stuff, and, weirdly, a conversation piece (“That’s such an unusual band! Is it onyx?” “No, it’s rubber.”) I’ve taken to calling it a “Fireman’s Band” because people seem to like thinking about noble monogamous firemen, honoring their wedding vows whilst being practical, and explaining to folks that you commemorate the most important relationship in your life with a $19 hunk of rubber is sort of creepy.

    Here’s a wedding band story for you, Cort. My late father-in-law grew up as a dirt farmer in Nebraska & Wyoming before joining the Army and fighting in the Korean War, from which he brought home a Japanese bride. One of his early jobs after returning from Korea was working on an oil rig as a roustabout (I think). He wore his wedding band while doing so. One day he slipped, and as he was starting to plummet off the rig he grabbed onto it with his left hand to stop his fall. Well, he managed to hang onto the rig, but neither his wedding band nor his ring finger did.

    When my wife was in grade school she asked her dad where his ring finger had disappeared to, and he said her mom had chopped it off with a butcher knife during an argument. The next day the school’s front office called her mother and asked, “Is everything OK in your household? We’ve heard something from your daughter that’s caused us a bit of concern.”

    “Commemorate the most important relationship in your life with a $19 hunk of rubber” is the quote of the day!

    I frequently take my wedding ring off, especially when I’m painting or working with anything that can damage/scratch the ring. When my wife & I exchanged rings at our wedding, they were “a symbol of our love”, so even I’m still married even when not wearing my ring. ;-)

    My brother, on the other hand, has never removed his ring since his wedding day. Personal preference dictates your ring wearing habits.

    Scott’s father-in-law was “degloved”: “When a person is wearing a ring and the hand is moving very fast in a particular direction, and the ring gets caught by a sudden stopping force, a ring avulsion injury occurs.”


    Curiously enough, during the Korean War he also lost half a pinkie (opposite hand) in a degloving incident. The circumstances were much more mundane, though – while changing the tire on a jeep, the jack gave way and the tire landed on it.

    I take my ring off when I’m packing burgers (not a euphemism). For those fleeting moments when I’m preparing for a cookout, I’m single, free and swinging.

    Thanks, guys — this has made my day!

    Missing finger stories are great, too. My grandfather lost most of one of his pinky fingers, working in the Wurlitzer jukebox plant. That mangled digit was a source of endless macabre childhood wonder.

    Any parent who has not told his children an outrageous story, which when shared with a teacher, pastor or other responsible adult resulted in embarrassment verging on Deep Family Shame, has denied his progeny a valuable learning experience.

    “I take my ring off when I’m packing burgers” sounds like the opening line to a one of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s more disturbing songs about Love Gone Wrong.

    Why not? What’s another memorial patch? Didn’t they have one for Doris from Rego Park?

    I’m jealous of the amount of raspberries you’re getting! I have to fight the ants, birds and squirrels on my bush to get a handful every day. I don’t get much sun though so mine don’t fruit again in the fall.


    Top Dutch football team Feyenoord were called Feijenoord until 1973 when the name was changed to suit non-Dutch speaking sensibilities.

    How many of the Dutch actually speak Dutch anymore? It seems like it’s less the national language than a quaint anachronism. Or something that the Dutch version of UKIP considers sacred and sufficiently Dutchy.

    If I’m not mistaken, the Dutch ligature “IJ” is so strongly thought of as a single letter that they’re both capitalized at the start of a name or sentence: e.g., IJland “island.” If so, that strengthens the case for treating them as a single glyph on the backs of unis.

    Thomas MÏ‹ller on Germany has “MÏ‹ller” on his jersey, but FIFA spells it “Mueller”. Same with JÏ‹rgen/Juergen Klinsmann.

    Wore the Adidas Gerd Muller Goal shoes back in the day- quite excellent.

    So when is the WC over, exactly?

    The big Midwest grocery chain ‘Meijer’ should use the combined ‘ij’ since it’s is pronounced ‘Meyer’. My high school latin teacher’s surname was Meyer and told us how the origin of his ‘y’ would have originally been the combined ‘ij’, but his ancestors combined it at Ellis Island.

    I think I pronounced it like “major” the one time I was in Chicago for 3 months. Boy, do I feel dumb now.

    Nah… I know folks who exclusively call it “Mi-Jerr” just to be funny. You can always try to say that’s what you were doing. You’re golden.

    IJ can be written any of three ways and 99% of the time makes the same sound no matter the format. In the Netherlands you will see two stores next to each other that do it differently. On vertical signs, sometimes the ij will be next to each other and sometimes the i will be above and the j below. Often for international markets, the ij will be combined into a y so that non-Dutch speakers can make sense of it.

    I bought a LA Rams pennant at Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Museum specificaly because I loved how they interlocked the LA with the RA in Rams. I would have bought more of there merch if I would have seen it in the Midwest.

    Hey guys, I get it, and agree not all military are heroes nor are all heroes from the military. That being said, members of the armed forces are making a huge sacrifice by joining. While surely nobody does it to get recognized, it is nice to be recognized and appreciated. If major sports choose to recognize us, so be it. I do think many of their designs have been ugly, this years Independence Day caps taking the cake, but I still appreciate it.

    One can make the same arguments over celebrating any organization, that some people in it may be scum. In the military, we do have scum. We do our best to root them out, nobody wants a toxic person like that around. The majority of the military is not scum, and nearly everyone in the military has made some sacrifices to be away from their friends and family for very long periods of time on deployments, and most don’t get stationed near their home while not deployed. Some people even end up paying the ultimate sacrifice. These things just don’t happen with most 9-5 jobs back home. Because of that, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to celebrate our military. In fact, I’m wondering when they will stop doing only camo, primarily a Marines and Army thing, and do something NWU camo for the Navy.

    I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to celebrate our military.

    Reasonable people can disagree on that — it’s certainly a defensible point.

    What’s less defensible is the repeated celebration of ONLY the military, over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. That’s not promoting well-rounded civic virtue; that’s a relentless campaign of political messaging that elevates a certain class above others while pandering to cheap Band-Aid patriotism. It’s wrong, and I’ll keep pushing back against it as long as it keeps occurring.

    “What’s less defensible is the repeated celebration of ONLY the military, over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society.”

    Not only is this redundant, it is factually untrue. MLB, NFL, and the NBA frequently pander to “other sectors of society.”
    And, I agree, less pandering is good.

    My issue with this is that every patriotic holiday becomes an excuse to celebrate the military. Two problems arise from this: 1) many people think you’re unpatriotic if you have any sort of problem with any aspect of the military, be it the bad apples you mention, defense contracts, “illegal” wars, etc.; and 2) on the fourth of July, which isn’t a military appreciation holiday in the same vein as Veterans Day or Memorial Day, they’re celebrated as the only thing about this country that makes it awesome. I’m not disputing the sacrifice they and their families make–Lord knows I wouldn’t care to be in the shoes of the servicemen and women or their spouses that I see posting on Facebook–but there are plenty of other folks worth celebrating, too. Teachers, scientists, doctors, etc. all do their fair share, so it seems disingenuous to me to cop out and only celebrate the military. Let’s be honest–between all the commercials, Facebook & blog posts, TV news shows, TV “news” shows, and the like, I don’t think anyone is going to be forgetting servicemen and women any time soon.

    I definitely understand, and to an extent, agree with your point, celebrating the military could not be such a good thing to some. Obviously, I’m biased in favor of the military. That being said, by no means am I a far right wing Republican. I often find my own views conflict with the direction of our military. That being said, the profession fits me well, and I truly enjoy what I do.

    As far as celebrating only the military, I can’t say I agree that sports only honors the military. I haven’t been to any sports games in a long while (due to being away in the military), but I do remember that they had teacher appreciation games, fire/police appreciation games etc. Further, I’d much rather have a military appreciation day than a Star Wars or Spiderman appreciation day. While the point of these games is questionable, as they seem to be more about selling another cap and jersey, it is still in line with a common thread for all of us, America. I’d even be all for a complete lack of camo and return to just Stars and Stripes, like the program originally started off as (as long as the caps aren’t as junky as this year’s).

    I just think it is important for people to remember, the ones touting the military are not the ones in the military, and it comes off as people hating on the military because others celebrate them. The majority of the armed forces are 19-21 years old, and many of them came from families that couldn’t afford to send their kids off to college or endow them with money. It is very rare to see kids join from wealthy families. These kids could just as easily worked at their local retail store or struggled through community college, but they were courageous enough to join, entering the unknown and at times truly dangerous, so they could better their lives. That is something truly honorable.

    I’d be all for teacher, scientist and doctor appreciation day. Trust me, someone will have a problem with those days as well. It sounds like the only way to make everyone happy is to have no appreciation days and just play the game. I don’t see that ever happening. Maybe it’s too easy, but patriotism does appeal to most people, and apparently to the major sports leagues, patriotism and honoring the military are one and the same. I don’t see why that is such a bad thing.

    The fact that disgreement with these promotions could ever possibly be misconstrued as “people hating on the military” is precisely why they’re so dangerous in the first place.

    When military appreciation is involved, there’s a sense of “with us or against us”.

    apparently to the major sports leagues, patriotism and honoring the military are one and the same. I don’t see why that is such a bad thing.

    That strikes me as a VERY bad thing.

    Your comments are generally well-reasoned and thoughtful — thank you for sharing them.

    I guess what I’m looking for is an alternative. It’s easy to spot a problem. Anyone can present problems, but solutions are key. Besides removing all military appreciation days, as well as any other appreciation days, what would be a good compromise? What would be a good solution to minimize offending others and maximize honoring heroes (military and otherwise)? It’s not that I think that honoring the military is the only way to be patriotic, it’s actually a cop out and way too easy. I’m just saying that it isn’t a bad one in the sense that there are far worse ways to be patriotic.

    there are far worse ways to be patriotic

    Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree there. This is a pretty awful one. Mixing jingosim and commercialism is toxic to our society.

    I think if you’re looking for a solution, let’s start with removing all “military appreciation” uniforms. If people want to wear camo, let ’em enlist. And let’s also eliminate all profiteering off the military; no more special Stars n’ Stripes merchandise.

    Donations to military causes, sure. So long as we donate to police memorial funds and teacher commemoration funds and the like. But no more elevating the military over other service fields, and no more raking in the dough in their name.

    Unfortunately, the realm of sports seems to deal with every worthy cause by pandering. Fans looking for nuance will be frustrated. The tipping point for me was when “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” became supplanted by “God Bless America”.

    The closest parallel I can draw is when President Kennedy got shot, and the country compensated by naming every highway, school and courthouse after JFK for the remainder of the ’60s. If solutions are what we’re after, let’s try itemizing every custom at a baseball game begun in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and striking out half of them. I’m aware, as terriblehuman notes, discussing the military inflames passions, and folks on both sides of the story can feel threatened. This does a disservice to people who have served their country, because it reduces them to caricature.

    The good news for Brazil is that they’re wearing their usual blue shorts.

    WTF? I go into a meeting, get some productive work done and then see that startling score. Yikes. Although I do hope Argentina shatters Germany’s new record tomorrow.

    The bad news is they have to turn out in public again on Saturday for the third place match.

    Lucky Neymar. He gets to break his vertebrae and sit out the consolation match.

    Last time they were embarrassed at a home world cup, they switched their look entirely (and that was just a 2-1 loss in the final). Could it happen again?

    At the very least, I sincerely hope this severely curbs the instances of people using the platitude “Brazil’s iconic yellow and blue kit”:

    Person A – “Why aren’t Brazil wearing their iconic yellow and blue kit?”
    Person B – “What? You mean that kit that they were wearing when humiliated 7-1 by Germany?”
    Person A – “Oh yeah.”

    They did better in yellow jersey and white shorts, so maybe that will be the new look.

    So today’s uniform match up (as well as numerous others in this tournament) contradict everything you were arguing last week, that the FIFA requested changes are for the refs, yet you’re still in here talking shit? Brilliant.

    And if Brazil want to change their kit after that debacle, more power to them, so long as FIFA isn’t telling them what to wear as their first choice, I couldn’t care less. It would be unfortunate in my opinion, and a bit lame to be that superstitious, but whatever…

    Oh come on! It did not contradict everything I said. Brazil, as the light team, had lighter shorts than Germany whose dark shorts were black. Had their dark shorts been blue – like Colombia and Chile – then Brazil would have worn white shorts again. It’s as simple as that. I said that in the event of a visual clash, it makes sense that the team already going with a lighter jersey should match that with the lighter shorts. Last night’s game was completely consistent with that position.

    Once again, your pigheaded desire to blame FIFA for all the world’s ills has you grasping desperately at straws.

    And just to clarify, my comment wasn’t directed at you but rather the whole culture of unconditional adoration for Brazilian football which manifests itself in such platitudes and cliches. I’m glad that last night happened because it’s going to dissipate a lot of that saccharine, unctuously romantic haze.

    “I’m glad that last night happened because it’s going to dissipate a lot of that saccharine, unctuously romantic haze.”

    We can agree on that.

    I’d be all for removing the profiteering and donating equally to causes. That sounds fair to me. I also agree that sports panders.

    New question, what about military color guard presenting the colors during the national anthem? The lyrics of the song reference an actual battle (1814, Battle of Fort McHenry, where we beat the Brits, yet still set the tune of the song to an old British song), so it seems appropriate to have the military conduct this part of the sporting event. Does this need to go too? What about military flyovers? What about things like where San Diego hosts the newly graduated USMC boot camp grads by having them in the nosebleeds for part of the game? Just curious where the line gets drawn.

    I’m all for providing free tickets to active duty service members. I’d even like to see Denver teams do the same for AFA cadets. Color guards and national anthem are fine too. Charitable donations for military and first responders are great ideas as many of those people have made major sacrifices for the common good and yet still face serious adversity. I’d draw the line there and even omit mad scientist inventors day as the other fields that have been mentioned don’t have the same ratio of risk to tangible reward.

    I could see scrapping flyovers just for budgetary reasons.

    I’m for ending all the crossover merchandise in the big leagues, be it camo, stars-and-stripes, disease-of-the-week, popular political campaign, star wars, spiderman, whatever. Throwbacks and fauxbacks are ok. If minor leagues want to do crossovers, have at it.

    Brazil: yellow shirts for the sun; green trim for the forests; blue shorts for the sea; and white socks to indicate surrender..

    Watching the Padres at Rockies on

    You know, the Padres road uniform is dull but if the navy and white was exchanged for brown and yellow it would look fabulous.

    There is nothing good to say about the Rockies in their black vests.

    Also of note, the play by play man on the Rockies TV broadcast alows for long periods of silence. This is wonderful and a revelation. In Seattle, thy never stop talking.

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