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We Interrupt This Blog for a Cookie Break


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One of the happiest days of December here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of a package from longtime reader/baker Elena Elms, who always sends me an assortment of uni-themed holiday cookies. This year, as you can see above, she chose to honor Derek Jeter. Having spent the past two decades rooting hard against Jeter and his team, I’ll be biting into these cookies with extra gusto.

But wait, there’s more. This year, for the first time, Elena included something for Uni Watch mascots Tucker and Caitlin — a pair of hand-sewn Jeter jersey catnip toys (click to enlarge):

catnip fronts

catnip backs

These were a big, big hit with their target audience. Tucker and Caitlin could tell there was something for them in the box before I even opened it, and I had a hard time keeping them away from the catnip toys long enough to photograph them. (I pretty much had one hand holding the camera and used the other to try to keep the kitties at bay.) Once I got the photos, I put the toys down on the floor, where — well, see for yourself:

I enjoy thinking that the catnip jerseys are functioning like voodoo dolls, and that Derek Jeter is even now feeling the kitties’ cold, wet sandpaper tongues against his body. Squirm, Derek! The only question now is whether I can sell the “game-used” catnip toys to Jeter’s auction house, Steiner Sports. (Kidding. Mostly.)

Thanks so much for your generosity and thoughtfulness, Elena — you’re the best.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Dave Boss alert! Never seen this Jets poster before. These Chargers and Bills posters are new to me, too — wow! This last one isn’t Boss, but you can’t beat the style and contemporary graphics of this Oilers poster, either.

You say you want more than just posters? Okay, then — here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:

• Big lot of Bengals stickers, patches, etc. The seller also has similar sets for the Niners, Vikes, Seahawks, and Falcons. Good stocking stuffers!

• We all know it doesn’t get much better NFL gear-wise than Sears from the 1970s, and this is Exhibit 1-A: Cool Sears Chicago Bears varsity jacket, with matching gloves. Had one of these in Bengals style, as I recall.

• Lowest price I’ve seen for the complete set of 1970s NFL Chiquita helmet stickers. These won’t last long.

• Interesting-looking 1973 Mets World Series pin, shaped like a desktop globe.

• Do you think any team these days would go with a logo as simple and goofy the 1960s Cincinnati Royals logo shown on this set of four bar glasses?

• We’ve featured 1970s NFL switchplates before, but I’ve never seen this pose or these KC Chiefs graphics before.

• Here’s a set of four vintage 1970s MLB bumper stickers for assorted teams (plus a 1971 game program thrown in for good measure).

• First time I’ve seen the classic 1970s Placo brand helmet plaque with the red Bills helmet.

• Check out the psychedelic cover art on this 1973 Detroit Tigers yearbook. “The Champions of the East.” And I owned this 1973 Reds yearbook — I’d buy these the first day they came out, usually at the “580 Building” Reds gift shop near Fountain Square.

• And we wrap up this week with some vintage NFL Helmet Buggys. We’ve got the Stillers right here, and that same seller also has the Pats and Giants.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: “Bob Locker pitched for Oakland in 1972 but was traded to the Cubs in November for Bill North,” says Jonathan Daniel. “Topps didn’t have a photo of him for their 1973 release so they did their usual airbrush job, but check out the center fielder. Topps invented a new Cubs uni with a huge logo on the chest.” … Minor League Baseball now has an official wine sponsor (from David Teigland). … Jim Walaitis sent in this really nice hand-stitched St. Louis Cardinals Christmas ornament made by the mother of a friend. … The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are holding a batting practice jersey design contest (from Jeff Ash).

NFL News: Seattle Seahawks DB Earl Thomas exchanged jerseys with Chris Maragos of the Eagles following Sunday’s game (thanks, Paul). … Reader Alex Allen got this great NFL uniform print for his birthday from his wife.

College and High School Football News: The TCU Horned Frogs wore a helmet sticker for the late Jim Swink during their victory over Iowa State. … Army is wearing black on black for the game against Navy this Saturday, and Navy is wearing a custom uniform inspired by the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag (thanks, Phil). … Virginia Tech is wearing flag-themed helmets at the Military Bowl (from Andrew Cosentino). … Readers Ryan Knarr and Tim Brulia both sent in this story about the Pennsylvania high school football state semi-finals. It was a neutral-site game in Altoona, and both teams — Bishop McDevitt and Central Valley — were under the assumption they would be visitors on the scoreboard, so both brought their white jerseys. The PIAA wouldn’t allow a white vs. white game, so McDevitt played the first half in Altoona’s maroon jerseys, which were readily available because they were playing in Altoona’s stadium. McDevitt’s home blue uniforms arrived during the first half, and they switched tops at intermission.

Hockey News: Spy vs. Spy: Here is a spy picture of the upcoming San Jose Sharks uniform for the 2015 NHL Stadium Series (thanks, Paul). … “Check out the Gunzo’s logo on Denis Savard’s jersey. “Gunzo’s is a hockey supply store in Chicago and Morton Grove, Illinois,” explains Matt DeLeon.

Soccer News: The 2015 MLS match ball comes with the league crest in club colors (from Todd Gaines). … The rest from Yusuke Toyoda: Nigeria’s national team has been dropped by Adidas over alleged breaches of contract. … The T-shirt celebrating Los Angeles Galaxy’s fifth MLS Cup title looks awfully similar to the one for Germany’s fifth World Cup title. … Normally in soccer, the captain’s armband doesn’t change hands (or arms, rather) unless the captain comes out of the game. But Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s primary captain, started a few recent matches on the bench, resulting in the unusual sight of the player who started the game as captain handing over the armband without being subbed out.

NBA News: It’s spreading: Several Cleveland and Brooklyn players, including LeBron James, wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts while warming up for last night’s Cavs/Nets game at the Barclays Center. Both teams’ coaches said they were in favor of the move, and there’s been no indication that anyone will be penalized by the league for not wearing official shooting shirts.

College Hoops News: Reader Gregory Koch sent in this tweet from the UConn Trademark representative that implies that the UConn basketball team may wear throwbacks at some point, but not this year. … Illinois will debut new silver uniforms on tonight against Villanova.

Grab Bag: Belgian cycling team Omega Pharma-Quick Step becomes Etixx-Quick Step for 2015. This is a picture of the new kit (from Sean Clancy).

Comments (100)

    We’ve featured 1970s NFL switchplates before, but I’ve never seen this pose or these KC Chiefs graphics before.

    I can’t pinpoint dates for it’s original usage, but that Chiefs wordmark was also used on retro-styled mini-pennants in the mid 80’s: link I had a full set from 1987 as a kid. Stupidly, I didn’t take them with me when I moved out.

    I’m pretty sure during the Astroturf era Arrowhead Stadium used the all-minuscule wordmark inside yellow end zones. No pictures, but it was kinda hard on the eyes.

    That was the original Chiefs word mark (when the NFL introduced them in the 70s). Most teams have changed since then; the ones that have stayed the same are the Cowboys, Washington, Bears, Packers, Saints, Bills, Colts and Raiders.

    You can see that the Saints had a minor change – lost the dot over the i – and I understand the Bills tweaked their wordmark a couple years ago but that’s not reflected on my graphic.

    I’m really not the biggest soccer guy, but that soccer video was fascinating. I don’t think the new ball is actually CLUB colors, or at least the article and video didn’t say that, but the seven minute video left me wanting more. I’d love to see more about the design and manufacture of the ball. Good catch!

    All the balls have the same general design, but it looks like the league crested printed on the ball will be in link.

    +1. I suspect that just the MLS crest on the ball will be in team colors. Still, it’s pretty much the first post-Telstar soccer ball that I really like the look of.

    Somehow I doubt even that the MLS crest will be in team colours. There doesn’t seem to be anything suggesting that they won’t all be just red, white and blue like in the link. As for the look, it’s nice enough in the promo shots and the video, but from what I’ve seen of that design actually on field so far it looks rather unimpressive to me.

    Ah, thanks for that. It was a little misleading having that info in the ticker but not actually in the link.

    I don’t know if we can draw from that the league will ever use the ball in team colors. Here’s the product description from that site:

    Exclusive to, this ball features the new MLS logo in the club’s official colors. Club MLS colored logo is applied over the standard MLS official league logo that is already applied to ball.

    So basically, they take stock MLS balls and put team stickers over the league logo. Doesn’t sound very official to me. Then again, the World Cup ball was stock with “Brazil 2014” stickers on it, so anything’s possible.

    “I want people to take the ‘I can’t breathe’ message seriously. We better print it in comic sans.”

    I don’t know why the Cavs haven’t come out with a Comic Sans alt jersey.

    That said, the “I can’t breathe” t-shirts were supplied by Jay-Z. A surprising choice by a guy who’s all about high-end brands and watching the throne and such.

    The Sears NFL varsity jackets were the best for playing football in! The ball would “stick” to the sleeves so catching was breeze. And they were heavy enough it was like wearing pads!

    Those pleather sleeves were drone to cracking (at least that was my experience; I went through 2 Philadelphia NFL team jackets in that style…outworn before outgrown).
    I had those gloves too…if you used them to play in the snow, within minutes it was like wearing sponges on your hands.

    I am really thrilled that my tax dollars are going to pay for new costumes for Navy football. I couldn’t think of a better use. Maybe they will post pictures of the unis in VA hospitals to entertain the patients while they wait, and wait, and wait, for treatment.

    You do realize that schools usually receive money from the uniform manufacturers to wear their brands, right?

    These uniforms are almost definitely gifted to the athletic program from Under Armour, no tax dollars at work here.

    “I am really thrilled that my tax dollars are going to pay for new costumes for Navy football.”


    Already mentioned by Rob S. but UnderArmour and Navy signed a deal in late 2013 for UA to be their official outfitter across all sports.

    Pretty sure those costumes aren’t costing you a dime.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with your sentiment that more money could and should be spent in VA Hospitals (and it should), but the money for the new unis ain’t being taken away from Bob Wilson, or Walter Reed or any other facility.

    I understand that point (now), but think about all of the time and effort that goes into each uni set on the part of the Naval Academy: Meetings with UA; reviews by committees; fittings; PR people spending time; etc. All of that costs money as well.

    The large point is that I would rather have the government spend my money on VA hospitals, or equipment for soldiers in the field, or on fixing up housing at bases, than on tweeting out pictures of unis. It seems kind of frivolous when there are larger issues.

    Of course, but “the government” is not some monolithic entity.

    The people responsible for “VA hospitals, or equipment for soldiers in the field, or on fixing up housing at bases” are not the same people who design uniforms for the academy teams, or who run those teams’ Twitter accounts.

    We should focus on the real problems with Navy uniforms: The uniforms of the actual serving Navy. We now dress our sailors at sea in blue camouflage. Or, to be clear, we require our sailors to wear uniforms designed to make them blend into the ocean if they go overboard. It’s roughly the equivalent of requiring hunters to wear only light tan with white spots.

    Or to quote the actual secretary of the United States Navy last year from a US News report:

    “The Navy ‘blueberries’ — I don’t know what the name is, that’s what sailors call them — the great camouflage it gives is if you fall overboard,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at a Thursday meeting with reporters. Mabus points to what has become a macabre joke among sailors, highlighting the dangers of a shipmate falling into the sea wearing a sea-colored uniform.

    We spent at least $10 million, probably quite a bit more, developing the Navy’s ocean-colored camo uniforms.

    Not a statistic the Navy seems to publish in any accessible format. But it appears to be between 5-20 per year. In any event, the blueberry uni is not a combat uniform, it’s a work uniform. So the camo is purely decorative and serves no martial purpose. Some admirals seems to have thought that a distinctive camo pattern would give the Navy a better brand identity. Which is also the reason why each service has its own camo patterns, rather than the Defense Department just figuring out what one pattern actually works best and everyone wearing that.

    One of the oddities of the NHL of the 1980s was that a few teams not only had the jersey manufacturer’s logos on the tail, but also the name of the pro shop that did the cresting. Chicago was one of the first, along with New Jersey (which featured the link).

    For whatever reason, the practice died out by the 1990-91 season, which was also when the NHL added their shield next to the CCM logo on the tail.

    As mentioned, the few teams that had this on the tail indicated the sporting goods store that customized the sweaters for them. Pretty sure they received them with the crest in place, but the names and numbers would have to be added, particularly for the guys that split their time between the AHL team and the parent club.

    The Red Wings used East Side Sporting Goods for their repairs and tailoring, and you’ll see “EAST SIDE” in the same place as Gunzo’s from the same era (and no, it wasn’t instructions on how to put the sweater on). The Pistons used East Side as well; don’t see the name on the tail as much, but it explains why, during the Bad Boys era, the names on the back of the warm-ups was the same vertically arched font as the Wings have had for years.

    It *can* also refer to the application of team insignia as well, but for professional teams, standard insignia (front and shoulder logos) are normally done by the manufacturer.

    Lebron James also gave customized Cavs jerseys to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last night after the game.


    It was nice to have a white-at-home NHL game last night, as the Rangers wore white so that the Penguins could wear their throwback thirds at MSG.

    It’s still somewhat annoying, though, that the Pens are using the wrong number style on their helmets when they change up the decals for their third-jersey games. The helmet numbers ought to be Pittsburgh gold with white outlines (as the numbers on the back of the jerseys are). The style they’re using on the helmets would fit better with the 1996-2002 third-turned-road jerseys.

    Though, I just looked up footage of the last time the Pens wore the gold-sleeved jerseys before reintroducing them this season – namely, Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. Turns out that back then, the numbers (which were just on the back of the helmet) were link on the black helmets. They look like pretty generic numbers, too (probably something similar to the Impact typeface).

    Here’s a better look at a Gunzo logo on a 1987-88 Chicago jersey:

    And a Gunzo label from a 82-83 Chicago jersey:

    and a late 60’s jersey:

    I’m skeptical that those old AFL posters in Collector’s Corner really are Dave Boss posters. They just don’t seem as polished as the NFL set. Might be knockoffs.

    There looks to be a signature on the bottom above YORK JETS that looks like Dan or Dave with a last name beginning with S (Stewart?)

    The Bills seems to have a signature below the sacker’s belt.

    These posters were supposed to make teams look good. I thought it odd that the image they chose for my Bills was of the offensive line breaking down and our quarterback getting sacked. Yeah…Go Bills. Woo-hoo.

    That high school jersey thing with the one team borrowing the host’s jerseys had to have been an absolute nightmare for the press box.

    I’m assuming size differences meant that few or no players were wearing the same number they usually wear. If you’re using a computer program like The Automated Scorebook for stats, you have to go in and change that number for everyone. Not to mention, a lot of high schools probably don’t have a copier or printer in their box, so everyone who needs the right roster (PA man, stats, spotters, etc.) pretty much has to take down the changes by hand.

    Then, they switch back into their regular tops at halftime. Hope they let the stats guy know, because he then has to change all those numbers back.

    I know the team probably wanted to wear “their stuff,” but man, what a logistical nightmare for the guys in the booth.

    Were this a regular season game, I would tend to agree with you. But with this being a state Class AAA semi-final at Mansion Park, a venue heavily used for such occasions through the years (including PIAA State Championships), I would strongly believe the PIAA had off-field officials coordinating communications with both teams as well as spotters, student stats keepers, the P.A. announcer and the like.

    And from all indications, Plan B went off with hardly a hitch.

    Just curious about any thoughts on VT wearing their flag helmet at the Military Bowl. Seems like, if you usually don’t like those elements on a uniform, this is the one time you might change your mind. I see it as being somewhat similar to wearing a rose patch for the Rose Bowl while at the same time honoring the military. I just wish that both VT and Cinn were doing so…seems strange for only one team to do it.

    I would think if you are going to do one of the extra elements for the Military Bowl it would be the multicam pattern they wore at some point. If it was the America bowl sure knock yourself out with S&S.

    For one thing it’s not “Think Charitably about the Military – the troops, their families and that sort of thing – Bowl” it’s the “Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman” aka “Military Industrial Complex Bowl”. By your logic it would make sense for players in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to wear Sombreros.

    And they do that because it’s standard practice at these things to tack on a token charity. It doesn’t mitigate the fact that all the patriotic chest thumping is primarily going to benefit war profiteers.

    link on Taylor University of Indiana’s annual “Silent Night” basketball tradition. The gist of it: on the last basketball game before finals week in December, students remain silent until Taylor scores its tenth point of the game, at which point the fans let loose with a ruckus befitting a championship celebration. Lots of creative attire on the student’s part.

    I looked up “winter colors” years ago and found brown, green and dark yellow together. I thought those would be good on a jersey if used properly (green/gold with brown trim, brown/gold with green trim).

    Brown can be made by adding all three primary colors – red, blue and yellow – or easier to look at it, orange with a little blue, or red with a little green. Personally, a dark orange is a shade of brown, and burgundy is a few yellow drops away.

    The Minnesota Wild is just a twerk away from gold, green and brown…as is the Uni Watch logo.

    Pretty sure you mean tweak, not twerk. Either that or you’ve stumbled upon an aspect of uniform design I hadn’t previously been aware of.

    Good Morning –

    Alex Allen’s print is beautiful. Does anyone know where it came from – I’d love to get one.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays.

    Hi David

    My wife bought it Hobby Lobby. According to their website, 600 locations across the nation.

    It was a little marked up but she said they were all that way.

    Glad you liked it. I know I do.

    In my experience, they regularly have sales for up to half off, so if you happen to find it, wait a few weeks and you’ll save some $$$.

    Buckeyes have special unis for the playoff…


    End of the article says the other schools are also getting new looks.

    Yes, great news for the traditionalists like me who have been wishing and hoping the gray sleeves came back. Now if they would only wear these for good in the future.

    I’m glad someone noticed! The university uses the logo to create seasonal banners and signs in Morgantown. In the spring, multiple uses of the logo are used to create flowers; and I know there are summer and fall themes, too, but I cannot remember what they are.

    I travel to Morgantown often – I’ll keep my eyes open for them, and take pictures when a new one is up.

    Looks more like Cedar Rapids, IA’s link than a snowflake, what with water naturally forming six-sided crystals and all.

    It looks more like the love child of link and the link to me. But I always appreciate a good reference to the Tree of Five Seasons. Who wouldn’t want to take “time to enjoy”?

    I’ve been gone a few days. But it seems like the Eagles have been making a big deal out of black this year. I know this may have started because of the green jersey fiasco. But the team has twice made a big deal about mono black in two high-profile games, even painting the end zones black. But didn’t a team representative say they are retiring the black jerseys after this season? Or did I imagine that?

    They sort of trade off on who’s dominant and who’s deferential, depending on the situation. But once catnip is added to the equation, all bets are off…

    Just saw an article about the four NCAA football playoff teams’ uni changes for the playoffs. Among them, fancy descriptions of the gloves and undershirts. My God, what a bunch of trumped up BS! Oregon’s unis for the playoff.. they are so much better than what they’ve been wearing lately. love the helmet

    Too bad about those Navy uniforms. The academy was on a roll with some truly smart-looking designs against Army, whose uniforms have been clusters …

    Holy cow. Look what link to insert itself into the college football playoffs:

    Each of the uniforms for Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State features a diamond-colored swoosh on the front, which Nike says symbolizes the teams’ goal: a diamond championship ring.


    How giddy do you think Nike is that teams it supplies swept all four spots in the CFP? (Which they would have done even if either TCU or Baylor had gotten in instead of Ohio State.) “Hey, Adidas! Who’s the real champion of college football, huh?”

    Oregon’s isn’t bad. But I’d rather a yellow helmet & pants. Ohio State has always looked better in that stripe pattern but the black numbers are just weird. I was hoping Florida State would break out last year’s look but knew that would never happen. As one who hates the traditional looks I still think Bama looks the worst of the bunch…
    But wouldn’t the 3rd & 4th ranked teams need to wear white? And the lower ranked team in the championship game also need to wear white? Only mention of a white uniform I saw was Oregon will look terrible in white if they need to use it.

    there’s a history with the black numbers for tOSU. i can’t find when it was used but it’s been on the uniforms before

    Looks like that outfielder on the Locker card could be Reggie Jackson. Now we have pics of him in a Cubs and Mariners jersey.

Comments are closed.