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Not Quite the Shroud of Turin, but It’ll Do

photo 2

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Stopped in at a local pizza joint yesterday, got myself a slice, and sat down with it at a table, where I seasoned it the way I always do: a layer of red pepper flakes followed by a layer of oregano. Then I dug in. A few minutes later, I my belly was full and I was ready to move on.

But as I got up from the table, I noticed that the oregano and pepper had left a perfect ghost image of my slice on my paper plate’s cover sheet. Something about this struck me as Just Right. Hell, the colors are even somewhat Uni Watch-ish — green, mustard yellow, and deep red. And if you turn it upside-down, it’s a Christmas tree! Maybe this was a sign of something deeper, or maybe it just meant I was a little over-zealous with the spice shakers. Either way, it was a small bit of unintentional visual poetry that made me happy, so I took a photo of it. If every day could include a simple pleasure as simple and pleasurable as this one, life would be much better. I suspect the pleasures are actually right there for the taking most days, and that it’s just a matter of noticing them as we get up from the table.

For those of you who are traveling today (especially on the east coast, where the weather’s gonna be seriously nasty), travel safe. For those who are working, don’t work too hard. And for those who are depressed for any of the jillion reasons that Christmas can be depressing, hang in there and remember that being a misfit doesn’t mean you’re a loser and it doesn’t mean you’re alone — Uni Watch is proof of that. Peace. ”” Paul

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The “W” chronicles, continued: Yesterday I ran photos showing the oddly diminutive “w” on the Mercer hoops team’s NOBs (and also mistakenly said that Mercer’s unis were made by Under Armour — it’s actually Adidas). That prompted reader Kyle Rawling to point out that the UW-Milwaukee team used this same typeface in 2012 for their chest insignia, but the “w” was the same size as the other letters because it included a layer of outlining:

If you remove the gold outlining, you’re left with the same font that Mercer is using — and the “w” is suddenly smaller than the other letters. So is Mercer using an NOB font that was never intended to be used without the outlining?

But wait — there’s more! A variant of this font has also been used by (and perhaps the whole thing originated with) Louisville:

As you can see, the weight of the letterforms and ratio of letterform to outline is different in the Lousiville version, but it’s definitely the same type family. But the word “Louisville” doesn’t include a “w” — frustrating! Fortunately, I found this (click to enlarge):

So in that version, the “W” looks normal. Interesting! Also confusing! Perhaps someone with a greater typographic acumen than my own can suss all of this out for us.

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Guaranteed to be too late for Christmas delivery: Now that you’re done buying presents for all the other people in your life, how about getting something for yourself — or maybe even several somethings? I have just the thing for you (click to enlarge):

Pretty nice, right? These shirseys, which are being made by Teespring, will be available for sale after Christmas — maybe on Friday, or maybe next Monday. Prices will likely be in the $20 range. They’ll only be available for a week or 10 days, because that’s how Teespring works — everything is a limited edition. I haven’t yet decided if we’ll make all four designs available at once or if we’ll roll them out one at a time every couple of weeks. (If you folks have any thoughts on that, I’m listening.) Either way, I love the “Collect ’em all!” feel of them.

As you can see, the shirts have a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary “patch” on the right sleeve. The original anniversary logo, as you know, shows the years 1999 and 2014. Technically speaking, Uni Watch’s anniversary year runs thru next May, but we thought some of you might not like buying a shirt with “2014” on it now that 2014 is ending, so we made a slight adjustment to it to the logo — instead of the years “1999” and “2014,” it now says “Est.” and “1999.”

Why didn’t we get these out in time for Christmas? I wish I could say it’s because I didn’t want to be part of the big Christmas merch push, but the reality is that we didn’t get started soon enough and then took too long refining the designs. Anyway: Ordering details to follow in a few days!

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NFL Superhero Project wrap-up: Thomas Correia presented the final installment of his excellent NFL Superhero project last week, but he’s put together an extra Christmas Eve bonus for Uni Watch readers — a poster-style graphic showing all 32 of his team/hero logos (click to enlarge):


I want to thank Thomas for sharing his skills with us over the past few months. When he first approached me with this project, I was willing to try it but frankly had some doubts about his ability to keep things interesting throughout the duration of the NFL season. He not only did that, but he was also a pleasure to work with, always delivering his content on time and in very solid shape. To see more of his design work, check out his Instagram page. Thanks again, Thomas!

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NFL News: Riddell’s SpeedFlex helmet, introduced this year, has been a big success. … One thing that’s been bugging me lately is Roger Goodell’s repeated description of the NFL logo as “the shield,” and how this bit of corporate-speak has been happily parrotd by certain media members and fans (and, um, Uni Watch commenters/emailers). Slate sports podcaster and longtime Uni Watch pal Stefan Fatsis provided a superb analysis of “the shield,” and how it fits into the NFL’s larger worldview, in this week’s “Hang Up and Listen” podcast. You can hear it at the 40:20 mark — good stuff (from Adam Brodsky). ”¦ Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Gay, who was my editor for a few stories I did at GQ a million years ago, dressed up as Jim Harbaugh for a visit to Michigan. “He even got the hanging pen right,” says Brinke. ”¦ This Browns design is circulating over on Reddit. “Looks like same format of the earlier Broncos leak,” says John Dies. “No idea how legit.”

College Football News: Here are Marshall’s helmets from last night’s bowl game, with the much-discussed memorial decals for university president Stephen Kopp and Chad Pennington’s father. … Meanwhile, check out turf pattern for that Marshall game — wow! Never seen anything like that. … There’s news about USC players swapping jerseys at their final practice of the year about two-thirds of the way down in this article.

Hockey News: “We all know European hockey unis regularly carry more adds per square inch than the average stock car,” says James Vetter. “But not in the new Champions Hockey League. In this tournament, styled after UEFA’s Champions League, there are no ads on the front/back of the jersey or on the pants, although the left sleeve is bright red wotj the logo of the event’s primary sponsor. This is for all teams, regardless of their team colors or jersey design. And in an odd twist, the points leader on each team has to wear a ‘special’ jersey and helmet.” … Ugly + Xmas = San Antonio Rampage this Saturday (from Kyle Hinstorff). … New third jersey for the Green Bay Gamblers. … Awesome stripes — and a tiny captain’s “C” — for the 1960-61 Cleveland Barons (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … The Kalamazoo Wings will be wearing tuxedo jerseys on New Year’s Eve (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Islanders captain John Tavares wore an NYPD cap for postgame interviews after last night’s Habs/Isles game.

NBA News: Chris Creamer and I are both quoted in this article about the new Raptors logo. … In a related item, Conrad Burry says these are some leaked designs that the Raptors considered but rejected, although someone else on Twitter says those designs are fan concepts from a recent Toronto Star contest.

College Hoops News: New uniforms for Loyola (from Ryan Eigenbrode). ”¦ “I’m watching the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament from Hawaii,” says David Westfall. “The scorer’s take keeps rotating a University of Hawaii/Under Armour advertisement, which is interesting because their basketball team wears Adidas. It’s the football team that wears UA.”

Soccer News: The new USA away kit has leaked. ”¦ Chester FC goalkeeper Jon Worsnop wore a facemask for the club’s recent FA Cup match against Barnsley (from Graham Clayton).

Comments (97)

    The “Hang Up and Listen” tags are broken, and the bold needs to be closed after “John Dies”.

    That “Hang Up And Listen” segment was a masterclass on snark. Thanks for the Christmas gift Paul!

    And the Hang Up episode has a segment about the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl’s name, turf and uniform.

    The guys never cease to be entertaining.

    It’s interesting the Milwaukee decided to use that font with the weird/miniature “W” in its wordmark when any “W” would fit nicely between an “L” and an “A”.

    But hey, it’s pointy, and that’s all that counts.

    Those shirt designs are absolutely fantastic. I hope they are offered one at a time rather than all at once as I’m traveling for the next 3 weeks and would hate to miss out. I would have also had a nice laugh if there was a fifth design that was black with purple lettering (or even the reverse) that said “abomination” for the NOB.

    Glad you guys like them.

    Big credit goes to Bryan Malloy, a longtime Uni Watch reader who happens to work for Teesprong. He got in touch, suggested that we do a shirt, and offered to design it. There was lots of back-and-forth collaboration before things took their final shape. Thanks for everything, Bryan!

    Nice work indeed. Did they cut a special deal to include the sleeve graphic? I’ve made custom shirts before but haven’t seen, and did not see on the Teespring site, any place to add images to shirt sleeves. That’s a cool touch.

    Right from the start I wanted to include the sleeve “patch,” so it was one of the first things I asked about. They said they could do it — so we’re doing it!

    Regarding the Cleveland Browns idea on Reddit: Did you notice the white graphic on the sleeve cap is the outline of a derby? As in the Brown Derby? It’s clever, but I don’t see how it’s particularly relevant to the team.

    You’re right. Here’s a picture of one of the hats PB sported; link

    I’m not sure what style the hat is(modified porkpie?) but it is surely not a derby or bowler.

    . . . XXLT or XXXLT
    I wear tees very rarely, but for a sufficiently large Alt I’d make an exception.

    I’ve purchased from Teespring in the past, and I’ve been very satisfied with my previous orders. For what it’s worth, I’m 6′ 6″ and ~240 so I’m sure they’ll have a size for everyone if there is one for me.

    Love the shirts. Will probably buy a road or alt. The BFBS is amusing, but I can’t bring myself to wear a black tee.

    Shirts look great! I agree with one of the Facebook posts, the alternate shirt would look better if it said “softball”.

    I considered going with “Softball” or “Softball Top” but ultimately decided against it, mainly because I don’t actually say or write the term “softball tops” very often myself. I think it’s stronger with “Alternate,” but I *might* consider changing it based on popular demand, though. What say ye?

    I think Alternate gets the point across better. Softball almost seems like it’s a nickname for the person wearing it somehow.

    Maybe for Memorial Day? You know, the day we remember our war dead — what better way to do that than with camo!

    Hadn’t thought about a camo shirt. Not sure I want Uni Watch to venture into camo territory, but it might be fun to do with “G.I. Joe” on the back. Or better yet, “Pandering.” Hmmmmmmmm…..

    Or memorial patches.

    Also you should make the next batch with an inside pocket like the Earl Weaver jersey.

    I’m trying to think of which one I want. But not sure which one would make the most sense to people who don’t “get it.” If I just walked around in a t-shirt that said “ROAD” on the back I don’t know if anyone would understand :'(

    On the Louisville graphic, the points of the ‘W’ (and ‘V’) extend below the bottom of the other letters. If you resize it such that the bottoms line up (as the Milwaukee jersey did), the ‘W’ would be similarly small.
    On Louisville’s jersey, it looks like they just truncated the point on the ‘V’. And note the lack of truncation here: link

    Mercer hoops, any pictures of anyone wearing a “V”?

    On the pizza lede, I thought the story was going to be about the piece of wax/parchment type paper. I don’t recall seeing that much outside of NY, is it a NY thing? And it’s purpose? Seems like a very Paul Lukas type topic.

    Tom, you definitely understand how my brain works — I was thinking about that pizza slice cover sheet as I wrote today’s item! It’s very much a NYC thing — not sure if it’s used in other cities. Don’t know its official name and, honestly, I’ve never understood the point of it. Seems like the paper plate should be enough, no?

    Interesting. FYI, there’s a place here in the KC area called Papa Keno’s that also serves slices on a plate with wax paper in between. Can’t say I ever thought about it before, but I’d agree it’s an extra layer that doesn’t seem to be needed. My question for Paul is, why do I see no oil residue on the wax paper? Looks incredibly clean (other than the sprinklings, of course)! My recollection of NY pizza is that there was always some oily stuff left on the plate after the experience.

    1) It’s not wax paper. If there were any wax, it would be melted by the pizza — not good.

    2) There’s a bit of residual grease on the left edge of the spice/slice outline. But yeah, not much. This is because (a) this slice wasn’t very greasy (not greasy enough, frankly) and (b) the slice wasn’t on the paper sheet very long.

    It does appear to be a form of wax paper than can line a pizza box or be used to serve the pizza:

    “Pizza Liners are flat dry wax delicatessen paper liners used for lining the bottom of pizza boxes.

    They are also used as a sub or sandwich wrap. Pizza box liners can be printed and are microwavable.

    Quilon* Treated Pizza Liner can be baked.”


    Sometimes when the cheese is hanging off the slice and it cools, it gets stuck to the paper plate. I get annoyed when I pull the cheese and it has paper stuck to it….I have an aversion to eating paper. The wax paper can help prevent this.

    I also hate when my sugar cone gets some of the paper wrapping stuck to it.

    Paul did you eat that entire slice without ever putting it down on the plate again? I am stumped as to how the “V” shape could remain so pristine throughout the eating of said slice.

    btw, I usually refer slices as “pieces” of pizza (“Do you want another piece of pizza?”). But I am not from NY.

    Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing? Because I just realized my family and I tend to say “piece” a lot more than “slice” with regards to pizza.

    Or, maybe it’s because “piece of pizza” is alliterative?

    I can’t recall ever seeing a sign at any pizzeria advertising ‘pizza by the piece’…they’re ‘slices’ to me.

    Well, when it’s put that way, “pizza by the slice” sounds better than “pizza by the piece”. But, like I said earlier, I think “piece of pizza” just sounds a little better than “slice of pizza”, possibly due to the alliterative factor.

    Piece is one of Chicago’s best pizza places (and brewers for that matter). Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick is one of the owners.

    Their minimalist logo is one of my favorite designs.


    Love the t-shirts. I would prefer all to be available at once as I only want one and wouldn’t want to wait for my colour to come up. But not a big deal either way.

    Don’t forget throwback/turn back the clock, flag desecration…the line extension opportunities are endless!

    While it’s a bit overdone, I like that Louisville typeface.

    Perhaps they shrink the W so it isn’t noticeably wider than any of the other letters. In the Milwaukee example, it seems to be shrunken down to the size of the M. In other examples, there aren’t as many letters that wide, so it gets shrunken even more. Just a guess.

    Fairly certain that it was called the NFL shield at least all the way back to the early days of Rozelle (my lifetime). Even if Tagliabue had called it a logo during his tenure it doesn’t mean that Goodell is suddenly the creator of that monicker.

    An accurate way to fact-check would be to go through magazines of the years when the design had been altered and see if there were articles about it and how it was described. However, I have a 1953 NFL Yearbook mag that has the pre-1941 design (from the link below) on its cover, so it might be hard to find a pre-merger year when the NFL had hard and fast rules about marketing which would make it difficult finding an announcement prior to merger when their league identity was a topic for discussion to see what it was known as, historically. Best bet for an answer would be magazines from late 1960s-1970 to see what Pete called it.


    If there was push to make a “turn ahead the clock” design, you should probably take the Steinbrenner stance: we’re already wearing the design we’ll have in the future.

    Way ahead of ya.

    Meanwhile, I just posted the designs on Twitter, where someone suggested a “Los Uni Watch” version, which is hilarious….

    What would “Uni Watch” be in Spanish — Uniforme Mira? Something else?

    Why stop at Spanish when you can go all out like the Brewers: Italian, Polish, Xhosa, Canadian Syllabics, Pig Latin

    The shirts are the best thing I’ve seen in a long while, Paul. Fantastic! The road is my favorite, but may have to have a couple. Thanks for everything that this site brings to those of us who like to think we get it.

    I was thinking, “Those shirts are really nice, but dang, I have so many shirts already.” Then I saw the “BFBS” “name” and that cinched it. I have to buy all four just to reward the brilliance of it.

    Love the shirseys! Can’t wait to get one. Will the “ROAD” version be a solid grey like today’s road greys or heathered? I’m hoping for heathered or will probably go with the alternate.

    You should “box set” the shirts with patches, stickers, etc. May give a nice way to do a little spring cleaning and I’m pretty sure a lot of us want all four shirts. Hell, put a special prize inside some like a raffle. The ideas could go on and on (although, maybe all of these ideas are bad…)

    Anyhow, make a way to buy all four shorts at once. They are awesome!

    Happy Holidays, all!

    Paul: The shirts are gorgeous. I’ll definitely grab 1 or 2 when they are officially out.

    There’s no NFL shield on the Browns mock-up and Haslam III promised not to change the helmets, so I say this is either bogus or an early (rejected) concept.

    why would he let them change the stripes to one that similar to that of the Broncos and Ravens .. two teams the Browns fanbase hate

    The new Raptors logo is baffling. They need to embrace the dinosaur, even if its just for the sake of irony. What they’re doing now is hopping on another trend. Hell, even the “we the north” slogan was stolen from Game of Thrones.

    I love the shirts, and the discussion generated by them. Brilliance. That’s why I love this site. Thank you.

    I know I’m a day late, but I LOVE the shirts. Will definitely buy the alternate and the BFBS, if only as a conversation-starter.

    1. Tip for the ticker: Probably want to say which Loyola you’re talking about whenever you bring up a Loyola. That uniform was from Loyola Maryland. There’s also Loyola Chicago and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Nitpicking.

    2. Could there be a discount on the T-shirts if we ordered all four? I could see myself wearing each particular one under different circumstances.

Comments are closed.