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Should a Uni Violation Result in a Forfeiture?

What you see at right is the uniform worn by the Narbonne High School girls’ hoops team in California during last Saturday’s city section playoff win over View Park Prep. As you can see, they wore pink letters and numbers — a nod to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s “Play 4 Kay” initiative. They also wore pink ribbon socks and pink shoelaces. (There are lots of additional photos from the game here.)

But it turns out that Narbonne, whose regular colors are green and gold, didn’t go through the proper channels regarding the pink-trimmed uniforms, and now a local commissioner has vacated Narbonne’s victory and bounced them from the playoffs. Key quote from John Aguirre, the commissioner who made the call:

“Breast cancer awareness is in October, and there’s a process for people to request color change. If they’re going to blatantly disregard these rules and regulations, they’re going to affect kids.”

Just to make things more complicated, Narbonne had worn these same uniforms about a week earlier in a first-round playoff victory, but nobody complained or cared. (The team that lost that game now wants Narbonne’s victory over them to be vacated as well, but they’ve been told that it’s too late for them to file a protest.)

Some thoughts:

• It’s tempting to say that this is a fitting comeuppance for all the pink overkill, but come on — these are kids. It would’ve been better to say, “You can’t wear those again” or maybe assess them a technical foul at the start of their next game than to strip them of their win and bar them from the playoffs. Or, since the pink uniforms were the coach’s idea, bar the coach from working the next game. But punishing the kids doesn’t seem right.

• Aguirre’s line about breast cancer awareness being in October sounds pretty tone-deaf to me. For better or worse, Play 4 Kay is a big thing in women’s basketball (it helps raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund for breast cancer research and is named after the former NC State women’s basketball coach who died in 2009), and it takes place in February. Moreover, the high school basketball season doesn’t start until late November, so the teams couldn’t do the Pinktober thing even if they wanted to.

• That said, however, I have concerns about high school and youth programs modeling their uniform programs on what the pros and major colleges do. Pink, camouflage, stars/stripes — is this really about “raising awareness” for the various causes, or is it just about mimicking what the adults do because that feels more “official,” more “grown-up”? Sometimes it’s better to just let kids be kids.

• Finally, it has to be said: Green and gold are so good together. Why ruin them with pink?!

Additional coverage of this story can be found here and here.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Okay, we’re into March, spring training games are about to start, and soon Opening Day will be within sight — a perfect opportunity to show off this 1962 Chicago Cubs scorecard with depictions of all then-current N.L. teams. But they got the Mets’ squatchee color wrong — it’s orange today, but back then it was blue! (Interesting to see how many teams still have the exact same cap logos, though.)

Here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• Check out this 1970s San Francisco Giants bullpen buggy! I have one of these on my desk.

• Sensational artwork on this early-1970s Pittsburgh Pirates poster, featuring a brand-new Three Rivers Stadium. Nine total in the lot.

• Like the clean simplicity of this 1970s NBA referee jersey that belonged to Len Wirtz. (Made by Gerry Cosby Athletic Outfitters at The Garden.)

• Yes, sir, how ’bout this set of 1969 NFL throwback mini-helmets?

• Bambi on the loose in this early-1960s Chargers photo of Lance Alworth. See that decal on the front of his helmet? That’s the “San Diego All-America City” logo, which the team wore in 1963 and ’64.

• Like the font on the cover of this 1970s Toronto Maple Leafs program, eh? [Whoa ”” don’t think I’ve seen that before. Very cool! ”” PL]

• Never seen a Phillies sticker before with the city name coming after (or in this case, below) the team name.

• Think they missed the mark with the logo on this Saints pennant. But they bounced back on this short-lived black helmet version.

•  Best name ever for a line of sneakers? Juicemobiles!

•  Here’s a big batch of Dave Boss NFL posters. Can’t quite tell what condition they’re in, though. Are those creases?

•  You too can smell like a Chicago Bear with this 1980s “Soap & Wash Set,” thankfully still new in the box.

• Wow, look at this 1960s KC Chiefs poster. A beauty!

•  And speaking of the Chiefs, someone put a lot of work into this amazing Len Dawson scrapbook.

•  And we conclude with one from Ethan Dillon: You can’t do better than this Oregon basketball warm-up suit. Donald dunks!

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: Here is a picture of our first in-action look at the Pirates’ matte helmets, which they’re experimenting with this spring (thanks, Paul). … Last year the Braves switched from nameplates to direct-sewn NOB lettering. Are they now going back to nameplate? Could be. Granted, that’s a Photo Day shot, and players often wear old or generic jerseys for Photo Day — but not always (from Mike Nessen). … When the Red Sox play an exhibition game today against Boston College, both teams will be wearing No. 3 jerseys in support of Pete Frates, the former BC team captain who wore that number and later helped popularize the Ice Bucket Challenge while fighting ALS (thanks, Phil). … “I just saw this gallery of Giants players from photo day,” Jameson Costello says. “About 80% of them wearing grey underbrims. Are they making a comeback or just using really old hats?” [The Giants do this every year. They have a bunch of old caps from the grey-underbrim era that they use for Photo Day shots. Think of it as a team-specific preseason quirk, like the Steelers’ numberless helmets or the Red Wings’ non-arched NOBs. ”” PL] … The Tri-City ValleyCats are wearing motorcycle-themed jerseys on Sept. . … Here are the new logos for the Pulaski Yankees, the Yanks’ new Rookie League affiliate (from Scott Peterson). ”¦ Utility infielder Jeff McKnight, who wore five different uniform numbers during various tours of duty with the Mets, has passed away after a long fight with leukemia. Mets numerology expert Jon Springer has written a nice remembrance.

NFL and College Football News: “I was watching 1979 New York Giants game and noticed a big discrepancy players’ NOB fonts,” Bill Kellick says. “This wasn’t just an isolated case either, I’d say it was about 50/50 across the team. Strange.”… New spring practice helmet design for Oregon State (from Travis Rice).

Soccer News: There are leaked images circulating on the internet of the 2015-16 FC Barcelona home and away kits (thanks to Phil and Conrad Burry). … Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic was suspended for Sunday’s Capital One Cup Final but changed to his full uniform (shinguards and cleats included) for the post-game celebrations. His captain John Terry did the same when he was suspended for the Champions League Final in 2012 (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here are a bunch of new uniform releases for MLS Jersey Week: The Chicago Fire have unveiled their secondary kit for the 2015 season (thanks, Phil). … The LA Galaxy released the team’s Blue on Blue secondary kit (thanks, Phil). … Real Salt Lake unveiled a new-look white secondary kit (thanks, Phil). … The Houston Dynamo home and away kits have been leaked, as they will be officially unveiled later this week (from Trevor Williams).

Basketball News: The Los Suns played the El Heat last night (thanks, Phil). … Syracuse debuted new uniforms last night against Virginia in honor of their senior night (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Erik Kissel spotted this pinstriped Michigan uni in the window of the M Den, the school’s official merch shop. No word on whether it’ll actually be worn on the court, though.

Grab Bag: Under Armour is planning an expansion, including a new HQ building and a campus (thanks, Paul). ”¦ “For years, photos of a January 1944 ski jumping competition at Wrigley Field have perplexed me, the scoreboard looks virtually white in every shot,” Bob Gassel says. “People who pointed this out to claimed it must have been a strong sun reflection causing the illusion, which I could never be convinced of. Luckily, I just came across an October 1943 Chicago Tribune article which explains all. The scoreboard had been repainted baby blue! It certainly didn’t last long, and I’m trying to pinpoint when they repainted it again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was before the 1944 Cubs season started.” … Here’s a good sotry on the history of the first signature sneaker, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (thanks, Brinke). … Dale Earnhardt Junior posted a picture on Twitter where he recently tried on a firesuit from Dale Earnhardt’s 1979 rookie NASCAR season (from @makatski).

Comments (116)

    “… and now a local commissioner has vacated Narbonne’s victory and bounced them from the playoffs…. ”

    Completely nuts. This is high school, fer kreissake. I’ll spare us the long screed, but this adults-manage-kids-sports-as-if-they’re-professionals stuff is a sad commentary. Just play the damn game, even if one team has to wear T-shirts.

    Mother’s Day is in May, therefore, you also can’t be nice to your mom. Seriously, though, even though the NFL went overboard with the pinkishness, if the staff at this school wanted to do something, they should get the league (or the CIF) to run a Breast Cancer awareness campaign. The CIF will likely issue exemptions to its own campaign, likely sponsored by Yoplait and donating tons of money to its coffers at the same time. Crisis averted, money goes toward breast cancer awareness, cure and prevention, and everybody’s happy.

    Great points, Paul.

    Were the two teams dressed in uniforms different enough from each other so as to avoid any confusion as to which team was which? Yes. Were the uniforms, ya know uniform? Check. Were the numbers clear and visible? You betcha.

    What’s the problem, then?

    I *get* that the adults didn’t exactly play by the prescribed rules, and that there should likely be some form of reprobation, but to vacate the win? C’mon.

    OTOH, as Paul brings up, this alternate uni shit has gotten out of hand, so maybe this will serve as a teachable moment in the craze. Whether these unis were pink, GI Joe, stars & stripes, etc. no matter. Maybe teams should think about dressing in their own colors without causes.

    But to boot them from the playoffs? Bullshit. These are kids, not puppets.

    The adults in this league need to really take a step back and assess their own priorities. It’s not quite the same situation as Jackie Robinson West, but it’s close.

    Let. The. Kids. Play.

    There are very few things that bugs me more than glib merchants on the Internet who are all, “Sucks, but rules are rules.”

    I don’t think the league had a problem with the different unis. What they did have was a problem that the school never notified them.
    “If they’re going to blatantly disregard these rules and regulations, they’re going to affect kids.”
    A bit harsh to strip them of the victory but giving someone a pass on breaking a rule because of a good cause isn’t right either.
    The real winner of all these causes are the uniform makers. Support the cause by sending uniform costs to the actual charity.

    Eh, this stripping teams of wins is so silly, no matter whether it’s Little League saying Chicago didn’t win the American title last year, or the NCAA saying Joe Paterno didn’t win a boatload of football games, or these officials saying these girls didn’t win their game. The games happened, the results can’t be unseen, and the efforts of those in power to try to punish by altering the record books is detrimental to sports.

    The only time it’s reasonable to retroactively change results is if there was a blatant attempt to cheat, i.e. knowingly fielding an ineligible player. Otherwise, it’s enabling sour grapes.

    Well put, terriblehuman (even if that feels like a really weird thing to say!). If the illegal uniforms were an attempt to gain an advantage, or if they in some way influenced the outcome, then take the win away. But they didn’t, unless we’re not being told something.

    And, yes, Rocco, they shouldn’t be given a pass. Some kind of penalty would be warranted–as Paul suggested, suspend the coach, or give the team a technical foul. But don’t take them out of the playoffs for something that wasn’t intended to be nefarious and didn’t affect the outcome of a game.

    We had a similar issue when I was in high school in California in 1985. Our boys basketball team made it to the state championship game before someone decided the script writing of the school name didn’t conform to some rule or standard. Were they kicked out? No. One of the parents went out and spent a small fortune on T-shirts for each player and had them screen-printed to fit the rules. No harm, no foul, play the game. It seems like the minute a rule is broken these days they go right for the nuclear option.


    The team has been reinstated after an appeal.

    “Narbonne Coach Victoria Sanders will not be allowed to coach the rest of the season as punishment. Also, the school will be placed on probation for next season and won’t be allowed to have any home playoff games next season.”

    Maybe it’s the grammar nazi in me, but was the line “The Los Suns played the El Heat” intentional?

    When I was editing Garrett’s copy, I was initially going to change it, and then I thought, “No, he’s doing that intentionally.” So I left it.

    Probably would’ve been better if they’d been in quotes to emphasize the point, as in: The “Los Suns” played the “El Heat”.

    If it’s intentional, then well trolled indeed, sir. Of course, I’m an easy mark–the corner of my eye twitches whenever a weather article speaks of “an El Niño”/”several El Niños,” etc.

    The other day, I watched a La Liga match at the pub, had a bite at the Les Halles location downtown and picked up a The Band LP at the used record shop.

    Did you mean you can’t do better?

    “You can do better than this Oregon basketball warm-up suit.”

    Most schools in my area add bfbs or gfgs, would any school who added these colors be violatong the same rule? I don’t like the pink-camo-GI-bfbs stuff but come on… the girls won the game fair.

    I don’t have a problem with the high school teams wearing pink for this cause. A high school football team near me was one of the first to start wearing pink for a special game years ago and has raised a considerable amount of money over the years for the cause.

    I was struck by this line:

    “…is this really about “raising awareness” for the various causes, or is it just about mimicking what the adults do because that feels more “official,” more “grown-up”?”

    If this is the case, and the kids are mimicking grown-ups, I’m A-OK with that. Grown-ups should be leading by example. And let’s face it, there are many grown-ups in sports who do not lead by example. I’d rather have a kid emulate an athlete wearing pink for a cause or camo to salute our military than copying the football player who made the vulgar display in the end zone during the Super Bowl.

    If a kid thinks its cool to raise awareness and money for a breast cancer because he or she saw David Wright with a pink bat or Tom Brady with a pink wristband, more power to him or her.

    And the goofball commissioner in the situation above just did more to raise awareness than the team could have done with pink uniforms alone. There’s a decision that will be reversed.

    I’d rather have a kid emulate an athlete wearing pink for a cause or camo to salute our military than copying the football player who made the vulgar display in the end zone during the Super Bowl.

    Totally agree. But what I meant — and maybe I didn’t communicate this well enough — is that I think those two things (and lots of other things) all get lumped together in some kids’ minds. It’s all “what the pros do,” without much thought regarding a hierarchy of values.

    Or to put it another way, I think wearing pink (or camo, or whatever) might make a kid *more* likely to make the vulgar display, because the uniform is already making him/her feel “like a pro.”

    To add to what Paul has said, there’s a big difference between emulating a superficial gesture and actually engaging with a cause. We’ve seen how such shallow, bumper sticker sentiments can often have a negative impact by replacing a critical or otherwise more considered approach to an issue with pop culture sentiment which is beyond reproach, hence allowing organisations like Komen for the Cure to abuse people’s generosity or for jingoistic ideologues to abuse the “support our troops” sentiment.

    I don’t believe you can make a blanket assessment, good or bad, of every youth sports team wearing pink. Everyone has their own motivations, some better than others.

    I’ve been involved with a youth cheerleading/football club since founding 7 years ago. A few years back we decided to honor a mom who was fighting breast cancer by adding pink to our uniforms. We didn’t have money for custom jerseys, so we added a pink duct tape stripe to the helmets and pink socks. Cheap, but effective.

    And yes, we did run it by our league president. All that was required was a quick email stating our plans and we received the ok.

    Before we did this, we spoke with the family to be certain that they were ok with this gesture. We let them make the call and they were pleased with it. (We also raised funds for local cancer research.)

    It was remarkable the conversations that began about breast cancer because of adding pink. We quickly realized that too many families have been effected by it. The shared experiences really helped.

    Tragically, the mom that originally inspired our adding pink died last Fall, leaving her husband and two young kids. We continue to wear a pink ribbon helmet sticker in memory of her and all those lost to breast cancer.

    So, in our case, pink was not done to copy the NFL, though they definitely gave us the idea to do so.

    The addition of pink helped in community building, which is the ultimate goal of youth sports.

    If the football player who made the vulgar display in the end zone claimed it was to promote colon cancer awareness, would that have been OK? Or even a praiseworthy thing for kids to emulate?

    If the football player made that claim, the world would know he is lying and he should be fined twice.

    “If the football player made that claim, the world would know he is lying and he should be fined twice.”


    How could you (or the world) possibly claim to know what is (or is not) going through the kids mind?


    This is a straw man argument. The football player never claimed to be making a statement about rectal cancer.

    Part of being a responsible grownup is knowing what is appropriate behavior. Pretending to drop your pants and defecate a football before an audience of a billion people is inappropriate for any reason.

    Sorry — you were speaking to the actions in the Super Bowl, not the hypothetical kid emulating. Still, point remains — “IF” the player claimed to be promoting colon cancer awareness, how could you know what was actually going through his mind (I’m not disagreeing with your supposition he’d be lying, but how could anyone actually KNOW this for a fact).

    Kids emulate the pros all the time (I know I did growing up). That means good and bad behavior. I sure did a really bad Billy White Shoes Johnson touchdown dance.

    Sometimes mimicking adults is a good thing. Other times its not. I don’t know how we can separate the difference and oftentimes some emulations can be seen by one group as “good” and others as “bad.”

    But with regard to *special* uniforms, perhaps its best just to stick with team colors and not try to make any statements (even if they are for *good* causes).

    Also, kids love talking about poop. I can’t think of a more appropriate, family-friendly celebration than pretending to poop.

    It wouldn’t be any less dumb or insincere than dumping an ice bucket to raise money for ALS research.

    Pretending to take a dump (for colon cancer) is the same as dumping an ice bucket (for ALS)?

    If you’re going to disqualify teams over uniform technicalities, it should be done at the beginning before the games are played. Have a uniform inspection at the start to ensure that they’re all in compliance. But once the tournament starts, teams should go with what they have.

    it’s the ref’s’ job to do a pregame inspection of everything….uniforms, accessories (like sleeves, t shirts and headbands), braces and wraps, game ball, etc. As a coach for longer than I care to admit, I’ve seen where some refs disregard rules about matching arm sleeves and t shirts, while some refs are fanatics about following the rules to a T. In all my years, I’ve never heard of a school being required to ask permission to change colors. Since there apparently is a rule in place in CA about such things, blame should be directed at both the coach and the Athletic Director. The AD ultimately has jurisdiction on what happens. Blame also needs to be directed at the game day refs too for letting this slide unnoticed. In all honesty, coaches don’t care what the other team wears as long as it doesn’t cause issues for his kids. This should be a non-issue.

    On one hand, alternate uniforms are kinda getting a bit out of hand and there’s really no reason teams need to be wearing pink or camouflage or anything else that isn’t school/team colored. You *can* raise awareness of (insert cause here) without wearing a different uniform.

    On the other hand, as long as you can easily tell the teams apart, it really doesn’t matter what colors they’re wearing. Stripping a team of a victory because they wore pink-trimmed uniforms instead of green-trimmed is just stupid control-freakish bullshit, no matter what level of play we’re talking about. This kind of rule shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

    That’s the Milwaukee Braves. They left Milwaukee following the 1965 season and became the Atlanta Braves in 1966.

    The Sporting News did the same thing with their 1963 Baseball Register. Front cover had either the A.L. or N.L. team caps and the back cover had the opposite. Loved it.

    Has anyone mentioned it was the Milwaukee Braves? I think it was the Milwaukee Braves.

    The Reds logo is also incorrect on the Wrigley Field program from 1962. The Reds did not use the “wishbone C” from 1961-66, going for a more rounded “C” those seasons


    Ugh… why does that set of 1969 helmets have to be so expensive? I still need the Redskins’ spear helmet for my collection, but there’s no way in hell I’m paying almost $200 for it.

    do we know how to have anything buy “first world problems”? What constitutes a third- or second- world problem?

    Anything that could be a Yakov Smirnoff joke would be a Second World Problem, since “Second World” referred to the communist bloc.

    Just bought my first pair of Chucks in 25 years. My last pair had dinosaurs on them when I was in 1st grade. Bought them along with the rest of my family to support my dad while he receives chemo for pancreatic cancer, so they are, of course, purple.

    In all seriousness, I assume you’re supporting your dad (who we all wish well) in more direct ways than the color of your shoes. That kind of gesture is literally the least you can do.

    BurghFan, I may post them on Instagram. He doesn’t have an account so he probably won’t see them. #effcancer

    Those new Syracuse uniforms are horrible on TV –all you can see are the numbers.

    Those matte Pirate helmets look kind of cool, and I am a staunch traditionalist. It looks like the logo decal may have trouble sticking, judging by the photo? Maybe the Cubs and Pirates will play a game where half the helmet decals have fallen off!

    I don’t mean for this to sound like “rules are rules”, and I don’t think the win should be vacated, but this really comes down to the coach following procedure. Too often I have to work with people who think they know what clients want, when they don’t even bother to read what the client actually wants. It really comes down to extreme laziness on the coaches part. Unless the rules are a well kept secret, then the coach has had every opportunity to abide by them.

    The situation is a tough one. Put aside the merits of the specific case – are these rules sensible, and was this particular violation of them excusable. How are rules to be enforced? The coach of each team is ultimately responsible for obeying the rules. But any sanctions levied against the team will necessarily be felt mainly by the players or their families. There’s really no alternative. But without sanctions of some kind, which will necessarily be applied in a way that most of us will find at least a little unfairly, then there are in effect no rules. Any rule that is not enforced is not a rule. (That’s what a “rule” is. See HLA Hart, since what I’m making is essentially a positivist argument here.)

    So either there should be no rules at all governing player attire, or a situation like this one will be inevitable if a coach chooses to violate the rule on behalf of his team. (Which means, ultimately, we either embrace anarchy or we get mad at the coach, not the officials who enforced the rule.) Still, better enforcement will tend to produce a fairer outcome. And perhaps a failsafe could be a shorter “statute of limitations”: If the referee doesn’t catch this sort of violation before tipoff, and if the opposing team’s coach doesn’t object to the referee before tipoff, and if the violation doesn’t affect the fair conduct of the game itself, then enforcement should be waived. Or applied in a forward-looking sense, such as disallowing the team from wearing non-regular uniforms for the next N games of the subsequent varsity season.

    But regardless, the basic philosophical question is, Are there to be rules governing player attire? If the answer is yes, then enforcement of that rule will necessarily be disproportionate and feel unfair, since players, not the coach responsible for the decision to violate the rules, will feel the primary effects of any sanctions levied for a violation.

    With the obvious exception of the Milwaukee and Houston Colt.45s symbols, every single team (that isn’t already doing so) ought to take that ’62 poster as its design marching orders. Good God, do I ever miss that blue Cardinals cap.

    The Cards still wear navy caps on the road often, especially when they play a team that wears red, e.g., Cincinnati, Washington, Philly.

    With the monogram. I believe the cap with the bird was reserved for home Sundays. Still might be…

    Maybe we can bring back the Colt .45s if we convince people that it refers to the brand of malt liquor, not firearm.

    But the firearm the Colt .45s refer to is a single-action revolver. Exactly the kind of weapon that even the staunchest proponents of gun control are OK with. If you pull the trigger on a loaded Colt .45, nothing happens. You’ve got to cock the hammer manually before each shot. (Whereas with a double-action revolver, pulling the trigger cocks the hammer at the start of the trigger-pull, so every time you pull the trigger, the gun fires. Semiautomatic pistols do the same thing with a different mechanism.) We’d be a lot safer if criminals used Colt .45s, since they’re actually kind of hard to shoot.

    So the Houston Colt .45s would be a pro-gun-safety team by their very nature! If anything, it’d be the NRA types who would find the whole thing offensive: Why isn’t it the Houston AR-15s? What, are they giving into PC gun-grabber anti-freedom pressure not to feature a modern, completely safe and legal semiautomatic sporting rifle? The Fox News outrage against the Colt .45s practically writes itself.

    Corb Lund has a great song sort of on the subject: link

    “The Giants do this every year. They have a bunch of old caps from the grey-underbrim era that they use for Photo Day shots.”

    Or maybe because they look better than the black in photos.

    I coach HS soccer. My booster club does a “Kick Cancer” night every season. This year they wanted the kids to wear different colored socks to denote the different cancer colors, pink for breast, blue for prostate, etc. I quickly told them that we wouldn’t do it because the rules state that the home team must wear white socks (& jerseys.) We still did the fundraiser… didn’t waste money on new multi-colored socks… and believe it or not, people still gave money without our kids being dressed up in special uniforms.

    The key thing here, you can do a fundraiser without involving the uniforms.

    The Narbonne incident is serious overkill, but I have to admit: it’d be nice if the professional leagues had the freedom and the will to be as draconian as that local HS basketball commissioner. In the pros, uni abuse really IS a pervasive problem, and really DOES call for an attention-focussing move that hits the players where they live. If Rob Manfred had the rocks to do something similar to PJ-pantsers, I’d cheer.

    Columbus Crew SC’s home stadium, Crew Stadium, is now renamed for sponsor Mapfre (who?). I believe they’ll be going with Mapfre Stadium.

    I’ve never heard of Mapfre, but now I have. Their naming rights strategy is already paying off.

    Time for No Mas to start printing “I’m Calling It The Erector Set” t-shirts.

    Pretty interesting short film by Errol Morris on electronic football featured on Grantland today link
    Not a lot of uniform details but still pretty good.

    Oh, man that was GREAT! (Not surprising coming from Errol Morris.)

    Oh, and there’s plenty of uniforms on display.

    Well worth your 20 minutes.

    I’m glad I stumbled on to the beautiful 1969 NFL and AFL Pocket Pro helmet sets when they first came out a few years ago. I believe I paid $22 for the NFL and $18 for the AFL.

    The entire stripping of wins makes me mad. When it is things that obviously didn’t effect the game, wins shouldn’t be stripped. This, Paterno, didn’t effect the play on the field and punishment shouldn’t involve win vacating. Pete Rose didn’t effect the play on the field, and rightfully his punishment didn’t involve win-loss.
    On the flip side, Barry Bonds and spygate DID involve the play on the field and the punishments should have reflected as much.

    I was wondering when we would get around to Bonds (or the Patriots, since they never could win without spying on the opponents). So exactly what would you take away from Bonds? All his home runs? Just the ones after you think he started juicing?

    That’s not for me to figure out, fortunately, but I definitely would take away the record.

    Pete Rose didn’t effect the play on the field

    But we don’t know that, do we? What we do know is that gambling on your own game, win or lose, does create an incentive to do something other than try to win every game. Even if you’re not actively shaving points, there’s an incentive to maybe put in a pitcher on short rest or save a reliever for a game you’re betting on. It doesn’t matter whether the results were affected – the integrity of the participants were corrupted.

    That’s why I find gambling to be way, way, way more sinister than juicing. Whatever you think of taking steroids, it’s still a logical extension of what’s within the rules. There’s no fundamental difference between taking approved supplements or taking painkillers to using unapproved meds to accelerate recovery or increase muscle mass. And on game day, it was still Barry Bonds, hitting the ball with his bat, not planting the ball in the stands to make it look like he hit a home run. The final score was still the result of two teams doing their best to win within the (on-field) rules of play.

    I agree that gambling could definitely be worse than juicing. It’s different in Rose’s case, as he always bet FOR his team. He never bet that they would lose.


    It’s not “could be”. Gambling *is* fundamentally worse than juicing.

    I know what he’s trying to do when he brings up that rationale, but it’s a distinction without a difference. I’ve brought up the example of using relief pitchers. Maybe you want to rest a guy tonight because you’re putting money on tomorrow’s game. Or conversely, you’d use an ace for more than you would otherwise because you’re betting on tonight’s game.

    Though all that is irrelevant – the problem with gambling is that, whether you’re affected by the bets or not, your motivation is corrupted and the integrity of the competition suffers. Say what you will about the ethics of juicing, the motivation always winning through improved performance. The integrity of the result is unaffected.

    Correction: Rose never bet against the Reds that we know of. The man is an inveterate liar, by all accounts something close to a sociopath in other respects, and at the time was also an addict in desperate financial straits. Aside from the basic fact that the moral corruption of the matter doesn’t depend on whether he bet for or against his team, the simple truth is that we don’t actually know that he didn’t bet against the Reds, we never will know for sure, and one would be a fool to assume Rose did not do so. If he did not, it would be the single most out-of-character act of decency and restraint in his career.

    I don’t fully get what you mean when you say “the integrity of the result is unaffected” with regards juicing. If a player breaks a rule to gain an advantage and that advantage affects the result of the game, it seems that the integrity of that result is necessarily brought into question. I get the distinction you’re making – at least the juicing player’s motives are geared to the ultimate goal of winning the contest, but the motives are irrelevant if we’re talking about the results. In both cases, one could not say that the results would have been the same if no foul play had occurred.

    You’ve also reminded me of an ongoing debate in English soccer (possibly in other leagues too) over the issue of managers not fielding their strongest squad in order to rest players ahead of cup games or whatever. It seems comparable to the scenarios you posted above where a manager might not use certain players because he’s saving them for a game he’s got money on. Obviously doing this for financial personal gain is much more odious, but as you emphasise that the integrity of the result is what matters to you here, then I’d assume you would find them similarly bad? After all, regardless of the motive, a manager has, without any necessity or piece of bad luck, deliberately hindered his chances of winning on that day.

    Rose (assuming he’s telling the truth, which is all we can do, as unreliable as it may be), bet for his team in every game. Making every game just as important as any other. Juicing affects every at bat that that player is involved in. If we are talking strictly by morals/integrity of the game, Iwould rather have a player gamble in the fashion/way Rose did, than have them juice.

    He did not bet on his team in every game (i.e., all 162 games in a season); he claims that *when* he bet, it was only on his team.

    There’s a HUGE difference between those two things, because it means he might have tanked certain games that he didn’t bet on at all (holding back certain pitchers, say) so that the team would be in a better position to win the games that he *did* bet on.

    Gambling is WAY worse than juicing. It distorts everything it touches.

    According to the Interview with Dan Patrick, and notebooks from his gambling, he bet for the Reds EVERY NIGHT.
    I agree gambling is usually worse, but in the case of Rose, it is not.


    If you pay close attention, you’ll notice NFL divisions with names I’ve never seen used on the Riddell packaging? Coastal?

    Those were the NFL’s divisions for a few seasons. All seven letters, all starting with C. The names were about as terrible as the divisional alignment, if you ask me. Atlanta/Baltimore in the same division with LA and SF? Ugh.

    Clearly the people under Pete Rozelle were smoking something when they came up with that.

    And then that stuff found its way into the NHL front offices in 1974.

    Low and behold… The Eastern Conference was split into the Capitol and Century Divisions, and the Western Conference had the Coastal and Central Divisions. Wow!

    I’m a Narbonne Alumni (class of ’09) and it is so crazy seeing this story gaining so much attention.

    A few points coming from someone that follows the sports program there closer than these new outlets:
    -Narbonne knows about these color changing rules. Back in ’08, the football team was trying to wear BFBS uniforms and were denied due to the same issues of school colors. So the school went through a process to change the official school colors to Green and Gold and Black. (a Uni-Watch travesty) So then the whole athletic program ran with it and almost every sport has a BFBS alt.
    -The girls basketball team is already on probation. I don’t know the specific reason, but I know in recent history they have gotten caught playing with ineligible players (usually GPA requirements) even during the playoffs.
    -This school is all about trends and fads in the uniform department. The football team especially. In October, the boys are decked out in pink accessories. They’ve worn all black a lot since they got the go-ahead for black. They added an all white (with white numbers) this season. They even added a neon yellow alt. similar to Oregon this season (which is definitely riding the line on what constitutes as “gold”). You can see these examples here. link

    With all of this being said, I absolutely DO NOT believe the girls should be punished. There is definitely some adult (coach or whoever) that is making these poor risky decisions with full knowledge it will have consequences. I wouldn’t necessarily say the commissioner is the true villain here, but there has got to be a better, more effective punishment.

    P.S. I’m sorry Paul. I love Narbonne’s colors, too, but they just don’t appreciate it like us. They’re too trendy.

    It’s unfortunate that the kids (like the Jackie Robinson West LL team) bear the brunt of adult idiots’ mistakes, but I’m getting pretty tired of people who think they can operate with impunity. It’s falling into that proverbial “entitlement” mentality that is becoming more pervasive, and further demonstrates how selfish our society has become. If they thought of the kids first, none of these issues would have ever happened. Follow the rules!!!

    Sure, Rules Are Rules(TM), but the punishment is akin to expelling a child from school because dad was on probation and got caught jaywalking. Disproportionate punishment isn’t necessary to achieve accountability.

    When I played in Little League, I think this happened when I was 12, the best player in the entire league was a girl that played catcher.

    She was very big, very athletic, and actually went on to play Division 1 softball at UCLA. Anyways… the playoffs came, and my team was waiting out the result of the girl’s team and another team. The opposing coach went to the umpire right before the first pitch was thrown. There was a lot talking, a lot of waiting, and the discussion was about why the catcher wasn’t wearing a cup. Well, it’s because she was a girl. The opposing coach then brought out the rule book that said the catcher MUST wear a cup, and refusal to do so would mean forfeiture.

    Well, the girl didn’t have a cup for obviously reasons. No one on the team had one because the girl was the catcher the entire season. In the end, the team with the female had to forfeit.

    The girls basketball team should not be disqualified for wearing pink uniforms. That’s totally ridiculous. Technical for next game? Sure. Coach can’t coach next game? Yup. But disqualification is crazy.

    An “expendable” player should have sat out and taken one for the team in your scenario. (I’m assuming this was Little League Baseball and not Little League Softball. If the latter, then I guess they had to forfeit. But at least the opposing coach filed a protest before the game was played…)

    On another note, I think those Michigan hoops unis would be gorgeous without the stripes.

    I think the pink uniforms are well-meaning, but also strike me as a “Hey look at me” gesture. Same thing with troop-related apparel and even the “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts. People who wore them might believe in the message they’re sending, but I think people really enjoy grandstanding, too.

    Well said, Mike. I don’t think this phenomenon (wearing pink/BFBS/camo/etc., sometimes for causes, sometimes not, sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes not) is going away, no matter how much any of us bemoan it.

    Looks like Narbonne has been reinstated. Hooray for common sense actually winning here. Doesn’t happen very often. link

    Shades of Jackie Robinson West, another case of children being visited by — and paying for — the sins of the father.
    First the Jackie Robinson kids have their Little League World Series wins stripped away because adults stocked the team with three out-of-district ringers.
    Now, another kids’ team — Narbonne High – also loses a tournament victory “due to the sins of the father,” in this case, the decision to wear pink but forgetting (or forgoing the effort?) to file proper paperwork.
    Where were the referees and tournament officials before the tip-off? Why didn’t the “local commissioner” speak up before game time? Apparently the team officials from Park View Prep also saw no wrong at game time with the Bonne’s pink-trimmed unis.
    Hopefully, Tournament officials higher up the food chain in California will overturn this capricious ruling from what appears to be a blow-hard of a local commissioner.

    Disqualifications happen a lot more often in cross-country meets, especially if the teams involved are highly ranked. Good thing it’s getting overturned.



    This article is about the original ban:

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