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Never a Dull Moment

Well, that was one crazy day.

It started in the morning, when I posted yesterday’s entry about the leak of next season’s NBA Christmas uniforms. I figured that would cause a bit of a stir, but I was frankly unprepared for how big the response turned out to be — the uni-verse blew the fuck up. Seemingly every media outlet in the country picked up the story, and most of them linked back to yesterday’s entry, which resulted in one of biggest traffic days in this site’s nine-year history.

All this for a bunch of uniforms that will be worn, at most, for one day. And most of them won’t be worn at all! Weird.

And that was just the start. At some point in the morning, someone in a discussion thread posted a link to an Adidas catalog with all sorts of info about next season’s uniforms (you can’t blame me for that one, all you people in the NBA office!), and screen shots from that catalog quickly started making the rounds on Twitter and elsewhere. Reader Andrew Lind was the first one to make me aware of it, but many others soon followed. So while I was trying to keep up with all the reaction to the Christmas story (requests for phone interviews, requests to use my images of the uniforms, a tsunami of tweets, etc.), I was also trying to keep up with the developing story of the newly leaked catalog. It all made for an exciting but chaotic day.

I did my best to summarize the information from the catalog leak in this ESPN piece, which was posted yesterday afternoon, although I suspect there’s other info in the catalog that I may have missed — it’s a lot to process. One confusing issue is the NBA’s use of a new term: “Strech” uniforms. It’s not clear if this refers to stretchy fabric or (more likely) a “stretching” of the team’s visual identity. We’ll find out soon enough.

Once the catalog link was posted and images from it started circulating, I figured the NBA and/or Adidas would have the link disabled. As of this morning, though, it’s still working. I’m not going to post a link to it here (that would be too easy), but like I said, it was posted in a thread yesterday. Let’s see if anyone here is enterprising enough to find it.

Additional notes from yesterday:

• It’s astonishing how many people’s first and only reaction upon seeing a new uniform design is to say (or tweet, or whatever), “Definitely gonna buy that.” Like, even if your first thought is “Yes, I am going to purchase a vastly overpriced mass-produced item that many thousands of other people will also purchase,” why is it so important to express that thought? I’ll never understand jersey merchandising.

• It was interesting to see how many people said, “These mock-ups must be fake, everyone knows Nike is taking over the NBA’s uniforms next season (or, less declaratively, “Wait, I’m confused — isn’t Nike taking over the NBA’s uniforms next season?”). The reality, of course, is that the NBA hasn’t yet announced its new apparel partner, and that partner, whoever it turns out to be, won’t be taking over until the start of the 2017-18 season (which means this isn’t even Adidas’s last set of NBA Xmas unis — it’s the next-to-last). Why did so many people get this wrong? Part of it, I’m sure, is just that some people aren’t very good at paying attention to details. But another part, I’m willing to bet, is the way Nike tends to engulf any story it’s a part of. People hear, “Adidas Out, Nike Rumored to Be In” and that’s it — they fill in the rest of the narrative themselves.

• Most of the reactions to the Christmas unis, including my own, appear to be positive. Hope the league is paying attention — people like tasteful, gimmick-free design.

• Not a peep out of the NBA or Adidas offices yesterday.

I’m kinda hoping for a quiet day today. If you’re planning to leak something, maybe wait until Friday, okay? Thanks.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

My buddy and I were watching one of the NBA playoff games last weekend. Someone made a shot, and my friend said that the nothing-but-net swish is one of his favorite sounds. I agreed, and countered with the crack of a baseball bat.

I also enjoy the thwack of a fastball hitting a catcher’s glove; organ music at an old-school venue like Madison Square Garden; and the roll of a bowling ball followed by the thundering of the toppled pins. Maybe above all, I enjoy vuvuzelas at soccer games. (Just kidding.)

What are some of your favorite sports sounds? It could be anything auditory from the sports world. Post your responses in today’s comments.

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Phone case reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch smart phone case, shown at right, is now available. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Reds P Rasiel Iglesias had some issues with his pants and blousing last night (from Justin Peterson). … Until 1974, the University of Texas played at a ball field that had a split-level outfield! … The Tigers have ticket packages that include giving away Tigers caps in the colors of local universities. More details here (from Jeffrey Sak). … Eric Bunnell has a pretty nifty BBQ apron. That’s a Saint Joseph’s College (Indiana) jersey from 2007-08. … BYU wore dark gray with navy blue lettering Tuesday night against Utah (from Russ Morgan). … Cubs OF Jorge Soler was seriously bundled up last night. It wasn’t even that cold in Chicago! (From Tami Wilson.) … The Mariners are giving away fedoras on Friday. … Speaking of the Mariners: “If my calculations are correct, the Mariners could potentially wear six different uniform sets in six consecutive games,” says Jim Shemaria. Against Boston this weekend, Jim says the M’s are wearing white on Thursday, teal on Friday, throwbacks on Saturday and cream alternates on Sunday. “Then they go on the road to Baltimore where things could be fun. They will almost certainly go with road gray on Tuesday. If anyone is paying attention in the equipment room could we see the navy alternate on Wednesday?” ”¦ MLB’s 4th of July caps will have those sublimated stars, and last night the Angels gave away a cap with sublimated photos. Is this the future of MLB cap design?

NFL, College Football and Arena Football News: Marshawn Lynch is selling Beast Mode baseball jerseys. It looks like it was inspired by Uni Watch! … New Vikings WR Gavin Lutman will wear No. 8, which looks like a backwards “B” (from Matt Newbery). … The Arena League’s Jacksonville Sharks will wear military jerseys on Saturday (from Cory C). … Gardner-Webb could be returning to black jerseys. … Arkansas, though, will not be wearing black.

Soccer News: Tottenham’s new kit will feature a sash. … Southampton FC made a promo video for the lead-up to its new kit unveiling (from Michael Duffy). … Orlando City SC’s Cyle Larin wore a blank jersey (or, a “blood jersey”) the other day. … D.C. United’s Bobby Boswell received a No. 300 jersey signed by his teammates to commemorate his 300th regular season game with the club (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Within this oral history of the first season of MLS are some stories about nicknames and uniforms, including Nike’s role in the designs and the renaming of the Chicago franchise. ”¦ New kit for Middlesbrough (from Ryan G.).

NBA News: We saw the new logos for the 76ers on Tuesday. Here are the team’s new wordmarks. … Even though it’s common knowledge that Jerry West is the man in the NBA logo, he doesn’t receive royalties because the league won’t confirm that the logo is based on him (from Kurt Esposito). ”¦ Andrew Bogut of the Warariors had part of the bridge on his chest logo ripped off of his jersey last night (from Noah Crouch).

Grab Bag: The New Zealand government’s website is hosting a flag design contest (from Alex Cohen). … You can vote for your favorite New York high school lacrosse helmet (from Brian Simmons). … A carpet cleaning company uses the Wisconsin Badgers’ logo (from Mike Tocco). … This interactive map shows the most popular sports teams in just about every city in the U.S. (from Phil). … New uniforms for the Baton Rouge Police Department (from Joel Manuel). … The new UFC-Reebok deal bars fighters from putting outside sponsorships on their attire. … Clothing designer company Robert Graham will sponsor Townsend Bell for the Indianapolis 500 (from Tommy Turner). … The track at Mountain View High School in Bend, Oregon bears the signature of Olympian and school alum Ashton Eaton (from Ted Taylor). … “Apparently, the University of Washington’s original mascot was named Frosty,” says Luke McCarnan. “I like it! Bold, fearless, and sort of melancholy, which is appropriate for the area. Also, not gimmicky.”

More on Uni Watch
Comments (182)

    Despite what the Mariners’ marketing department says, that’s no fedora, it’s a trilby dammit!

    Ok, as someone with little knowledge of hats, let me just go ahead and ask…

    Why has there been such a widespread conflation of the terms “fedora” and “trilby” in recent years?

    And while I’m at it, why is there so much anger over this issue?

    And speaking of confusing terminology, does “hipster” actually mean something specific, or is it just a word that people like to say these days?

    I think it’s safe to say that if a trend has become sufficiently mainstream to be the subject of a big-league ballpark giveaway, that trend has ceased to be sufficiently hip for anyone still following it to be called a “hipster.”

    “And speaking of confusing terminology, does “hipster” actually mean something specific, or is it just a word that people like to say these days?”

    The internet is certainly not lacking for definitions of what a hipster is. But the term has always struck me as nothing more than a pejorative for anyone whose cultural tastes and attitudes link.

    Fedora is a more widely-known word (and, IMO, a more pleasant sounding word) than Trilby. A Trilby is like a Fedora, but with a tiny brim. A hat with a bigger brim is better at protecting one from drizzle and sun. At the other extreme, a Fez, with no brim, is pretty much just decorative.

    Being an extra-mega-jumbo sized guy, a trilby looks particularly ridiculous on me as a hat’s brim should be somewhat proportional to the wearer. A full-on fedora would look odd on the pixie who is modeling that Mariners’ Trilby too.

    Those are clearly the reasons everyone is calling trilbys fedoras these days. But neither is an excuse. “Hockey” is a better-known term for a team goal-scoring sport played on ice than “bandy,” but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to refer to a game of bandy as “hockey.” And yes, “trilby” sounds kind of ridiculous. But trilby hats look kind of ridiculous. If you’re afraid of seeming silly, then don’t wear a trilby!

    A reason I so dislike the trilby is the hooligans who wore them circa 1986.

    “A Trilby is like a Fedora, but with a tiny brim.”

    Here’s a hand single-photo reference guide for those who need a visual aid to understand the difference:


    Also, while we’re talking about fedoras – how did the hat become associated with single dudes who whine about how girls don’t like nice guys like them and get angry/hostile when women spurn their sexual advances?

    The answer to that, as is the answer to most of the Internet’s annoying trends, would be Reddit.

    link, dude. Tl;dr: The archetypal “neckbeard” computer nerd is often visualized as wearing a fedora.

    It possibly has something to do with the shallow pretension that merely wearing a particular type of hat instantly gives one “class”. There’s also the general fallacy that unironically dressing up to mimic the culture of an infinitely more sexist, racist and overall bigoted era makes one “a nice guy”.

    Agreed. But not many players carry a 2 (or even 3) iron these days, so it’s a rare sound indeed.

    I’ve had a few business trips to Madison, Wisconsin. A bus service there also uses Bucky Badger in link.

    Growing up, my brothers and me would often see “Badger Coaches” on the road. We thought it was Barry Alvarez and company.

    I’ve totally seen that Badger logo with the vacuum before. I knew it would be perfect for Uni Watch if I ever found it again.

    It’s pretty common to see the Badger logo used by companies in Wisconsin (I’ve seen it used by plumbers, buses, snack foods, locksmitshs, bars…) Note that it’s always the older, pre-2002 version of Bucky. Part of the reason UW “modernized” the logos back in 2002 was so that they could have a trademarked version solely associated with the university.

    And the Vikings prove again that they have no idea how to use their ridiculous number font. Not only does that 8 look like a backwards B, it’s also inconsistent. Single digit numbers are spared the horrible number treatment. See:


    Calm down, Josh-GBP. That’s an errant image. All single digits on the Vikes’ uniforms are without the funny serifs.

    Depending on which side of the shot…the ping of a puck hitting the post or crossbar can be the sweetest or most frustrating sound..

    Yeah, I was gonna mention the “hit the post” ping as one of my favorite sounds.

    But the ping of a baseball hitting an aluminum bat is one of my *least* favorite sounds!

    I had a thought recently about how it’s weird that I’ve never gone to a U-Mich baseball game in town, despite them having a nice-looking new ball park. Then I remembered that it would require me hearing the little league pings instead of cracks. It’s a deal breaker for me.

    Followed closely by the sound of a soccer ball hitting the Goalie’s Best Friend.

    Amazing how each of these sounds can be heard over a crowd.

    Yep, love that sound in soccer, especially when the ball’s hit with force.

    Also enjoy the polite applause that follows when the defense stops a goal scoring opportunity and neatly passes out of the back.

    Agreed. Sound of the crowd reacting to a puck or ball hitting the post is almost more enjoyable.

    As an ex-goalie, I can say there was no satisfaction in hearing that sound. Mainly because of all the people who say the shot beat the goalie but didn’t beat the post. You only beat the goalie if the puck goes in the net. It’s one of the things that gets repeated all the time (especially by play-by-play announcers and colour commentators) that is simply incorrect.

    So true. That’s why shots that hit the post aren’t counted as shots on goal — because they’re NOT on goal. They’re OUTSIDE the goal!

    I hate the phrase “saved by the goalpost”. The post is merely the physical representation of where the goal area ends. If the post itself were not there the ball would merely be wide. If anything, the goalpost is an asshole for deflecting the ball/puck back into play.

    “The goalpost is an asshole” – I love that turn of phrase. (Also a solid bit of reasoning behind it – a nice perspective on the goalie’s dilemma.) Ought to be the title of a hockey blog or podcast.

    First thing I thought of as well.

    For people who’ve never been to an NHL game, its surprising how loud a goalpost or crossbar is. One of those things where everybody in the building knows what just happened.

    “Arkansas, though, will not be wearing black.”

    I noticed a surprisingly good question from one Grant Pool in the exchange at:


    In response to the statement “We won’t do black, it’s not one of our school colors,” Grant asks, “then why are our cleats black…[?]”

    I realize that it’s been a common thing for decades, but why is it ok for teams without black in their color schemes to wear black cleats? Or is it ok?

    Can we simply say that black is a “neutral color” like white? Or does that create a slippery slope toward BFBS?

    Black footwear is common in many contexts — think of black men’s dress shoes, black women’s boots, etc. And early athletic footwear was almost always black. I think it’s still the best color for baseball and football. Provides a grounding for the rest of the uniform.

    I think black is a fine option as a neutral for footwear. It has a certain historical look, though, that may not fit with a modern identity unless black is a dominant color for your team. I actually wish footwear manufacturers made dark brown footwear as well, so those teams whose colors don’t look as great with black (like dark blue, for instance), have a traditional option that’s a better fit from a color standpoint. Team color footwear has a certain flash to it.

    I prefer there to be a bit of neutral color in a uniform for my eye to rest. I would be fine with a football uniform in which the only team color was the helmet, jersey and socks, with neutral colored facemasks, pants, gloves and shoes. It makes the team colors stand out more to me.

    Sports sounds I like (or remember fondly anyway)…..

    How about that weird ping sound a dodgeball/kickball makes when bounced, kicked, etc.?

    Skateboards rolling… air… clomp…roll…….

    How about the incessant squeaking of basketball shoes on the floor? (ok, this one I don’t like)

    I love the squeaking, too.

    I also love the sound of the substitution buzzer. Not as much as I used to (look up an 80s Denver Nuggets home game on youtube to hear how they used to sound), but I still love it. I want to make that my ringtone.

    Take away the grunting, and I love the sounds of a tennis match.

    Two sounds come to mind:

    – A wooden bat in softball (to my knowledge I’m the ONLY one to wield actual lumber)

    – A completed pass in hockey (puck on wooden blade)

    Hmm…I sense a theme here.

    “Cubs OF Jorge Soler was seriously bundled up last night.”

    Are we sure it was him??

    I noticed in the link to the Stretch page in the NBA catalog has the now old and outdated Wizards logo.

    That image of Soler was from a previous homestand. The Cubs played the Mets last night who they’ve played the previous two nights after a road trip.

    Good spot, you’re right. Soler was still bundled up, however, because he had most of his face covered when he came to bat in the ninth.

    Possibly just because I grew up going to Twins games in the lean years, but I love the sound of a ballgame with a very quiet crowd. Where you hear everything the players do, right down to the thwack of a bat against cleats or the swish of the pitcher cleaning his shoes on the back of the mound.

    As for individual sounds, probably my favorite is a fast pitch hitting a catcher’s glove. Followed by the sound of a slapshot that goes wide into the boards. Also, a curling stone going down the ice, with or without hitting another stone at the end, which is its own satisfying sound.

    Also, the swoosh-thwock of a bang-bang play at a base in baseball. Such as a stolen base attempt or a stretched extra base. Not the one sound, but the two sounds of the slide and the catch together. Works best with feet-first slides, which make a sharper sound than head-first.

    Similarly, I love the sound of a baseball game on the radio.

    Not one that is on when I’m in the car driving, but one where I am just sitting and listening to it. Maybe on the porch, while thumbing through a magazine, or just nodding off in the hammock.

    I need to do that more often.

    The pitcher to catcher pop is mine. The best ones happen in a practice setting or bullpen session, when you get the perfect combo of an especially hard throwing pitcher throwing to a catcher trying to break in a new mitt. So satisfying.

    Oh man, I *hate* that sound! Like nails on a blackboard (although I’m not sure if I dislike the sound itself or if I’m just reacting to the thought of the spikes getting nicked up).

    Those beast mode (not going to honor it with capitalization) jerseys are hor-rib-ble!!

    Yeah, that lettering is just turrible. Even if it was drawn better, it still wouldn’t really fit the name. If I was going to make a beast mode jersey, I’d go with lettering closer in style to the Incredible Hulk, or maybe the old red & yellow WWF Hulkamania shirts.

    It does look rather crudely constructed.

    As far as the phrase “beast mode”, I will always and forever associate it with the 1996 Transformers series Beast Wars.

    I like the nice -ping- of a baseball off an aluminum bat. ^_^

    …or the crushing sound of a bowling ball smashing through all 10 pins

    >I like the nice -ping- of a baseball off an aluminum bat.

    that has to be the unholiest of sounds..

    I think I’d rather hear the sound of little children wailing while baby seals are clubbed downwind from a stadium full of vuvuzelas than the ping of an aluminum bat.

    But bowling, yes. Heck, I think I like the sound of the rolling ball even better than the sound of a solid strike. A well-bowled ball seems to sound different than a poorly bowled ball, and certainly than a gutter ball. There’s probably physics to it – a well-bowled ball has a more dynamic motion down the lane than a poorly bowled one – but there are times when I’d swear I could tell you how many pins the ball will take just by the sound of its roll down the lane.

    I agree with The on this one. :-O I’m not saying I’d want to hear the ping of an aluminum bat in professional baseball, but I have been to several College World Series games over the years, which is an exceptional sporting experience. I associate the sound with those good memories.

    Count me for the love of the sweet music of the ball rolling down the hardwood lane, the rumble getting fainter and fainter until the explosion of contact.

    Just the other night I mentioned to my wife how I like the simple sound of a tennis ball bouncing on concrete.

    Good sounds:

    – Beer or hot dog vendor’s call (remarkably unchanged in style and tone, at least in NYC)

    – Hitting a tennis ball on the sweet spot of the racket

    – Airplane flying over Mets game (trust me, you can sentimentalize anything if you grow up with it)

    Absolute best sound of all: The “THWACK!” of one curling stone hitting another. One of the most satisfying sounds I’ve ever encountered — not just in sports but in life.

    Another good sound – LEMONADE HERE! from the first base side of PNC Park. The first thing I listened for whenever I went to a game. RIP Kenny Geidel.

    There’s something beautifully ecumenical about (in New York, at least – do other cities have their own regional spin?) the vendors, regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity, all intoning, as if one, “Beeeah heah!” (And I’m both a teetotaler and a skinflint, so I never partake.)

    When I read today’s question, I immediately thought of the “pop” you hear when a player hits a tennis ball just right. You hear it over and over in the back-and-forth during a match. Also, I love the sound of the horn at a hockey game when there’s a score. It’s loud and obnoxious, but everyone goes nuts. I am also a sucker for the sounds/songs played by the organist at a hockey game, although I’m not sure if that’s still someone playing vs. a recording.


    There’s something really cool about the sound of a tennis ball being hit *just right* with the sweet spot of a racquet. I always liked that, for some reason.

    The sound of a good solid break to start a game of pool is pretty nice, as well.

    And like many people, I grew up loving the sound of a particularly hard hit in football, especially when it happens close enough to a microphone that you can get the full effect of that bone-rattling collision noise.

    Obviously, given some of the medical concerns raised in recent years about the long-term effects of football on the human body and brain, I would now claim to no longer relish hearing that sound.

    I’m also slightly troubled to realize, every now and then, that such a claim may not be entirely truthful.

    Heh. Part of the reason I prefer snooker to pool is that you don’t get that all-the-balls clatter noise on a break. In snooker, you’re often trying to make the tiniest, quietest touch possible, even on the opening shot of a break.

    I like the sound of a spaldeen or stickball bouncing even more than that of a tennis ball. But better than both is the distinctive whir of a hard-thrown Wiffle ball.

    For tennis balls, nothing beats the sound of a good rally. I love how the crowd gets nearly silent, and you hear every bounce and racket-hit, and every footfall, especially on clay, and every breath of the players. Throw in a shot or two that nicks the top of the net, and aurally, a sustained tennis rally is the king of sports.

    I soured on football long ago, long before I had the excuse of caring about players’ traumatic brain injury, but even today I can’t deny how attention-grabbing the sound of a solid tackle is. I similarly try to pretend I don’t enjoy the sound of a solid board hit in hockey nearly as much as I actually do.

    Long volleyball and tennis rallies are two of my favorite things in the world of sports.

    The best lack-of-sound experience has to be in ski jumping. There’s the initial swoosh of the jumper going down the takeoff, then silence…the “sound” of flight, if you will. And the longer that silence is the better, because it means a long jump.

    At least it still has a bit of a swish sound. Unlike the new nets they put up at my old neighborhood park:

    The net doesn’t move at all…the ball just goes through. Not as satisfying, I must say, but at least they last and no punks can cut them down and take them.

    Dodger Stadium – music from the organ played by Nancy B Hefley, a fixture in LA since 1988. Between the rock music and PA announcements, she doesn’t get as much opportunity but when she does, it’s great.

    Oh, and “The Autumn Wind” playing at Raiders games! Epic.

    I used to like the sound of the Madison Square Garden buzzer. Too bad they changed it to a generic.

    The sound of an 850 horsepower dirt late model being fired raises the hairs on the back of my neck and my arms like nothing else. (And I love the smell of the racing fuel, as well!)

    I started reading “the sound of 850 horsepower” and in my head I heard:

    Gripping the wheel,
    His knuckles went white with desire
    The wheels of his Mustang exploding
    On the highway like a slug from a 45
    True death: 400 horsepower of
    Maximum performance piercing the
    Night… This is black sunshine

    One of my favorite things about Wisconsin is how many companies remix the Bucky the Badger logo. That carpet cleaning logo is a great example.

    I know the University is cracking down on this more than they used to, but I think it’s too bad; literally no one is confusing Joe Schmo’s Cleaning Company or whatever with UW.

    Not truly a sport, but I feel like it’s germane to the topic: I love the sound of a silver pinball hitting a bumper.

    Even more satisfying than that in pinball is the sound the credit counter makes when you win a free game. Especially if you win a free game you by matching, since it’s totally unexpected.

    Caveat: only on an electro-mechanical pinball machine, not a solid state one.

    Y-E-S!! A super-satisfying sound that you can feel in the depths of your core.

    Very similar to the sound of a curling rock hitting another rock, actually.

    If we’re talking video games, I’ll take the Super Mario Brothers music over Pac Man.

    Football hitting the upright has always made me groan, but it sure has an certain appeal too


    The entire NBA Christmas jersey program jersey font is a direct ripoff of the Minnesota Wild “Merry Christmas” alts. I mean, you can’t get any closer script font wise. CRAZY.

    First off, I can spot several differences (the league wide font is much more extravagant for one thing) and second, it’s a generic Christmassy font. It’s not as if they stole a piece of Minnesota’s identity, they simply latched onto a similar (though far from identical) aesthetic. I think to call that crazy is to have desperately low standards for crazy.

    Yes, we get it. Two uniforms designs that went for the Christmas card theme look like Christmas cards.

    And by the way, this might be the single most “gimmicky” promotion in the history of sports. This whole fiasco is making even Bill Veeck roll in his grave… At the end of the day as commercialized as “XMAS” is isn’t Christmas a religious celebration? I mean what depths of crass commercialism is next. Horrific and insulting.

    Or, it’s (if unwittingly) bringing Christmas back to its pagan (and a little bit Roman) roots. Common Christmas rituals like the tree, gift giving, the Yule log (I mean, it’s called the Yule log!) and candle lighting all predate the birth of Christ. Christmas is basically a co-opting of non-denominational winter celebrations to fit a religious creation myth.

    Also, there’s also the misconception that “Xmas” is somehow secular or blasphemous. The the abbreviation goes back at least as far back as the 1700s, and the use of the letter ‘X’ to stand for “Christ” goes back even further.

    Exactly: The “X” comes from the Greek letter chi in Χριστός (Christos).

    QOTW: for me, no question it’s the “shook-shook” sound as you first step onto the ice when skating, especially when you are the first person on the ice in a quiet rink or frozen pond.

    An absolutely magical sound.

    Also, on the winter sports subject, I love the sound a skier makes when carving a turn.

    Ice hockey has the best noises-skates and sticks on the ice.
    Lacrosse balls/hockey pucks off the post are a dramatic sound as well.

    I can’t tell if the new Tottenham shirt is a fake. There are some tease pics on the site, one of which shows Jan Vertonghen’s left arm and hip, but if you check the collar of the shirt he’s wearing it’s not a V neck so it’s not next year’s shirt. The Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb pics don’t give up a lot of detail other than the V collar. You can make out a little of the “AIA” logo which from what I understand was supposed to be re-colored to blue this year; it appears to be a different color than the color so maybe it is red, which matches the Twitter leaked pic. And who knew that all of this would be going on for a shirt with a rubber chicken glued to it – numbers, Premier League patch, and names extra – that’s going to be sold for $80 this week and marked down to $20 next spring when we get to do this all over again.

    The best sound in sports is the sound of your bookie counting out your winnings.


    You can’t talk about sounds in sports without first listening to the 99% Invisible episode titled link.

    Oh, I’m so glad someone linked to that episode of 99pi. I was just ready to do it myself, and I’m thankful that I read the comments first. Highly, highly recommended.

    And my A to the Q is kind of a different direction than everyone else is going. I love it when teams play a specific song to get the fans going. Just about every team uses Zombie Nation in the closing minutes of a tight game. Even though it’s overused, it always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I had the same reaction when hearing the Chicago Bulls’ intro music (Sirius by Alan Parsons Project), and I’m not even a Bulls fan.

    So I posted my list of favorite sports sounds before I started listening to this episode of 99% Invisible. Not done with the whole episode yet, but you just rocked my world with that link, th! Everything I thought I knew is wrong! I might have to amend my list when I’m done listening.

    I love the sound of supporters singing/chanting in full voice at a football (soccer) match.

    I do concur with Mr. favorite sounds are a quick stop on the ice to take a shot or the crack of a stick or body against the walls of the rink. Also in trilby vs fedora news The Dbacks are clearly giving away trilby’s on the 24th not fedora’s!!

    Sound I love is golf ball dropping in cup after a nice putt, sound I hate is tennis players grunting, moaning, grimacing, orgasming….etc

    QotW: There’s a certain whoosh a peloton makes as it goes by during a bicycle race. It’s really a combination of sounds thrown together, but it’s still somewhat distinctive.

    Jeez, I lived in Austin for 10 years starting in 1978 — only 4 years after Clark Field closed — and I attended innumerable UT games, and this is the first I ever heard of the split-level outfield. Or maybe I heard something about it, but I certainly never saw a photo and I had no idea what it was really like. That thing is INSANE.

    Paul, is it REALLY that hard to understand jersey merchandising? Like, I get that you object to these grotesquely wealthy corporations charging so much money for “polyester shirts” as you put it and just generally don’t feel the need to own them. That’s totally fine and understandable. But as someone who is passionate about uniform design can you truly not fathom why others who share that passion may have more of a collector’s mindset about it? I just feel like you always go out of your way to put down the very concept of buying sports merchandise, which is kind of odd to me since your speciality as a design critic is mostly confined to these products that are mass produced for public consumption, even if you wish they weren’t.

    as someone who is passionate about uniform design can you truly not fathom why others who share that passion may have more of a collector’s mindset about it?

    “Collecting” mass-produced crap that jillions of other people buy doesn’t fit with what I consider to be collecting. It’s just accumulating.

    I just feel like you always go out of your way to put down the very concept of buying sports merchandise…

    I don’t have to go too far out of my way — the problems with jersey merchandising make themselves pretty self-evident on a regular basis. If we never had jersey merchandising, the state of uniform design would be better, and so would the state of fan behavior. A whole category of insipid marketing would disappear (although, admittedly, it would likely be replaced by another category of insipid marketing), and we’d be free of the false notion that being a good fan is somehow tied to being a good consumer. We’d be so much better off without it.

    ““Collecting” mass-produced crap that jillions of other people buy doesn’t fit with what I consider to be collecting. It’s just accumulating.”

    While I agree the state of uniform aesthetics and fan behavior would be improved without the jersey marketing aspect, I don’t quite know about that particular statement.

    A person’s collection is very much an expression of their individual taste like a collage. While any particular piece of that collection is not likely to be unique, the totality of it is. That person’s preference for style is evident in how one piece is present over another. For example why would someone own a red Canadiens jersey over a black Bruins jersey. Or a 1975 Carlton Fisk jersey over a 1941 Ted Williams. Moreover its a collage that can be viewed in the flesh, touched and worn on the body.

    Now this falls apart if that person is just grabbing everything that comes out because in that scenario there is no choice or discretion. Instead of the collection being a reflection of a personality it becomes a reflection of Nike or Adidas’s design department.

    I hate the idea that aesthetic considerations and artistic merit inevitably become sidelined when the primary purpose is the consumer. The designs no longer reflect a desire to be original, interesting or tasteful, instead focusing on designs that sell – ie. which appeal to the lowest common denominator. Design becomes more conservative, more driven by flashy, gimmicky and marketable guff which everybody copies, not because it’s any good, but because it sells.

    I just feel like you always go out of your way to put down the very concept of buying sports merchandise, which is kind of odd to me since your speciality as a design critic is mostly confined to these products that are mass produced for public consumption, even if you wish they weren’t.

    This was never the primary purpose of sports uniforms. They have always been about creating unique identities for the individual teams wearing them. The consumer aspect is a remarkably recent subsidiary concern. I sometimes feel somewhat sorry for Paul that some people expect him to run this site as though it were a consumer guide.

    It’s astonishing how many people’s first and only reaction upon seeing a new uniform design is to say (or tweet, or whatever), “Definitely gonna buy that.”

    First reaction: “I’d wear that.”
    Second reaction: “I’d DIY that.”
    Third reaction: “They have that in a shirsey, too?”

    Looking at those leaked xmas uniforms from the NBA, which are generally inoffensive, I was then confronted last night by the Warriors-Grizz game. I’m sure I’m not the first to think it but just have to say that the Memphis away costumes remind me of some sort of ABA unis. And I don’t mean that in a good way (tho I AM an ABA fan). The colors just feel wrong and I’ll never understand the choice of font. This franchise needs a makeover and soon.

    On the contrary…I think Memphis has the best modern uniforms in the NBA. If you going to change colors, make it to grizzly brown. Otherwise leave those fabulous double blues and that font alone!

    I hate the Grizzlies unis. I think they are essentially one of the least relevant teams in the NBA. Kind of like NBA’s version of the Jacksonville Jaguars. No real identity, no one who cares about them nationally.

    I’ve “heard” more wonderful sounds of sports while reading the comments today than I expected. This is great.

    My favorite one already mentioned has to be the sound of baseball spikes on cement. Especially the echo of it in the dugout.

    Not yet mentioned, and not my favorite, but a great one, is the sound of a bouncing basketball in a nearly empty gym. And the sneaker squeak is nice too.

    You used to be able to hear the sneaker squeak on NBA broadcasts, until the teams decided to play music during the action.

    Favorite sounds in sports: the various subtle timbres of the puck hitting the posts. You have the square on clank, you have the tink from the inside of the post and then going in, and then a super tinny dink of the inside post that holds up the “top shelf.” As a goalie, the big thuds are the best. You never want the puck behind you, but at least you know the play is still alive. And trust me, if the shooter clanks it clean off the post, he didn’t beat you: you just played your angles perfectly so he couldn’t hit net.

    Also, the Beast Mode baseball jersey immediately reminded me of the Oakland Oaks with the really round and big script letters, except in Charlie O kelly green and gold instead of Yuletide. Totally appropriate, as it’s hard to be prouder of Oakland than Marshawn Lynch.

    How about the sound of a REAL organist at a baseball or hockey game? They are endangered, considering all the piped-in garbage, incessant ads, and walk-up music.

    A good organist can also add clever music to a situation. Nancy Faust of the White Sox made certain ones famous -the “Hurt” riff from Runaround Sue when the other team was forced to make a pitching change, and “Hey Hey Goodbye” at the end of a game.

    Don’t get me started about personalized renditions of the anthem. A good HS Band can do it in about 1 min, 10 seconds. And, you can sing along.

    Always nice to hear the late Vince Lascheid playing the organ at PNC Park. Close your eyes and you can picture yourself sitting in Three Riivers.

    Yeah, if we ever do a ‘least favorite sounds’, walk-up music at a baseball game has got to be #1.



    I like walk-up music, in theory. I’m not exactly a big fan of most of the music that gets picked, but I like the idea of the player having that choice.

    It’s the player having the choice that’s the problem. Back when walk-up music was new, it was the stadium sound people having fun with player reputations and nicknames, and walk-up music was rare but awesome. Now it’s common but terrible. This is exactly the kind of choice that should not be left to individual players, because individuals tend to be idiots with bad taste. Let the players choose their own music, and most walk-up music will be terrible.

    My favorite sports sound is the resounding “thunk” of a kick at goal during a rugby match in an English or Irish stadium where the crowd is absolutely silent, followed by the rapidly increasing roar if the kick goes through the uprights. Tradition in the UK and Ireland is for the fans to be completely quiet for conversions and penalty goal attempts, even for the visiting team.

    That is a good one. You forgot though the simply beautiful sound of loads of loud “shushing” immediately preceding the silence.

    It all reminds me of when I was in school and we had a sort of pep rally for our junior rugby team where there was less pep and rather a lot more lecturing on how we were to be respectful of the players and the kicker in particular.

    The goal horn in the United Center (and previously old Chicago Stadium) is unmatched. It’s never changed soundwise, it was even sounded in the old Stadium when the Sting scored (MISL soccer). I’m also pretty sure the Blackhawks started the whole goal horn thing, or at least they had to be one of the very first. Watching NHL games in the 80’s, I don’t remember many other teams or arenas that sounded a horn when their team scored.

    A close second would be the siren from the old Montreal Forum. Never a Habs fan but the sound sent a chill up and down my spine.


    That “thwack!” sound from a hockey stick hitting the puck that goes from a nicely floated pass out to the blue line and then fired at the goalie.

    Next would be that thump of a well placed fast ball as it hits the catchers glove.

    – The squeaking of sneakers on a basketball floor.
    – The crack of the bat of a perfectly hit ball.
    – The thwack of a great golf swing on the fairway.
    – The parabolic sound of a F1 or Indy car passing by at 200+ MPH.
    – Maria Sharapova’s grunt.


    The sound of a diver making a perfect “rip” entry in the water.

    The starter’s gun for a 100-meter dash.

    The sound of hooves pounding down the stretch at the Kentucky Derby.

    Skis carving the snow.

    The thud of a kickoff in a football game.

    A bit ironic that even though its in New York-Auburn High School uses the Alabama script A logo


    My shoulder pad layers clacking together as I jog from the locker room to the field. The collective clap that concludes a huddle. The QB barking signals and the swish of the WR’s cleats through the grass behind me as he goes in motion. The crack of helmets and pads smashing together mixed with grunts, groans, cheers and shouted directives. The collective “Ooooh” at a hard hit. The explosive cheer when a receiver makes the impossible catch for the game-winning touchdown.

    The NFL may not have my love anymore, but football is still the greatest.

    As long as we’re talking hockey, I’ll throw in some Tom Cochrane lyrics:

    Sometimes at night I can hear the ice crack
    It sounds like thunder and it rips through my back
    Sometimes in the morning I still hear the sound
    Ice meets metal…
    “can’t you drive me down to the big league?”

    So that’s what the White Sox were missing when they tried wearing shorts back then. They needed to wear tights under them.


    Hunter Pence’s pantaloons are spreading. Bad news; it’s just about the only thing uglier than full-on, strapped-under-your-shoes pajama pants.

    What a great question of the week.

    I’m a hockey guy, but I think my favorite sound is the sound of a college football marching band playing a fight song after a touchdown. The uniqueness and timelessness is great.

    My worst sound is the opposite, having Heavy metal or rap over the PA in a football stadium to get a crowd pumped up.

    Favorite specific sounds: Mark Bellhorn’s two foul pole clanging homers in the 2004 playoffs. Listen!



    Favorite general sounds: hockey skates carving a fresh sheet of ice; the THWACK of a well-struck golf ball off the tee; raindrops falling on the field mic during a baseball game.

    The sound of all 43 cars on the first few laps as they around turns 3 and 4 at Daytona and come roaring by. There is no happier sound in my world.

    Sadly, I learned today that it’s not real. It’s actually a slightly slowed-down sound loop of a stampeding herd of buffaloes.


    It’s referenced in the Invisible 99% podcast terriblehuman linked to in the comments above. So you can thank him for shattering your perception of reality.

    the wonderful Double Thud sound of a cleanly blocked punt in football… first thud off the punters foot, the second off the “blocker’s” hand.

    I was “enterprising” enough to find the NBA catalog:


    In quotes because all it took was a few minutes on Twitter.

    The New Zealand flag redesign thing – a ton of excellent ideas – led me down a rabbit hole of U.S. state flag redesign ideas. The best collection I’ve found, and which I don’t think I’ve seen featured on UW, is here:


    Only one or two of these is original; the rest are collected from numerous redesign contests and threads across the internet tubes. Kind of a well-curated “best of” list. A few clunkers; I’ve seen much better proposals for Florida, and Iowa doesn’t need to change. But most of these are the best designs for the states in question I’ve seen, including the North Star Flag for Minnesota that I’ve been a fan of for a looooong time. The Virginia and Wisconsin designs are particularly strong, though the Wisconsin design needs a darker shade of blue on the hoist side.

    JSteever | Your comment is awaiting moderation. May 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    Here is “the” image of Jerry West used to create NBA “logoman”. And the BASKETBALL font is the NBA lettering inside the vertical rounded corner rectangle.


    Here is the designer of the Jerry West logo:


    Seeking inspiration, Siegel poured through the photo archives of Sport magazine. A particular photo of the All-Star Jerry West grabbed his attention: It was dynamic, it was vertical, it captured the essence of the game.

    Our design team streamlined the image, and turned West’s silhouette into a white shape in motion–encased in red and blue halves, mirroring the treatment of the MLB logo. With the letters “NBA” at the bottom, the abbreviation took hold in the public’s consciousness.

    Now You Know…


    The whole sequence of sounds in diving is great.

    The hush, the leap, the bounce of the board, and the splash. Repeat.

    The sound of a largemouth bass breaking a still pond early in the morning while fishing.

    QOTW: for curling I’d pick the sound of the old corn brooms over the curling stones hitting one another (although that’s a good one)


    When in goal for hockey the ping off the post is usually a good sound.

    For pitching Slo-pitch, where all foul balls are strikes in my league, the tick of the softball barely hitting the aluminum bat followed by the thud of the ball hitting the chain link backstop fencing is satisfying even when it’s only on the first strike.

    Gymnastics, anyone?

    Especially the wringing shudders from the high bar, parallel bars and uneven paralell bars. And landing from them, plus floor exercise combinations.

    All while the crowd holds their breath.

    In addition to the great answers above (ball hitting glove, crack of bat, bowling strike, downhill skier hanging on for dear life on a big turn, hockey player or skier stopping)…

    The boot of a kickoff to start a football game, especially in week 1.

    The almost non-sound of a simple layup or finger roll in lieu of a showboating dunk.

    Golf clap.

    A cheering home crowd after a big win with the announcers quiet and no stadium sound effects or music.

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