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Jim Vilk, Would You Wear This?

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As we all know by now, I care mostly about what players wear on the field, not fan merchandise. Every now and then, however, a merchandised product line comes along that totally pushes my buttons.

That’s the case with this line of NHL adult onesies being sold by the Canadian firm Hockey Sockey, which was brought to my attention the other day by reader Andrew Lind. (You can purchase them here.) These have apparently been available since at least last fall, but they’re new to me, and I’m officially smitten.

Why do I like these so much? A big part of it, frankly, is that they’re called onesies. Not pajamas, not singlets, not all-in-ones, not jumpers, not bodysuits, not full-body hoodies — onesies. Who wears onesies? Babies (duh). In our increasingly rough-tough macho sports culture, it’s funny — endearing, even — to encounter a product that’s essentially infantilizing.

And even without the name, these things are, let’s face it, a bit goofy, and I mean that in a good way. Imagine a whole room full of fans sitting down to watch a playoff game while wearing these things. It’s just ridiculous enough to be perfect.

Although there’s no rear-view photo, Hockey Sockey’s online shop says the onesies feature a “back door ‘five hole trapper’ flap” (you can see a hint of the flap here), which means these are really pajamas. But the listing then says, “Wear it to the game, to a party, to work and even to bed.” I love that — they’re PJs, but the bed function is almost an afterthought.

The onesies are available for 19 of the NHL’s 30 teams (not sure why the other 11 aren’t offered), and all of the designs are based on the colored home uniforms. I’m on record as preferring the white jerseys for most NHL teams, but the carnival of colors somehow feels right for this product line. White would almost look too classy, too formal.

My only gripe is that they don’t have any photos of actual human beings wearing the onesies, which doesn’t seem right. Fortunately, I was able to locate someone who owns one of the onesies: Gregoire Venier, a Canadiens fan who lives in San Francisco. Here he is wearing his Habs onesie at a game:

I asked Gregoire if he’d be willing to do an email interview, and he agreed. Here’s how it went:

Uni Watch: That photo shows you wearing the onesie at a game. How many times have you done that? What sorts of reactions did you get?

Gregoire Venier: I have now worn it to two games. Everyone who noticed it came up to me and asked where I got it and how much I paid and overall really loved it. I took a few pictures with people — mostly diehard Habs fans.

UW: Where else have you worn it? Like, at home, to go to a bar, or what?

GV: I did wear it to my local sports bar here in San Francisco during the Canadiens/Senators playoff series. On cold nights here in the city I will lounge around in it since it’s super-comfy and provides easy access for bathroom use.

UW: What’s the deal with the back flap? Is it like the flaps on old-fashioned pajamas? If so, is it weird to be wearing something with a pajama flap in public?

GV: The back flap is pretty much covered so it doesn’t seem like it has one. There are three Velcro parts and stays intake very nicely. I usually wear shorts or boxer briefs underneath but never thought much about it when wearing the onesie in public.

UW: Do you find it odd that they call this product a “onesie” (which is usually a term for a baby product), instead of something more adult-like?

GV: The term “onesie” seems to be making a big comeback, especially for Gen X/Y people who had them when they were kids. I know I have done many searches for “Adult Onesie.”

UW: Do you know any other people who’ve bought the onesies? Do they like theirs as much as you seem to like yours?

GV: I know a few of my fellow Canadiens fans have purchased them and absolutely love them.


Faaaaaascinating. Anyone else out there have one of these things?

•  •  •  •  •

Lined with a leak: The 76ers aren’t scheduled to unveil their new uniforms until next month, but we may have gotten a sneak peek at them last night.

It happened at the NBA draft lottery. Sixers player Nerlens Noel, who was representing the team at the event, opened his jacket and revealed something very interesting (click to enlarge):

Social media pounced on the photo. One fan, instead of speculating or wondering, went right to the source and asked Noel if these are the team’s new jerseys. Noel said yes. Of course, this still doesn’t tell us anything about the side panels, the shorts, etc., but at least it gives us a sense of the new look.

Was this “leak” actually planned? It seems unlikely that Noel would show up to this type of event with the team’s new jerseys stitched into his jacket lining unless the team knew about it or even encouraged him to do so. I’ve asked a team spokesman about that — will advise.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the June offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club — the BFBS design — is now available. Full details here, or go straight to the ordering page.

While we’re at it, the Uni Watch smart phone case, with a nifty stirrup-based design created by reader Matt Beahan, is available here.

•  •  •  •  •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: There was a bit of a dust-up yesterday when reports indicated that the Cubs threw away a bunch of personalized bricks from the stadium’s exterior that they sold to the public back in 2006. But then it turned out that the Cubs had notified the brick sponsors months earlier and will be replacing the bricks with new ones. … Milwaukee Brewers player Jonathan Lucroy talks about his equipment in a recent interview with Esquire (from Tommy the CPA). … Here’s a comprehensive slideshow of historic Seattle baseball uniforms (thanks, Phil). … The BuzzFeed softball team has nice company uniforms (thanks, Paul). … We’ve all seen Giants reliever Sergio Romo wearing triple-striped socks, but teammate Hunter Pence had quadruple-striped socks prior to last night’s game against the Dodgers.

NFL News: It looks like the Titans are now using a raised nose bumper logo on their helmets (from Jerry Lawless). … “LeGarrette Blount instagrammed an interesting college-pro mashup of him and Tom Brady today,” Bobby Pinkham says. “I count at least two mistakes: Blount never played in the Pac-12 (it was the Pac-10 when he left in 2009), and he never wore the winged helmet with the O on the back. Oddly enough, it looks like they got the Belotti Bold font correct, though.” … “I came across this wire story from August 17, 1966 where the first set of numbers were handed out to the Miami Dolphins and No. 51 was missing,” Bob Gassel says.

College Football News: Syracuse has un-retired No. 44, a number worn by three football legends at the university: Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little (from Rick DiRubbo). … Cal football is rumored to have white helmets for next season (thanks, Phil). … No pictures but more background information than we had yesterday on Pitt’s new uniforms for 2016 (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: The Arsenal 2015-16 home kit has been leaked (from Conrad Burry). … Real Madrid’s 2015-16 home, away, and alternate kits have leaked online (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Thanks to a logo change by the payday lender Wonga, Newcastle’s newly unveiled home kit now has an obsolete sponsorship logo (from Mark Coale).

Grab Bag: Neighborhoods as brands: parts of Houston are holding contests in order to brand certain neighborhoods (from Cort McMurray). … Here’s a photo gallery of America’s best vintage bowling alleys (from Brig Slaughter). … NikeCourt has unveiled their French Open 2015 collection (thanks, Phil). … NHRA Watch: “In 2015, Courtney Force switched from Ford to Chevy and lost Castrol as a sponsor, yet on Saturday night’s telecast, ESPN showed a graphic of her with her Ford helmet with Castrol logos on it,” David Firestone says. … For this Sunday’s NASCAR race in Charlotte, teams will be replacing the driver’s name on the windshield with the name of a fallen U.S. soldier (from Chris H.). ”¦ A Native American high school student in Nebraska will be allowed to wear an eagle feather on her graduation cap. The school board had initially ruled that she could not do so because of a rule banning “bling” from the caps (from Chris Bisbee).

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Comments (83)

    It would bother me that even though they got the triple striping right for Toronto and Buffalo, they could not duplicate it for Chicago (far left).

    They got the striping right for none of the teams you mentioned.

    Take another look. It’s really not even close. But it doesn’t appear that they’re going for complete accuracy.

    I’d say Vancouver and Detroit are the most “correct” of the bunch.

    The Rangers onesie that’s on the site has the current jersey design– diagonal “RANGERS”–while the one in the splash photo has the crest, as on the 1977(?) Rangers jersey.

    Courtney Force drives in NHRA – drag racing, not NASCAR. While both are loud, NASCAR drivers intend to make turns, whereas their NHRA drivers do so while racing when something goes badly wrong. On the plus side, the NHRA always had nicer media relations folks.

    If you’re looking to establish that nobody here follows or even knows jackshit about soccer, I’ve always been upfront about that.

    I do not follow the sport. There are countless leagues with a gazillion teams, and they all seem to change kits at least once a year. I don’t keep track of any of it — I just pass it along as it comes my way. If that sometimes results in repetition, so be it.

    I don’t think he’s suggesting that people should know or follow soccer. I just took it the same way when I saw the Arsenal “leak.” Which is: “Why does it seem that there’s continuously repetitive stuff there?”

    Nothing more, nothing less. We’ve seen Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc. numerous times. Sometimes, there comes a point where the “leaks” should cease when they’ve been “leaked” enough.

    I think what he’s saying is, “You keep posting the same items multiple times, so you obviously have no idea what you’re posting!”

    And he’s right. I don’t keep track of any of it, because I don’t follow the sport enough for anything to lodge in my brain as we post it. So stuff sometimes gets posted multiple times.

    We get duplicate submissions, spread out over several days, for all sorts of sports. I’m usually good at weeding out the repeats, but not with soccer, because none of it registers with me. I freely admit that this is a weakness of the site. I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

    No complaints from me…I skip right over the entries because I don’t follow or know jackshit about soccer.

    For this Sunday’s NASCAR race in Charlotte, teams will be replacing the driver’s name on the windshield with the name of a fallen U.S. soldier

    Because nothing says, “your sacrifice was not in vain” like being implied to be the driver of one of the cars that inevitably crashes, breaks down, or just plum finishes last. Great idea NASCAR. Really classy.

    Even worse, there will be 48 Fallen Soldier memorial cars competing for 43 spots on the staring grid.
    So does that mean that 5 will only receive recognition during qualifying, which is over in about an hour and run in front of essentially an empty grandstand?
    (How)Does NASCAR plan to remedy that?

    As a NASCAR fan I think this is a terrible idea.

    1. What is the point of having the drivers names there if you could basically put anything there now?

    2. 43 spots versus 48 qualifiers. Also, you know a good 35 of the qualifiers already, so if your soldier happened to get on Jimmie Johnson’s windshield you’re golden. If you’re on one of those drivers fighting for a spot in the grid, not so much.

    Actually, I think this is a new item. We’ve seen prototypes before, but this time around, Olivier Giroud was spotted in the background of a video on the team website.

    I was going to say I’d wear an Olympic version only (Slovakia, Poland or US, please!), but Nordiques? Or as Brain said earlier, the Whalers? Yeah, I’d wear those, too.

    As Paul said, they lookl fun. Definitely good for lounging around the house, but I could see a room full of fans wearing them.

    Speaking of Olympics, they should totally do ski jumping onesies.
    I may have to add that to my llist of projects.

    “No pictures but, …..”

    You might as well stop right there. No longer interested.

    Paul, when I saw the pic of the onesies leading today’s entry I was sure you’d go on a bit of a diatribe about how dumb they are. I’m glad that you hold the opposite opinion. Glad to see you’re not a fuddy-duddy all the time! (said facetiously)

    The jersey that was supposedly a leaked Everton 2015-16 home shirt in the ticker a couple days back doesn’t appear to match the teaser photo that is on the team’s link and was emailed out yesterday. The “leaked” jersey has a collar, while the one in the teaser photo appears not to and appears to be lined in white at the neck. I guess we’ll know tomorrow, anyway.

    This lede makes it seem that onesies are not popular in the USA/Canada; are they not? Have you not been swamped by the onesie-wearing populous since 2012? From my antipodean perspective, onesies have been ‘in’ for at least several years, and are ironically worn by adults in public frequently. Hence, I have to say that these NHL onesies seem to have missed the boat really, but the designs are sweet.

    I had the same reaction. Onesies seem to be very popular with acquaintances of mine who are in their 20s.

    Um…do you mean

    “ironically, worn by adults in public frequently”


    “worn ironically, by adults, in public frequently”?

    Either way, I’ve never seen this. Who the heck is actually wearing these things?

    Got my June T Shirt and look forward to people asking what BFBS means on the name plate. Also ordered the iphone 6 cover.

    The onesies are fun in my view. Yes, a bit ridiculous but that’s what’s fun about them. Will be good on those cold winter nights for sure.

    My general ranking of uniform abbreviation types…
    Very Cool: Initials not entirely related to city or nickname (TC Twins cap, CH Canadiens)
    Totally Acceptable: City initials (StL, SF, NY, etc)
    Allowable (with varying degrees of success): Shortened names (Sonics, Wolves, Pitt, Cal)
    Questionable: Initials covering city and nickname (CR Rockies)
    Not So Great: Airport abbreviations (PHX)
    Stupid Every Time: Non-initialed abbreviations (Phila)

    Nah, airport codes are the Stupidest Every Time. Unless someone builds a stadium actually at an airport. With the rare exceptions of airport codes that happen to serve as civic initials, like DFW or PHX. But LAX or ORD or whatever? Never good.

    Arbitrary abbreviations are risible, sure. But initials with historical or cultural significance are generally fine. “Phila” is just such an example, to the point that the city’s official website is It’s a common and old, old abbreviation for the city, akin to NYC for New York.

    And come on, we’re talking about a city with a name so long that it rarely gets spelled out on uniforms. And the Phillies are just the abbreviation “Philly” made plural.

    “…we’re talking about a city with a name so long that it rarely gets spelled out on uniforms.”


    almost tho.

    I hate, hate everything about the current Phillies uniform set. But that spelled-out road uniform might have single-handedly redeemed the whole uni set, pink home uni and everything.

    I’d love to see a Philly uniform adopt a two-line


    treatment. On a basketball uni, it could be PHILA above the number, DELPHIA below. Love! Number! Brother City!

    How about “PHILA-” on the front and “DELPHIA” in place of the NOB?

    wait, that isn’t a real jersey though. I don’t think the Phillies have ever worn Philadelphia across their chest, have they?

    “I don’t think the Phillies have ever worn Philadelphia across their chest, have they?”

    Maybe once in the 80’s…the 1880’s?:


    Part of me thinks it’s cool that a Philadelphia team has never had “Philadelphia” on a jersey, and part of me thinks it’s just another thing wrong with the city.

    It doesn’t matter if “PHILA” goes back centuries. It looked dumb then, and it looks dumb now. Besides, I don’t think anyone ever calls the city “Phila”, do they? They say “Philly”. If they want to put “Philly” on the jersey, that would fall into the Varying Degrees of Success category. And it would “vary” toward the bad end.

    I just don’t understand why they don’t use “Philadelphia”, because it’s a visually pleasing word with a lot of skinny letters. Like Golden State (an equally long name), the Sixers can have “Philadelphia” arched around the top of the number. And for baseball, the above design looks great. The Giants and the Dodgers fit their city on a uniform, and the Phillies can too.

    Technically, “Philadelphia” has appeared on a Philly team’s jerseys: the link. Yes, “Sixers” is the more prominent word on that crazy thing, but the full city name is there above the team nickname, plain as day.

    Thanks for bringing that up, Rob.

    Actually, those uniforms weren’t bad. Not as good as Phoenix’s early 90s look, but a lot better than everyone else who changed in that era.

    One exception to airport abbreviations being stupid: YYZ should be the mandatory abbreviation for Toronto.


    DFW stands for three different words and is an abbreviation of each. DFW doesn’t work for Dallas because the “FW” is not part of team names.

    PHX is a shortened form of the city name, the airport code, and typically what appears in ticker/scoring bugs. PHX should simply never appear on a jersey.

    NOLA is kind of a straight abbreviation like SF, but it’s also a shortened name like Philly. To me, I’d put it in the Varying category with Mizzou, and I’d rank it as a bad idea.

    Don’t hate on link.

    I’m okay with “ATL” for the Hawks because people actually say “Ay-tee-el”.

    Also, I think I’d be open to “B’more” for Baltimore.

    “MPLS” is a little different than “Phila” because there is no way to pronounce MPLS. You either say Minneapolis or M.P.L.S. when you see it. But in general, it’s not good. It kind of looks cool, because it resembles a high school jersey. But for a pro team, not good.

    Here’s one that reeeeally grinds my gears: City Nickname. “Rip City”, anyone? “Motor City”, “The Ville”, “The City” (not too pompous, San Fran). To the circular file with ’em.

    I think I’d rather have a uni-inspired Snuggie or Slanket than a onesie. Just seems the more sensible couchwear.

    Newcastle United are just plain wrong to have Wonga as a sponsor. Which logo they use is irrelevant. Wonga are a payday loan company that prey on people in financial difficulties at 1,509% APR interest.

    You could have simply left it at “Newcastle United are just plain wrong” frankly. That club is a mere shadow of what it once was.

    Newcastle is basically like if you combined the boneheadedness of the Clippers, Mets, Knicks, and the Browns, then took away their roaring successes.

    What’s astounding about the snafu is that Wonga released its new logo just *hours* after Newcastle unveiled the new kits. Nobody at Wonga thought to tell Newcastle and Puma “Might want to hold on a bit before you start printing the replica shirts,” and nobody at Newcastle and Puma thought to ask Wonga, “We’re launching our kits in May. Is this the correct logo going forward?”

    Definitely will not be DIYing a sports onesie. The jersey-lined suit, on the other hand, is pretty slick.

    Cubs screw up yet again. Yes, they told the people that had bought a brick that they were replacing them with new ones. But to just toss them in the dumpster? They should have offered to give the old ones to the people that bought them, a nice PR move they somehow failed to pull off. Surprising, considering the Cubs’ history of success both on and off the field.[/sarcasm]

    The Atlanta Thrashers’ purchase/relocation was like a knife to the heart, but at least it’s spared us fans certain indignities in the long run. Enjoy your onesies, Winnipeg–want a spillproof bottle with that?

    Good for the gal at Omaha South fighting for the eagle plume. I spent some time in South Dakota and went to Rosebud a few times. It’s great to see her (and maybe more following) move on from the depression that’s in some of these reservations.

    Not Rosebud, but this is an example of the tragedy in reservations: link

    Sabres is an old school throwback. Current unis have silver in them, and they are more navy blue than royal blue in the lead picture.

    That Wonga discrepancy will make this years kits desirable. Just a thought soccer enthusiast/collectors.

    FYI: Gerber owns the registered trademark for the word “onesie”.

    Gerber’s website is pretty clear when it comes to who is allowed to use the word “Onesie”. Onesies first hit the market in 1982, and the company has been, as they put it, “aggressive” in defending the trademark since.

    From Gerber:
    The Onesies® trademark, or any confusingly similar variation thereof (e.g., “Onesie” or “Onezees”), may not be used as a generic descriptor or a noun; it should be used only as an adjective, when referring to the Onesies® brand by Gerber®.

    I know someone in the Onesie business (she actual sells the Gerber product in her store), and she has been contacted by Gerber about using the term in her item descriptions. She has had to clarify that she is using their product and therefore is using the term appropriately.

    I guess if you have a brand/trademark, etc., you need to show that you are trying to protect it lest it be ruled a generic term.

    I never knew Onesie was a Gerber trademark. in England, they call those garments a “babygro”, which is also a brand name.

    “… … Here’s a photo gallery of America’s best vintage bowling alleys (from Brig Slaughter). …”

    Thank you.

    I’ve bowled at (and written about) that place for many, many years. Unfortunately, about a year ago link and now it’s basically ruined. I can’t even stick my head in there anymore — too many great memories flushed down the drain. Too bad.

    on hunter pence’s socks: he is such an extreme high-cuffer that i wouldn’t be surprised if romo’s socks had four stripes and we just didn’t know because he’s not wearing his hem up on his thigh. oddly, pence doesn’t wear any stripes during the game. he just goes solid black. the solid color sock look is a missed opportunity to me. it is mildly acceptable for moderate high-cuffs, but anything that lands fully above the calf muscle starts to look like theatrical tights if there isn’t any stirrup or stripe action to break up all that leg real estate. also, i’m a big fan of high-cuffed unis, but if you want to wear shorts, play softball. let’s keep them somewhere below the knee, please. pence is goofy enough without the boardshorts and pantyhose action.

    I love that we’re seeing a lot more in the way of stripey hosiery in the past couple of years, but the one thing that is bothering me is that it seems to be consistently way too high. This is having a twofold effect:
    1. the proportions of the sock look weird. There’s still too much blank sock. I would much rather see the stripes break up the blank space, rather than simply sit atop it: link
    2.It’s forcing players to cuff too high. Not necessarily Hunter Pence high, but up just under the knee is visually unappealing to me. Rather than hugging the calf muscle, the cuff of the pants rides up over it. It also leads to poor cuffing – bunching up the fabric rather than folding it up neatly.

    Paul, I just forwarded you an email – the Sixers ‘leak’ was absolutely planned. I’m on the team email distro – here’s an excerpt from the message:

    “Tonight during the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery, the Sixers received the #3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Nerlens Noel, decked out in a Sixers-themed outfit including a suit jacket lined with our new 2015-16 uniform, represented the team on the stage in New York.”

    …Unless he screwed up and the team is spinning it that way. But the email did come out only about an hour after the lottery winner was chosen, so it most likely seems legit.

    for shoot’s sake, twice in on week for the comment chancing that you won’t crash the mac(that was a fail, this is a re-write). but the first comment this week was because i love that you hate purple as much as i hate the #8. and that’s not “pound” or a twit reference. blah blah in case you suddenly turned 25…

    but showing these miserable hoods? giving them air? you know 1/2 the clowns here will like them, so you are selling them. stick to knuckle-head had the wrong jersey on, weirdo has a cool take on hand drawn this or that freak stuff. gah!

    ah shoot, screw it, as i type about all the BS nhl craptacular i see the folly. but corn darn it i miss the subtle nature of uni watching before this site and it’s nature was part of the corporate whore that is the current landscape. and i don’t mean that harshly other then the harsh reality of the marble. but i still say fuck it. gah! i miss kid draw-rings and once every three year notre dame green as a special. dig? i mean this shit don’t soot you anymore, you are too good for this crap man.sweat shirts for fucking corn’s sake? it is all so depressing, where is the dang fun of it all?!

    I have/had a brick at Wrigley. I knew that they were replacing the bricks. The email yesterday was about how many of the bricks were “missing” from their final resting place. I’m not sure how they knew that or why they were keeping track of bricks that were trashed.

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