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Let’s Hope This Doesn’t Give the Detroit Tigers Any Ideas

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When Adidas and Louisville unveiled the team’s opening-day uniforms back in July, they left out a key visual detail: The NOB lettering is done in an old English font.

It’s not clear if this was the plan all along or if it was a late-breaking decision (the only rear-view photos from the unveiling were this one and this one, both of which appear to show an NNOB format). In any case, it looked like shite on the field. The type was hard to read, the letters appeared to be printed onto the nameplate fabric rather than sewn on, and the nameplates themselves looked like they’d been sewn on very haphazardly, plus the old-school font clashed with the uniform’s newfangled vibe.

My buddy Dave Wilson, who’s one of my ESPN editors and is also a graphic designer, was so amused by the NOBs and the reaction to them that he wrote this piece on how social media responded to the design. Fun stuff. ”” Paul

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Duck Tracker 11-7-13

Duck Tracker Wanted

Phil here. As Paul mentioned Friday, I’m taking this weekend off, but I’ll be back next weekend with the usual shenanigans, including the whole slate of “Sunday Morning Uni Watch” covering all college uni stuff.

As many of you know, for the past several years I’ve relied upon Tim E. O’Brien for all your Duck Tracking needs, which has usually entailed a small-ish write-up and a graphic (like the one seen at right) of what the Ducks wore the previous day (or Thursday, should they get the Thursday night game).

Tim informs me he has a lot of commitments this year, especially on the weekends, so I’m in the market for a new tracker — someone with some graphic ability. I’m looking for someone to do a small-ish write-up for the uniform the team wears, plus a graphic. Tim has even graciously volunteered to provide a blank template, but you’ll still need some graphics abilities to craft some of the uniforms the Quackers trot out. If you’re interested, please shoot me an email and we can discuss. OK? OK!

Comments (48)

    The Adidas tight fitting uniforms are absolutely the WORST in football. The majority of the shoulder pads are exposed because the uniforms don’t fit properly and the houndstooth looking pattern is just such a distraction. Terrible.

    Disagree. Call me crazy, but I believe that the purpose of names and numbers on uniforms is clear and easy identification of individual players, rather than showiness. Legibility trumps style. Blackletter gothic is fine for diplomas and newspaper mastheads, not NOBs. It didn’t look good when Northwestern did a different style Gothic calligraphy last year; this looks worse.

    Check out the new Adidas Miami Hurricanes NOB lettering. It is some weird combination of capital and small letters and looks atrocious. If you can find a screen shot of Brad Kaaya from the back it looks like his jersey is in Russian.

    It’s truly awful. Click this to enlarge and you’ll see what I (and Andrew) mean:

    Miami NOB font

    I think it’s a somewhat distorted version of the Miami word mark font. It’s very silly looking as used for the player names.

    Gah! The dreaded comment is awaiting moderation notice!! I KNEW my hatred of white pants and gray facemasks would eventually get me banned!!!!

    Wow. The font works as the Miami wordmark but it shouldn’t be bastardized into the names. I hope this is something that will be corrected quickly and doesn’t stick around.

    Is it time to “Ditch to Duck Tracker”? It probably started because they were the only team that changed looks every week, but now a good chunk of teams have followed suit.


    The duck tracker is tired and played out. At this point I would rather know what teams aren’t using insane combos of crappy gear.

    Especially after being exposed to yesterday’s abomination. The feathers have gotten totally out of hand.

    Just my opinion but I think the Duck Tracker has lost is appeal since it seems that well every college team is on the match and mix kick.

    Would love to see a “Uni-tracker” for college football. If it seems overwhelming how about just teams in the top twenty with maybe a 1 off for something that looks really good or really horrid. It could be just a amall-ish graphic of what the time wore with a short sentence.

    Using some examples above. “Oregon went with their Yellow helmet, white jersey, yellow pants combination this week” Then have the graphic.

    “Louisville broke out the white helmet, white jersey and pants combo with the awful gothic NOB combo” Then graphic for that.

    The biggest issue, is that you need someone who’s skilled in the graphics department, and who has weekends off so they have time to create all of those images. I’m probably capable of doing the uniform graphics, but my work schedule won’t give me enough time to do it, unless you want to have the Sunday Morning Uniform Tracker (SMUT, lol) be posted on Tuesdays.

    The logo on the L’ville helmet looked like angry bird on meth. Very cartoonish. The glossy shoulder graphics were awful as well.

    It was a disaster from head to toe but evidently a conference room full of decision makers thought it was magnificent.

    I was at a party of a dozen “barners” yesterday watching this game on their new 80 inch TV. Even the women were mocking louisville’s garb. These folks are from uni-conscious yet the howled throughout the game at how shitty Louisville looked. The font was the lowest of the lowlights

    The U’s weird NOB font reminds me of what Adidas used for World Cup jerseys in 2010, but a little more extreme.

    As a Miami grad, I won’t jade my opinion of these jerseys as a ‘homer.’
    The font for the nameplates is awful and looks as though a 1st grader who doesn’t understand capital and lower case wrote it. The font size is about 10 sizes too large. The “U” on the upper back is too large and pushes the extra large nameplates too far down the back instead of being above the shoulder blades. Like Louisville’s, the nameplate strip of material looked to be an afterthought that was ready to come off the jersey at anytime like it was only being held in place like a Little League iron-on patch that still needs sewn on anyway lest it come off in the first washing.

    The orange is too close to red, or maybe that’s just how it looked because I was watching the game online. Maybe that’s a function of the two shades of orange formulating the snake-skin appearance.

    After reserving judgement, I have decided the interrupted sleeve and pants stripes are not a good thing and would be much improved without the cluttering, angled strips.

    While I am happy they didn’t tinker with the helmet, I wish they’d get rid of the shiny metallic light green stripes and replace them with the same dark green used in the jerseys.

    Other than that…

    I was watching the Wisconsin – Alabama game and it looked like Wisconsin brought back old jerseys

    I may be alone in this, and that’s fine, but I like the Louisville script on these unis from Saturday. I don’t want it to become an epidemic, but if it’s a one time thing, then it’s ok. Please U of L, don’t make this a regular thing.

    The small size of the letters on those name plates makes the problem even worse. But even if they were larger, I don’t think a combination upper/lower case format would ever look right for a name plate. Has anyone ever done it, and if they did, could it ever look right? seems it would always look unbalanced.

    It has been done in the NBA… was mentioned on this site within the last few weeks… but I’m drawing a total blank on what team it was.

    I think both of those examples look perfectly fine. Everyone has HDTVs now, so you can use custom fonts and whatever and it’s still readable when it needs to be.

    Having the first letter of the last name in caps and the rest lower-case is much more sensible than what Miami was doing, which is interspersing them within the name.

    BTW, Mets broadcasters were all over Dee Gordon for his ridiculous two-in-ones (he was super-high-cuffed) and loud shoes this afternoon.

    Northeastern University did it with its men’s hockey teams.

    And Puma did it in soccer, even landing with Italy’s World Cup winners back in 2006.


    I’m *off* this weekend. The 5 & 1 (both for this week and next Sunday’s ‘normal’ 5 & 1) will return next weekend. The full SMUW package runs when I’m on the weekends — Paul is filling in for me on *my* vacation.

    Wait, you’re all allowed time off? Who made these rules? Labor Day means you’re supposed to put in extra labor, right? Maybe I’m doing it wrong….

    Enjoy the time off! You and Paul both deserve your breaks. We may not always agree on what we think looks good but everyone at UW always works hard & I appreciate it as my temporary escape if insanity to come here & see the crazy new shiny costumes. Not many nice days left so I hope you can enjoy the time away.

    I think those are stars… but… yeah. Seriously, any team dressing up in stupid “patriotic” crap to “honor the military” when playing a game against one of the military teams should be given an automatic forfeit. You want to honor the guys you’re playing against? Ok, then play a competitive game against them.

    Is there some NCAA bylaw that says every new football costume has to be shiny, illegible, and stupid in some way? Give a kid $20 and you go to jail, give a kid a Broadway dance costume with illegible numerals written in silver sequins and make him wear it in public… no penalty??

    If the website is looking for a duck tracker, look for a Terp Tracker too! I know the U-W gang have a certain distaste for Maryland hubris style uniforms but they are very noteworthy and are the model for Under Armour uniform advancement.

    Duke tweeted some new basketball unis yesterday: link

    Very similar to the set they wore in this year’s tournament, but with the names in blue. If these are the standard home set this year, I’d consider it a downgrade. They dropped the blue side panels and kept the terrible black trim.

    I love the old English font so in theory I really like the idea of Louisville using it for the names on the uniforms. Unfortunately like a lot of designs lately the execution is what killed it. Make the font a bit larger than that and make it in white on the home red uniforms and in red or black on the road whites and it would look nice. Maybe it was, I didn’t see the game so based on that 1 pic it looks like it was the same shiny silver the rest of that clown suit was stuck with. Shiny any color for the names no matter what the size or font defeats the purpose of having the names.

    I certainly hope that no teams are going all camo-patriotic in “honor” of the Labor Day holiday. If they do I might have to strap on my grandfathers carbide lamp and go rough up some Pinkertons.

    I skip right past the Duck Tracker and 5+1 every week. Maybe those columns have their fans but it seems like filler to me.

    Dating a person from a different race is not only a whole new experience but also gives you an opportunity to learn a lot of things. However, looking at the increasing number of interracial dating sites available on the market, it has become difficult for people to choose a site that caters to all their needs. Even if a person manages to find their right website, lack of knowledge makes it difficult to sustain in a relationship.

    Did anyone see what TSU and PV threw down on Saturday night. Man it was not purdy. Too many panels on TSU’s shirts and I dont know what PV was doing.


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