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A Little Puck, A Little Yuck

Big day for Uni Watch over at ESPN, as my annual NHL preview will be running, plus we’ll have the debut of a new weekly feature, “Uni Watch’s Friday Flashback” (yes, the original plan was for Thursdays, but we changed it), where I’ll be taking a look back at a uniform or uni set from the past. We’re kicking off the feature this week with an examination of MLB’s futuristic uniform promotion from 1999.

The Friday Flashback piece is here, and the NHL preview is here. Enjoy. ”” Paul

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Culinary Corner: I was in the mood for a hot dog last night, so I went ahead and made one. Nothing fancy — Boar’s Head dog, supermarket-brand bun, some chopped onion. But as I was reaching into my fridge for a bottle of mustard, I noticed something sitting right next to it: a jar of capers.

I’d never put capers on a hot dog before, mainly because I’d never thought of putting capers on a hot dog before. But as soon as I thought of it, I liked the idea, so I went ahead and tried it. Here’s how it looked right before I took the first bite (click to enlarge):

Worked really well. I think this is gonna be a regular thing for me from now on, at least when I’m making a dog at home. Only question is whether I can get away with sneaking a jar of capers into the ballpark.

Capers are interesting little items. They’re great in salads, sauces, etc. (and, I now know, on hot dogs). They’ve even better if you fry them for about 45 seconds in some olive oil, which really opens up their flavor. Mmmmm, capers.

Which leads me to this story: On New Year’s Day, 1979, my family and I went to see the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In one of the first scenes, Donald Sutherland, playing the role of a municipal health inspector, finds a rat turd in the kitchen of a French restaurant. He grabs it with a pair of tweezers and presents it to the chef/owner, who pleads with him, “No, no, Monsieur — eet ees a cay-pare!” Sutherland just looks at him and says, “It’s a fucking rat turd, Pierre. I’m shutting you down.” I was 14 yrs old at the time and had never heard of capers before (had to ask my parents what that was all about), but for years I wouldn’t eat them because of the rat turd association. Eventually got over it, which I’m very happy about because I really love them.

• • • • •

PermaRec update: If you saw a paper airplane on the street, would you pick it up, or even think twice about it? Yeah, me neither. But one guy collected and cagalogued over 250 paper airplanes that he found on the streets of New York over a 26-year span. Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

Right back atcha: It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned how much I love Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan, so this seems like a good time to mention that I fucking love Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan, who’s the smartest, funniest, most brilliantly acerbic cultural critic plying his trade in America today. Latest case in point: When a new Gallup poll found that the public’s trust in the media is at an all-time low, Nolan offered this response:

Well, guess what?

We don’t trust you motherfuckers either.

Routinely failing to read past the headline. Forming strong opinions on issues with virtually no understanding of them. Loudly condemning entire segments of the media for the most shallow political reasons. Crying out for more substantive coverage and then paying attention only to sex, celebrities, and animals. Can’t take a joke. Can’t detect sarcasm. Always misspelling our names when you send us death threats via email. Always badmouthing us to pollsters. Always calling us crude names on the Twitter, even though we are human beings just like you and we only wrote that negative review of your shitty indie band because it is our job.

Sorry, Americans: You have a lot of work to do if you want to win back the media’s trust. Frankly, we’re sick of your shit.

I can especially relate to the bit about the misspelled death threats. Come on, ’Skins and Browns fans — it’s Lukas, not Lucas.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: And so it has come to this: The ’Skins name is apparently being boycotted by the Eagles. This appears to be the first time that another NFL team has avoided using the ’Skins name. ”¦ The Tigers’ idea of rookie hazing is to make their rooks dress up as cowboys and Indians. Classy!

Baseball News: A classical pianist who’s also a Mets fan has come up with a new arrangement of “Meet the Mets.” “It’s been making the rounds in the New York classical music community,” says Keith Kreindler. ”¦ Bo Baize notes that the Cardinals Radio Network has its own very snazzy logo, and that the Cubs appear to have trademarked the letter W. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s more on Shin-Soo Choo’s switch to a single-flap helmet (from VMoore). ”¦ Brian Crago loves the way Cubs radio man Pat Hughes describes each team’s uniform, and it’s hard to disagree. ”¦ For reasons that aren’t clear, at least to me, the Rangers wore American flag-themed shorts for BP yesterday (from @asianorange). ”¦ Hunt for blue October: Ken Traisman notes that every MLB team whose primary color is royal blue — the Jays, Royals, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, and Rangers — will make the playoffs. ”¦ Yanks SS Didi Gregorius has a personalized elbow pad. ”¦ Speaking of the Yanks, this has got to be the lamest excuse for a celebration cap ever.

NFL News: Here are some NFL logo mashups with the past meeting the present (from Jonathan Daniel). ”¦ Someone working for the Bills apparently has a great sense of humor. ”¦ In a related item, the Steelers now have a pink Twitter avatar. ”¦ There’s a movement afoot in Congress to ban military-sponsored NFL salutes (from Robert Hayes). ”¦ Here’s something I’d completely forgotten about: In 1984 the Raiders wore a left-hip patch commemorating the 25th anniversary of the original AFL teams (from DavidS). ”¦ The Cardinals are revealing what they’ll be wearing each week on Snapchat. ”¦ With the Cowboys slated to wear blue against the Saints this Sunday, it’s also interesting to note that the cover of the Cowboys’ current media guide shows Tony Romo in a blue jersey. “That got me wondering when was the last time the Cowboys media guide had a player on the cover wearing blue,” says Kenny Kaplan. “Turns out it was in 1991!” ”¦ Ravens WR Steve Smith had an Under Armour waistband towel, instead of the usual Wilson model, for last night’s game against the Steelers (from John Koziol). ”¦ And speaking of last night’s game, it marked the beginning of Pinktober. Sigh. ”¦ And speaking of Pinktober, this year’s pink ribbon helmet decals feature the gold NFL logo.

College Football News: Further reports that Ohio State will wear this black jersey against Penn State on Oct. 17. ”¦ Alternates on tap tomorrow for Oklahoma. ”¦ The fantasy gambling site FanDuel used a pair of Georgia Tech players in its advertising without the players’ knowledge, permission, or compensation (thanks, Mike). ”¦ Good video on the Mississippi State equipment staff (from Dustin Semore). ”¦ UNC will wear Pinktober accessories on Oct. 17 (from James Gilbert). ”¦ Also from James: Georgia Tech has added a pink ribbon to its field. ”¦ LSU’s purple jerseys will be making a rare appearance this weekend (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Miami wore a new all-white uniform with an embarrassing name last night against Cincy. The good news: new and much-improved NOB font. ”¦ Word I’m hearing is that Hawaii will once again be wearing their throwbacks for tomorrow’s game at Boise State.

Hockey News: Interesting story on the NHL’s new official statistics licensee. ”¦ New uniforms for the Regina Pats. ”¦ Remember the story earlier this week about the Islanders getting a new goal horn as part of their move to Brooklyn? Response to that news was so negative that they’ve decided to use the old horn from the Nassau Coliseum instead. ”¦ Six all-time great goaltenders will be featured on Canadian postage stamps. ”¦ New uniforms for Arizona State, including a doozy of a captaincy patch. Further info here.

Pro Basketball News: The Warriors will wear gold-trimmed letters and numbers on Opening Night, when they’ll also receive their rings and raise their championship banner. ”¦ Some Serbian team you’ve never heard of has the most wackadoodle uniforms I’ve seen in ages (from Daniel Cotter). ”¦ The Nuggets showed off their new jerseys. Impressive that the players could hold those pickaxes with a straight face.

College Hoops News: New gold unis for West Virginia. ”¦ Jesse Justus collects game-used basketball shorts — he has several hundred pairs. But he recently came across he’d never seen before: a pair of Alabama shorts with small panels of plastic sewn on the inner waistband. Anyone know what that’s about? He also came across a pair of St. John’s shorts with a little inner pouch. ”¦ New uniforms for Michigan State. Also Fresno State. Also Weber State.

Soccer News: Adidas has released a bunch of 1980s-inspired ManU merch (thanks, Phil). ”¦ New CONCACAF patch for the USA U-23 team (from Mark Johnson). ”¦ The Seattle Reign wore their purple/neon alternate jersey for the National Women’s Soccer League Championship. “Other notable details include the championship badge on the chest and the event and date under the swoosh,” says Saurel Jean, Jr. ”¦ Same patch and event/date thingie for Seattle’s oppoent, FC Kansas City (from @holycalamity, who also noticed a KC player whose socks were so short that they barely covered her shinguards).

Grab Bag: Got some promotional drinking straws in the mail the other day, and they were accompanied by this straw size guide. As always, there’s something very satisfying about industry-specific classification systems. I especially like the little “actual size” diameter circles at lower-left. … Hadn’t eaten a Carvel Flying Saucer since I was a kid (or maybe ever) and was surprised to see that they have the product name stamped into the wafer. The font isn’t bad, and I like that they included little speed/motion lines (although I would have put them on the other side, because of our cultural predisposition toward things that move from left to right, not right to left). Can’t decide if the ” ®” symbol is corporate-pathetic or if it just makes the whole thing more endearingly plastic and junkfood-y. … Sportful is designing the jersey for new cycling world road race champion Peter Sagan, who will debut the new jersey on Oct. 8 at the Abu Dhabi Tour (from Sean Clancy). ”¦ There’s apparently a place in Chicago called Uni-BBQ. “They sell whole lamb and pig rotisseries, made for outdoor residential use,” says Brian Crago. “Their website gives some pretty gnarly (but helpful) instructions on how to use their products and prepare your meat. Do I smell a Uni Watch Uni-BBQ in the future?” Indeed! ”¦ Auburn has re-upped with Under Armour (from Andrew McCain). ”¦ I’ve never much liked chocolate breakfast cereals, but I might make an exception for this French product just based on the box design. ”¦ Students at some Atlanta-area schools can skip wearing their mandatory uniforms if they pay a small fee. ”¦ Here’s a look at the logo history of San Francisco’s municipal railway (from Nicholas Roznovsky).

Comments (92)

    The best hot dog I’ve ever had was in Reyjkavik, Iceland. There, they make their hot dogs from a combination lamb and pork, and their traditional dressings are fried onions, diced sweet onions, a very sweet mustard, and a remoulade vaguely reminiscent of tartar sauce… but with capers in it.

    It works really well, and I’m consistently bummed that I can’t find anything like this in the USA.

    I’ve taken to cross-hatching and marinating hot dogs before I grill them. Some ketchup, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, a splash or two of chili oil & Worcestershire. Actually planned that for tonight’s main course until Hurricane Joaquin put the kibosh on that.

    There’s the very famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik that Bill Clinton ate it, but I found their hot dogs a little underwhelming. Plus I waited in line for close to an hour.

    I did, however, have a hot dog from a little stand somewhere on near Stykkisholmur that was the single best hot dog I’ve ever had. It was the traditional lamb/pork dog deep-fried with garlic sauce, crumbled up Doritos, cheese sauce and some kind of spices. Also, they served it on toasted bread that was more like what you get with a lobster roll than a regular hot dog roll. Best. Dog. Ever.

    Mike Napoli tweeted a few days ago about getting the flag shorts for the Rangers.

    As to why? It’s Mike Napoli, who knows.

    Regarding the AFL 25th patches, while it’s strange enough that the Raiders opted to wear them on their pants instead of their jersey like the other seven charter teams, there’s some inconsistency with how the team logos appear on the patches themselves. The Raiders and link used their primary logos; the Chiefs used an old link link; and the other five teams used 3/4ths views of their then-current helmets.

    -When Micheal Kay was the Yankees radio announcer, he was known to give an excellent description of both teams uniforms, always ending by saying the Yankees jerseys had “No NOB….of course.”
    Bob Papa of the NY Giants radio is also known to describe both teams uniforms.

    -All Post-Season gear is silly, unless it’s the actual Championship. (IMO…those are silly too.)

    -While watching TNF…I thought the Pinktober craze was minimal. There were a few Steelers players & coaches sporting the garish “pink”, but a lot less than in past years. I don’t think any of the Baltimore players/coaches had any pink.

    Just wondering why the B on the Ravens hip doesn’t match the B on the corresponding side of their helmet.

    a Buccos bumblebee combo that the team never actually wore

    You might want to read the conversation in that link.

    Sorry, Americans: You have a lot of work to do if you want to win back the media’s trust. Frankly, we’re sick of your shit.

    If Mr. Nolan thinks so little of me, he’ll be as happy as I am when I don’t read his shit.

    Re: In Baseball News: Check it out: Former Pirates P Dock Ellis at a 1989 old-timers game wearing a Buccos bumblebee combo that the team never actually wore.

    Actually, according to the Buc Tracker, and as Jerry points out in the conversation below the picture, the Pirates wore gold jerseys with white pants in September 1980. The jerseys are wrong, but everything else is right. Need to fix.

    Cubs trademarking the “W” for win is one of the funnier things I’ve heard recently.

    The speed lines on the right, combined with the oblique font, make the “Flying Saucer” mark look like it’s sliding.

    Sliding right into my mouth. The lines are on the right because most people are right handed.

    ’Skins Watch: And so it has come to this: The ’Skins name is apparently being boycotted by the Eagles.

    Query: Will Chip Kelly’s coach sideline card (the infamous/cryptic “S” card) use “redskin” (he always drops the “s” on the team name) or “Washington” this week?

    See link to photos after the bump:





    The Yankee playoff cap…all teams are using that. Only difference for division winners is the word ‘division’ to the left of the logo and ‘champions’ to the right, like on this Mets one: link




    Interesting how Chip always leaves the “s” off of the team name on his coach’s sideline play card.


    Is it just me or is the makersmark on the Warriors jersey also outlined in gold?
    Almost as if adidas is claiming that participated in the success of the team.

    “The Philadelphia Eagles are just being PC,” said nobody ever. Iggles are about the last team I would expect to avoid the Redskins name. I wonder if this is driven by any one person’s strong opinion. I mean, for the coach to avoid using his opposing team’s nickname like that takes a fair bit of effort. Seems like he either has been given strict instructions from one of the very few people above him in the organization, or he feels strongly about the question himself. It would be fascinating to know the story there.

    Maybe Mrs. Laurie? She is reportedly why the Eagles are stuck with that puke-ugly totally 90s midnight green for jersey color, despite a strong lobby for a return to the kelly green jerseys.

    See, this is exactly why I’d love to see a journalist find and tell the story. There’s something interesting going on at Eagles HQ.

    I kind of don’t get the obsession over kelly. Would the Eagles look better with kelly green? Absolutely. But is midnight green the worst thing about their current look? Not even close. It’s all the black that’s the problem. The thing about dark green is that it’s, you know, dark. So it’s going to look better if paired with a secondary color that’s light, so you get contrast in both hue and shade. If the Eagles just dialed the black down to almost-not-there accent color, or even eliminated it entirely, and made silver their dominant secondary color, they’d look so much better. Heck, if they kept midnight green, eliminated black, and promoted silver, then they could make terrific use of kelly green as an accent color.

    That explanation works if it’s just the coach conspicuously avoiding the name, or the media guide. But literally every facet of the team, every person, every publication, with so-far perfect consistency? That’s way more effort than any “annoy the opposition” stunt would call for. If that’s all it was, and even if the team wanted perfect compliance, some of its employees would have slipped up.

    It isn’t the entire organization. On the team’s website, right now, there’s this: link and that was available from the front page under “Latest Headlines” with no digging required.

    I would believe the plastic in the Alabama basketball shorts was to help keep the jersey tucked in. I’ve seen some golf pants with a very thin wrap of plastic around the inside of the waist, which helped keep your shirt tucked in.

    I was thinking the same thing. I have some Adidas shorts with rubbery plastic right on the hips (where the plastic in the post appears to be), as well as a pair of Nike shorts with rubbery plastic that goes the whole way around.

    Having played with it, I’ve found ti does reduce motion between short and jersey.

    *It’s interesting to see that Canadian postage allows living persons to be represented on postage (as American postage no living person can be represented…)

    For a long time most Canadian postage included whomever was the reigning British monarch so no prohibition on living people has ever existed in Canada.

    Canada has never been particularly stuck up about depicting living people on the stamps. Recent honourees have included Mike Myers, Rush and The Guess Who.

    It’s never been a big deal to us. It’s just a stamp. Also Canada Post doesn’t exactly endear itself to Canadians, so few actually pay attention to who they put on what.

    In the Hurricanes/Bearcats match-up from last night Miami’s #11 Scott had his NOB way off center.

    Were the Steelers the only team wearing any pink last night? I only watched for a little while, but I never saw any pink on Baltimore. Don’t both teams normally wear it?

    Not sure if this is in the ESPN article or somewhere on here but here is the Capitals’ 3rd jersey sked: link

    I still don’t like anything about the old Caps lettering/logo, but my goodness that is a beautiful jersey. Makes me think there ought to be a category or name for uniforms or teams where you don’t like major elements (logo, colors, whatever) but the overall design is so good that you like the uniform anyway.

    Forming strong opinions on issues with virtually no understanding of them… Crying out for more substantive coverage and then paying attention only to sex, celebrities, and animals. Can’t take a joke. Can’t detect sarcasm.

    Guilty as charged.

    The Giants don’t use the Washington football club’s name on their website, either. Every article only refers to them as Washington; all the other teams are referred to by nickname or city & nickname.

    LSU Purple: As a reminder the rules are:

    * Home game against SEC opponent (or any other Power 5 team) – white
    * 1st Home game of the year (irregardless of opponent) – white
    * All remaining Home games – purple

    LSU only has one remaining home game against a non-Power 5: October 24 vs. Western Kentucky

    holy crud under the seat was poor mr. nolan’s brain just exploded over being railed for the umpteenth rant a glorious read.
    hugs and kisses,

    Good reporting and writing is still out there, you just need to wade through the Kardashian coverage muck to find it.

    Back in the day there was only a limited number of sources to go to and get your news (i.e. newspapers, nightly news, radio broadcasts, barber shops;)) So the information felt like it had more weight and priority of stories maybe had more importance. Celebrity news tended to stay in the ‘rags’, magazines, and back pages of papers. Today with the internet and hundreds of TV channels, not only does news travel as fast as ever, but there has to be more of it to fill the void. You just need to find the right places to get your news….it’s out there. As you are reading or listening to some news, just treat it like former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did pornography…You may not be able to talk specifically about what defines something as a bad news piece, but you should know it when you see it.

    “A pair of Alabama shorts with small panels of plastic sewn on the inner waistband. Anyone know what that’s about?”

    It helps keep the jerseys tucked in. I assume they are a stickier material that grabs the jersey..

    Interesting about the Isles ditching their ice girls. I know the Oilers are phasing out their dance team this year as well.

    While I consider the Canadiens’ red sweater to be one of the all-time classics, I really hope they don’t wear a red throwback, and come up with something different. Personally, I’d like to see them break out the mid-1930s white sweater, with the blue and red striping at the shoulder line, as that’s a throwback they’ve yet to do.

    Besides, with the Bruins supposedly going with black jerseys, red vs. black just doesn’t appeal to me the way some other color-on-color combinations would.

    I believe the plastic on the Alabama shorts is to hold play cards, similar to football players wristbands. This was a trademark of former coach Anthony Grant.
    I too have a large collection of college game worn shorts, including several pairs from the Grant era at Alabama.
    The black waistband already consists of gripper material to help with keeping the jersey tucked in.

    Referencing Gawker media or anything put out by it for any purpose other than derision/contempt/”Exhibit A as to what is wrong with the media/America/world/humanity in general?”

    I dunno, there, Lukas. If it’s me I’d find a more sympathetic/less reprehensible vehicle for making whatever point you were trying to make there.

    Hopefully the Browns will go Orange/Orange/Orange just to make your weekend!

    Regarding the TATC piece…

    The article mentions that the “Mercury Mets” were the only team participating in the… umm, promotion, to change its location name and purport to represent another place (let alone planet) besides its current (1999) home city. I think, also, the Mets were the only team to change its basic color scheme. The Mercury Mets uniforms were all black and silver/grey; no blue or orange to be found.

    Did anyone else do that?

    I believe the Mariners went red and black again, similar to their black 1998 TBTC unis but with red as the base this time.

    The TATC jerseys were the Pirates’ first serious use of red, at least since they adopted black and gold in the ’40s.

    That’s not a full-scale change, though, as the colors on the TATC unis were the same as on their regular unis – black, gold, and red. The red was confined on the home whites and road grays to the sleeve patch that was introduced in 1997, but there was red trim on the black alternates.

    I can’t think of a team unveiling and wearing new uniforms a week into the season like the Regina Pats. They wore their throwback third jerseys for their first two games but there must have been something up with the production or they are just terrible at timing.

    Paul, have you ever written about your obvious fondness for manual pencil sharpeners? If you have, I must’ve missed it.

    Back around 2010, when I was assembling the collection that now spans an archway in my apartment, I posted about it several times. Here are some photos (first one as the collection was in progress, the last two show the finished archway):

    Thanks Paul. I noticed them in the background on your TATC interview so I thought I’d ask.

    Ohio State is so late to the black jersey trend. So boring, dont they know 109 teams have worn black.

    Heck all teams may as well wear black at home and the away teams wear the usual white.

    Since the kids love the black unis,just have every game a black uni vs white uni.

    I actually like this year’s Post Season gear, especially the caps. They’re much more interesting than the cap templates used in 12/13/14. I’ll probably be picking up a Yankees one to add to my collection. (Yes, I know most people think celebration merchandise is stupid, but personally I’m a big fan of the stuff, keep track of it for all major sports, and tend to pick up any “clinch” caps for the Yankees or Patriots.)

    On the ESPN piece, it would be great to have links to actual photos of all the teams with the uniforms on players. Also, something about general theme of futurizing things like huge logos. For instance, I don’t know if the weird sleeves are because that was the fashion in ’99 (I know the Reds with their Klu-inspired unis were around then) or an attempt to be futuristic (people will wear crazy sleeves then.)

    My only request for uniforms is to avoid all of the racist ones, because of ESPN’s comments. I don’t need to be reminded how racist the Braves uniform used to be or certainly hundreds of people saying how much better it looks.

    Completely agree on capers. Surprised you don’t go with Nathan’s or Hebrew national all-beef franks.

    I avoided capers for years because I thought they were some kind of miniature gross sea insect. (I have a thing with shellfish)

    Once I found out they were marinated land shrubbery, I can’t get enough of them.

    I love this site for all the uniform details, of course. But what really puts it over the top is discovering that there’s such a thing as a straw size guide. It’s not that I didn’t know there were different sizes and styles of straws, but I never really thought about them. It’s cool to find out that it’s somebody’s job to think a great deal about straw sizes.

    Usually when people use the phrase “And now it’s come to this!”, it really hasn’t come to that…they just wish it had.

    Whenever I catch White Sox games on the radio, I always listen for play-by-play man Ed Farmer to describe both teams’ unis during the first inning.

    the Cardinals Radio Network has its own very snazzy logo

    Best fans radio network logo in baseball?

    So the guy that referred to the Blood Moon as the Moon “being on the rag” has the stones to sarcastically call someone “classy.” That’s rich.

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