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New UW Contest: To Design and Paint…An Ambulance

Ambulance Paint 550

By Phil Hecken

I’m pleased to announce today what may be the most ambitious (and certainly the craziest) design contest ever hosted by Uni Watch. It’s actually a two-part contest, and there will be prizes. Allow me to explain.

About a week ago, I was approached by reader Daniel Secord, who proposed the following pitch to Paul and me:

Hello Paul and Phil,

I just purchased this ambulance from the hospital that I work. My plan is to paint it like a giant Lions football helmet and take it tailgating. But that got me thinking, maybe the many people at uni-watch might enjoy this as an odd design competition. I cannot guarantee I will follow through with doing the winning design, but I will buy the winner a membership or the next months uni-watch t-shirt. I should have the ambulance in the next week or so and can get additional images for you then, but I just wanted to bounce the idea off of you two. It seems like my duty as a uni-watcher to get this thing done right and that means getting help from the uni-watch nation.

Thanks for being my daily morning read,

Dan S.

Dan included the following photo (for this and all photos, click to enlarge):


Whoa. A little raw for an idea, but worth pursuing. Paul gave me the thumbs up and we were off.

After a few quick back and forths, Dan set out the parameters with me:

Hey Phil,

I guess I should start with a background on this ambulance. I work at a hospital in Michigan as a sonographer. It was about last month that I saw an email about the hospital auctioning of a couple of ambulances. I threw my name in the hat with an extremely low offer. I guess nobody in their right mind would want a used ambulance because 2 weeks later I was the owner of a 2003 Ford E450 ambulance.

The background on my friends and I is that about 5 years ago we bought a blue stock pot. Before each Lions game we would take turns cooking chili in the stock pot. We called the the chili the NNCC (Nfc North Champion Chili.) As the years have gone on we have spread a bit apart across Michigan, now as a group we go to one home game a year and one Lions away game a year to tailgate. This ambulance will hopefully be a way to keep doing this for another 5+ years. Now back to the design stuff…

I see this ambulance as being designed/decorated 2 times. This year, because the season is already started I plan on keeping the ambulance white. With that I will be doing my best to cover some of the cosmetic issues with vinyl decals or other simple touch-ups that don’t involve a whole lot of vehicle coverage. (A coworker of mine owns a printing company and can make most things happen.) So if people wanted to design with that in mind, that would be awesome. This is kind of like the covering of an old tattoo or designing on a dime design.

The second design is going to be up to the designers imagination. This one is an all out, do whatever you can think of design competition… I could paint the vehicle, but most likely this will involve a full vehicle wrap which can be pricey, but if done right it could be totally worth it.

I would like to break designs into these two categories and would give a membership or next months t-shirt to the winners of both.

One of the things I am struggling to come up with is a sweet name for this vehicle. I know there are many punny things that can combine tailgating (booze, football, grilling, friends, etc…) and the healthcare field (blood, lifesaving, shots, doctors offices, etc…) so if that was featured on the ambulance someplace it would be awesome!

OK then — so let’s review the two parts to the contest:

Part I: Design some decals that can be affixed to the Ambulance. Don’t worry about the size or shape — those will be handled by the printer — but something that can be used to simply cover up dings or scratches on the vehicle.

Part II: (The fun part) — Designs for the vehicle itself. Here’s where your imagination comes in. I’ll post 4 photos below of the ambulance — you don’t necessarily need to design ON the ambulance graphic (although that could be awesome), but do use it as a guide if you wanted to design something based on the shape/details (you can also find blank templates on the internet — but be sure if you use one of those that it conforms roughly to the shape of Dan’s ambulance). And if you simply google “Ambulance Design”, you’ll see that these designs can get pretty intricate. Of course, you could simply print the ambulance photo, and break out the crayons (coughJimVilkcough or Tom Bierbaum), and then scan your drawing and send it back. But it’s fairly open-ended, so use your imagination! Remember, Dan mentioned me might want to use a “full vehicle wrap” but could also end up painting the vehicle.

OK — here are photos of Dan’s Ambulance — please either use these or use these as guides for your designs:





While Dan didn’t exactly specify this design needs to be Detroit Lions (his original thought was to “paint it like a giant Lions football helmet and take it tailgating”) — he will be taking it to Detroit Lions games, so keep that in mind when you submit your designs. Because there are prizes at stake, all designs will be considered but we will NOT have fan voting — a small panel (with Dan as the final arbiter) will pick the winning entries (for the decals and the full ambulance).

Rules & Schedule:

You may submit as many designs as you’d like and you can design all four sides (front, back, left, right). The designs can be done in whatever format (right “on” the ambulance photos, on a template, hand colored, etc.) you feel works best. You can submit for the decals and the main contest as well. All designs will be considered and all will be shown on Uni Watch. Winner(s) will be chosen by a Uni Watch panel.

Deadline for the contest is October 29. You can submit your designs to me: Please use “Ambulance Design Contest” in the subject line.

If you have questions about the contest, e-mail me or post your questions/concerns in the comments below.

OK? OK! I think this can be a REALLY fun contest and I’m looking forward to seeing what you designers can come up with for this one — don’t be afraid to think out of the box and really use your imaginations.

Oh — and don’t forget about Dan’s PostScript — he also looking for a “name” for the Ambulance (punny or otherwise) — so feel free to throw out your suggestions for that in the comments below as well.

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classic scoreboards splash

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

In this edition Classic Football Scoreboards travels to western New York and the shores of Lake Erie.

War Memorial Stadium -Buffalo_UW

War Memorial Stadium (Buffalo)

Universally known by hometown fans as The Rockpile. Other former names: Roesch Memorial Stadium (1937), Grover Cleveland Stadium (1937”“1938), Civic Stadium (1938”“1960)

Former Home of: Buffalo Indians/Chiefs (AFL) (1940”“1941), Buffalo Bills (AAFC) (1946”“1949), Buffalo Bills (AFL/NFL) (1960”“1972), Buffalo Bisons (Baseball Minor Leagues) (1961”“1970, 1979”“1987)
Opened: 1937
Final pro football game: December 10, 1972, a tie: Bills 21-Lions 21.
Demolished: 1988.
While none of the seating remains, two of the stadium entrances were left in place. High school athletic fields now occupy the space of the old Rockpile.

The stadium was constructed in the late 1930s as one of over 2,300 stadiums (and related facilities) funded under the Federal government’s WPA program. When the stadium opened for business, Buffalo was without a pro football franchise. So during its initial years Civic Stadium was used primarily for a variety of community civic functions.

After World War II the stadium was home to the AAFC Bills for several years. But after the merger of the AAFC and NFL in 1950 Buffalo again was without a pro football team. During decade of the 1950s Civic Stadium became a venue for stock car racing.

Pro football finally returned to Civic Stadium in 1960 (now renamed War Memorial Stadium and expanded to 46,500 capacity) with the birth of the AFL. For the next thirteen seasons the Bills called the Rockpile home before making a needed move to a larger capacity facility.

Also joining the Bills in 1960 was the other main stadium tenant, the baseball Bison’s, who played there from 1961 thru the 1987 season.

The old football scoreboard was replaced in 1984 with new baseball configuration and relocated to the left field bleachers.

For a short visual history of the Rockpile watch this clip.

Lastly, the scoreboard illustration captures the final minutes of the AFL Championship played on December 26, 1964. The Bills defeated the San Diego Chargers 20-7 to win their first championship.

A Few Things to Know

• Several NFL games were played in the Rockpile from 1938 to 1958:

* Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Eagles (9/16/38)
* Chicago Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers (9/28/38)
* Chicago Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions (9/15/40)
* Chicago Cardinals vs. Cleveland Rams (9/13/42)
* Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (9/27/42)
* Chicago Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions (10/17/43)
* Chicago Cardinals vs. New York Giants (9/28/58)

• The Beach Boys concert tour in 1984 included a stop at the Rockpile (June 2)

• The Rockpile was the location for most of the filming for the baseball classic film The Natural.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at

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Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

I received an e-mail from Gurpreet Singh, who has provided some neat infographics that were featured on Uni Watch before. This is a bit of a follow-up to that. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Here’s Gurpreet:

. . .

Hi Phil,

I hope you are well.

With rugby fever sweeping the world, we have created something interesting for our rugby fans.

Similar to our last project, which was covered on Uni Watch , we have created logos of Rugby Union Teams, if they were to play as American Franchises.

And an infographic showing the use of technology in Rugby and what we might see happening in next world cup.

Would you like to have a look and share with your readers.


Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet followed that up with this:

Hi Phil,

Please find attached the futuristic rugby images, let me know if they are good or I can get you even higher resolution depending on the size you want to use on website.

Should I send you the Americanised logos as well, which you or Paul can share as a separate piece.

We have included this all, and you might like the effect of energy drinks as well.


Gurpreet Singh

And here are those images (click to enlarge):

Biometric Data

Concussion Detector Contact Lens

GPS Rugby Ball Gumshield Sensor Player Cam

Referee Cam Smart Rugby Boots LED Jersey

Finally, Gurpreet sent the “Americanised” logos:


Thanks, Gurpreet! Great stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here is a shot of the New York Mets’ Frank Howard from 1994 with the then-current underscore wordmark on his batting-practice jersey, but with the traditional wordmark on his turtleneck undershirt (nice spot by Ferdinand Cesarano). … Interesting: During the Cubs playoff run, the NOB letter R’s and A’s are in high demand in Wrigleyville. … Yesterday’s best dressed Royals fan was Evan Bryant, of Platte City, who took a sewing class so he could make this suit (thanks Paul). … What. The. Fuck. — Interestingly, fashion guru/trendsetter/tweeter Darren Rovell thought it was a “Tremendous hat, think this will sell well for a lot of teams”. Of course he does (h/t to Joshua Brisco). And of course, he had a dig at my reply. … During last night’s Mets/Dodgers game, Yo Cespedes’ fluorescent arm sleeve diappeared (due to the greenscreen) in a very odd technological glitch (grab by Kevin Jones). It also became “invisible” and blended into the “At Bat” graphic (nice grab by Travis Chell).

NFL News: Inspired by yesterday’s UW lede and Paul’s subsequent “Friday Flashback” column on ESPN, Scott Davis writes, “I picked this up at the Patriots Pro Shop when they were having a tent sale. Fits like a prom dress. Couldn’t resist grabbing it.” … Reader Jae Sung has created an article entitled: “Logo Bowl: Best NFL Logos Based On Design”. It covers 1) The best designed NFL logos from each division; 2 Play-by-play of why the design wins; and 3)Top 2 contenders for a hypothetical NFL Logo Super Bowl. … Because the NFL’s uniform police have nothing better to do, they’ve fined Matthew Stafford for wearing blue shoes (thanks, Brinke). … “I saw on the site last week some NFL skulls that were purchased in Mexico,” writes Bob Frigiano, who adds, “Attached is lucha libre masks for NFL teams. I’m the Cowboy fan and my buddy is the Eagles fan. They had these in all the little shops with a lot of teams.”

College Football News: There are uni screwups, and then there are possible uni screwups. That comes from Brett Schetzsle, who points out that the “2” on Gopher uni looks to be upside-down. I’d agree, but if you look at the TV numbers, UM is using such a shitty number font it’s really impossible to tell. Even when the “2” is ‘correct’, it’s a bad font. … Good spot by Blane who notes, “Depending on what helmet Tennessee players wear depends on the size of the T.” … Mizzou will be sporting black/black/gold today (h/t Damian). … Louisiana Tech will be going white/white/white today against UT San Antonio (from Ryan Walters). … The Wisconsin Badgers and Under Armour — perfect together (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s a Great photo from @The_Corner_News showing San Jose State’s RB Tyler Ervin’s nameplate falling off Saturday in Auburn (from Clint Richardson)…. The SDSU Jackrabbits will be wearing military appreciation unis this Saturday (h/t Andrew Holtan). … Here’s a look at the black helmet THE Ohio State University will wear against Penn State next Saturday (h/t Tyler Richardson). Here’s more. … Pinktober will strike Northern Illinois University today against Ball State (h/t NIU Football). … The ULM Warhawks have updated the memorial sticker on their helmets to include the initials of back-up quarterback Daniel Fitzwater, who died suddenly last Saturday (from Michael Cossey).

NBA News: “I recently was directed to a video of an NBA/ABA All-Star Game from 1972,” writes Kenn Tomasch. “TVS televised it, and as you can see in the attached, Don Criqui had a blazer with the TVS logo on it. But that wasn’t going to fly for ‘Hot Rod’ Hundley, who had the patch applied to his (what I can only assume – it’s black and white – was a very ‘mod’) shirt.” … According to this article, the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers continue to distance themselves from Wells Fargo Center (from Daniel Ulrich).

Hockey News: The Brooklyn Historical Society has an exhibit on the Brooklyn Americans, inspired by the Islanders move to Brooklyn (pointed out by a couple readers, including Mark Rivlin and Jeff Barak). With yesterday being the first Islanders game at the Barclays Center, Jeff posted a history of the Brooklyn Americans, complete with several of their old jersey styles. Here’s more on the exhibit from yesterday’s New York Times (Thanks, Paul). Looks like a great exhibit (I know Paul is planning on attending, and I’d love to as well). … Check out this photo of Chuck D and the Beastie Boys. Says submitter Ed Westfield, “Chuck is wearing an interesting khaki (brown?, army green?) NY Isles cap. First time seeing that layout with just the block “NY” and the Long Island map (without the circle or “Islanders” wordmark).” … In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Colorado Avalanche thirds have been released. Submitter Mike Engle adds, “Seem more streamlined font as what will be used at the Stadium Series, so if this is the start of a refresh of their look, I’m ok with that, but TOTAL WHIFF on not using a VAL [vertically arched lettering — PH] when the primaries do and when the curvy white shoulder yoke is setting up a VAL perfectly.” Here’s here’s another look. And still more. … Last evening, the New Jersey Devils new helmet decals and numbers for the 2015-16 campaign (from Ryan Walters). Also from Ryan, the Lake Erie Monsters have new jerseys for Friday home games. … Holy Cross hockey have new sweaters (via Zach Levy). Here’s a little bit more on that. … Last night, Union wore ’91/’92 throwbacks in honor of their 25th anniversary in D-1 hockey (from Brian Klejsmyt. … Looks like the New York Islanders got a new logo. Wait, no they didn’t (h/t Mark Struppa). … We know that the MLB playoff logos aren’t sewn to the caps or uniforms, and now we know they are simply affixed to the Umpires’ shirts as well (nice grab by BostonFan137).

College Hoops News: The Troy women’s basketball team has a LOT unis for their 2015-16 campaign (from Ben Whitehead). … GFGS hits ladies hoops in the form of the Minnesota Gophers, who revealed new “anthracite” road uniforms yesterday (via Minnesota Women’s Basketball). … Here’s a look at the Toledo Rockets hoops unis (via Brock Urbaniak). … Ugh — it had to happen (or did it?) sooner or later — the University of North Carolina Tar Heels now will have a Black For Black Sake uniform (thanks, Paul). Here’s a closer look at those (h/t Brandon Batten). And here is a photo gallery with more looks at the BFBS unis (thanks to James Gilbert). They’ll wear them December 19th vs. UCLA in a game in Brooklyn (no word on whether that will be the only time they’re worn). … Here’s a look at the Wisconsin Badgers Under Armour hoops unis (h/t Sconnie Sports Talk).

Grab Bag: Check out this old photo of Indy 500 drivers playing basketball (from Sam Chandler). He adds “I love the Indy 500 and the history of the drivers there, especially stuff that shows the lighter side. These were brave, talented men that often seemed larger than life, and here they are getting ready for a pick-up basketball game.” … The subject line of Sean Clancy’s email read “A hawk on the podium!!!” It did not disappoint. He adds, “Just holding a hawk on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Tour (and I really wish the Astana rider would wear a proper cycling cap instead of a baseball cap. Jeez).” … Mike Chamernik says, “No idea if this is newsy, but here’s a site that will put any text into any type of specialized font you want.”

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And that’s all for today folks — big thanks to Dan for the contest — I really hope you designers (and non-designers alike) will participate; I think this could be a REALLY fun one, and clearly the UW readership has the talent to make this one special. Thanks also to Gary for the scoreboards and Gurpreet for his projects! And of course, thanks to all who tweeted and e-mailed for the ticker. Lots of College Football on the docket today, and I’ll be back with the full SMUW crew tomorrow, so make sure you check back then!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“‘Requiring a connection’ is just sports fan snobbery at its worst. I went to high school in Ohio with a guy who was the world’s biggest Seattle Mariners and Seahawks fan. He’d never been to Seattle or even west of the Mississippi. Just saw the early Mariner trident logo and liked it. Who wants to tell him he’s not a fan?”

–J. Clayton Davis

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Comments (32)

    “Gary is working on an online purchase option.”

    Gary’s been working on an online purchase option ever since these have been shown on the site. There’s gotta be a market for these, so the easiest option would be to list them on Etsy and find someone local that can produce them. And then you can take care of the shipping.

    Of all the crazy stuff that’s happened on Uni Watch, this contest is probably the craziest. Love it.

    The Samoan rugby team already has a nickname: Manu Samoa. It’s the name of a legendary warrior. So sort of like “Spartans,” except actually appropriate to Samoa.

    “The Brooklyn Historical Society has an exhibit on the Brooklyn Americans, inspired by the Islanders move to Brooklyn”
    Fun fact: Never played in Brooklyn. Still paid Tex Rickard rent for MSG use and only practiced in BK. I think at the rink in Coney Island…

    “We know that the MLB playoff logos aren’t sewn to the caps or uniforms, and now we know they are simply affixed to the Umpires’ shirts as well…”
    Not based on yesterday’s Ticker item about the Texas Rangers’ stitcher who clearly stitched down the jersey patch after he heat pressed it on the sleeve…

    The 1940 Cardinals vs. Lions game at The Rockpile was one the worst games in NFL history.

    The scoreless tie was played in a thunderstorm that turned day into night. The offenses were essentially shut down by Mother Nature. The Lions only gained 16 yards. That was only two more than the Cardinals’ 14 yards.

    Whizzer White, star back for the Lions, had -50 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Yes, that’s negative 50 yards. Apparently HOF center Alex Wojciechowicz had trouble pitching the ball back to him and those yards lost on the errant snaps were “credited” to White.

    Towards the end of game the teams weren’t even attempting anything on offense as a punting contest took place on consecutive first downs.


    A great find. The article titled “Random Notes Between Rains” is a must read, particularly the last sentence!

    “A $2,000,000 stadium and a ten-cent scoreboard”; great!

    Also in that newspaper, looking at the baseball box scores, I spent several seconds trying to figure out what “C” means. My best guess is “chances” on defense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before; in that era, listing fielding was standard, and you usually saw putouts and assists, and usually errors, but I’ve never seen the three added together. It’s surprisingly useful because even with only one fielding column you still get a feel for how the game went. FIrst baseman gets a lot of chances, you can assume that they’re putouts and that the pitcher got a lot of ground balls. Catcher gets the most, you know there were a lot of whiffs.

    Man, I miss fielding stats in boxscores. There’s no excuse for not having them.

    One of the classic comments about War Memorial Stadium in its final years: ” a great place to see a game, except that it looks like the War to which it is a memorial was fought inside of it”!

    The Tennessee helmet decals are the same for every helmet. The photo may not not like it, but I can assure you as someone who works with the team every day, they are all the same.

    Tennesseee GFGS look like total shite! Hope they get stomped by UGA with their ‘smokey mountain’ grey bullshit

    I caught a few minutes of this game on TV last night. South Fayette High School in southwestern Pa was wearing what appeared to be either white or light gray numbers with a green outline on a white jersey. The announcers commented on how hard it was to I.D. the players. On long shots it looked like they weren’t wearing any numbers at all and we’re just in a plain white jersey.
    Most of the Steel Valley players wearing pink didn’t make the game any easier to watch. The video link on the page shows just how brutal this game was.


    “The Wisconsin Badgers and Under Armour – perfect together”

    Throw enough silliness (or nothing of value, in Adidas’ case), and you’ll get…

    That BrandFolder blog is now bookmarked. Fascinating stuff, even if there is an article listing the Browns’ redo as one of the best image makeovers of the year.

    The TCU-Kansas State game actually looks surprisingly good. Purple-white- purple is probably TCU’s best combo. This game must be breaking Paul’s brain though.

    I like purple so I thought that was a pretty nice looking matchup. One of the better of the weekend.

    Miami-Florida State is looking pretty good too. Both teams are wearing their optimum combos.

    This is not a bad matchup. Florida State needs to go back to their old look but Miami is one if the few teams the weird broken stripes works for. To me the weird stripes look sort of like bird feathers so it isn’t as bad for them. Still looks like trash but it almost works here.

    I was think either “Fanbulance” or maybe “The Recovery Team” would be great names for the ambulance. I’d love to see “Fanbulance” printed backwards above the grill.

    In that story about Cubs jersey makers running out of As and Rs, my first instinct was to rant and rave about how this wouldn’t be a problem if the Cubs would just go back to their classic NNOB jersey design.

    And then when I looked at the photo, I noticed that the woman sewing the jersey is in fact desecrating a classic 1980s-90s Cubs home jersey, which shouldn’t have a name on it! Those jerseys had single-layer blue numerals on the back (no red border) and nothing else!

    Look at the blue sleeve hems — those are the previous design, not the current one. If the jersey is a pullover, it’s the ’80s, and if it’s a button-down, that’s the early ’90s version.

    In the mid-2000s the Cubs wore what is probably my favorite variation: NNOB, but with the red border on the numbers. That seems to strike the perfect balance.

    Phil, will Dan or you put up all the designs or finalists once he made his pick so we can see the other ideas? I love seeing and comparing designs. Of course, with the designers’ permissions.

Comments are closed.