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Tastes Like Victory

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With a certain local baseball team breezing through the postseason, my local ice cream place, Ample Hills, has come up with a new Mets-themed flavor called “Party Like It’s 1986.” It’s kettle corn-flavored ice cream with chocolate-covered peanut brittle (the popcorn and peanuts are apparently meant to evoke Cracker Jack) and blue and orange M&M’s. My friend Carrie brought over a pint last night — sooooo good!

In an amusing development, Ample Hills is promoting the flavor with a sign that’s riddled with uni-related errors. It shows Daniel Murphy wearing a pinstriped jersey with grey pants, swinging bare-handed (he always wears gloves), and batting right-handed:

But I’m happy to overlook a few mistakes when (a) the ice cream tastes so good and (b) my team is headed to the Fall Classic for the first time in 15 years. Royals or Jays? Either way, I’m stoked — can’t wait for next Tuesday night!

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Don’t look now, but it’s NBA time: The NBA season tips off next Tuesday, which means it’s time for my annual NBA season preview, running down all of the season’s new looks (including those shown above). Check it out here.

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Uni Watch Party Announcement: Been a while since we’ve had a Uni Watch gathering here in Brooklyn, so let’s put one on the calendar: We will convene on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2pm, at our usual spot — Sheep Station in Park Slope. Phil will be there, my broken arm will have been liberated from its cast, and maybe — just maybe — we’ll be celebrating a Mets championship. In any case, hope to see lots of you there.

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PermaRec update: Who are the people shown in this Polaroid? How did the photo become separated from its family? Find out more over on Permanent Record.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

The other day, we ran an item on authentic fitted MLB caps for infants in the Ticker. Other than maybe baby-sized Jordan shoes and some of the junk in the White Sox shop, I can’t think of a more pointless sports item.

Can you? What is the worst or stupidest piece of sports athleticwear, memorabilia, or merchandise you’ve ever seen (or purchased, or received as a gift)? Bonus points if it’s expensive.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Mets posted National League Champs merch on their website yesterday afternoon, well before their Game 4 shellacking of the Cubs. An MLB source said the glitch was MLB Advanced Media’s fault, not the Mets’ fault. … The Cubs brought in Henry Rowengartner for last night’s game. Thomas Ian Nicholas played the Cubs’ kid pitcher in the 1993 film Rookie of the Year. … I saw a Cubs “W” flag cake at my local grocery store the other day. Nothing too special about it, other than it being the definition of easy money. It’s just a sheet cake with white frosting and a blue W. … Jimmy Kimmel wears an old Mets cap with a grey underbill. It’s probably not an old photo either, because he only recently had a beard (from Chris Flinn). … New logo for Cutch’s Crew, which is Andrew McCutchen’s charity group (from Yancy Yeater). … OYO Sports, a figurine toy company, made stop-motion recaps of the ALCS and NLCS.

NFL News: Pinktober is a publicity stunt by the NFL, says the author of this piece (from Phil). … Washington practiced without stripes on their helmets (from Mack Swaringen). … Brinke found a few good photos of old-style facemasks on Pinterest.

College Football News: Georgia and Florida will go color vs. color for this year’s game in Jacksonville (from Phil). … Cal coach Sonny Dykes was asked a few questions about the Bears’ uniforms (from @MikeLitSF). … A new concussion-prevention concept is slippery helmet decals that reduce friction during head impacts (from Phil). … Speaking of concussions, Florida has become the first school to install impact sensors in their Riddell SpeedFlex helmets. ”¦ BYU has brought back royal blue and its Sailor Cougar logo (from Phil).

Hockey News: The Meigray Group sports memorabilia site has quite an extensive collection of jerseys. The video tells how the company collects and verifies the jerseys it acquires (from Scott Lederer). … The Panthers’ Jaromir Jagr hung a mullet wig in his locker before a game in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. As you know, Jagr rocked a mullet when he won titles with the Penguins in the early 1990s.

Soccer News: “According to Orlando City’s founder & owner Phil Rawlins, their NWSL franchise couldn’t use a lion or ‘lion derivative’ logo due to the Adidas-Nike turf war,” says Saurel Jean. Here’s some more info on how the Orlando Pride designed its logo. … Italy’s 2016 blue kit has been released (from Conrad Burry).

NBA News: According to a blog post, and confirmed by Grantland’s Zach Lowe (towards the bottom of this piece) the Clippers’ new logo was created by the Miami Heat’s design staff. … The Cavaliers unveiled three new alternates last night, which we already knew about thanks to all of the earlier leaks Prior to the unveiling, team owner Dan Gilbert tried to get cute by tweeting these designs, which sent part of the uni-verse into a panic. Just a prank, obviously. … Jerry West, the inspiration for the NBA logo, said that he would like it if a new logo was based on Michael Jordan.

College Hoops News: New home and road unis for Nevada. I dig that shade of teal (from Brian Catlett). … Missouri will put the state’s full name on the fronts of its jerseys, rather than “Mizzou”. … New uniforms for TCU (from Ivor van Esch).

Grab Bag: Yesterday was October 21, 2015, which is the date that Marty McFly traveled into the “future” in Back to the Future Part II. In honor of the film, USA Today tweaked its print and online logos. Vikings players dressed up as McFly. Also, the Broncos’ Facebook account spotted a team-branded alarm clock in one of the films (Denver item from Kary Klismet). … Drake wore a puffy red coat in his new music video, and now everyone wants a $1,000 jacket. Hell, I’m even considering it. It looks warm. … The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is searching for a new logo. The previous one was scrapped in August due to plagiarism concerns. … Daily fantasy sports commercials will not run during March Madness. I guess that’s assuming it still exists in its current form by then. … Manhattan’s 21 Club put its signature lawn jockey statues back on display after having them refurbished. … The University of Texas agreed to a 15-year deal with Nike (from Kary Klismet). … A matchup in the first round of a Tennessee state high school volleyball tournament was black-vs.-black (from Trés Lawless). … Graham Clayton found some unusual junior Australian rules football jerseys. … The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is selling murals from the Government Center Station. The subway stop is closed and undergoing a renovation (from Dave Garabedian). … A new app allows users to communicate via sports and corporate logos. … Lacoste won a trademark case over its crocodile logo.

Comments (87)

    Right. Plus you can order pretty much any custom color nowadays. But it’s not one of their standard colors that you get in a normal pack.

    Still, your point is well taken. I’ll remove that line from the text.

    OK, I play this little game as I eat M&Ms….

    I pour 2 candies out into my hand and I think: What team does this represent? Sometimes I’ll preface it with a certain sports–NFL, MLB, etc.

    Yes I know, now you have to do it too!

    I think you forgot a word in the opening sentence. And I’m not just pointing that out as an extremely bitter Cub fan this morning.

    If it winds up being Mets vs. Jays, this will set up an epic battle of the sports uni/logo reporters fave teams (Lukas vs. Creamer).

    Sounds like a good opportunity for a bet. Loser has to wear the other team’s camo jersey for a day!

    If the team doesn’t wear it on the field, it’s not real. Gotta stand up for the integrity of canon! Jays camo jerseys are the Admiral Thrawn of the uni-verse.

    “Jays camo jerseys are the Admiral Thrawn of the uni-verse.”

    Dude, that’s deep nerd right there. (Says the guy who caught the reference…)

    Alternate timelines, Chris. Alternate timelines. At some point in the future, someone traveled back and screwed things up, probably by killing Jar Jar.

    Otherwise, we have to accept that Captain Picard also doesn’t exist, and… No.

    /and they only made 2 Terminator movies, and no Matrix sequels

    QotW: A friend who has known me well since 1974 gave me a Colorado Buffaloes sweater vest a few years ago. I have never worn a sweater vest and almost never wear any type of sweater.

    USA Today didn’t just ‘tweak’ the logo for today, they reproduced the front page for today’s issue. Note the ‘Queen Diana’ newsline has been omitted, though.

    I’m emailing you a couple pics right now.

    They also used Gannett/USA Today employee names in the newsline stories. Or at least one that I know of because we were co-workers when I was still there.

    On the Texas uniforms why say you have the richest sports apparel contract when in a few months later some other school will have that title


    These definitely are the most ridiculous pieces of sports merchandise I’ve ever seen…

    NHL Forest Face | link
    NHL Goal Light Pizza Cutter | link
    NFL Recliner | link

    …but I’m sure there are many more as bad.

    I imagine many Mets fans would want the Blue Jays… because of hte RA Dickey trade for Syndergaard and d’Arnaud.

    (The full trade was…
    Mets send RA Dickey, Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas
    Blue Jays send Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, John Buck, Wuilmer Becerra)

    Of course, context is important when looking at stuff like this. Joel Sherman has a good write-up in New York Post. Blue Jays were trying to win immediately and Dickey was coming off of his Cy Young year. He’s done ok for Toronto. But Syndergaard… good night!

    I’m having a hard time imagining that that Party Like It’s 1986 ice cream tastes good. But it’s good to hear that you like it. I guess I’d have to try it before I pass judgment.

    I’m still mystified. Paul posted a delicious-looking picture of a carton of poutine topped with blueberry-infused mashed potatoes and cheese, and all we got by way of text was a description of some terrible-sounding ice cream.

    a carton of poutine topped with blueberry-infused mashed potatoes and cheese

    I’d eat that.

    Every piece of merchandise without your team colors (like the new era caps). Letting people know you root for someone is not a fashion statement

    Letting people know anything at all about you through your attire is a fashion statement. As in, that’s literally what the phrase “fashion statement” means. I basically agree about non-team-colored merch, but still. A royal blue Mets t-shirt is just as much a fashion statement as a kelly green Mets cap.

    On the first Ticker item, you missed the uni-significant theme: After leaving the game because of a sore shoulder, Yoenis Cespedes re-emerged in the dugout around the 8th inning wearing an NL Champions t-shirt. During the game.

    QotW: My mom bought me a green St. Patrick’s day Michigan shirt. She thought it was funny to see it in green. Didn’t have the heart to tell her how I really felt about it. Anything that comes not in the teams colors is just stupid.
    Also, the new Playoff or Wild Card merch that MLB teams get. Congrats you made the playoffs, but you didn’t win anything yet.

    A University of Michigan shirt in green – for ANY reason – is a horrible abomination of mankind. What’s next, red for Valentine’s Day?

    BYU has brought back royal blue and its Sailor Cougar logo (from Phil)

    Funny, I brought up BYU changing their color scheme when the question arose the other day. I was oblivious to the fact navy blue was their original color; royal blue was simply what they wore during the Lavell Edwards period. As much as I like the royal, I hope it isn’t merely the latest fad.

    Obviously, I grew up during the Lavell Edwards era, so I only knew royal blue as BYU’s color. So of course I thought it was idiotic when they went to navy blue and gold and changed the logo.

    “The logos we had weren’t really resonating with the fans,” said Adam Parker, BYU’s Licensing and Trademark Manager. “We talked to a design firm about creating a new one, but then we realized, ‘Hey, we have one under our nose.”

    Helloooooo… why don’t more schools/teams realize this blindingly obviious fact? Even if you *have* to tweak an iconic logo, that’s almost always better than a complete redo.

    They would indeed have to tweek them, because the schools don’t own them. Most belong to Angelus Pacific. By the way, when I spoke to them, they confirmed they had ALL the original logo art sketches and samples of every decal in file cabinets. What I would give to go through those file cabinets!

    QotW: Frontgate catalog used to sell authentic artificial turf Cowboys endzones meant to be installed in your front lawn. Don’t seem to be available anymore, but they were very expensive.

    QOTW: In 1978, I bought a black Pirates’ pillbox hat at the Twins’ Enterprises gift shop on Yawkey Way. I didn’t want the yellow one, even though it was available in my size (6 3/8); it had to be black. The biggest one available was 6 1/4, but I vowed to cram my big head into that stylish hat. That hat was the source of many, many headaches and dizzy spells. It also caused my eyebrows to arch upwards, as if I was constantly surprised. Pretty hat, but a constant source of regret.

    My pillbox caps used to fit me just fine, but they’re still a source of regret. Shoulda just kept wearing the mustard & blacks.
    In order to keep them from getting smushed (I’d wear them under my replica helmet same as link), I’d put a plastic margarine lid in the tops of my caps.

    My default answer for the QOTW was taken by Mike. Baby Jordans have to be the worst. As for the most useless thing I have received, probably a team-branded license plate frame. I don’t like any frames at all…they obscure an already poorly designed plate. How the cops can ever get someone’s number without riding their bumper is beyond me. If you want to support your team, get a window sticker instead.

    I agree–license plates are way out of whack today. Function follows form, it’s all about aesthetics, state pride, etc. Gone are the days of raised, yellow block numbers on a dark background. Fortunately for the police I think it’s all done by cameras and text recognition software nowadays.

    I actually really dig old license plate designs–it’s neat to see how designers managed to work in figures and small designs while keeping the center of the plate empty for numbers. Something really Americana about it as opposed to Euro black/white plates, but now they just look like cheap lithographs that belong in LaQuinta rooms with numbers screened on top.

    I had to give up my (non-sports) license plate frame when I moved to Wisconsin. The plates I had in Virginia put the month/year tabs at the top, so they weren’t obscured by my proudly tacky license plate frame. Here in America’s Dairyland, the tabs go at the bottom, which would be obscured by my frame, so no frame for me.

    On the plus side, Wisconsin is one of the few states that still has plates that are both attractive, distinctive, and highly readable.

    On the stupid side, Wisconsin saves money by only issuing one set of tabs, which have to go on your rear plate. But motorists are still required to display a tab-less plate on the front. I keep meaning to find out when that was made law, make a list of every legislator who voted for it, and keep it in my wallet to check against every ballot I ever cast here to be sure I never vote for anyone who approved the idea.

    I started looking at BYU’s logos because of the entry in today’s ticker. Maybe I need to get my mind out of the gutter, but it sure looks like the cougar in their 1969-1998 logo is fellating the “U” in BYU.


    QOTW: The Reds gave away 10,000 Ryan Freel “dirty shirts” in 2007. The shirts were supposed to emphasize Ryan Freel’s penchant for hard play resulting in his uniform becoming stained with grass and dirt. The shirts ended up being a poor idea poorly executed.


    It’s a thing in the 1/6-scale action figure world: Chinese and Japanese makers often put obvious celebrity likenesses on figures that are not otherwise related to the celebrity. Collectors then buy the figure and “kitbash” it to use the body to create a new figure based on the celebrity. So in the case of the Schweinsteiger figure, people are likely either buying it not knowing or caring about the resemblance to the player and they just want that particular German uniform, or they’re buying it to discard the uniform and put the figure in a custom Man U or Germany uniform.

    I don’t really see the resemblance–at least not in the photos they’ve shown there.

    Then again, I can’t tell when babies are supposed to look like their mom and/or dad either.

    Someone: “Oh he looks just like his father!”
    Me: “If you say so. ???”

    My favorite moment of last night’s game, where I was very, very much not pleased with the outcome, was in the bottom of the ninth when Mets fans in attendance unfurled a modified version of the Cubs W flag:


    That’s my favorite fan banner in years. Maybe decades.

    Am I the only one who noticed that one Nevada player is wearing a different jersey in the team picture?

    Number 45 in the Nevada Home Uni pic is wearing a different jersey than everyone else…

    Also, that teal uniform isn’t an away uniform, but rather a special one they wear (and have been wearing for several years) at home on designated N7 nights.
    The N7 Fund being a Nike-established organization to support Native American/other aboriginal peoples’ in sports participation.

    Paul Lukas will do his best to avoid watching any Clippers-Hawks games this season.

    I, for one, will be looking forward to a Hawks/Bucks matchup with a fervor I haven’t felt since the Larry O’Brien era. I’m with you on the Clippers, though.

    Man, those referee unis are atrocious. Just go zebra-striped already!!!

    Parroting myself on Paul’s Facebook page’s link, but concurring. Give the refs zebra shirts. I’m rooting for NBA Uni Watching doomsday now:
    1) A laundry snafu or packing error happens among the refs, meaning that they have to be arbitrarily mismatched based on who has what, which
    2) forces the teams to go color on color just because the refs messed up and now nobody can wear white or gray, except that
    3) oops, in an ideally chaotic situation, the game is Spurs vs. Nets, and now no team has a non-black uniform to take out the clashes.

    That would be awesome. I guess in reality they’d just send someone down to the local Walmart to buy a few red/blue/insertcolorhere t-shirts for the refs, and crisis averted, but… yeah.

    In emergency situation, I’d love them to end up in a yellow practice jersey of some sort – like the replacement linesmen in that bruins/devils 1988 nhl playoff game (the game after the famous “have another doughnut” incident).

    Ideally, would prefer zebra stripes. If possible go with a ABA style one; if not black and white stripes would do quite nicely.

    I’ve finally found a BFBS alt I like. Congrats, Buzz City! The rest of them need to go away.

    I like the Hawks’ black one, too, but that’s not an alt.

    Those Memphis throwbacks remind me of bell bottoms…some things just need to be lefft in the 70s and forgotten.

    Spurs alt isn’t BFBS, so I like that one, too.

    Surprised the NBA didn’t have a 70th anniversary patch this season.

    The Knicks and Kings alt unis look very nice. I especially wish the Kings would wear the baby blue all the time.

    QotW: link. Because what better time to celebrate your favorite team’s accomplishments than when taking a dump?

    QOTW: Worst sports merchandise is apparel rendered in the rival team colors. I once bought a Dodgers black hat with a red logo. At first glance it seems like an Angels hat. It was so ridiculous and only $5 at TJ Maxx that I bought it. link

    The jacket that Drake is wearing looks a lot like something Uniqlo makes and sells much more cheaply


    After watching Paul’s ESPN interview I finally got to see Atlanta Hawks new uni, I would say they look alright. I love the flame colors.
    Clippers look like they found those at a knock off corner stand.
    The movie 2012 wasn’t that bad, easy there “mister interviewer”.

    How is it that practically EVERY Clippers Redesign Submission to Uni-Watch looks Better than what a legitimate Design Team came up with?

    The more I see what L.A. is wearing the more I fully believe that the design was created by the Miami Heat design team.

    It may be the first look in the history of sports that absolutely everybody hates, truly a unifying design.

    I find the authentic & replica apparel (mostly baseball hats and jerseys) that are sold with a specific postseason patch attached. First, it’s not pointing out that you won anything, just that you participated. Second, it kind of dates the item, because then you’re the kind of person that has to have the latest thing, which means you’ll by another one the next time your team makes the postseason.

    Also, I’ve stopped purchasing any shirts that celebrate anything less than a World Series title. I’m pretty sure I jinxed my team in ’04 when I bought an “NLCS champions” shirt, only to see them get swept in the Fall Classic. Sure enough, in ’06 and ’11, I waited and they won it all. You’re welcome, Cardinal Nation. But seriously, the “LCS champion,” “LDS champion,” “wild card,” and “division champion” shirts always seem to be a sad reminder that, (a) you didn’t win the World Series, or (b) you jumped the gun and got excited early on then were too cheap to buy the World Series champion item.

    Alternatively, the poster depicts a right-handed hitting Met wearing the wrong number (and no batting gloves, which I believe every Met wears.)

    You should sponsor a contest for a new Ample Hills poster, one that gets it. I’d do it for a cold pint.

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