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Sunday Morning Uni Watch

SMUW Week 8 550

By Phil Hecken

Week 8 in the NCAA saw a few alternates and costumes, including the above uniform, which Cincinnati wore for their homecoming. While the concept is at least interesting (the ‘geometric’ elements are “a nod to the iconic triangular architecture of the Richard E. Linder Athletic Center that the stadium overlooks” — it’s all explained here). It’s one of Under Armour’s latest attempts to tell a story through the uniform. I’d bash UA here, but adidas and Nike do this shit too. It’s really time to stop this sort of uniform “design” and just stick to basics. But you know what — this is the sort of thing that (probably) moves merchandise but even more importantly, it gets people talking about the uniform.

And no matter whether the uniform is good (rarely) or bad (frequently), it seems that with NCAA football uniform design, there is “no such thing as bad publicity” to borrow a cliché. I’ll give UA a bit of a pass this time around because of their wonderful throwbacks for Maryland (that should be their only, full-time, home uniform for forever).

But the Bearcats themed uni wasn’t even the worst alternate uniform this weekend. Not by a LONG shot. No, those dual honors go to both UCLA, who played on Thursday and who wore this:

Week 8 - UCLA BFBS2

BFBS garbage — not only does it sport the classic adidas treadmarks, it also has the *broken* numbers and design elements. Last weekend I bemoaned the classic Ohio State Buckeyes going BFBS, but UCLA has gone down this route before. This is just the newest installation. It needs to stop. adidas has already ruined the classic UCLA uniform — now they’re putting it in the gutter and pissing on it.

Tied for worst uniform of the weekend was this POS from adidas for Nebraska:

Week 8 - Nebraska BFBS

The same critiques I just leveled at adidas for their treatment of the Bruins applies here as well. BFBS, broken numbers/elements. Horrible.

Somehow Nike managed to escape scorn this weekend, but maybe that’s because Oregon wasn’t playing (and I’ll give Illinois a pass because they wore their “Galloping [GFGS] Ghost” unis last year — but those are awful too). Oh well, there’s always next weekend — which happens to be Hallowe’en — so I’m sure there will be a few ghastly getups awaiting us. And I’m sure Terry will have plenty to say about his week’s costumes. But, till then…here’s my right hand man, TJ Duroncelet with your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

As you may be aware, this past Wednesday (October 21st, 2015) was Back to the Future Day. I think some D-1A teams stole the Delorean and traveled a week into the future, because NOBODY SEEMS TO HAVE THE PATIENCE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO WEAR THEIR “special” UNIFORMS. Unless they all have bye-weeks.

From Thursday:

• James Summers for East Carolina wore what I’m assuming is a vampire teeth mouthguard against Temple.

deughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I know it seems that I’m turning this into the UCLA show, but when they pull stunts like this, I’m borderline forced to talk about it. They’re longstanding identity seems to be going the way of Konami, in that an age-old history of greatness is eroding away by every hair-brained move imaginable, one day at a time… but without the mistreatment of employees, blatant disregard for starving franchises, and a rather aberrant hard-on for pachinko machines. In sum: UCLA has seriously lost their way in the uniform department, and I’ll continue to say this until I’m Bruin Blue in the face: SWITCH TO NIKE ALREADY.

From Friday:

James Gilbert sends this pic in of the miniature player names for Memphis. ᵗʰᵉʸ’ʳᵉ ˢᵐᵒᶫ. Also, Tulsa wore gold chrome helmets.

From Saturday:

• James Madison University got some College Gameday love on Saturday, but the initial helmet was the previous purple letter version, and not the gold lettered version that they currently wear. But wait! There’s more! When the time came for JMU to shine, they brought out another different helmet. I’m a sucker for big, skinny, serif block letters on the helmet. It’s kind of the helmet version of a drum kit finished in black oyster. It’s been done a million times, but you can never go wrong with it. Oh, and the article talks about Adidas and black or whatever.

♫ Hello darkness, our old friend… we’ve come to look like shit again ♫ Good grief, Nebraska. And how appropriate is it that we see a damaged ‘N’? Credit to Andrew Greenblatt (@DatGreenblatt) for that last pic.

• And then there’s Illinois. GUYS… Halloween is literally NEXT WEEK. Could you guys really not wait another seven days to break out a costume with “ghost” in its name? HMM???

Josh Claywell (@josh_claywell) caught the SEC Network blitzed on a little too much moonshine. I think it was 4th and -4 after that play.

• Maryland wore one of the most outlandish, loud uniforms I have ever seen. Just look at how they scream “ATTENTION”.

• Pitt wore gold jerseys and helmets with white pants against an orange/navy/orange Syracuse team.

• Ripped decals are pretty common, but it’s interesting to see one ripped after only the first drive of the game. That’s Jonathan Gray. Credit to Zach Mayer (@ZachJMayer) for the pic.

• Western Michigan wore BCA decals over the weekend. And much like Pitt/Syracuse, it was color-vs.-color.

• Rice wore flag desecration decals over the weekend. Here’s a closer look.

• Alabama wore ’28’ decals in honor of Altee Tenpenny, who died in a car crash on October 20th.

• Oklahoma State wore retro decals and striped socks for Homecoming.

Watermelon State?

• LSU wore their purple jerseys against Western Kentucky, which brings the tally up to three times they’ve made an appearance this season, which is quite often under the current uniform practices that LSU employs.

• Cincinnati wore those very awesome “Stadium Suits” in honor of the recently-renovated Nippert Stadium, which turns 100 this year.

• Georgia Tech wore their honeycomb helmets against Florida State.

• Mississippi State wore mono-black against Kentucky.

Curtis Galvin notes that USC looks to have DIY’d some holders for those giant play cards you see around. Unless there’s a company that actually makes these.

Week 8 is now officially in the books. What will next week bring? Maximum fright? Maximum pink? Both? Who knows? See you all next week.

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Thanks, TJ! Ok, now on to the rest of today’s SMUW.




NCAA Uni Tracking 2015 splash

NCAA Uni Tracking

Back again today with our new feature: NCAA Uniform Tracking.

Once again, I’m pleased to welcome our 4 NCAA trackers, tallying the uniforms worn by the Power 5 conferences.

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC & SEC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII) and Joey Artigue (tracking the B1G).

+ + + + + + + + + +

We’ll start with Joey & the B1G today:



Joey will be establishing a separate website for B1G tracking, but for now, you can follow him on Twitter.

Rex is up next today:

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More Here.

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And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:



More here.

Here is your link to the 2015-16 Duck Tracker.

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And finally, here is Kyle with the Big XII:



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And that’s all for today — thanks Joey, Rex, Dennis and Kyle!




Joe Ringham's 5 & 1

Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

We’re on to week 8 in the NCAA, and we had a bunch of good (and bad) games to choose from for our new 5 & 1 decider Joe Ringham. I know I’ll probably disagree with a good number of these picks, but Joe’s got his own style and well…

Here’s Joe:

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Good Sunday, everyone! Let’s cut right to the chase and get to the list…

5) Wagner at BYU — Color vs. color in Provo gets this one on the list, because I count gray as a color. Really like how the green/gray/black of the Seahawks matched up with the Cougars’ white/navy/white.

4) Ohio at Buffalo — Always love when the Bobcats go with this matte green/white/green look on the road. It matches up especially well with the mono-black with blue accents the Bulls sported.

3) Houston at Central Florida — A game that I originally wasn’t going to put on the list, but it grew on me throughout the day. The Cougars’ red/white/red really looked great against UCF’s white/black/white. A sharp looking game in the AAC.

2) Memphis at Tulsa — Going back to Friday night for this one. Really dug the gray/white/gray Memphis brought out against the gold/blue/gold of the Golden Hurricane. Another sharp looking AAC game.

1) Pittsburgh at Syracuse — The second color vs color game on the list, and this one looked fantastic. Pitt’s gold/gold/white looked quite sharp against the orange/navy/orange of Syracuse.

Just missing the list: Penn State vs Maryland

And, finally (and these choices were way too easy for me this week)…

+1) Northwestern at Nebraska – Just like Ohio State last week, these look just atrocious. You have one of the best looking home unis in all of college football, Nebraska. Why must you do this to us?

++1) SMU at South Florida – Pink looks terrible paired with green. Case in point: USF this week.

Enjoy the week, and we’ll do this again next Sunday.


Thanks, Joe! Remember, the tip-line email ( is back for any games you want Joe take a look at. Pictures of the game/games you want are very much suggested.




Design an ambulance


Two weekends ago, in combination with Uni Watcher Daniel Secord, I announced a new design contest — one that really is probably the craziest design contests ever — an ambulance. It’s actually pretty simple (although the execution may be tricky), and there are prizes!

If you missed it, please read the entry here for all the rules, downloads, graphics, deadlines, etc.

I’ve only received FIVE total entries so far (and one goof — thanks Goblin) — a ridiculously low number — so it’s time for you designers to step it up! I know you can do this one some justice (and there are prizes!). There is still a few days until the deadline (October 29th), so you’ve got a couple days left.

Hope we can get our designers (and non-designers alike) to really give this one a shot.




Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles player Mike Trout wrote an article in The Players Tribune and among other things, he talked about his cleats. Interesting bit: “I used to get one pair of cleats every season. Now I swap them out every couple weeks. (Unless I’ve got some hits in them. Then they stay. Same with the bat, gloves, and anything else. And if I’m in a slump, it all goes. Like a lot of players, I’m a little superstitious.)” Thanks to Mike Chamernik for the tip. … Apparently, shirts done up in current team fonts are a thing now (from Jesse Alkire). … A contingent of Amazin’ Mets were on Jimmy Kimmel the other night (after they’d clinched the NL Pennant) but were still wearing patches that said “Postseason” (they’ll say “World Series” come Tuesday). Good spot by Terence Kearns. … Speaking of the Mets, I saw a stat yesterday that expected Game 1 starter Matt Harvey has worn the blue road alternate for every one of his road starts this season, so we can likely expect the Mets to be in their alternates for the first game of the World Series. Dammit.

NFL/CFL News: Meet the seamstress: Penny Bryce has sewed patches and names on Vikings jerseys since 1969. … “Chris Rainey has never been the most law abiding player,” writes Wade Heidt. “Wore orange socks on Friday night while his other teammates work the usual black socks. The Lions do not wear orange socks.” [Maybe they should — it looks better — PH] … Looks like the Patriots have their GI Jokevember gear for sale (h/t Jordan Mayblum). … Former Bills player Jeff Nixon’s blog post from last night touches on good luck charms and uniforms. Submitter Aaron Husul found this quote interesting: “In my case, I had to have everything on my uniform just right. Socks at a certain height; Wrist bands with the Bills logo up; Belt at the same numbered hole; Chin strap perfectly centered. My uniform was ‘fung shui’ all the way.” [Sounds more like OCD than feng shui to me — PH]

College/High School/Other Football News: “Look at this mess,” says Timmy The Cop. “Pinktober mixed with the Seahawks mixed with the Ducks mixed with — yuk. This was in Clinton Maryland last week. The Clinton Jets Vs. that abomination.” … Reader Joseph Bailey asks, “Do you think the show segment producer/director says to the talent, ‘okay guys, for this segment we need for you to all roll up your sleeves.’?” … For the second straight home game, Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills High School went Pinktober for their homecoming game against Milford High School (from Brian Henke).

Hockey News: Yesterday the Boston Bruins unveiled their Winter Classic sweaters, and they’re pretty damn sweet. More info here. … The Elmira Jackals did the Pink-in-the-Rink thing on Friday night. … “In (Friday) night’s Oilers/Capitals game, they Pinktobered the board advertisements around the rink (well, closer to Laventobered, but you get the gist),” says Graham Bakay. “The league ad at the goal line had their Hockey Fights Cancer logo. Anyway, it looked like garbage, like there was something wrong with my TV.” … Penn State Hockey will be honoring Connor Darcey with helmet decals (Darcey tragically passed away at the age of 21, was a talented lax goalie for the Nittany Lions). … PUCK BUCKET!: “I’m sure this is no big deal to actual mainstream hockey fans, but while working at the scorer’s table for some Ivy League scrimmages, I thought this official cooler of game pucks was an interesting item for game management,” says Joel Mathwig. … Here’s some information on the NJ Devils logo: Timothy Burke says he designs on this page state they are not official marks, but the design shows up pretty clearly on some images tweeted out by Devils staffers. He adds, “the Devils filed for a new character mark earlier this month.” … More Laventober for the Flyers (via Thom D.). … The Hill Valley Icemen had a Back To The Future sweater last evening (via Kaleb Carter). … Interesting observation from Mike Engle who writes, “So the Flyers have their ‘hockey fights cancer’ day, which means purple warmup jerseys. This isn’t about that though. Here’s a Vine of a Steve Mason save, from NHL’s official Twitter account. Doesn’t it look like his pads are accented with some NFL-style magenta-ish pink? Except here’s a picture from the same game, which I ripped from, and it’s clearly orange where I’d expect it, ie where I thought it was pink from the Vine. Social media shenanigans? Maybe?”

Grab Bag: Check out this lacrosse glove customization: using sneaker paint to spruce up sporting good in a really cool way. 100% custom, all hand painted by Kacy Small (from Connor Wilson). Also from Connor: Red Devil Lacrosse in NC also has a pretty solid scary logo! … Check out this Coke deliveryman’s uniform, which the notation lists as circa 1925, “which sounds about right, if maybe a little too recent, given its cadet collar and cut. The chain stitch embroidery is great, and I wish it showed up a little better,” adds Don Gray. … Here is a look peek at the new Cincinnati Bearcats basketball arena’s new floor (h/t Doug Smith).




And that’s all for this week. Thanks to TJ, Joe, Rex, Dennis, Joey, and Kyle, and all who submitted for the ticker. You guys have a great week — it’s going to be a very, royal one…and I’ll catch you guys on Hallowe’en. Enjoy the World Series — LETS. GO. METS. And PL, I like my KC NY Strip medium.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“Those Nebraska uniforms were just repurposed Ohio State uniforms from last week, right?”

— Scott




Comments (46)

    UCLA has seriously lost their way in the uniform department, and I’ll continue to say this until I’m Bruin Blue in the face: SWITCH TO NIKE ALREADY.

    Such a switch would certainly remedy the jersey striping issue that has plagued UCLA for years. It might, in and of itself, justify the switch. But it would also seriously downgrade the gold color of the uniform, if Nike’s work with the NFL and other collegiate teams (Pitt, Florida State, Wake Forest) is any indication.

    As to those horrible black uniforms, do you honestly think that Nike would refuse UCLA’s request to create one of their own?

    Suggestion: You should get rid of the picture above the NCAA Uni Tracking segment. It’s confusing and doesn’t add anything.

    One of the worst football trends going is is putting shiny unreadable graphics on helmets. Memphis seems to come up with a new one every week, although I can’t be sure they are different every week because I literally cannot see them. What’s the point of a logo if no one can see it?

    not only does it move more merchant but it also drives interest in uniform. You’d think that would be something a uni site would embrace.

    As Paul has said (as I have as well, but he more eloquently than I), when a uni sucks, we’ll say so. And both UCLA and Nebraska’s atrocities suck. But they’re getting coverage, which is precisely what this site is about. We don’t *embrace* poor design or ridiculous BFBS, which is what both of those uniforms are.

    Cincy, as bad as it was, at least had some sense of purpose. Does it “drive(s) interest in uniform”? Sure, but that’s not the purpose of a uniform. My point about “there is no such thing as bad publicity” stands. Both BFBS unis got coverage, even if it wasn’t necessarily the type they were hoping for.

    RE: Boston’s WC sweater. Not saying there isn’t lots to like. There is.

    BUT side effect of not choosing period-accurate brown? Whole thing looks like a fireman’s jacket. Just an observation.

    Never thought I’d read a synopsis of the Konami fiasco on UW…maybe one week we can have a rundown/evolution of uniforms donned by defunct protagonists Mega Man, Snake, and members of the Belmont family.

    Mega Man’s a Capcom franchise.

    Anyway, Konami’s been on my shit list since they basically decided to toss Hideo Kojima by the wayside.

    Good point on the B’s Winter Classic sweater. I was actually a bit disappointed compared to the fantastic uniform they wore for their 1st appearance. I need to see the breezers and socks before passing final judgment. Hopefully the pants have a gold side stripe or two to break up the black. Socks will probably just mirror the sleeves.

    “LSU wore their purple jerseys against Western Kentucky, which brings the tally up to three times they’ve made an appearance this season, which is quite often under the current uniform practices that LSU employs.”

    Actually, they were forced to wear purple by South Carolina, even though that game was in Tiger Stadium (relocated home game for SC). So LSU has only chosen to wear purple twice this season, and that’s the usual count. They were purple for non-conference home games that are not the home opener. Their last two home games are against SEC foes, so there should be no more purple this season.

    “Chris Rainey has never been the most law abiding player,” writes Wade Heidt. “Wore orange socks on Friday night while his other teammates work the usual black socks. The Lions do not wear orange socks.”

    I’m calling it now: Should he get to the NFL, Mr. Rainey will find himself pre-fined for breaking a non-NFL uniform code.

    PS Lions do look better with those orange socks.

    I think it’s time to retire the 5 & 1 as currently constituted. What if a couple people came up w/ their list of 5 or 10 best-looking games & allowed readers to vote? And, same for the worst-looking game: come up w/ a few options, and allow us to vote on it?
    I like how, in the FB “fans” group, I saw a post a few Mondays ago of a 3 & 2 for the NFL. Makes more sense for that league, to me at least, since there’s a much smaller number of games to review (no more than 16), and with fewer uni combos and stronger visual identities tied to most clubs, there seems to be more of a general consensus on what’s good and what sucks. In college, teams are all over the place with combos and school colors (or lack thereof), and you’ve got 50 or more games to comb through every Saturday if you want to do it properly…

    This is an interesting suggestion, but the 5 & 1 as currently constituted will remain as is…

    …however, I like the idea of *reader participation* in terms of soliciting suggestions for best/worst-looking games. Perhaps I’ll add that down the road.

    Not gonna do a “pro” 5 & 1 (or 3 & 2) or anything like that because 1) rarely do the pros deviate from their *standard* unis (only 2 alts, max, per season). Yes, pants & socks can change, but think of all the Green Bay/Chicago #1’s you’d get (2 per season, anyway). And Paul really handles the pros for the most part and I doubt he’d want to do anything like that (not speaking for him, but I have a feeling).

    As far as Joe’s choices — I may not agree with them, but then I didn’t agree with Jim or Catherine very often either. And I’m not sure if I were to do the 5 & 1 myself, too many folks would agree with me (you’d get a bunch of Alabama, Michigan and PSU games in there)…it’s a fun little section and it will stay.

    But I do like the thought of reader participation to choose a best/worst. Maybe I’ll do that down the road.

    I like the participation idea. That would be a good addition to add some sort of poll or something. But I wouldn’t want to see the 5&1 go away either. Although as Phil said I don’t usually agree with most on the lists just as most wouldn’t agree with my list. But that’s what makes it fun. We all have our own opinions on who looks good and who looks awful.

    Don’t change a thing. People have always been invited to share their feelings in the comments. And there is the 5&1 email address these days. You’ll never get a consensus, so let one person do the list and the rest of us can tell that person why he or she is so wrong. As Phil said, it’s a fun little section. Heavy emphasis on fun…it’s not meant to be taken as gospel.

    I agree 5 and 1 needs to change. No offense to Joe but having one person pick seems like it has run its course.

    Memphis has a terrible number font. The TV numbers in particular look like a blob.

    Trying to imagine Pitt wearing a gold alt in the 80s or 90s shades of gold. If they had worn that, I would agree with the #1 ranking. As it is, I woud’ve taken Houston/UCF instead.

    Tell you what… UConn/Cincy was Top Five material. Top Two, even. To paraphrase your first listmaker, I would try on and possibly keep one of those Cincy jerseys.

    Liverpool/Southampton Premier League action on NBC right now. Southampton’s neon green/blue/neon green change kit is mighty fine.
    Only thing I would change (other than taking off the sponsor name) is adding a blue outline to the numbers.

    No pink that I’ve seen anywhere in the Falcons-Titans game. Is this league wide this week or is someone in the equipment room somewhere getting fired over the lack of Pepto on the field? Not that I’ll complain.

    I would have thought Maryland would get some props for their uniform. I wish they would go with that uni every game. Maybe an “M” on the helmet though.

    That Maryland uniform is terrible. They look like a team who had their jerseys stolen and had to borrow some from the local high school or something. Helmet is white with black/yellow trim, pants are white with black/yellow trim… Jerseys are… red? Yeah, that makes sense.

    I agree I love Maryland’s throwback and they should be their permanent uni. Part of ithe throwback appeal is that it is not matching (without any bright shiny colors or chromes, etc.) AND their current atrocities are a ridiculous try to be Oregon.

    Agreed. Nothing matched at all. It looked terrible. If they took the idea of the jersey and matched up all of the colors it would look decent. But as it was it was not good looking at all.

    “They look like a team who had their jerseys stolen and had to borrow some from the local high school or something. Helmet is white with black/yellow trim, pants are white with black/yellow trim… Jerseys are… red? Yeah, that makes sense.”


    Under normal circumstances, I’d agree with you, but 1) it was a gorgeous look, even back then, but especially now, and 2) they were going for the four colors of the Maryland Flag, even back then.

    And that, my friend, is what makes that an awesome uni. Unlike the stupid “pride” crap they wear today, which tries too hard to do the same thing.

    They should return to that forthwith.

    The throwback they went to isn’t exactly a well known combination so to me it makes sense that some don’t get it. I’m not even saying it was perfect, but it’s a much cleaner/classic/classier look and not all flash factor. Too many schools are going for the flash and in my opinion a lot of them have gone way over board. So, it’s a welcome site to see a switch to a more low key even if for one game.

    Also, just saw the Washington throwbacks and the NFL NEEDS to stop the one helmet rule as they loo stupid with the mismatching golds. At least Washington could switch out to a grey mask and remove the decals. (Packers too in regards to the face masks).

    Or they could just do the better thing and let the retro/throwback trend finally die and wear their regular uniforms for every game. That would be much better.

    An old gold spear decal would be a simple and ascetically pleasing solution since they already have the old school image of the native american on their sleeve

    The NFL definitely needs to stop this one helmet bullshit. There’s no way in hell you can convince me that a brand new helmet is somehow less safe than one that’s been beaten up over the course of multiple games. Oh, but one of our star players prefers a helmet shell that isn’t made anymore… well too fucking bad, he can pick a new helmet then. The entire concept of grandfathered safety equipment is bullshit.

    I’d rather see Washington just not throwback that far, as that uniform isn’t really that great, but that’s beside the point.

    This seems like a legal maneuver by the NFL as college teams practice in their alternate or throwback helmets the week before

    I agree about the 5 & 1. Too many horrible looks making it. Is there a thing where Big 12 teams can’t make it?No UT and KSU? OSU and KU?

    Just noticed in the SEC uniform tracker that not only have Florida worn monochromatic uniforms every game this season, but they also are wearing them in a set pattern: blue, orange, white, repeat.

    Unfortunately, I highly doubt they’ll wear the orange unis against Georgia this weekend so the pattern will most likely be broken.

    I recently fired the Cleveland Browns. At 56 yrs of age, it wasn’t the horrid play on the field or the garish ineptitude of the front office that pushed me to my decision. Their clown car hideous indoor football uniforms were a direct assault on anyone with a modicum of history and style. Being able to gaze on the gorgeous and timeless road Uniforms of Ohio State Saturday night reminded me of how perfect a uniform can be. Not knowing which of the Clowns threads are home or road is a pretty good indicator that the tailgate on the dung truck opened up and dumped their load on the shores of Lake Erie.

Comments are closed.