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LeBron James Channels NBA Fans’ Collective Rage, Rips Open Sleeves on His Jersey

Sleeved NBA jerseys: You’re sick of them, I’m sick of them, and now the greatest player on the planet is officially sick of them.

That’s the obvious conclusion to draw from last night’s Cavs/Knicks game. The Cavs were debuting their new sleeved BFBS alts, and LeBron James was not having a good time of it. Midway through the in the second quarter, he was 4-for-11 from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line. After missing back-to-back free throws and then a three-pointer, he left little doubt as to what the problem was:

This isn’t really so surprising. For one thing, LeBron expressed his dislike for sleeved jerseys more than a year and a half ago, when he was still with the Heat. For another thing, everyone else with half a brain figured out a long time ago that the NBA’s sleeved program has been a misbegotten disaster, so why not LeBron too? He just did what every NBA fan’s been wanting to do, and good for him. (He also engaged in some very efficient and effective design criticism, reminding us that form follows function and that basketball sleeves aren’t very functional.)

In a postgame interview, LeBron offered this explanation: “”I was just frustrated with myself, I was just off rhythm a lot tonight, and the jersey was the only thing I could go to. I couldn’t do nothing to my face.”

Pressed to give more thoughts on the sleeves, LeBron tried to be a good company man. First there was this quote:

“I don’t know, it might be mental, man,” James said. “It’s OK. The jerseys are nice. We love the jerseys. The black looks great. It’s been awhile since this franchise has worn black. So it’s great to be out there and wear those uniforms. I was in my own way. I was frustrated with my shot, I couldn’t make a bucket, so like I said, I had to take it out on something.”

And then this one:

“I mean, if the fans love [the sleeved jerseys], I love them,” James said. “That’s what it’s all about. I think our fans here in Cleveland and around the world and around the league love the uniforms. I’ll wear them for 48 minutes in a ballgame. Obviously, I’m so used to the sleeveless cutoffs, whatever you want to call them — tank tops — I’ve been playing in tank tops my whole life. But for a game here, a game there, I don’t mind it.”

Of course, the fans don’t love them, so the whole premise of that quote is out the window. Postgame backpedaling notwithstanding, LeBron’s on-court response to the sleeves could end up being the nail in this particular jersey’s coffin. Teammate Kyrie Irving had already said that it might be one and done prior to the game.

But other sleeved jerseys continue to proliferate throughout the league (like that new Nuggets alt from last week), largely because the NBA has stipulated that all “Pride” jerseys must be sleeved. Leaving aside the self-evident facts that the whole concept of “Pride” jerseys is (a) cringe-inducing, (b) ill-defined, and (c) a transparent attempt to foist even more crappy merch onto an already oversaturated market, why would you insist that this one particular category of crappy merch have sleeves? The connection between “Pride” and sleeves has never been explained, much less justified. The whole thing is a joke.

Everyone is assuming — correctly, I’d say — that the sleeves will disappear when Nike takes over the NBA’s uniform contract. But that doesn’t happen until 2017-18. Adidas is still the official outfitter for the rest of this season and next season. Will the sleeves make it to the end of the Adidas era? Good question.

This whole thing is no doubt creating a PR nightmare for the NBA folks today. And it should — they’ve has been pushing the sleeved agenda against all reason for two and a half years now, even though exactly nobody likes the look. Now they’re finally reaping what they’ve sown.

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Membership update: It’s been a slow period for membership enrollments, but we have a few new orders in the hopper (including Max Alpert’s Vancouver Grizzlies treatment, shown at right). There are several spots open in the current batch of eight, which I plan to send to the printer by Monday whether we’ve filled up the batch or not. In other words, if you sign up now, you’ll get your card very quickly.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far (nearly 1700 of them!) here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Tequila sunrise reminder: The tequila sunrise T-shirts are arriving this week, and as I mentioned yesterday it looks like Teespring didn’t do such a great job for some of you. The biggest problem — and this one is a real head-scratcher — is that people who ordered 2XL ended up receiving a Medium instead. I’ve heard other complaints about sizing (the tagged size doesn’t match up with the measurements on the sizing chart) and the quality of the printing.

Obviously, this is disappointing — not just for you, but for me. We’re going to do our best to make all of these right (and if we can’t make it right, obviously, you’ll get a refund, but our goal is to make that a last resort). If you have a problem with your shirt, please do the following three things: (a) email Teespring customer support and explain what’s wrong; (b) also email me; and (c) accept my sincere apologies. We’ll get it sorted out — thanks for your patience.

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Halloween over, new costumes to unveil tonight anyway: The NFL is slated to unveil its first “Color Rush” uniforms — the ones that the Jets (green) and Bills (red) will be wearing next Thursday — during tonight’s Bengals/Browns game.

One thing we need to do is come up with our own name for this uni program, because there’s no fucking way I’m gonna keep writing “Color Rush,” which is just NFL/Nike marketingspeak and is too embarrassing to even say out loud.

So here’s what we’ll do: I’ll give a complimentary Uni Watch membership card to the person who comes up with the best snappy name for this uniform initiative. The only catch is that you have to beat out Phil, who already came up with “Money Flush” (and didn’t even realize I was putting out the call for a new name!). Post your entries in today’s comments.

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

I’m a pretty mellow guy. Even at my angriest, I’m still like five steps away from punching or slamming something. As noted in today’s lede, LeBron James is apparently a little more proactive when taking out his frustrations.

In what ways have you took out your anger after playing or watching sports? Have you ever defaced your uniform or destroyed equipment? What’s the angriest you’ve ever gotten? What’s your favorite story of athlete rage?

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Rockies held a Twitter poll, asking which is better: high cuffs/stirrups or long pants. Last I checked, 59 percent of the 32,000 voters chose high cuffs/stirrups. … The Bowling Green Hot Rods will reveal new logos next Thursday. Looking at their current set, the Hot Rods are indeed overdue for new ones (from Josh Claywell). … The Padres configured Petco Park into a nine-hole golf course this week. ”¦ Here’s a good uni-centric story about a Pirates prospect in the Arizona Fall League (from Adam M).

NFL News: The big news yesterday was that it was reported that the Pentagon has paid more than $9 million to pro sports teams over the last four years, including $6.8 million for paid patriotism events. The report, from Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, had an excellent cover — we should find out who designed that. The Falcons have made the most money of all the teams, earning $879,000 from 2012 to 2015. The league is now in damage control mode on this one, with Roger Goodell offering to return any taxpayer money that was paid from the Dept. of Defense. … In a related item, a British writer says the NFL will never catch on in the UK unless the league changes its association with the military (from Mark Coale). … The Browns will wear white over white with brown socks tonight. … Speaking of the Browns, Johnny Bruno was listening to Columbus sports talk radio and heard the hosts calling the pants “Sorority Sweatpants.” That’s fairly accurate! … Also, Fox Sports asked which Browns uniform combo is the best (from Phil). … The Bills Toyota Rookie Club visited the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo this week. Players wore jerseys with Rookie Club patches for the event. OL John Miller wore a jersey with an outdated collar, which the Bills stopped wearing after 2012 (thanks, Aaron Husul). … A futurist repurposed a football helmet in a human cyborg experiment. More info on that here (from Jon Solomonson). … A reader named Timmy found some goodies on Washington DC Craigslist: a Washington helmet chair (!), a Brett Favre Bobble Dobble, a signed check from Sammy Baugh, vintage electric football and electric baseball pieces, and some high school football programs from the 1960s and ’70s.

College Football News: South Carolina will wear white jerseys and black pants this Saturday against Tennessee (from Phil). … Missouri will wear gray uniforms tonight. … Boston College will play Notre Dame at Fenway Park later this month, so the grounds crew covered the infield dirt with sod (from Scott Davis). ”¦ After Colorado players watched the new “30 for 30” film about the school’s 1990 national title under coach Bill McCartney, the Buffs changed their uniform plans for this weekend and will be going with their classic look. Now we just need to get “30 for 30” films made about every college team and have the players watch them (from Phil).

Hockey News: Islanders broadcaster Howie Rose was critical of the team’s new black-and-white third jerseys, saying that the jerseys are a “money grab” and even using the term “black for black’s sake.” Isles F Matt Martin likes the alternates though, saying the team looks meaner in them (from Phil). … The Bruins are inconsistent with their FIOB protocol. … The Blackhawks wore lavender cancer-awareness warm-up jerseys. … “The possible Wild Stadium Series uniform finally made me notice a nuance of the Wild’s logo,” says Brian Bennett. “On the potential jersey, the ‘chin’ of the animal is rounded, and a quick search shows this to be the case on most, if not all, repro jerseys (top image). On authentic jerseys (middle) and print uses (bottom), the chin comes to a point before it rounds off.” … Brantford, Ont. is the hometown of Wayne Gretzky. The town’s Junior B hockey team, the 99ers, combined the his No. 99 with the Edmonton Oilers logo to form their own logo. The oil drop at the top of the logo indicates “Jr. B” (thanks, Ted Arnold). … Joe Werner has a tidbit about the Rochester Institute of Technology’s hockey team. The team’s first uniforms were hand-me-downs from the Rochester Americans, the AHL team. RIT hockey was a club team with no funding from the school. According to the book Frozen in Time: The History of RIT Hockey, the sweaters had “AMERICANS” across the chest, and RIT removed all the letters except the “RI” and then added T’s at the end. Also, some of the sweaters feature a large “R” behind the lettering. “Not sure if the Amerks ever took the ice in mismatched sweaters the way RIT almost surely did, or if we are just seeing several versions of Amerks uniforms having been included in the lot of hand-me-downs,” Joe says. … Albany Devils goalie Scot Wedgewood has David Puddy from Seinfeld on his mask. He explains why in this video clip (from Adam Vitcavage). ”¦ I saw that the AHL had late morning games scheduled for both yesterday and today ”” does anyone know why? I couldn’t find an answer online.

Basketball News: The Pacers are adding this memorial patch for Mel Daniels. The also wore memorial shooting shirts last night. … Carmelo Anthony is an aficionado of luxury watches. … A designer, Austin Jermacans, created an Andrew Wiggins logo concept. … Here’s more on Stance, the company that has started to produce NBA socks this year. I would like a pair (apparently they are incredibly comfortable), but not for $26. … Raptors 905, Toronto’s new D-League team, unveiled its inaugural uniforms (from Andrew Stokes). … Jack Connell found this odd Michael Carter-Williams 76ers jersey at a TJ Maxx. The Sixers changed away from that uniform in 2009, and MCW played on the team from 2013 to 2015. … New unis for Ohio (from Kyle Arnott). ”¦ The Bulls will wear throwbacks tonight.

Soccer News: Here’s a good piece on how real fans hate half-and-half jerseys, as in, stitched together Lionel Messi and Neymar shirts (from Thomas Courtman). … I’m only 25, so take my “back in the day” complaints with a grain of salt. But it seemed like as recently as a decade ago, teams would release their new logos and uniforms with no notice. I remember how I found out the Bucks had a new logo in 2006 ”” the art on the team’s Wikipedia page was different. I then went to the Bucks’ website and it was like, Oh yeah, we have a new logo and uniforms. Now, teams tease the hell out of it. For instance, D.C. United will reveal its new badge on December 10. Great, now we have a month of hints. The aforementioned Bucks milked their newest logo switch, unveiling a teaser “M” logo; the primary and secondary logos; the regular home and away jerseys; and the alternate jersey, all on different dates, all announced way ahead of time. Maybe I’m just impatient, but I hate this new trend. ”¦ New uniforms for Honduras.

Grab Bag: East Carolina has signed a 10-year deal with Adidas. … Here’s a fun Sporcle quiz. Can you name the best-selling throwback jersey in each state? (From K.C. Kless.) ”¦ Big rugby news, as Canterbury is now the official outfitter of the British & Irish Lions (from @Stumpy7780).

Comments (226)

    I’m guessing Paul would like something a little more “family friendly”, but how about calling the NFL color initiative “Cllusterf$%k” instead of Color Rush?

    “Cluster Rush” would get the job done. The profanity is implied, and it maintains the connection to the official terminology.

    QotW: I was playing a mixed doubles tennis match and kept missing this easy volley at the net. I missed it towards the end of the match and just smashed my racquet on the court and threw it against the fence. I walked over to my bag and grabbed another racquet, which confused my partner, who was staring at me. I just looked at her and said “Sorry, I broke my racquet.” She had never seen someone do that during a match and I have never done it since.

    I have gotten my racquet stuck in a tree though. Getting it back down sucked because it was a pine tree. So much sap.

    individual sports like tennis and golf can be tough because all the pressure is on one person. I love it.

    the Fox Sports survey about the Browns unis left of the brown over orange.. which i personally like the best, just needs to be coupled with contrasting socks next time

    My Color Rush entry:

    Box of Crayons. “This week’s Box of Crayons battle features the Bills vs Jets.”

    Guessing on those late morning AHL games: School field trips? Baseball teams have 11 or 11:30 am ‘camp days’ , maybe this is the hockey version.

    QOTW: I’m a very mellow guy now, but in my younger days I was ejected from several rec softball games. Most notably for arguing with an umpire after I tagged a guy out at 3rd with the ball in my bare hand. Ump said I didn’t have the ball in my glove, so he was safe. That’s why I had tagged him with the ball, which I had in my right hand. I lost my cool, let a few choice words fly at the umpire and the player I had tagged out. Ejected.

    QotW : I went to St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. Only about three miles away from Lambeau Field. At that point in my life, I lived and died with Packer wins and losses. If the Packers lost, I would throw things, and slam doors. It became a bit of a problem, so I moved on to if the Packers were to lose an away game, instead of slamming things or breaking things in front of my roommates or friends, I would drive to Lambeau Field and sit in the parking lot for a good 30 minutes to just take a deep breath and relax. Obviously Lambeau would be too congested during home games, so that’s why I only did it during away losses.

    My friends and I joke about it now. Just this past Sunday, I got a few texts from college friends asking me how the parking lot was after the Pack’s loss against the Broncos.

    Maybe “Technicolor Yawn”? It’s one of my favourite euphemisms for vomit, which I suspect many of these designs will induce. Plus the yawn implies our boredom with the entire machine that spews this stuff out.

    I feel like since the whole goal here is clearly to pander to younger NFL fans, why not just go with #ThrowUpThursday? The kids love their hashtags and their throwing on Thursdays.

    The AHL Toronto Marlies have been doing 11am games for years. They bus in loads of grade school kids, the rink is full and loud, and the kids are back to school in time for dismissal.

    QOTW: I have never smashed a piece of equipment in anger because when I was a kid a saw this disaster happen. New York Rangers defenseman Dave Maloney blew his coverage on an opponent down low and the opponent, I sadly forget who, scored on his goalie John Davidson, who was sprawled on his belly by the end of the play. Maloney tried to smash his stick on the crossbar of the net, missed completely and ended up slashing Davidson’s exposed leg. JD had to leave the game, and I think even missed a couple more games after that with a leg injury. I never forgot that moment, and did my best to keep my cool and not smash sports equipment.

    Honduras remains one of the only international football teams to have an insignia more boring than the US.

    Color Rush = “Paint by Number$” (dollar sign essential).

    The LeBron in-game jersey modification is the best jersey-related news item I have seen for a while – great stuff!

    AHL, like the WNBA & MiLB, does a lot of “school day” or “education” games Could be that. Each team usually does 1-2 a year also because of schedules now with 2 cities sharing NHL arenas it could be a travel thing since they bus everywhere now. Depends on the cities & teams involved.

    I am not a fan of associating the UW terminology with money, but knowing the brass here, it will be.

    I like “Color Dump”

    I am not a fan of associating the UW terminology with money, but knowing the brass here, it will be.

    I beg your pardon? Could you please identify which other terms commonly used on the site have to do with money?

    BFBS, GFGS, pandering, flag desecration, G.I. Joke, amateur pacifist (haven’t used that one in a while!) — not a money-related term in the bunch.

    How about a simple “crappy Thursday night uniforms”? CTNU for short. (No, you can’t make rearranging the letters work.)

    “(No, you can’t make rearranging the letters work.)”

    What doesn’t work about Crappy Uniform Night = Thursday, or Crappy Uniform Night: Thursday??!??!?!

    After the University of Texas lost a Cotton Bowl game to Georgia, thanks largely to a dropped punt followed by a touchdown run by Georgia quarterback John Lastinger (I still remember it all too well), and a win that game probably would have propelled the Horns to a national championship, I went outside to shovel snow on my sidewalk and driveway. The problem here was that there wasn’t any snow in my driveway or on my sidewalk. However, I didn’t let that small detail prevent me from shoveling those areas in my disgruntled state. Don’t want to think what folks in cars driving by thought.

    What about calling them TTs, as in Technicolor Thursday.
    You can always say “Man, the (x team) has a serious TT problem” or “These week’s TTs sure look nice”

    How about expanding that to “Technicolor on Thursday” Then you could refer to them as ToTs.

    Well, I’m disappointed to see the Red Wings on that list, though there is one curious item, regarding a game scheduled for December 10, 2012. Of course, that game was cancelled due to the lockout. It makes me wonder if they ever made up that event.

    RE: Browns uni posting – isn’t it interesting how their poster is cut off so as to NOT show the wording on the pants stripe? Maybe, even they are getting embarrassed.

    QOTW: When Neil O’Donnell’s pass to Barry Foster was batted down and ended the Steelers’ 1994 season, I was so disgusted that I ripped the Steelers cap from my head, tore off the bill, and then ripped the rest of it to shreds.

    I’ve also smashed a hockey stick over a crossbar in frustration. Both of these events happened more than 15 years ago, I’d like to think I’ve mellowed since then!

    It’s Spring 1982. I’m 13 years old. The Sixers and Lakers are playing in Game 6 of the NBA Championship (they didn’t call it “Finals” yet). LA is up 3-2 in the series, but a win by Philly pushes the series back to the Spectrum to decide the title. I grew up in LA, but was raised by a mom from Eastern PA who happily brainwashed me to like all PA teams and despise all teams LA. Obviously, I was a normal child.

    As the game was winding down, Philly was clawing back after being behind most of the game. Soon, they pulled within a basket and were in possession to take the lead and, possibly, break the Lakers’ collective backs. A missed shot … an offensive rebound … another missed shot … another offensive board … then another missed shot. This time, the Lakers gain control and bolted down on the break.

    Then, Bob McAdoo. Ugh, damn you, Bob McAdoo. He drains a shot and the Forum goes nuts. The momentum for a Philly comeback was over.

    With my mom on the couch and me on the floor in front of the console, I suddenly channeled my inner Damian and began cursing God, screaming at him with venom that would’ve made Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation” cringe. All my mom could do is stare at me blankly in disbelief that her little boy could harbor such anger at the outcome of a basketball game.

    It was at that moment, after I had calmed down, that my mom very measuredly replied: You’re going to confession.

    The next day, I sat in the confessional face to face with our parish priest. I told him why I was there, and he looked at me with a look that gave me a twisted sense of pride. It was a look that said, “I’ve heard millions of confessions, but I’ve never heard one because a young man’s favorite team couldn’t finish on the glass and gave up a transition bucket with the game on the line.”

    Eventually, I found my way into covering teams as a freelance journalist, sitting in press boxes and courtside
    media tables. I’ve mellowed considerably since then.

    As for my mom? She’s become the fan I used to be. Although, thankfully for her, she’s yet to have any reason to hit the confessional over the outcome of a sporting event. That one still belongs to me.


    I’ve slammed a basketball or three, but the most mad-damage I’ve done is when I punched through the living room wall when I got the call that the biopsy came back positive for cancer.

    I broke a sherwood stick over the post once as a bantam after an awful team tied it up. Luckily this was back when a good wood stick only ran $25, so my dad didn’t get too upset.
    I can’t imagine a kid doing that today where decent sticks run 5 times as much.

    I did the same thing during a shinny game when I fired the puck about 15 feet over an empty net and into a snow bank, So I was down both a stick and a puck.

    “99 colors but black ain’t 1” could be the name, oh wait, probably Atlanta, Baltimore and New Orleans will drop a black uniform.

    How about “F*ck tradition unis”

    QOTW: In my early days of goaltending broke a couple sticks over the crossbar. One wooden bat broken on home plate in frustration playing Slo-pitch.

    In the past decade haven’t had too many “who pissed in your cornflakes” sporting moments, but had one time when I was angry enough to want to deliberately inflict injury.

    Beer league hockey – minor scuffle/fight – our player one the ice with his helmet fallen off – their player ready to punch his head to the ice – me nearby ready with a non-idle threat to use the butt end of my stick on his face if he tried.

    CFCS: Color for Colors Sake.
    WHO needs to Wear White at Home Anyways? WHO(WW)-HA! Pronounced like Pacino.

    How about the “Pilfer Collection” dedicated the NFL’s desire to squeeze every last cent out of willing fans.

    “Make It Rainbow”

    Kind of gets to the point of the colors and the money driving it.

    (e.g. – The NFL is going to ‘Make It Rainbow’ this Thursday with their color-on-color matchup.)

    It’s been mentioned a couple times now, but CFCS seems like a logical extension to the existing lexicon.

    I appreciate LeBron trying to be the good company man in his interview, but I wish he’d gone the Hulk Hogan route instead and ripped the rest of it in half right there in the interview. Oh well.

    As for the “Color Rush” unis, I’d kind like to see the whole ensemble for each team first, but if they’re as bad as we all fear….

    Taste The Lame-Bow

    Monothurs: monochromatic uniforms on Thursdays. This is an extension of the JIJoevember and Pinktober lexicon.

    Color holocaust? Umm, too strong? Ok how about color abortion? Still too strong? Color debacle? Color catastrophe? NFL stain Thursdays? There have been some real good ones. This is fun.

    As mentioned above, the AHL has been doing this a few years now. Bridgeport Sound Tigers do 2 of them a season, one is called Cool 101. It gets about 7000+ kids in the arena. Very loud.. until the leave early to get back to school!

    Sweet Jeebus. I think we’ve achieved maximum marketing crossover BS. Star Wars themed college football shirts:


    I can’t believe that the NFL didn’t think of it first…

    QOTW: My story doesn’t involve “rage” per se, (“disgust” is probably the apt term)and it might be more common than some of us would like to admit.

    After the Bulls won their last championship in ’98 and the Jerrys (Krause and Reinsdorf, but mostly Krause) broke up the team, I was crushed and, well, disgusted. I rounded up all of my gear – hats, shirts, jerseys (including a Jordan #45) – and gave it to Goodwill, essentially renouncing my fanhood.

    I didn’t regret it in the least, especially through the Tim Floyd years and several years after that. Now that I have children, though, I have come to wish I had held on to at least a few things from those years, but it is what it is. I did hang on to a bunch of programs and ticket stubs from games I went to during those years, so at least I have something, just no what is now “vintage” apparel.

    Sort of a random question here but with the impetus that the NFL has on players using one and ONLY one helmet each season, do they just throw that out of the window when players get traded to a different team? Do they get their original helmets repainted? I know trades are rare but still, they do happen.

    There’s a common misconception about this rule.

    The NFL has not ruled that players may only wear one helmet. Rather, the NFL has ruled that teams must MINIMIZE the number of shells that a player wears. That’s why having an entire second set of throwback helmets is no longer allowed.

    But if a player’s helmet cracks, of course he gets a new helmet. If a radio-enabled helmet’s radio rails, they switch to a backup helmet. If a player changes teams (which, as you say, is uncommon but not unheard of), he usually gets a new helmet (although my understanding is that some players prefer to stick with the one they have, in which case it gets repainted).

    The protocol is not a blanket ban; it’s about cutting down on multiple shells.

    Makes me think about who owns the equipment

    — when they exchange jerseys at the end of games (or Mean Joe Greene gives it to a kid), are they billed or do they already own it?

    — when they change teams, or have to take helmets to the pro bowl, are they free to do so, or do they have to pay for them first?

    I assume this is not like retail where the uniform comes out of the first measly paycheck.

    Because wearing a helmet until it breaks and then replacing it is obviously safer than wearing multiple new helmets.

    Makes sense to me.

    Are there *ANY* statistics at all to back up this rule? College teams have been wearing multiple shells for like a decade now, right? Do the Oregons have more concussions than the Penn States? Seriously, do they? Because, if not, then the NFL’s rule doesn’t seem to actually accomplish anything except annoying the fans who like throwback uniforms.

    Slight digression – it’s not about concussions. It’s about sub-concussive hits. When the league and the networks and their partners talk about “concussions” they’re trying to obfuscate and distract.

    And it’s not simply about replacing shells – it’s about players having to change to a different model because they can’t get their preferred model in a throwback color, and the NFL doesn’t want players to blame injuries about having to change helmet models mid-season for a throwback game.

    Of course, if the NFL would just up and ban the VSR4 and any other discontinued models still in use, and require all players to only use models currently in production, it’d be a non-issue. I’m all but certain that’s why it’s not an issue in the NCAA – schools that roll out multiple helmet colors are surely getting brand-new lids every single year, and thus they can ensure that all the different styles are in matching models for each player.

    QOTW: Not for an in-game event, but I did hammer a penny into the face of a Sergei Fedorov “Headliners” figurine during his 1997-98 contract holdout.

    COTW: I played somewhat competitive golf as a kid. I once intentionally snapped the shaft of my putter after missing a 4-footer on the 3rd hole of a tournament. I had to put with my sand wedge for the remaining 15 holes.

    Color Rush = Pantone Puke

    Isn’t it a little misleading to say that ‘fans’ don’t like the sleeved jerseys? I thought the sales numbers for them indicated that they were doing pretty well (could totally be wrong though).

    I believe you’re confusing the ON COURT (which is what we care about) look of the sleeved jerseys versus the retail sales (about which we don’t give a shit). Fans don’t like the look of the teams in the sleeves — what they do with regard to spending their $$$ on overpriced polyester is not at issue here.

    I definitely confused the sales numbers (which I could very well have been wrong about) with the focus of the site (aesthetics), so apologies there for pulling that in the conversation. I mean, I guess that’s my confusion with the headline in general, though- regardless of sales numbers- I’m a fan (that doesn’t buy jerseys, FWIW) and I think the sleeved jerseys look fine on players, when it’s actually a decent design. So when I see “fans’ collective rage” I wonder how collective it truly is, which is why my mind went to jersey sales.

    This ^^ was my initial thought, but after seeing some of the other entries I’ve changed mine to:


    QotW: In January 2005, after Eric Barton’s bonehead penalty allowed the Chargers to tie their playoff game against the Jets with 11 seconds left, I threw all of my Jets gear — 2 helmets, some t-shirts, sweatshirt, cap, &c., everything — into a trash bag, took it out to the curb and left it there. I went out and retrieved it after the Jets won the game.

    Design Dump – it has a dual meaning!
    1. Nike’s designers are just dumping random designs and
    2. It’s going to look like a dump most weeks.

    I read “new uniforms for Honduras” and was excited. But geez what a let down, like they tried too hard to still look shitty. At least the last one looked cheap and basic, but they knew it.

    I see someone wearing one at least once a day, an it’s an aesthetic atrocity every time.

    So…totally unrelated to the conversations today, but the new Bucks look is really good. I hope the Brewers hire that design team to refresh their look. :)

    The thing with Howie Rose and the Islanders is fascinating. Has anyone asked about whether he’s familiar with Uni Watch? It wouldn’t surprise me if he was.

    Well probably not the greatest name but how about Money Bag Flush (MBF).

    QoTW; I didn’t smash or rip it but a Red Sox hat I owned is at the bottom of New Bedford Harbor. Was standing watch on the Coast Guard Cutter I was assigned to in 1986.

    “Little Roller up the line…behind the bag…it gets past Buckner..”
    I took the hat off my head, flung it across the mess deck, and it went out the water tight door that was open and landed the harbor.

    “I don’t know, it might be mental, man,” James said. “It’s OK. The jerseys are nice. We love the jerseys. The black looks great. It’s been awhile since this franchise has worn black.

    The last thing this franchise needs is a reminder of the black-jerseyed era. Stick. To. Wine. And. Gold.

    Paul, scrap your December shirt…you could make a new one with ripped sleeves and use FRUSTRATED as the NOB.

    hehe…sure, I remember that band. There were lots of wonderful bands coming out of England around that time in the underground pop scene–Direct Hits, Jasmine Minks, Close Lobsters, Railway Children, Weather Prophets (got to see Peter Astor do some of their stuff live earlier this year–amazing), and so on.

    (Language comment on the Question of the Week: “have taken”, not “have took”.)

    I doubt that there is any kind of widespread hatred of sleeved jerseys amongst fans. Some people like them, some don’t; there is probably no strong consensus either way. I myself can see no reason to object to the wearing of a normal shirt.

    I get that the tank-top-style jersey is more traditional; that’s the kind of argument that I use when talking to to people who don’t understand why baseball players should show their socks (preferably with stirrups). But, for some reason I don’t see this argument applying here. A baseball uniform without visible sock doesn’t look like a baseball uniform; whereas, to me, the sleeved jerseys still look appropriate for a basketball uniform.

    Also, I do not care one bit if these shirts have been introduced to sell fans another item of official team gear; I care only how they look. And most of them look fine. The Nuggets’ new sleeved jersey is pretty dignified looking. And the Nets’ sleeved jersey is the best looking jersey that they have worn since the move.

    I was young when Ted Turner caused an uproar by buying the rights to several classic black-and-white movies and adding color to them. The term “colorized” was used with these films and took on a negative vibe as a result. So I’d call the Thursday night game “the colorized game”, hoping that negative connotation holds firm.

    QOTW: I remember getting really miffed while playing street hockey. I played the wing, and was pretty much a finesse player…wrist shots, no mixing it up with the opposition, etc.. One game, though, nothing was going right. In frustration I got the puckball back in our end, ran with it at full speed yelling “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” the whole way to the other end, and cranking up the hardest slap shot I’d ever attempted. It hit the goalie in the mask and bounced into the goal. After that it was back to Mr. Mellow.

    Favorite reaction from another player:


    That cheer spells “Edison Eagles” btw.
    My alma mater represented in those old high school football programs.

    Go Eagles!

    Not pro, but this is the all-time best example of a playing doing something because he was (sort of) pissed off – banging his stick against the glass and clotheslining himself:

    That Nike Color Rush site makes me want to Hue Spew. “Hue Spew”, suggested by someone else previously, just has to win the contest. Hysterical. I was wasting work time trying to think up something that combined “color” and “puke” when I read it. Can’t beat that; I’m out of contest…

    LeBron may have faced some backlash from the league had he not backed off on his comments, but at this point of his career (for better or worse), one word from him and we’d never see the sleeved jerseys again.

    Today’s where I sort of see Paul’s point. You don’t *need* to wear exactly what the players wear. Sleeved jerseys were hatched because most people can’t pull off the tank top look and they want to look like the players. Wear a shirsey. No, it’s not the same, but it’s close enough. Sometimes close enough is more than enough.

    Oh, really? The average person wears sports jerseys?

    Uh, no.

    The average male, 18-35ish, who has a certain amount of disposable income, and who’s a sports fan, wears sports jerseys.

    There’s more to the general population than that (thank god).

    Paul, I work in retail, in the middle of f#cking Ohio. I think I see enough “average people” to know what I’m talking about. Team jerseys, or their lower-priced retail alternatives, are quite popular among the masses.

    How many people over 50 buy/wear team jerseys? I guess they don’t count.

    How many people who don’t earn a middle-class paycheck buy/wear team jerseys? I guess they don’t count.

    How many women buy/wear team jerseys? I guess they don’t count.

    How many people who aren’t sports fans buy/wear team jerseys? I guess they don’t count.

    The ability of certain people to simply ignore the existence of millions of their fellow citizens is depressing.

    “I work in retail, in the middle of f#cking Ohio. I think I see enough “average people” to know what I’m talking about.”


    Clearly your definition of ‘average people’ is different than the rest of us.

    Sports gear is indeed normal clothing. And this is true of people well outside the male 18-35 sector.

    You can go out on the streets of New York right now and find grizzled old hot dog vendors wearing Yankee caps. My father wore his Met cap frequently until he died at age 83. Ride your bike through Flushing Meadow Park on any Saturday, and you’ll see lots of girls and women wearing Barcelona and Real Madrid jerseys.

    Wearing a team cap or shirt or jacket is a great way to express oneself. In this first year of NYCFC, I have been stopped for conversation plenty of times when I was wearing one of the items of team gear that I own: caps, warmup jacket, sweatshirt. And I have greeted other fans whom I have identified on the street by their wearing of this gear. As a sociological phenomenon, this is a very good thing.

    When the Nets moved to Brooklyn, the explosion of people wearing Nets caps (myself included) was an indication of the impact the team made. (An impact which they have since squandered. But that is beside the point.)

    I have more than 100 hats. Most of them are sports-related. But some display things related to television shows; to my political ideology; to other cultural phenomena (I have a Nathan’s hat); and to the language Esperanto, in which I am fluent. Just yesterday I received a Hitmen hat that I had bought. I even have a hat with my own name embazoned on it.

    At 50 years old, I have no plans to stop wearing my many diverse hats, nor my other sports gear (sweatshirts and jackets from NYCFC, the Cosmos, and the Nets). And there are many people of all ages in our society see nothing unusual in this kind of healthy self-expression and who themselves engage in it.

    At any given moment, are a majority of Americans wearing blue jeans? No. Yet would we say that wearing blue jeans is a normal thing that normal people do? Absolutely. Similarly, a numerical majority of Americans is not wearing a sports jersey at any given moment. But it absolutely is a normal thing that normal people do. To argue otherwise is to define “normal” in a way that defines millions of Americans as abnormal – as aberrant and unworthy of consideration.

    What’s more, contra Paul’s baseless assertion, wearing jerseys as everyday shirts is more common among Americans who are less affluent. Go to a grocery store in a well-heeled suburb some winter weekend, and it will be the $18k/year staff wearing NFL jerseys, not the $120k/year middle-management customers. But when I walk to the grocery store in my mom’s poor neighborhood in a poor town in a middling state, customers and staff alike are in football jerseys on the weekend. Men and women. Young and old.

    If we take Paul’s assertion and his defense of the word “normal” seriously, then I’m a normal person but the vast majority of my mother’s poor neighbors are not. Most of the white people I know are normal, but most of the black Americans I know are not. White-collar me is normal, but the working-class clerks who bag my groceries are not. This is an ugly, dehumanizing argument Paul is making about the limits of normality.

    The Jeff is not ignoring the existence of millions of Americans. That’s what Paul is doing. What The Jeff is doing is including the millions of Americans Paul wants to exclude within the bounds of normality.

    Or we can be generous and assume Paul doesn’t actually mean what he’s saying about “normal” here, and this is just an unfortunate instance of “But nobody I know voted for Nixon.” (Which, for the record, Pauline Kael never actually said.)

    Anyway, it all leads up to an empirical question of the sort that a journalist might pursue: Just how many jerseys are sold in a given year? Leagues and national retailers love to announce jersey sales in relative, but not absolute, terms. It is trivially easy to find out whether more Peyton Manning or more Drew Brees jerseys were sold last season, or whether more Mets jerseys or more Dodgers jerseys were sold this year. But nowhere easily Googled are absolute sales numbers available. Does the NFL sell 100,000 jerseys a year? A million? More? What of the NBA? That information would go a long way to settling the question of just how abnormal and deviant are Americans who wear jerseys as shirts.

    At any given moment, are a majority of Americans wearing blue jeans? No.

    Actually, I suspect the answer to that question might well be yes. Moreover, I don’t think there’s any question that a majority of Americans *own* and *sometimes wear* blue jeans.

    Anyway: You’ve lost sight of the point of this thread. Vilk said it might be OK not to dress like the players, as if there had ever been some imperative to dress like them. I countered that it was fine for a fan to dress like “a normal person” (i.e., wear civilian clothing instead of playing dress-up athlete). Then the thread spun out of control. But the underlying point remains: There’s normal, civilian clothing, and then there’s dress-up-athlete clothing. The latter is usually worn for specific situations, like going to a game, or going to a sports bar (shudder), or the one day of the week when you’re allowed to wear a jersey to work (see upthread). Those are all SPECIAL occasions, not NORMAL occasions. And my point was that it’s fine to dress normally for any of those occasions, even if you’re attending a game, or going to a sports bar (shudder again), etc.

    “At any given moment, are a majority of Americans wearing blue jeans?”


    I’m in my office right now, wearing jeans. While I wear them to the office maybe once a week (or less), I still wear them to basically everywhere now. 10 years ago? I wore a suit every day.

    But I have NEVER worn a jersey or sports team cap to the office. Never. Nor has anyone else in my office.

    What’s my point?

    I guess we do things differently around these here parts.

    I really just don’t know what your definition of “normal” is.

    I mean, I don’t think wearing jerseys on a regular basis is “stylish” but everyone in the world has their own style.

    Don’t records for jersey sales for all the major sports say that jersey get sold and essentially worn?

    Duh, yes, lots of people buy/wear jerseys.

    But also: Lots of people — lots MORE people, I’d posit, based simply on demographics — *don’t* wear jerseys. That’s my only point.

    Every Friday during football season employees in my office (and by what I’ve seen, many other offices too) are permitted to wear Ravens’ gear. For the most part, the ones who do tend to (1) fall outside the age 18-35 demographic; (2) be female; and (3) not be the most highly-compensated employees (though probably they qualify as middle-class by virtue of being part of a two-income household). Few if any of whom actually attend Ravens’ games, to my knowledge.

    Also, based on what I observe driving by Camden Yards pretty much every workday, I’d guesstimate that the percentage of women who attend games wearing Orioles attire is darn close near the percentage of men the same age.

    All of which is to say that while the “average” person may not wear sports apparel, plenty of “normal” people do. Relatively affluent males ages 18-35 may be the prime target demographic, but it’s by no means the only one.

    The very fact that you’ve carved out a special day for it means that it is not “normal.” It is special — it is a costume, or niche-wear, or something to do at a specifically designated juncture. That is the antithesis of “normal.”

    “How many people who don’t earn a middle-class paycheck buy/wear team jerseys? I guess they don’t count.”


    A cursory glance when walking around would suggest to me that jersey wearing is somewhat inversely proportional to income, counter-intuitive as that may be.

    LeBron may have faced some backlash from the league had he not backed off on his comments, but at this point of his career (for better or worse), one word from him and we’d never see the sleeved jerseys again.

    He’s link, but the league hasn’t gotten rid of them yet.

    Color Rush Renamed:

    Nike’s Blind Games. (Or Blind Games)
    Thursday Night Synesthesia.
    Thursday Night Pa-lette Down.
    Color Rush? More like, “Color Suck.” Right?

    Islanders broadcaster Howie Rose was critical of the team’s new black-and-white third jerseys

    Howie has been extremely critical about pretty much anything regarding the move to Brooklyn for a while.

    Fair enough, but he’s wrong about the colors not representing Brooklyn, though. Black and white have become unofficial colors in recent years. That could be tied into the Nets, I don’t know. But the Brooklyn Half Marathon has been rebranded from a link to a link. I see a lot of black and white link-branded link and link around town.

    Yes, navy and gold are the borough’s official colors. But black and white sure seem to be widely regarded as unofficial.

    During a Spring training vacation in Florida, I went miniature golfing with two friends for a semi-serious tournament. Midway through the course, we were on top of a hill. One guy hit his ball out of bounds, and I assessed him a penalty stroke. I started announcing all his shots after that as he hit them (“3”, “4”, “5”). He didn’t like that, so he turned and intentionally smacked his ball in the water. So I continued counting “6”. He got so mad at that that he picked up the ball and threw it into the busy highway, and he walked off the course.

    This was over 10 years ago, and we are still friends. But we both agreed to never play mini-golf together again.

    If the 30 for 30 films are going to be whitewash jobs like they gave McCartney, nobody should watch them.

    Supersaturated Thursdays

    The uniform marketplace to me is now supersaturated – in a normal design ‘solution,’ identity and function dissolve into one. Now the ‘solution’ rejects identity and even function

    The stupidest thing to me about the Adidas sleeved jerseys is their blandness. The way they’re constructed, they seem to have been designed to evoke the look of a regular jersey over an undershirt, but there’s only been one sleeved jersey that I know of that even attempted to take advantage of that, and it was the ugly-ass gray Celtics jersey from last season. All of the other ones are a single solid color; if they had fully contrasting sleeves, they’d be a lot less boring, at least.

    Also, taking a good look throughout the NCAA, it seems to me that most undershirt-wearing players prefer loose sleeves. And that two-layer look is generally better than any of the NBA sleeved jerseys. Of course, the idea of multiple layers flies in the face of the whole Adidas “Lighter! Faster! MOAR PREFORMANCE!!!!!!!111111111111LOLWTFBBQ” philosophy (granted, that bullshit isn’t exclusive to them).

    To hear a school saying it is going to wear its “normal” uniforms to honor their legacy kills a little piece inside of me… Normal is now so out there, it is now honoring your school.

    Looking forward to the start of a new NFL marketing initiative…I mean tradition: The Thursday night “Commerce Push”. Yet another shameless shakedown of its fans.

    the problem with the NBA’s sleeved unis is that they are form-fitted modern-day clingy things that are designed for fashion and not purpose. A loose-fitting t-shirt sleeve would work just fine. Back in the 80s many NCAA players wore tee shirts under their jerseys, most notably Patrick Ewing with his Nike shoe advertisements that resulted in the NCAA banning them and requiring that the tee shirts match the uniform color. If you want to see what “real” sleeved basketball jerseys look like, see the old Evansville Aces (RIP those that were lost in the tragic plane crash). NBA players wouldn’t dare be seen in this style and that’s why the sleeves do not work.

    I see a few people saying “CFCS” meaning “Color for Color’s Sake”

    But when I look at CFCS, and in context with these uniforms, “Crayon for Crayon’s Sake” pops into my head.

    Submitted for your approval:

    Color Calamity

    or alternatively…

    Corporate Color Calamity

    To go along with BFBS and GFGS, how about CFMS? Color For Money’s Sake? I really like those 4-letter acronyms.

    Fantastic responses today everyone, to both questions. And, thanks for cluing me in on AHL scheduling.


    When Josh Beckett recorded the last out of the 2003 World Series, 15 year old whipped my World Series patch Yankees cap across the room and very inadvertently out the window. Luckily I happened to be home alone, so no one saw my embarrassed walk of shame outside the house to retrieve it.

    Non uni-related, but sports rage related, when Burress caught the TD pass that ended the Patriots perfect season in Super Bowl 42 I calmly got up, walked into the kitchen, and punched the oven so hard that it dented. Not my proudest moment.

    To add to the AHL responses, The Kalamazoo Wings have held Education Days for years also; dating back to their IHL days.
    They were one team that had a 10:30 AM start on Wednesday.

    Also, for the record, on Halloween, they played on orange ice. Forgot to send that one to Paul.

    I’ll go with “The Post-Pink Stink.”

    Yes, the indirect shocker pun is intended.

    “Thursday Fourth(s)” so….

    The Bills will wear their Thursday Fourth next week.

    The Bills and the Jets will be playing in the first NFL game where the team wears their new Thursday Fourths.

    QOTW – My favourite athlete rage story belongs to former Australian cricket player Alan Border. After being dismissed for not many runs against England in 1979, Border stormed back to the dressing room, where he crashed open the door with his shoulder, threw his bat onto the floor, ripped off his gloves, kicked them as far as he could and then launched an expletive-laden rant against England and their cricketers in general. He had just about used up every expletive and swear word he could think of when the truth dawned on him – he was in the England dressing room, having taking a wrong turn at the top of the pavilion steps!

    FWIW, in my 2014 book The New Conspiracy Handbook Vol 2 (written under the pen name Simon Trinculo), I theorized that “Honor the Troops/Vets” type promotions at sporting events were secret paid promotions from the DoD…


    link is the Jets’ MFMS (mono for mono’s sake) uniform. Nothing radical; all-green, including the sleeves, regular shoulder inserts, chromed helmet decals & stripes.

    Apart from the lovely verdigris, blech.

    If this is any indication of what the Bills are going to wear (all-red), that game is going to be very painful to watch.

    Bulls wearing red throwbacks (with the script “Chicago”) for “60s Night,” as proclaimed on both TV and radio.

    But the Bulls never wore this uniform in the 60s; it debuted in the 70s.

    A lot of good names for the Thursday color on color uniforms have been posted. The whole category of (criticisms of) uniforms made primarily to sell stuff should be called Merch Bait.

    Comic Ian Karmel basically summed up the problem with sleeved jerseys as “A sleeved jersey is a tucked in t-shirt, and tucked in t-shirts are never whats up.”

    source: link

    That would be a painful game to watch under normal circumstances; the uniforms will make it impossible as a viewer.

    I agree the normal dress wear thread spun out of control but it is kind of interesting what we would consider normal in different parts of the country. For example, I know this is a game day situation, but Wisconsin v Alabama this year in Texas ~ Each side looked at the other like they were from a another world. UW- guys & girls basically dress in t-shirts & shorts/jeans. Bama- guys wore dress shirts tucked into their khakis with big belt buckles & girls wore dresses with heels.

    Rainbow Slush. Cuz I guarantee if you eat those jerseys, your crap will be a Rainbow Slush while your Money gets Flushed and then you have to use a special scrubbing brush.

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