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The Race to the Bottom Has a New Winner

If someone wants to dress like a fucking clown — I mean, really, really wants to dress like a total fucking clown — then by God they should go ahead and do it. That’s what America’s all about, the freedom to make an utter fool of yourself and surrender whatever slim sense of dignity you might once have had.

The Michigan State basketball team apparently really wants to dress like fucking clowns. They’ll be wearing the ensemble you see above for today’s game against Maryland. Maryland, of course, is a school that knows a thing or two about dressing like fucking clowns, so everyone involved should be able to have fun comparing notes about what it’s like to dress like fucking clowns. It’s nice to have things in common with one’s opponent, just to humanize them, no?

Here’s the full uniform as shown on a mannequin (presumably because they couldn’t find a live human willing to wear it):

When this design began ciruclating a few days ago, my initial reaction was, “Until I know for sure that they’re wearing it on the court, I’m assuming it’s just retail slop.” The implicit subtext of that reaction was, “Nobody wants to look like a fucking clown that much.”

But hey, I was wrong.

(Oh, by the way: Paul here, pinch-hitting today for Phil. He’ll be back tomorrow.)

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my Friday Flashback on ESPN was about the Hartford Whalers’ awesome logo and uniforms, including an exclusive interview with the logo’s designer, Peter Good — a Hartford native who’d never done a sports-related design before tackling the Whalers assignment and has never done one since. Check it out here.

The piece inspired some fun responses on Twitter, especially from people who’ve adapted the Whalers’ logo for their own teams. Here are a couple of examples:

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Design context reminder: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. Full details here.

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it last week, all of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s 2015 designs are available from now through the middle of next week at our Second Chance Shop. Further details here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Astros will unveil a new jersey today. has some details on what it will supposedly look like, and I can confirm that their description is basically accurate. … The Yankees are running out of uniform numbers (thanks, Phil). … Judging by this promo video, it looks like the Padres will be wearing 1998 throwbacks on Aug. 6 (from @RJsFro). … The latest team in the Prospect League — that’s a summer collegiate league — is the DuPage Drones (from Kevin Eckhoff).

Pro and College Football News: NFL team logos reimagined as pro wrestlers? Sure, why not (from Josh Claywell). … The Falcons will no longer accept funds from the military for jingoistic rah-rah displays. It’s not yet clear if they’ll continue to run their own jingoistic rah-rah displays without the benefit of military underwriting (from Douglas Ford). … Fans attending the NFC championship game will receive a rally bandana (from Alex Sinclair). … Reprinted from last night’s comments In advance of tomorrow’s AFC championship game in Denver, workers at Denver International Airport added a “1” to runway 8. “I’m surprised the FAA allows that,” says commenter Michael. Me too. … Ravens QB Joe Flacco says he’s happy he didn’t have to wear the team’s gold pants a few weeks back (from Andrew Cosentino). … New uniforms for Wyoming (thanks, Phil). … Why the hell would a Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl display feature a Bills uniform that hasn’t been worn since 2010?

Hockey News: New jerseys for Louisiana Tech (from @ManieltheDaniel). … The Hamilton Bulldogs are running a jersey design contest (from Kristopher Young). … You may have heard that Oilers C Matt Hendricks took a shot to the nuts on Thursday night. Here’s what was left of his cup (from Laurence Holland). … Oh man, check out Indiana’s striped alts. Not nuts about the black pants, though — red would be better, and red/white striped would be best! … The Lake Erie Monsters will be wearing Cleveland Barons jerseys on Feb. 20 and Lego jerseys on Feb. 27 (thanks, Phil). … Nice touch on the Blues’ inner collars.

Soccer News: New logo for Bay Area Pro Soccer, which is the new NASL team (from Gilbert Lee). … Here’s a review of FC Barcelona’s three new jerseys (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Western Carolina has inked a new deal with Adidas. … New white lacrosse helmets for Towson (from Brad Collins). .. The crews of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet’s best submarines have been given new ribbons for their uniforms. … Kenneth Cole has donated the uniforms for the volunteers at the Sundance Film Festival. … The upstate New York town whose residents recently held a non-biding vote to keep their town logo, which appears to show a white man strangling a Native American, will get a new logo after all.

Comments (56)

    That Spartan uni is laughable. My sympathies do go out to the athletes who have wear them. I’m not convinced they “want to dress like a clown” as much as some bozo in marketing has decided to dress them like clowns. Such a shame for school that has given us some of the most elegant and timeless unis.

    I’m not convinced they “want to dress like a clown” as much as some bozo in marketing has decided to dress them like clowns.

    Yes, well, when I said, “The Michigan State basketball team apparently really wants to dress like fucking clowns,” I was referring to everyone involved in the enterprise, not just the players.

    So, the Orlando Thunder was long enough ago that everyone forgot?

    They had color film and everything! How does this happen?

    The Orlando Thunder looked perfectly fine. God damn you people and this illogical hatred of bright colors. Complain about too many teams wearing black or navy, then complain about teams wearing bright colors too. What the hell do you actually like?

    Completely agree, I just don’t see how it’s any different than that over-the-top bright blaze orange the Broncos will wear tomorrow. For someone who professes that green is his favorite color – and once said it was under-used in sports uniforms, I don’t get it.

    I tend to agree. No, it’s not my favorite shade of green, and no, it’s not Michigan State’s official PANTONE® hue, but at least it is, in fact, green.

    I remember all those years when the Celtics proudly wore classic kelly green and played on a court trimmed in, well, exactly the color Michigan State is wearing. That always seemed strange to me, but link

    So… they’re wearing bright green and a pattern on the shorts that from TV viewing distance just looks like a gradient. Ok. Totally clown.

    I usually side with uni-related opinions but really disagree here. I LOVE the Michigan State jerseys.

    I think Paul may have set a new record for F-Bombs in a lede today! Lee Elia would be proud! Does anyone out there keep records on this?!!

    When first I started reading today’s lede I immediately thought that Phil was trying to emulate Paul by overusing a derivation of a colloquial to describe the act of copulation. About half-way through, and before the author was revealed, I knew it was Paul.

    I read it on my iPad this morning which does not show the author but my iPhone does show show Paul as the writer. Weird.

    “I immediately thought that Phil was trying to emulate Paul by overusing a derivation of a colloquial to describe the act of copulation.”


    While my sentiments are similar to those expressed by Paul, I probably wouldn’t have quite described it in such a colorful way.

    And the actual color (while garish) isn’t the problem with this kit. The problem is Oregon seems to have rejected these as an alternate, saying, “No way we’re wearing these fucking things. While we have no problem wearing 19 different shades of green that aren’t our actual school color, you’ve gone too far, Nike. Bet you can’t find anyone else who’re dumb enough to wear them.”

    Nike: “Challenge accepted.”

    Ultimately the school has to agree to what Nike is putting forth. Contrast what Michigan State is doing with its basketball uniform to the two simple options that Nike is providing for Wyoming football.

    The Michigan State basketball team doesn’t need to look like clowns. Their mascot already looks like a clown!

    not nuts about the black pants, though – red would be better, and red/white striped would be best!

    IU’s team is a club program; it’s almost certainly a matter of convenience and economy that they’re wearing readily-available black pants.

    And striped pants? Really??? On a day when you’re excoriating Michigan State for dressing like “fucking clowns,” you advocate for a truly clownish look?

    You could not have expressed my sentiments more clearly. I had to assume his “clown” adjective was focused solely on the bright green color not being MSU’s. I would much more expect actual clowns to be wearing the IU hockey outfit than the MSU basketball outfit. Adding striped pants would only making it more likely.

    What’s to mention? From any normal viewing distance, it’s a green to black gradient. It’s nowhere near as obnoxious as the Adidas fruit stripe uniforms, among other things. Do we need to start avoiding your lawn or what?

    I think it’s a bright green to the actual Michigan State green gradient. I guess we’ll see how the other teams are executed. I’ve got to assume there will be more teams wearing something similar.

    I’m reminded of the Notre Dame neon green uni’s from 91, which were covered here previously:


    I remember watching that game when it was televised, and just shaking my head that a “traditional” basketball program would wear something so bright. So, history does repeat itself…..

    You’ll probably get a little backlash from the brown-is-beautiful crowd, but as a San Diego resident in the 1990s who got to see a lot of Padres games, I totally agree with you.

    Yeah. I’m like one 3 people who has ever commented on here about hating the brown. At least I’m consistent. Though I’ve always said that brown with a baby/Carolina blue would work and please both sides though.

    What I find interesting about the uniform is on the mannequin they use number 16, which is an illegal number in college basketball. i understand it’s probably for 2016, but it’s strange they have those numbers available for basketball jerseys


    The NCAA is living through it’s own version of “history of labor relations 101”. Where the fruits of labor (tv money, uni-money, event money, all aspects of the trade) are not exactly fairly distributed amongst the people who create it.

    One of the consequences of this situation is that player based numbered jerseys cannot be sold by official NCAA demons as to avoid any misconception that they are profiting from said digited jerseys. I am sure that you know this of course.

    This is disconcerting for the fanboys and girls who only want to watch and scream at the tv supporting their favorite teams performances (regardless of their heinous sartorial decisions – dressing like ass-clowns in this case).

    There is no greater shame for our nation’s institutions than this preying on their own “student athletes” talents exploited for a fraction of their real economic value. Supporting a corrupt system via fanboyism isn’t very pretty either. I am sure you know that too.

    To the extent that NCAA schools today often formulate standard fonts for “universal school identity” (cough cough: differentiate the real stuff from the fake stuff and jack up the price on the real stuff), I’m not surprised that 16 can be appropriately scaled and placed on a basketball jersey.

    Yes of course, it’s for display purposes of 2016 only, and also yes of course we know that digits 6-9 don’t enter NCAA basketball because a scorekeeper shouldn’t have to wonder whether two fingers on one hand and all five on the other means 7 or 25.

    of course we know that digits 6-9 don’t enter NCAA basketball because a scorekeeper shouldn’t have to wonder whether two fingers on one hand and all five on the other means 7 or 25.

    I still don’t understand why that’s still an issue. If the NBA can have any number from 00 to 99, why the heck can’t the NCAA deal with it? Like it’s just SOOOOO hard for the ref to have mic and tell everyone that the foul was on #7 or #25.

    Sure, it’s not difficult, but does adding the higher numbers make the game better, or does it just complicate and reduce the efficiency of a process that doesn’t need either?

    The White Sox are having this seminar at SoxFest next weekend: “Sox Style: A Look Back at White Sox Uniforms and the Men Who Wore Them with Harold Baines, Ed Farmer, Carlos May and Tom Paciorek”

    Wow. The MSU uni is a train wreck of epic proportion. They must have had a “what items do you not add to a uniform” checklist to work against. Weird arcs on the short: Yup got them. Ugly color: Yup got that. Wondering if someone went running to the factory scream “Wait we forgot to make it purple”

    Joe Flacco, who spends most of his time in a shiny black pant and sock unitard combination, has the gall to denigrate the Ravens’ sweet gold alternate pants. This is yet another reason why he will never be considered an elite quarterback.

    No no. He’s not.
    I assume (or perhaps just hope?) that you guys are trying to make a rhetorical point. But it doesn’t make any sense. There are many reasons why Flacco isn’t elite, but his OPINION about pant color isn’t one of them.
    It’s one thing to criticize a uniform based on functionality (e.g. illegible numbers). You can even disagree with someone’s opinion, especially if you can explain why. But to say someone is wrong, or even more bizarre, not an elite qb, because they have a perfectly reasonable opinion they just happens to be different from your own, well, that isn’t really adding to the discussion, is it?
    It’s tiresome, and the reason I usually don’t read the comments. FWIW, the only reason I did today was to get more information about what is so clown about the MSU unis. The best we got was shorts pattern, which was rather unsatisfying. Of course, the actual answer is obvious now that the game has started: They’ve dressed the entire lower section in neon green, complete with the Spartan logo done in the aforementioned pattern. Prepare yourself for all the other Nike schools to unveil their version of this new template, which is the real clown act here.

    Maybe so, maybe no. In either case, my point stands. We can either make sound, logical arguments or not. More fundamentally, we can choose to act civilly or not. Unfortunately, it too often seems I’m in the minority here, so I’ll go back to quietly enjoying the parts of Uni Watch I like, and ignoring the rest.

    Nebraska overdid it today with #averystrong. Instead of coach and cheerleaders and thousands of others in gold t-shirts, how about just #averystrong displayed on the baseline for the entire season. It would pay tribute to the cause just the same.

    Bravo for the colorful language. While it was relatively straight forward, the rhythm was precisely on point. It actually made me laugh out loud instead of cringing at that stupid uniform.

    In the related news section of the page linked for the Astros uniform is the update that the units have been released


    I must agree with Paul on this one. Having that jingoistic American flag on an otherwise perfect jersey totally upsets what would be a sweeet uniform. :)

Comments are closed.