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Yet Another Rams Uni Contest (from a long time ago)

As most of you are probably aware, I recently put out a call for entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. We’ll have the results tomorrow.

But reader Randy Parkes remembers another Rams-redesign contest — from more than 40 years ago!

“The Rams had a contest in September of 1972,” he writes. “I was 16 at the time, and a die-hard Rams fan. I was also art-oriented, so when saw the contest in The Valley News, I drew a design. I never submitted it, but for some reason I saved it.”

Here’s Randy’s design (click to enlarge):

Interesting, right? A few thoughts about this:

• The Rams did indeed get a redesign in 1973 — that’s the year they went from blue/white to blue/yellow. But the contest entry text says, “Rams colors are royal blue, white, and gold,” so they had apparently already decided to reintroduce yellow/gold (which had previously been a team color before being excised in 1964).

• 1973 is also when the Rams introduced the horns on the sleeves and shoulders. It’s not clear to what extent, if any, this move reflected one of the contest submissions.

• I love that the contest prize included a choice of a full uniform (well, almost full — no socks) or four season tickets. Whoever the winner was, I hope he or she chose the uniform!

As for Randy’s design, he was ahead of his time, at least in terms of side panels, eh?

I’ll be off the grid for most of today (it’s the Tugboat Captain’s birthday, so I’m going to help her celebrate), but here’s the rest of today’s content — see you all back here tomorrow.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Okay, we’re done with pro football for another season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t feature it on Collector’s Corner, no sir. And as I’ve said before, no eBay category has as much great vintage stuff as the NFL. So let’s begin with this very nice-looking Kansas City Chiefs Helmet Buggy. MOC, or Mint On Card, as they say in eBay-speak.

Here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• Created forty Super Bowls ago, this Steelers pennant now looks rather quaint.

Reggie Jackson plays in Puma. Note the super-cool shades, turtleneck, and sport coat combo. For years I wondered what “Beconta” was — as far as I can tell, it was Puma’s U.S. distributor.

• Here’s a great set of 1970s NFL single-bar helmet stickers.

• Some more helmet stickers for you, and this is one of my favorite helmet representations, from the 1981 “NFL SuperPro Club.” (Also loved this helmet look from 1971 — over to you, Pat.)

• Here’s a Philadelphia Eagles helmet from the 1970s, made by Rawlings in the classic-looking kelly green and silver.

• Take a look at this 1970s Chicago Black Hawks varsity jacket. We all know DeLong, but what is “Gunzo”? (Update: It’s a hockey shop in Chicago. Thanks to the commenters who filled us in.)

• Check out the artwork on this 1960s Chicago Bears decal!

• Nice cover art on this 1968 Bengals/Broncos game program.

• Want a set of a dozen 1970s cardboard batting helmets from the American League? Got ’em right here. And after all these years, many of those designs are still in use.

• For a good part of the 1970s, the Reds had a player poster day, and they’d give these away. Rose, Bench, Gary Nolan, Bobby Tolan, all the guys, and I had ’em all. Here’s Tom Terrific at Riverfront. Here’s one of Riverfront Stadium I’ve never seen before — not sure this one was a giveaway.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club update: I’m finally ready to show you the first Uni Watch T-Shirt Club design of 2016. But before I do that, let me remind you how things are going to work this year:

1. We plan to offer six shirts. They’ll be spaced out fairly evenly throughout the year, although we won’t necessarily stick to a rigid bi-monthly schedule.

2. Each shirt will feature an illustration devoted to a given sport. We’ll start with baseball, and the sequence after that will be hockey, basketball, football, soccer, and a mystery design for the final shirt of the year. (Spoiler alert: No, the mystery design will not be curling.)

3. Unlike last year, these shirts will not have a design on the back — only on the front. Also, there will be no sleeve patch this year. Instead, there will be a jock tag graphic near the lower-left hemline.

4. Just like last year, each shirt will be a limited edition that will only be available for a week.

5. There will once again be a prize for people who collect all of the shirts for the calendar year. The prize will probably be another patch, and it will probably be designed to look like the jock tag graphic. (Hmmm, if you collected all of last year’s shirts and collect all of this year’s shirts, you’ll be on your way to collecting all of the “Collect ’em all” prize patches — a meta-collection!)

Okay, those are the basics. Here’s our first design for 2016, which will launch later this week (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

Here’s how it’ll look on a shirt:

You can see the jock tag toward the bottom of the shirt. Here’s a closer look at it:

As you can see, our Uni Watch ballplayer really Gets Itâ„¢ when it comes to wearing his uniform. Allow me to point out some of the details:

• He’s wearing a flapless batting helmet. (I wanted to have him also wearing his cap under his helmet, but that turned out to be too subtle a detail to render.)

• He’s wearing only one batting glove, on his bottom hand — an old-school style that was popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s (and is still used today by Hunter Pence).

• He’s written his uniform number, 16, on the bottom of his bat knob. No newfangled knob decal for him!

• His jersey is modeled after our 2015 “Home” T-shirt.

• His high-cuffery, blousing, and stirrups are all picture-perfect.

• His spikes feature that old-school flap over the laces.

(You may be wondering why our ballplayer’s stirrup design doesn’t match the maroon stirrup hanging from the top of each Uni Watch entry. We tried that, but there was no way to make it work unless we made the rest of the uniform more maroon-centric, which I didn’t want to do.)

Pretty good, right? Major props to my Teespring compadre Bryan Molloy, who came up with the concept and then put up with all of my endless requests for revisions. We’ll launch it very soon — possibly tomorrow.

The next shirt will feature a hockey player. It might include the same player-in-the-circle format, or it might not. We haven’t decided yet. The shirt itself will not be the same color as this one — it might be grey, or something else, but definitely not green. We want some variety.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: A 104-year-old Minnesota man still has a Babe Ruth home run ball. He got the ball as an 11-year-old in 1922 during one of Ruth’s barnstorming trips. … The Orioles are unpacking their equipment for Spring Training (from Andrew Cosentino).

NFL News: The Broncos had a few uniform issues at the Super Bowl. Aqib Talib was missing his nose bumper logo and Malik Jackson was missing his Super Bowl logo patch. The adjusta-strap on the back of Peyton Manning’s postgame victory cap had “Champions” upside-down (from William Linton and Omar Jalife). … Also, Broncos punter Britton Colquitt wore soccer cleats (from an unnamed reader). … The Panthers set up a locker for Stephen Curry at the Super Bowl. The Warriors star banged the team’s ceremonial drum before the game. … Kevin Durant was a photographer at Sunday’s game and he snapped some decent photos. … The NFL will return to Roman numerals next year for Super Bowl LI. … Reader Jeremy works at a place that has a sponsorship affiliation with the next Super Bowl, and he received this pin yesterday. … Mike Clary found two vintage pennants: A Rams one with a bizarre logo and a Dolphins one that seems to have a mahi-mahi depicted on it. … A guy in Charlotte was selling “Panthers Super Bowl Champions” pennants for $1 at the team’s welcome-back gathering (from James Gilbert).

Hockey News: The Devils will wear Martin Brodeur patches on their warm-up jerseys tonight, when the team will retire his number and dedicate his statue. … Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack has some excellent new pads (from John Muir). … The AHL’s Utica Comets will wear throwbacks later this month. … The USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, a junior hockey team, will change its name to the Green Bay Cheese for its March 5 game. No photos, but a press conference is being held this afternoon (from Brian Kerhin). … The SPHL’s Peoria Rivermen will wear St. Louis Cardinals-themed jerseys on Friday. Peoria, an Illinois city, is halfway between St. Louis and Chicago (from Alex Dewitt). … “A bit of a blowout game between the Islanders and Oilers on Sunday night,” says Wade Heidt. “It led to a couple of fights. Got me thinking that when the gloves get dropped in this match-up, must be hard for the refs to figure out which gloves belong to which team.” … The Flint Firebirds wore Flint Tropics-themed uniforms last night. … The Kings’ 50th-anniversary logo may have leaked.

NBA News: On Sunday, the Celtics wore shooting shirts in honor of Chuck Cooper, the first black player drafted by an NBA team. Fans received commemorative buttons. “Weird that it was in gray, although that’s what the Celtics wore for that game,” says Brian Mazmanian. “Also, button was the size of a quarter. Kind of chintzy.” … Here’s another story on the Bucks’ redesign (from Brinke).

Grab Bag: Virginia Tech football is auctioning off a bunch of metallic orange, tri-color and black helmets (from Andrew Cosentino). … New logo for Knox College. … David Firestone interviewed NHRA funny car driver Jack Beckman about his racing uniforms. Also from David, NHRA Funny Car driver Robert Hight and NHRA Top Fuel driver Brittany Force have new uniforms this year. … Vin Diesel revealed the logo for xXx: Return of Xander Cage, the newest addition to the action film series. I saw second installment, xXx: State of the Union starring Ice Cube, in theaters for my first date back in the day. How’s about that for a date movie, eh?

Comments (102)

    Sure does look like he did.

    It was the 70’s, he was young, he was idealistic, Hippies still walked the earth, he was in LA LA Land. I could go on but you get the idea.

    That t-shirt club graphic would make a great social media profile pic for those of us who get it…with the artist and Paul’s blessing of course…

    If he did profiles on this site (which I could imagine would probably be a bit of a monster to setup/maintain at this point)he could have “badges” on here like years of watching, membership years, t-shirt clubs completed, etc.

    Yes, there’s a strong visual connection there. But I think you’ll find there’s a strong visual connection with just about any photo of a left-handed batter.

    It’s like the MLB logo — sure, it looks like Killebrew, but it also looks like literally dozens of silhouetted batters:

    At first glance, the MLB logo appears to be a profile view of the ball reaching the batter, from the third base side. Or is it a view of the ball reaching the batter from the pitcher’s perspective?

    Hockey gloves have their name embroidered on the cuff. Or very least marker with their number on the inside or palm.

    Holy Reggie Bar Ripoff,


    And you made the swinging Uni-Watcher a WHITE dude wow. I kid the Uni-watchers… btw. Last year’s designs were IMHO much better in comparison to this, back then I just didn’t like the script font used on the shirts (reminded me too much of the “Go A’s – and take the Rayduhs to Vegas with you”).

    This design would totally fit if you are a rootin’ tootin’ high school super fan. If that is what you were going for… you nailed it.

    Last year’s designs were IMHO much better in comparison to this…

    Kinda unfair to judge 12 designs against one, don’t you think? Still, I agree that last year’s concept was very strong. This year just has a different feel, that’s all. As for the “This design would totally fit if you are a rootin’ tootin’ high school super fan,” you say that like it’s a bad thing! For me, it captures the sense of team graphics before every mascot had to be snarling/fierce/aggro — it’s FUN! Or at least that’s the idea.

    Fun! You know for kids? And old white people who peaked in high school. (I kid the over 50 crowd) I get it.

    Totally funky cold medina. Just not my personal kind of Uni-apparel-watch. Other shirts that are ha ha funny and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing are…

    link – Funny ha ha but, well… better on someone else. Someone else in another state.

    link and link, and link (which is a twofer. “I survived” with “lousy T-shirt” – Cheaper than years of therapy. Finally If you are wearing a muscle shirt that mimics a link.  You might want to rethink that purchase. Other than that I’m good.

    As pretty damn much always you are probably kerrect on my being a little judgemental about a comparison of one shirt against a whole year (albeit a god awful) design. Got a whole year of designs to work with… one of em, or more COULD be Awesome O’Clock.

    So keep em’ coming.

    I like the new design. It kind of reminds me of some of the generic, cartoonish images that were used on old Topps wrappers. I’ve always enjoyed the nostalgic aspect of this site, and this t-shirt design captures that nicely.

    Will all of the UW t-shirts this year feature left handed athletes? I would support that.

    I’m simply stating that the logo on the Uni-Watch T-shirt should be the new logo for Uni-Watch. How could it not, it’s too fucking perfect!
    Vintage design-check!
    Uni-Watch color scheme-check!
    Player going high cuffed with stirrups in proper position and pants looking good-check!
    He’s wearing a flapless batting helmet. (I wanted to have him also wearing his cap under his helmet, but that turned out to be too subtle a detail to render.)
    and as you described…
    – He’s wearing only one batting glove, on his bottom hand – an old-school style that was popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s (and is still used today by Hunter Pence).

    – He’s written his uniform number, 16, on the bottom of his bat knob. No newfangled knob decal for him!

    – His high-cuffery, blousing, and stirrups are all picture-perfect.

    – His spikes feature that old-school flap over the laces.

    Speaking of the Uni Watch logo (or more specifically, the Uni Watch masthead seen at the top of the site), there’s something very strange about it that I’m surprised no one has picked up on, because it’s exactly the kind of deep, “this doesn’t quite make sense” type of critique any one of us would offer up on a uniform.

    So, take away the magnifying glass, and you’re left with “UNI15 WATCH.” A better solution would be to ditch the numeral between the words and have the glass magnifying the I or the W to show the stitching and the texture of the fabric.

    The glass magnifying the number really works best as a standalone secondary mark where you don’t have room for the full masthead.

    It wouldn’t necessarily be fair to have only one sport represented in the UW logo.

    Speaking of which, I’ve noticed the 15 version of the UW logo keeps popping up randomly. I would’ve thought it’d be retired now, and we’d be back to the 7 version full-time, since we’re past the 15th anniversary and the year 2015?

    Also, I think the detail in the baseball player would make it less scalable. A bad feature for logos.

    Pat Patriot scaled poorly too. Poor scalability is often, but not always, a bad feature for a logo.

    Gunzo’s is a hockey equipment supplier in the Chicago area and they also used to supply the Blackhawks team jerseys. If you look for photos from the 70s and 80s you can see their logo on the rear hem of the jerseys. I actually have that jacket that is up for auction too, I bought it at one of their annual tent sales back in the early 80s.




    I was at that Islander blowout and yes they had trouble identifying gloves. After the Kassian/Streit fight Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck (coincidentally enough the two biggest fighters on the team) couldn’t identify which gloves belonged to which team’s player and ended up skating over to the penalty boxes to ask the player to identify their brand glove..

    Interesting how the gold on Randy’s Rams design has turned to a neon-ish green.

    Cool too that he chose Gold as the main color of the jersey (not blue). Ahead of his time again!

    “Cool too that he chose Gold as the main color of the jersey (not blue). Ahead of his time again!”


    Not really — the Rams had worn gold over white for some time in the past. Still, an awesome design attempt for a 16 year old, but not totally breaking new ground

    On the Flint Firebirds: Assuming the ice is made with lead-contaminated water, what kind of health effects does that present to the on-ice personnel? Lots of ice gets shaved, kicked up in the air, is it possible that lead and/or other contaminants get airborne and inhaled, or otherwise consumed?

    I’m thinking something like the issue with heavy metal-laced rubber infill used with turf fields, that may be a cause of serious health problems for some athletes that play on it.

    The Rivermen had a Cubs night a couple of weeks ago and wore the pinstripe jerseys, didn’t get info on that until game night from my buddy who works there.

    I would be surprised if there isn’t a punter or place kicker that doesn’t use soccer cleats.

    I don’t dislike bright colors, but they sure are out of the norm for a league identity! Overall, I like the update. It’s so refreshing to see a major league opt OUT of corporate sponsorship.

    The cerise one at least sort of looks like it’s British. The blue, yellow, and green ones, not so much. And the dark violet of the lion and lettering doesn’t really balance well with any of the background colors.

    Also, that’s two logo iterations too many. If the Premier League wants to have lots of color combos, fine. But the variety of logo and text formats is pointless. The lion next to the stacked Premier League and the lion next to the PL initials cover pretty much every possible use need. The lion over the text and the lion between the words are redundant and tend to dilute the logo. If you saw four such divergent logo/type treatments in a corporate brand guide, you’d expect that at least two of them would be examples of how not to render the logo.

    Great way to kick off the 2016 T-Shirt Club, love the design. Baseball is the perfect choice with spring training right around the corner!

    Lots of great GUNZO’S and DeLong Blackhawks style trivia…

    GUNZO FOUNDER // Wally “Gunzo” Humeniuk spent 1948 to 1955 with the Detroit Red Wings. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1955. From 1955 to 1961, Gunzo was the Chicago Blackhawks backup goal tender and assistant trainer. In 1961, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Walter “Gunzo” Humeniuk’s name appears on the 1961 Stanley Cup. Gunzo never played for the Blackhawks those seasons. Why? Glenn Hall played 502 consecutive complete games, eight seasons, an NHL record for goaltenders that is unlikely to ever be broken… oh yeah, NO MASK!


    GUNZO’s has multiple stores throughout Chicago and a pretty cool logo modeled after Wally GUNZO Humeniuk himself.

    BLACKHAWKS JACKET // Similar jacket-style worn by bassist John Deacon in one the most popular Jock Jam’s of all-time: WE WILL ROCK YOU, by Queen. Nice.



    I was a bit disconcerted the first time I saw “dolphin” on a menu when traveling abroad. Wasn’t until later that I learned that dolphin = dorado = mahi, at least if it’s on a restaurant menu.

    Fish dolphin is more illogenic than mammal dolphin, so it’s a natural for a sports logo or mascot.

    Interesting note on those single-bar helmet stickers; the Patriots are the only team without a city listed. Maybe those were printed in 1971, between the switch from Boston Patriots to New England Patriots?

    Definitely seems accurate. That Redskins helmet was only used from 1970-71 according to Chris Creamer’s site.

    I noticed the same thing with the Patriots. This was the Boston-Bay State-New England time.

    Besides the Washington yellow are the Rams and Bears with white graphics and Houston in silver. It also looks like the Oilers, Cowboys, Raiders and Lions have four different silvers.

    love the Pat Summerall pic…. always love seeing the old highlight episodes with all those helmets hanging behind them. interesting that not only does the Steeler helmet have the logo on the wrong side, but the grey circle around the logo almost looks like metallic silver.

    That Eagles helmet in Brinke’s Collectors Corner is pretty rare – it’s that metallic kelly green they only used on game helmets in 1974-75. At the most Rawlings might have used the metallic through 1976.

    It’s tough to tell from the shirt rendering, but are these shirts sublimated rather than screen printed?

    Anyone else notice on the 1970’s single bar helmet stickers the Patriots is the only one with just the team name? Was this about the time they changed from Boston to New England? Just curious.

    “The NFL will return to Roman numerals next year for Super Bowl LI”

    Not having custom/specific SB logos makes many logos odd looking and forced. Case in point: SN LI. The trophy looks forced into it (or the letters look forced around the trophy).

    Having unique logos for each SB allow these odd placement, kerning, centering, etc. issues to be resolved.

    Besides, the same logo year after year is BORING!!

    Randy, is your Rams design based on a photo, or did you draw it on your own?

    It is very photo like. His fingers for example.

    If a photo, do you recall who/what?


    And goalie with mask and pads, or offensive player? And if a non-goalie, what era of headwear?

    Also, I’d gladly pay a couple of bucks extra to have Rob Ullman do the hockey illo.

    I sense a “design the sixth Uni Watch shirt” contest in the future.
    Also, being that 2016 is an Olympic Games year, wouldn’t it make some sense to have one shirt being about them. Maybe one particular sport (not curling since it is a winter sport but maybe in 2018) since there are 20+ sports. If this was the case, I would vote for a flagbearer for the Uni Watch nation.

    Throwback Olympics design: A naked Greek dude. Uni Watch would have been a very different project in the seventh century BC: “Thebes unveiled uniforms for the 662 Olympics, and once again the Theban runners and wrestlers will wear nothing at all.”

    I’m really surprised by the identical gloves worn by the Islanders and Oilers. I remember getting the “Casey’s Hockey Bible” equipment catalog back in the 70’s (which reminds me that I should pick up a copy on Ebay). There was a page that I couldn’t stop staring at. It had all the NHL and WHA hockey gloves lined up and it was so cool seeing all the color combinations. What I noticed back then was that when you had two teams with the same colors, the gloves were not identical. One might have blue on the wrist cuff and red on the fingers – the other team would have a red cuff and blue fingers. It seemed deliberate that the NHL wanted to insure that no two teams had the same gloves….


    The Islanders and Oilers have the same gloves? No biggie. Teams that wear black and white only gloves as either primary or 3rd jersey gloves list includes:

    LA Kings
    NY Islanders

    Oh, my God! I’m not the only one!! What more could a kid with OCD ask for?? I noticed the fat piece of trim orbiting the wrist and the one separating the thumb from the forefinger were always used as “flair”. In white, they made teams look flashy; in color, they looked gritty.

    Oh man, that Rivermen’s/Cardinals jersey is totally missing something – two sailors on the stick handle!!

    I see the logo is in “Pittsburgh Gold”, does this confirm a return to Pittsburgh Gold from Vegas Gold next season? Would seem odd for logo to be in non-matching color.

    Great story about the 104 year old with Babe Ruth HR ball.
    Sweet Bears decal with player and a bear.
    Thanks to Randy for sharing his Ram design.

    Brinke’s link to the Pat Summerall pic shows two helmet errors: No number on the side of the Chargers and Steelers with logo on the left side.

    Interesting jersey for the Peoria Rivermen. I would think, at best, Peoria is 50-50 between Cubs & Cards fans. As a St. Louisan, I don’t really think of it as being part of Cardinal country.
    What’s more, the current Rivermen are the fourth iteration of the team. The first, which played in the IHL from ’85-’95, were the Blues’ minor league affiliate. The owner moved the team to San Antonio & the Blues changed affiliates to a team in Worcester, MA for about 10 years, during which time another team by the same name began play in the ECHL.
    A third version returned in ’05 in the AHL and stuck around for about 8 seasons, again as the Blues’ affiliate, but they sold the team to Vancouver, who relocated it to Utica, NY. The current team, which started in 2013, plays in the SPHL and, as best as I can tell, is unattached to any NHL franchise.

    I like that the baseball player on this month’s shirt is wearing green cleats instead of white. I am one of the vast minority of uni enthusiasts who doesn’t like white cleats in baseball.

    For the hockey player next month, please, please put a stripe down the side of the pants. And a stripe across the hem and sleeves of the sweater.

    For the Rams to NOT return to the “LA” color scheme would be a mistake. Pure and simple. Ride the nostalgia train. Attract your old fans. And IMO they’re pretty bad a** anyway.

    I didn’t buy any UW shirts last year but found this one worth buying. Kudos to the 2016 shirt #1!

    In today’s Uniwatch there is a reference to Vintage NHL Schedules. The link sends me to page where their are 4 of these schedules posted for the season 1958-59, 1962-63, 1963-64 and 1966-67. I noticed that in all four schedules the NHL did not play any games on a Monday or a Friday. Does anyone know why?

    I realize the league only had six teams back then so there weren’t as many games to play but I thought it was odd that there were no Friday night games (other than perhaps for the fact that most of the teams played Saturday and Sunday and thus would not play three nights in a row).

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