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In Like a Lion Wearing a Harness and a Cummerbund

Click to enlarge

March Madness will soon be upon us, which means it’s time for schools manufacturers to start releasing crummy new uni designs for the postseason. Adidas got the ball rolling yesterday with the designs shown above. I’m not sure which is worse — the shoulder harnesses or the cummerbunds. And what the hell is that Nebraska design? On the other hand, Indiana seems to have gotten off easy. What, is their check the only one that didn’t bounce?

In addition to the road unis shown above, there are also new home whites, along with a BFBS for Miami and a GFGS for NC State. You can see all of those here (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

And here’s a closer look at some of the details, primarily from the shorts (if you can’t see this slideshow, click here):

And there’s a press release with details on the various designs here.

As usual, the biggest problem with these uniforms isn’t the designs themselves (although most of them are poor) — it’s that most of the designs follow the same template, making the schools feel like they’re all members of Team Adidas instead of having their own identities. There’s nothing new about this, of course, and it’s a point I’ve mostly stopped making because I figure it’s pretty much received wisdom by now, but it’s worth repeating every so often.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that Wisconsin wasn’t included in this program, presumably because they’re switching to Under Armour after the end of this school year.

Also not included: Louisville, which has a self-imposed postseason ban. But they got pretty much the same design treatment yesterday, just for a different reason:

(My thanks to Phil for his assistance with this entry.)

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Photo by Jeff Callahan; click to enlarge

A look at “I Voted” sticker design: With 13 states holding Super Tuesday primaries or caucuses yesterday, reader Chris Howell came up with the excellent suggestion that I take a look at the various “I Voted” sticker designs that were circulating. So yesterday I put out the call through various channels and got several dozen responses. I eliminated the duplicates and gathered the distinct designs into the following slideshow (if you can’t see the slideshow, click here):

Personally, I much prefer the ones with some sort of state-based iconography, instead of the just the one-size-fits-all approach.

I don’t recall “I Voted” stickers showing up at my polling place until 2004-ish, but they date back a lot further than that. One company that produces them — National Campaign Supply, which is based in Florida — says it began selling the stickers in 1986 and calls its stickers “The Original.” But the Phoenix Board of Realtors claims to have invented the stickers a year earlier, in 1985. That’s the earliest reference to them I’ve been able to find.

What you do think of these stickers? I have mixed feelings about them. On the one hand, I value voting as an important civic exercise and am generally in favor of anything that’s pro-voting; on the other hand, there’s a certain “You must wear the ribbon” aspect to the stickers that I find a little off-putting. Still, if they’re available when I vote, I’ll usually wear one. founder Chris Creamer, who lives outside of Toronto, tells me there are no comparable stickers in Canada. What about in other countries — anyone know?

(My thanks to everyone who shared photos of their stickers.)

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Design contest reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, I’m running an ESPN design contest to redesign the Detroit Lions. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Here’s a 1932 article about a minor league team’s uniforms going missing because the team’s baggage was pushed out of a train by a hobo who needed more space to sleep (great find by Bob Gassel). … Here’s a look at what MLB teams will be wearing for St. Paddy’s Day. … The middle section of this page says that so far no Reds pitchers have tried out the new protective headgear. … Lots of mix-and-match uni options for Penn State-Abington (from Joe Pavlow). … Camouflage jerseys last night for Citadel. … Reds beat reporter and Uni Watch pal C. Trent Rosecrans is reporting that the Cincy will have a memorial patch this season for former clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe, who died last month after working for the team for more than 65 years. … As you may have heard, Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes and P Noah Syndergaard arrived in camp yesterday on horseback. Interestingly, Syndergaard wore a batting helmet. P Steven Matz and C Kevin Plawecki later saddled up while in uniform. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: The Rays will play an exhibition game in Cuba on March 22 against the Cuban national team. Here’s the logo for that game. But if you compare the Cuban flag in that logo to the actual Cuban flag, you’ll see that the star in the logo is inaccurate. … Several readers have noted that the Yankees’ Photo Day jerseys don’t have the Flex Base mesh panels. I’d been told that all teams, including the Yanks, would be wearing the mesh. More power to the Bombers if they’ve resisted this development.

Pro and College Football News: Reader Eric Wright notes that the number font Under Armour is using for the NFL Combine jerseys looks a lot like Bellotti Bold, the font Nike designed for Oregon. … Nike takes over as Michigan’s outfitter in July, but players are already wearing Nike cleats for spring practice (from Bennett Hart). … The Ivy League has decided to eliminate tackling from practices. Dartmouth has already had this policy since 2010.

Hockey News: Anyone else surprised that the Oilers waited until this late in the season to add a “Farewell to Rexall Place” patch? Stadium or arena final-season patches are usually worn for the entire season. I’m not saying the Oilers’ approach here is wrong, just that it seems to be bucking the usual trend (from Steven Schapansky).

Basketball News: Here’s good info — but no visuals — on this year’s Hispanic jerseys. The participating teams will also have new socks for the occasion. … Cool to see Steph Curry and his teammates wearing “The City” throwbacks on the cover of the latest issue of SI. … The Hornets held a “Nick Night” promotion yesterday (thanks, Mike). … As previously reported, the Mavs are holding a design contest for next season’s court design. Longtime design/architecture critic Mark Lamster, writing in The Dallas Morning News, says that’s a bad idea. … A guy on the Lakers’ bench last night was wearing a jersey from Kobe Bryant’s high school (from @DavidInAlief). … Texas A&M went BFBS with sleeves last night.

Soccer News: New jersey advertiser for AFC Leopards. … New kits for Nigeria (thanks, Phil). … New kits for Toronto FC. Further info here. … New away shirt for Bahrain (from Tim Cross). … Pink-striped “Women’s Week” jerseys for Real Betis Balompié (from Derek Szewczyk). … FC Dallas’s new kit may have leaked (thanks, Phil). … FC Barcelona showcased the plans for their new arena (from Saurel Jean Jr.).

Grab Bag: In a move that was widely expected, boxers in the upcoming Rio Olympics will not wear headguards. … The Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT team is getting new uniforms after people expressed concerns that the old design looked “too militarized.” … The Center for Land Use Interpretation, an organization of which I’ve been a proud member for about 20 years now, recently had an exhibit on “golfscape” design. … A group of college students took on Monster Energy drink in a trademark case and won. … USA Curling will no longer allow hair brushes for sweeping (from Tony Andela). … The artist Anish Kapoor has purchased the exclusive rights to Vantablack, the blackest pigment ever created. … A Wisconsin court has ruled that Hormel workers are owed pay for the time they spent putting on their uniforms. … Fox’s election coverage now has a new “You Decide” logo. … Good story on Ohio highway signs getting new lettering (from Brad Francis). … “Sunny D will be sponsoring Ricky Stenhouse for five races this year,” says Bryan Moore. “To my knowledge, this is their first NASCAR sponsorship since 1990, and the car is certainly one of the more colorful designs in recent memory.” … The SI Vault, which is full of tremendous old photography, is back and better than ever (thanks, Mike). … Amana, the appliance company, has a new logo. … Sports Authority appears to be headed for bankruptcy and may end up being shut down altogether. … New logo for Michigan Tech. … This is pretty good: edible Pantone swatches! (From our own Mike Chamernik.)

Comments (64)

    Louisville was given a postseason ban midway through this season, so presumably their early release is a way to show them in some fashion.

    Ugly a$$ crap from adidas like usual. And Louisville has a self-imposed post-season ban thus not being included and wearing the uni last night. Way to know what’s going on in college hoops.

    I know right! I can’t believe Paul doesn’t know every single thing about every sport… /s

    Also not included is Michigan, presumably for the same reason Wisconsin was excluded (Moving to Nike/Jordan next season).

    I assume Louisville was not included in the big Adidas slideshow because they self-imposed a postseason ban, and thus will not be playing in the postseason this year: link

    There are no stickers where I vote, just little ticket-stub-like things. (One local restaurant chain will give me a free cup of coffee for it.)

    Our I Voted stickers are generic. American flag and I Voted on it. Are these stickers a reminders or shaming of those who haven’t voted as yet?

    As for adidas, the uniforms just stink as usual. What in the hell is right below the cummerbund on Kansas’ shorts? I guess the idea is special uniforms for a special occasion but they look awful.

    That’s exactly what the stickers are for, and it’s why they are an unalloyed good thing. American voter turnout is an embarrassment. We can barely be said to be a self-governing people, or a republic at all, if most of our citizenry refuses to participate in elections. The point of the stickers is to create a little bit of visual social pressure in favor of voting. Studies have shown that people are more likely to vote if they know others will know whether they voted, and people who intend to vote even reluctantly tend to pay enough attention to public matters to be significantly better informed than those who are not committed to voting. To the extent that I Voted stickers contribute to a social norm in favor of voting – and they do, marginally – they are a great and virtuous thing. If anyone does feel ashamed not to have earned an I Voted sticker on Election Day, good. Any citizen should be ashamed not to have voted.

    And unlike other “patriotic” symbols like flag patches or lapel ribbons or whatnot, I Voted stickers do not carry any particular political baggage. Well, none beyond communicating a commitment to some form of democratic or republican government as opposed to monarchism or fascism or other non-participatory government. They don’t even imply loyalty to or support for the United States as a country. So none of the rational objections to forced displays such as we see demanded of athletes apply to I Voted stickers.

    Since it’s gotten political…

    Not voting is a way of expressing one’s right in voting. Choosing not to vote for any of the candidates is a vote. It’s a vote for “None of the Above.”

    While some don’t vote because they are uneducated or whatever other reason. There are educated persons who choose not to vote because the candidates aren’t worth it to them. They’d rather not vote for “the lesser of two evils” since it’s still voting for evil (in their mind).

    Unfortunately, voting “none” still means ‘one” will win.

    If you don’t care who wins, that is fine.
    You don’t HAVE to care.
    I don’t always care.

    Not voting is inexcusable.

    Go vote, but turn in a blank ballot if you do not choose to vote for either candidate.

    I’m a little late to the political discussion party but I’ll just leave this here:

    “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” – Emma Goldman

    Correction needed:
    “You must wear the ribbon” should be rewritten to read “You must wear the rrrrreeeeeeeebon!

    Always love Seinfeld nods wherever I can find them.

    Not yet voting time here, but I like slapping a sticker on after casting my ballot.

    The other great participation badge of honor I don’t mind wearing is the “Be nice to me, I just gave blood” sticker.

    You know, I’ve been donating blood every two months for nearly 15 years now, and they’ve never given me one of those. Just not part of the routine at my donation center. (I always get free Lorna Doones, however.)

    Oh, I don’t give for the sticker, but it’s a nice touch. I’m in it for the little cans of orange juice and other snacks.

    Our local place often has promotions to get folks in the door. In the last few times I have been handed a $5 Dunkin Donuts card, a $5 card for Target, a Tervis mug (with a big drop of blood decorated on the side), a Give Blood! t-shirt, and last summer when they were desperate for donors they gave away TWO $5 cards for Target.

    If they gave none of these things out, I’d still be in like clockwork.

    For me, the St. Patrick’s Day green motif is the worst kind of sales-based design. Not only is it pretty silly to wear that stuff pretty much any other time of the year, but it doesn’t even occur during the regular season, so most fans’ teams will be hundreds of miles from home playing games that don’t even matter.

    It’s worth remembering that the Reds pioneered St. Paddy’s Day uniforms in 1978, long before the era of mass-merchandised retail jerseys, so the idea wasn’t “sales-based” at all. It was just a fun spring training promotion.

    Not until the mid-’80s or so.

    According to Bill Henderson’s guide, 16 of the 30 MLB teams have worn green or green-trimmed St. Paddy’s Day jerseys at least once. Of the other 14, many have participated by wearing green caps, although I don’t have a definitive tally on that.

    Everybody sells everything now. So that’s not a valid objection to any particular uniform promotion. That is, it is a valid objection to all uni promotions, but not to any particular promotion as opposed to any other. Personally, the St. Paddy’s unis are among my favorite MLB uni promotions precisely because they happen in Spring Training. They don’t intrude on or interfere with regular-season games, which is as it should be. As much as I’m a proud Irish-American, born on St. Patrick’s Day in fact, if St. Paddy’s Day were in June, I would be against MLB teams wearing special unis for the day.

    That’s some real corporate douchebaggery from Monster Energy Drinks, evidently litigating anything with “monster” or part of its slogan in its name–a nacho dish at a San Antonio Mexican restaurant; an online forum for discussing large fish; and a beverage from a craft brewery in Ohio.

    Being a musician I am aware that the Monster (instrument) Cable company is also a “trademark bully” (that’s why I refuse to use their overpriced products). I’m surprised the two haven’t come to blows between themselves yet.

    Maybe they have. I haven’t cared enough to notice.

    In the detail shots of the shorts there is a black one with red wingtips that isnt shown in the home or away uniforms. Was that supposed to be a BFBS Louisville?

    All of those images have the school included in the file name. I believe you’re referring to one that’s NC State.

    But if you compare the NC State design to that detail shot- it’s wildly different. Do you think they’re teasing (hiding) a surprise non-symmetrical design by showing the shorts folded in half?

    No worries on NC State’s unis, they won’t be getting anywhere near March Madness/tourney this year.

    I’ve only ever received the simple red circle with “I Voted” in white text.

    Good to see (lame-duck) Wisconsin not in the Made in March promotion, maybe moving to Under Armour is good. Hopefully they will continue to wear the Bill Cofield specials when designated as road team.

    Meanwhile Nebraska seems to trout out a new set of unis each night.

    Those Ohio and Tennessee I Voted stickers at the front of the slideshow are the best. I appreciate the other ones where localities have tried to customize them – nice to see the old familiar Prince William County sticker is still in use – but good gosh the OH and TN stickers are terrific designs.

    I noticed the Wizards got Asian Heritage unis and had to drop their Hispanic Heritage unis this season. Can teams only have one per season?

    Seems odd that the Lakers, playing in a city with the largest Asian population in the NBA haven’t gotten on board yet.

    Shouldn’t the note about Barcelona’s new arena be in the basketball section? It’s a basketball arena, and has nothing to do with soccer other than FC Barcelona also has a soccer team.

    I work as an election official at a Milwaukee polling place. We had out the generic “I voted” sticker. I love that Tennessee sticker! Wish WI had a more custom one. That said, I can tell you first hand that people get pissed if we run out stickers. Seriously. For some it’s seemingly the reason they come in.

    Any readers from Mass get stickers where they vote?

    Ive been voting in my town for 20+ years and have never once been offered or received a sticker

    TO me, the pride taken in the Tennessee sticker is awesome, i could envision a similar sticker for Mass

    I’m not in Mass but I have a bunch of friends there and asked for them to post pictures so I could tweet them at uniwatch. No response yet.

    I’m surprised by so many different and specialized voting stickers. In Michigan (we vote next week, I’ll try to remember to send one although it’s probably there already…I’ve seen two different designs they’ve used in the past) all I’ve seen are generic ones. I question about the specific party ones…I didn’t think they’d be allowed to do that as it is against the “secret ballot” principle by showing that you voted for a specific party (unless of course those are caucus ones where you have to GO to a specific party’s location). I’m hoping for insight.

    Proofreading- “Minnesota Police Department” should be “Minneapolis Police Department”

    I hope the guy sitting next to the Lakers bench didn’t pay very much for that jersey. Kobe wore #33 in high school, not number 24.

    In Mexico, they put some ink on your thumb. The ink lasts a couple of days so that you can’t vote twice

    Jeff, your right. That is a bootleg jersey. Lower Merion HS jerseys have not changed since Kobe’s years Lower is upper with the number in the center and Merion below.

    While no stickers are distributed, not voting here in Israel is completely socially and culturally unacceptable. Last election, I was guilted into going to the polls late in the evening when I casually mentioned to neighbors that I hadn’t voted. The poll workers then chided me for not bringing my wife with me since she also hadn’t voted.

    Of course we also have over 30 political parties from which to choose, so voting is far from the Coke-or-Pepsi enterprise Americans face every four years…

    As a University of Texas fan, I should point out that my team eliminated tackling from several games this past season.


    That’s nothing. I’m an IU football fan. We’ve been tackle-free since the Johnson administration!

    Syndergaard wears a helmet to protect his noggin while riding horseback but will throw a heater at Alcides Escobar’s head? Way to play if safe big guy. I would have loved to see Escobar pop out of the bushes and smoke one right past the horse’s face when those two guys were pretending to be cowboys.

    That was a comic story about hobo pushing unis out to get more room to sleep. 1932.

    “there are no comparable stickers in Canada”

    They have them in British Columbia.


    I’ve seen them as well in Alberta, at least for municipal elections, but I can’t come up with an example on the internet.

    Chris is right that they didn’t have them for the last federal election.

    Since Colorado has largely eliminated use of polling places (ballots are mailed to the voters who can either mail back or drop off at designated and video-monitored sites such as link – the white box at the corner of the building is for ballots only, when it’s not election time the box is covered in a tarp), the stickers aren’t about any more.

    I love to hear about “safety” in boxing. Isn’t the point of boxing to beat the crap out of someone until they pass out? Head guards always looked odd anyway.

    In amateur boxing, the rules have always rewarded the number of blows, not the force of the blows, with no extra credit for scoring a knockdown (or at least that’s how it used to be). So a skilled ring technician throwing a lot of jabs could (and often did) win without actually inflicting much pain.

    For those of us with red-green color blindness the Reds St. Patrick’s Day jersey is kinda funny.

    I love that lost in Nike’s Okie State storytelling is the fact barbed wire was the bane of cowboys existence in the old cattle drive era.

    Celebrating it with a “Barbed Wire Typeface” is tantamount to paying tribute to whatever it is that stops a Cowboy.

    So, Adidas shows off the new World Cup of Hockey jersey for the USA, and Nike shows off its new crest for the USA yesterday.


    Make USA jersey design great again!!

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that my late grandma must have designed the new Nebraska Adidas basketball shorts, because that looks a heckuva lot link.

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