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Something Up His Sleeve

Remember when we recently talked about Kevin Durant’s new signature footwear blurring the line between sneaker and sock? He blurred it a lot more seriously during pregame warm-ups for last night’s Jazz/Thunder game, wearing a sneaker with a built-in orange sleeve that went all the way up to his calf — yowza! There’s a fairly entertaining article about this here.

Durant wore something a bit more sedate for the game (and, as you can see the Thunder wore their sleeved alts).

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Click to enlarge

Friday Flashback: With college hoops still the dominant sport of the moment, my weekly Friday Flashback column on ESPN takes a look back at North Carolina State’s infamous unitards from 1989. Check it out here.

And as long as we’re talking ESPN, here are the results of the Lions-redesign contest and my Sweet 16 rankings.

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Photos by Mary Bakija; click to enlarge

Uni Watch live show: I gave a presentation last night on the evolution of baseball pants and hosiery. As you can see above, I began by contrasting the looks of two pinstriped New York sluggers — Babe Ruth and Lucas Duda — and then proceeded from there.

At a few junctures, I served as my own visual aid:

And look, they even listed me on the marquee, if you want to call it that:

The evening also featured interviews (not by me) with a locksmith and a gossip magazine fact-checker, both of which were really interesting — a very good night.

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PermaRec update: We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of found photography — old snapshots available at flea markets and such. They’re intriguing, but there’s a guy out there who specializes in something even better: found undeveloped film, which he then develops, with very interesting results. Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: The Tewksbury (Mass.) School Committee has voted to keep calling its teams the Redmen and retain the school’s Indian-head athletics logo. The 4-1 vote went against the recommendation of the school superintendent.

Baseball News: Mets P Matt Fratboy continues to embarrass himself regarding matters sartorial. Latest example: He says, “I think a lot of women would be impressed by my shoe collection … It’s getting to the point where it’s ridiculous: I have too many suits, over 20. My suit game has stepped its level up, and that has a lot to do with my stylist, Khalilah Beavers.” Uh-huh. Let’s remember that this is a guy who as of one year ago didn’t know how to tie a necktie. Boys with toys. … Buried within this story is the news that the Trenton Thunder will wear pink jerseys on May 13. … Nats promos this season include depicting Bryce Harper as Frank Sinatra, Luke Skywalker, and a Chia Pet (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s set of pretty cool illustrations of 1990s sluggers. “I like the use of teal and purple to tie in the aesthetics of that era,” says our own Mike Chamernik. Surprisingly enough, I agree! Nice work. … The Softbank Hawks have come out with a line of trading cards for the female beer vendors (from @holycalamity). … Ohio University’s softball team has a pretty distinct helmet design (from G. Mittelstaedt). … I did fun a radio interview yesterday in which I discussed MLB unis and March Madness unis. … Here’s a really fun idea: For Mother’s Day, what if the Cardinals changed their birds on the bat to female cardinals? (From David Stephens.) … Under Armour is apparently pressuring Auburn to wear some newfangled baseball jerseys (from Clint Richardson). … Thanks to a video game leak, we have our first looks at the National League and American League BP jerseys for this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Not bad! Note that the N.L. is shown wearing grey pants and the A.L. in white, because the A.L. is the designated home team this year, even though the game is in San Diego (from Bryan Wiedley.) … Autism awareness jerseys for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. … Watsonville High in Arizona has some crazy mono-mustard uniforms. … Here’s a really good gallery showing the many jerseys — and many jersey sizes — from Bartolo Colon’s career. … Cola wars at Citi Field: The Pepsi Porch is now the Coca-Cola Corner. Douchebags.

Pro and College Football News: A devastating new investigative report shows that the NFL’s concussion research over the past 20 years or so was even more flawed and inaccurate than previously thought. This continues to show why it’s wrong to say players “know the risks” when they suit up, because the real risks have been fudged for decades. … The jokes just write themselves: Someone on Twitter wrote to me yesterday to say, “The Browns were on to something when they made their big change last year. #TrendSetter.” I wrote back, “I think you mean they were on something, not on TO something.” … Speaking of the Browns: With Robert Griffin III joining the team yesterday, here’s your obligatory jersey update (from Brinke). … George Miller missed out on the Lions-redesign contest, so yesterday he submitted a late but amusing entry. … Rams coach Jeff Fisher was on Dan Patrick’s radio show yesterday and was asked about the team’s uniforms (from Tim Dunn). … The Packers are seeking fan photos that will appear on tickets for one game this season (from Jerry Nitzh). … Rutgers is going back to a more traditional look (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Saturday’s minor league action will feature two things you don’t often see: Wild Turkey Federation jerseys tomorrow for the Wichita Thunder, and a 400th-game jersey for the Amarillo Bulls. … The NAHL is changing outfitters, switching from Easton to Bauer (from Patrick Thomas). … Player-designed jerseys tomorrow for the Grand Rapids Griffins. … Retired G Mathieu Garon had his mask stolen a while back and has now found it for sale online (thanks, Mike). … Just what the world has been waiting for: Islanders dynasty sneakers.

NBA News: Actor Ken Howard died yesterday. He played Ken Reeves, the fictitious former Bulls player-turned-high school coach, in the old TV show The White Shadow, all of which prompted the following from Steve Mond: “If I were a Bulls executive, I’d absolutely be advocating for a ‘KR’ patch to commemorate Ken Howard’s death. Which, of course, got me to thinking, has there ever been a memorial patch for a fictional character associated with a team?” Good question. Anyone..? … Some rappers have produced a line of NBA-themed T-shirts (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Nets’ new D-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, released their logo and uniforms (thanks, Phil). … The NBA might pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if North Carolina goes ahead with its new anti-LGBT law. Good for them.

College Hoops News: I put this in the baseball section, but I’ll cross-list it here: I did a fun radio interview yesterday in which I discussed March Madness unis and MLB unis. … Whoa, check out this team wearing untucked jerseys with a giant “X” on the front. “Gotta be late-’70s Xavier, right?” asks Douglas Ford. That would certainly be my assumption, yes. … Oregon, which had worn neon-yellow unis for the first two games of the NCAA tourney, switched to this white design for last night’s win against Duke. Much better.

Soccer News: With the death of former Netherlands player Johan Cruyff, here’s an article about why he wore two stripes instead of the usual three-stripe Adidas design, plus an additional article about his iconic No. 14 (both from Yellow Away Kit). … New jerseys for Bayern Munich. … Millwall FC — an East London club playing in League One, the third tier of English football — is holding a kit-design contest (from Michael Mrozinski). … New kit for Albania. … Spain G Kepa Arrizalabaga, disappointed in his own play, bit and then tore his jersey yesterday. … In that same match, Spain’s non-keeper jerseys were pretty out there. I kinda like it, but Ohad Gilberg wasn’t too pleased.

Grab Bag: I’ve long been a fan of Tender Buttons, a Manhattan shop that specializes in new, old, and collectible buttons. Here’s a great article and slideshow about it. … New logo for Northern Kentucky athletics. Most people who’ve weighed in seem to think it’s a downgrade, and I’m inclined to agree. … New logo for the city of Richmond, Missouri. … Some interesting notes regarding college fencing uniforms here. … Here’s a really good obituary for the guy who invented the button-down collar, among other shirt innovations. … Vintage cricket photo from Graham Clayton, who writes: “Former Australian cricket bowler Stuart MacGill wore a towel tucked into his trousers when playing, in order to wipe sweat off his hands when bowling.”

Comments (50)

    “Just what the world has been waiting for: Islanders dynasty sneakers.”

    I think this needs to be in the hockey section, not NBA.

    For those who read the post immediately after it was posted: I just added two late-breaking items to the end of the baseball Ticker section, and one to the NBA section.

    Think you may have a real mystery in your hands regarding that “X” jersey, Paul. I’m virtually positive that’s Gene Banks shooting the ball for Duke, who played from 1977-81. Duke did not play Xavier during his career, however; in fact, the two teams did not play one another for the very first time until 1987.

    Could those Xavier unis be “faux-untucked” after the NCAA banned untucked jerseys? If you look at #22, it appears the jersey is tucked in under the number.

    “George Miller missed out on the Lions-redesign contest, so yesterday he submitted a late but amusing entry.”

    Dammit, George! Don’t explain things unless people ask!

    Not mentioning Fred is a perfect “for people who get it” moment.

    Sorry… I figured “Fred” was so old and out of the public’s conscious that even mentioning him by name was okay.

    I remember the NC State singlet. Very controversial at the time. I think they went to wearing their game shorts over it so that too much wasn’t showing. I think it would be incredibly inhibiting, but fashion always outweighs function.

    I want to say that 3 other Nike schools were given the singlets to try that season, one of which was Iowa. Like the Pack, the Hawks wore regular game shorts with them. Also want to say that at least one school changed their mind before game time and didn’t wear at all. Don’t remember the other schools, though.

    “Note that the N.L. is shown wearing grey pants and the A.L. in white, because the A.L. is the designated home team this year, even though the game is in San Diego.”

    How about making the designated home team in the All-Star Game the winner of the last World Series?

    Thanks to a video game leak, we have our first looks at the National League and American League BP jerseys for this year’s MLB All-Star Game. Not bad!

    My day is officially made!! The return of the taco!

    The female Cardinals idea for Mother’s Day is the best idea that I have seen in ages. Brilliant.

    I’ve long wished they’d do that in their road unis, since female cardinals range from buff to taupe to gray:


    I was struck by this quote in the Tewksbury, MA piece:

    (T)he Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association said they were tired of being erased. “We want you to maintain your Redmen logo. We want you to do so with the dignity and respect that it deserves.”

    It’s a point of view I’m not accustomed to hearing; more light than heat.

    I sort of appreciate it. If it is done right and the culture allows it, I see no problem with them keeping the mascot.

    Interesting to note that the back of the NC State unitard in the news segment read “NIKE” in all caps where the player’s last name should be.

    So I guess this post deserves an update :)


    Genuinely curious, because it’s just not something I’ve ever thought about unitl now – what did people wear before the button down shirt was invented?

    Something to ponder for an upcoming column: MLB teams that have worn henley-style jerseys. The Mets are in that club, but my favorite was the Mariners, who provided one for Willie Horton while the rest of the team made do with regular V-necks.

    Paul, you got some mention (although somewhat facetiously) last night on WEEI Radio out of Boston, as the afternoon knuckleheads noted that ESPN “Is running a nice Uni Watch piece about a Detroit Lions uniform design contest” in its top headlines but nothing (as of 5:00pm eastern) about the latest NFL downplaying of concussions as other sites were running.

    As a life-long Connecticut-based Islander fan who has often been starved of available Islander merchandise, those shoes call to me.

    I always wondered why a school nicknamed the Cardinals did not wear brown for their women’s teams.
    I just searched “Lady Cardinals” and it pulled up Louisville and Lamar.
    If anything, they would get a lot of press.

    “Note that the N.L. is shown wearing grey pants and the A.L. in white, because the A.L. is the designated home team this year, even though the game is in San Diego.”

    Because Baltimore should have gotten this years All-Star game, but MLB is salty about the whole MASN/Nationals ordeal so they gave it to San Diego instead.

    Kudos to the Nets! I like the idea of displaying some of your club history through present-days means by way of your farm team’s look. Going with the blue, red and white (and a throwback to the past with the logo) is excellent. Other clubs should take note of this.

    As might be assumed given my (Tom Bierbaum’s) re-design contest entries, I loved George Miller’s Lions submission. I was a big fan of “Super-Chicken” back in its day and can still recite some of the bits (and sing the classic theme song). In fact our Mini Cooper’s license plate is “SPRCOOP,” which is as close as we could get to “Super Coop,” the craft Super-Chicken and Fred flew around in.

    When designing my own cartoon Lions mascot, I definitely checked out Fred’s visuals before going with more of a Hanna-Barbera-inspired look (link).

    I didn’t see those… that’s grrrrreat! Wait, that’s what a cartoon Tiger says. Whateva.

    UniWatch at the Movies:

    During a scene in Batman v Superman, there is a football game playing on a background monitor between Gotham and Metropolis. Of note:


    * Metropolis sported helmets with what looked like the Marlins ‘M’ plastered on front of the helmet ala Miami of Ohio.

    * Though Gotham didn’t sport the same exact unis as they did in The Dark Knight Rises, they were still clad in Black and Gold.

    Interesting point about the NAHL switching from Easton to Bauer is that Performance Sports Group (who own Bauer) recently brought the Easton hockey business. link

    I was hoping the upper right-field section at Citi Field would be renamed the Piazza Porch, since “Coke Porch” might invoke the late ’80s teams a little too pointedly. If the area is now the “Coca-Cola Corner,” maybe they can still rename the seating section itself the Piazza Porch when they retire his number.

    Jay, Jay — get real. Do you really think the Wilpons would just GIVE AWAY the naming rights to a part of their stadium? If Piazza wants to pay the same rate as Coke and Pepsi have paid, I’m sure he’s welcome to put in a bid like anyone else. Otherwise, we both know he’s gonna be SOL.

    Seriously: It’d seem odd to name the right-field porch after right-handed slugger who hit most of his HR’s to left field.

    Plus…think about all those Home Runs he hit into the “Piazza Porch” … oh, right.

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