Here’s something from a few weeks ago that I missed during the Thanksgiving weekend: Lakers fans apparently think the team’s current shade of gold is too yellow. Key passage from that article:
“We started hearing early on that the gold looked too yellow,” said Tim Harris, the Lakers’ president of business operations and chief operating officer.
It was considered serious enough that the Lakers took the question to Nike, which determined the shade was identical to what the franchise wore in the early 2000s. Lakers gear had gradually taken on a more golden hue under Adidas, Harris said.
When he looked closely at the new Nike duds, Harris decided the problem wasn’t with the uniforms, but the accessories.
“To me, the tights looked yellow,” Harris said, “and I thought maybe if we can apply a contrast to this it will show more gold.”
The Lakers ditched the monochromatic look championed by Nike, and starting on Nov. 17 against Phoenix switched back to white leggings with their gold uniforms.
“It’s less like a highlighter,” Harris said.
Two nights later, they replaced the gold socks with white ones, leaving [equipment manager Carlos] Maples with racks of gold — or, rather, yellow — leggings and socks and sleeves for which he has no use.
Interesting. I like how Nike basically blames the whole thing on Adidas. As for Nike’s claim that the current color matches the early-2000s shade, Uni Watch reader Derek Lady isn’t buying it. “No way is it the same gold. I have the uniform. I’m an artist and graphic designer and I can see the color difference. One is warm, the other cold yellow.”
Several other Lakers fans have said the same thing to me, and some fans have tried comparing old and new photos to show the color difference. I’m generally skeptical of this approach, because lighting conditions and photo equipment can vary so much.
I asked hue guru Donovan Moore, who runs the excellent ColorWerx site, what he thought of all this. Here’s an edited version of his response:
Any color changes are undoubtedly due to the move from Reebok/Adidas, which used the DyStar textile system, to Nike, which has its own set of proprietary fabric colors. That said, you’d think Nike would have taken greater care in making sure a color as iconic as the Lakers’ gold (which is shared by just about every other NBA team that uses yellow/gold) would appear unchanged. For what it’s worth, the Lakers’ official Pantone specs have not changed, but things can still appear different.
I’m always dubious of using photographic evidence to assess color differences, however. All of the lighting and/or environmental conditions have to be just right to get an accurate comparison.
For what it’s worth, I agree that the Lakers’ current uniforms look a bit too banana-y, although I’m not sure I would have noticed it if other people hadn’t pointed it out.
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Century mark: Yesterday was 100 years to the day since the Maple Leafs franchise, and the NHL itself, made their debuts. The Leafs were called the Toronto Arenas back then, and yesterday the team wore a very nice-looking set of 1917 Arenas throwbacks to mark the centennial anniversary. Here are some additional photos and videos.
More mini: I received an early Christmas present in the mail yesterday from longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Michael Princip: a mini-helmet incorporating the Hale America-style shield logo that fellow reader/pal Rob Ullman recently designed. Check it out (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):
Michael has done some industrial design work for Schutt (as you may recall, he was the lead designer on the Schutt F7), so he used a Schutt XP mini-shell. As you can see, he also gave the facemask a Sean Taylor-esque tape job.
There are several other custom elements. Michael used a 3-D printer to create a miniature version of Schutt’s twist-clip nose bumper (an element that isn’t normally available for mini-makers), and I was surprised to see my own signature on the bumper plate:
How did Michael get my signature on there? Turns out he traced it from this photo, which I had previously run here on the site.
More customization: The top of the shell has hand-drilled ventilation holes. “If you look at all other Schutt mini-helmets, they don’t have the circular vent holes,” said Michael. “The holes are one of my favorite features on that helmet, so made sure your mini-helmet had them.”
And as a finishing touch, Michael included merit decals on the back of the shell:
Very cool. Thanks so much, Michael.
Just think, two months ago I didn’t know jack shit about mini-helmets. Now I have two of them. Look at that — it’s a collection:
Money, mouth, etc.: Yesterday I donated $469 to the American Indian College Fund. That was our profit this year on “I Miss RFK” shirts in ’Skins colors. (Any RFK profits that we generate in the remainder of this month will be paid out in 2018.) ESPN routinely matches its employees’ charitable contributions, so the total will be well over $900 — not bad.
I’m proud to support this organization, and I thank everyone who purchased these shirts.
Raffle reminder: In case you missed it last Friday, our annual year-end raffle is currently underway. The deadline for entering is tomorrow evening, 7pm. Full details here.
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Holiday tradition: ’Tis the week before Christmas / And at Uni Watch HQ / We’ve hung our stirrups by the chimney / How about you?
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: The Charleston RiverDogs are celebrating their 25th anniversary next season. Since they’re dogs, they’ve come up with an anniversary logo that marks the occasion in dog years. … Reader Tom Tagliabue was touring the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, and spotted this old baseball jersey, glove, and bat used by the ship’s baseball team in 1936. … Phil is continuing his countdown of his top 10 favorite Negro League uniforms. Here are Nos. 7 and 8. … Tigers fans want the team to retire Lou Whitaker’s No. 1, but the team isn’t inclined to do that because Whitaker isn’t in the Hall of Fame (from Brinke).
NFL News: A Detroit Ford dealer is running an ad that features Lions QB Matthew Stafford and his “teammates” — i.e., a bunch of guys wearing oversized No. 00 jerseys (from Jeffrey Sak). … Brinke came across this photo of Paul Brown and a Bengals player, likely in the late ’60s or early ’70s. The black trim around the orange jersey stripe is much thicker than a traditional jersey of that era, and the black pants stripe is much thinner. “Maybe a variance in production or a new supplier?” Brinke asks. … Barstool Sports is threatening to sue the NFL for stealing its trademarked slogan and putting it on merch. … The Steelers’ longstanding protocol of omitting front helmet numbers during the preseason led to an oddity in their Pro Bowl promo graphic.
College Football News: Heavy rain in the Dallas area meant the grounds crew got a late start on painting the end zones for the Frisco Bowl last night (from Mark Johnson). … San Diego State will wear helmet decals honoring the five branches of the military on Saturday in the Armed Forced Bowl (from Nathan Clark).
Hockey News: According to Mike Reilly, it appears that the NHL has made a change to its game pucks. The NHL 100 logo has been removed from the back, and the white inner ring is a bit smaller than in years past. … The Sharks will be giving away a nutcracker in the likeness of D Brett Burns on Thursday — though the figurine has him wearing the wrong color pants (from @GKG_77). … Olympic hockey uniforms for Russia — er, Olympic Athletes from Russia — may have leaked. … South Korea’s goalie was using a backwards stick in a recent game (from The Goal Net).
NBA News: The Undefeated has a new piece on NBA players and their shooting sleeves (from K.C. Kless). … The Jazz will officially unveil their fourth uniforms on Dec. 27 (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s some good shots of Kobe Bryant in high school. Who knew that Lower Merion wore numbers on their shorts at the time? (From Leif Nomeland.) … Wizards G John Wall saluted Kobe Bryant by wearing Bryant’s signature sneakers last night (from @Hall21rip).
College Hoops News: Wisconsin will retire No. 44 in honor of former PF Frank Kaminsky in February. … Florida Gulf Coast went GFGS last night (from Joe Balsamo). … Concordia University in Texas, a D-III school, calls its teams the Tornados. Their basketball jerseys shorten that moniker to simply “Nados” (from Keith Leventhal). … D-II Wheeling Jesuit went big with their jersey numbers (from Andrew Kurzawski).
Soccer News: Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho has been wearing interesting diacritical marks on his NOB — note the dots beneath the first and last letters (from Richard). … Reader Josh Hinton sends along a pair of jersey leaks: Peru’s World Cup “home” kit and Atlanta United’s 2018 road kit. … This blog digs into the eclectic Chelsea kits of the early ’80s (from Denis Hurley). … Real Madrid is letting FIFA 18 players go BFBS in the video game (from Luke Plunkett).
Grab Bag: Over on The Driver Suit Blog, David Firestone handed out awards for his favorite racing paint schemes of 2017. … The logo for the 2018 World Chess Championships is arguably NSFW. … Slovenia has unveiled its opening ceremonies uniforms for the upcoming Olympics (from Phil). … A Chinese clothing company is suing Apple, claiming the tech company stole its logo and used it as the App Store’s logo.