[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken
The moment you’ve waited for is finally here. Today we begin voting on the first group of contestants for the fourth annual Grand Rapids Griffins design contest. In case you missed it, the contest parameters and rules were laid out here.
This year I received 87 entries, which we will vote upon over the next four weekdays: Today: First 22 entrants; Tomorrow: Second 22 entrants; Monday: Third 22 entrants; and Tuesday: Final 21 entrants. Like last year, design submissions were randomly selected and include submissions received throughout the deadline period. While each group was chosen at random, designs will be listed alphabetically within each group.
The TOP THREE contestants receiving votes in each group will move on to the final group (for a total of 12 finalists — three from each group), from which the Griffins will make a decision and declare the winner who I will announce on Friday, August 30.
Also like last year, we’re using a new polling system, which we hope will eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) any fraud or shenanigans. You will be permitted to vote for as many designs as you would like, but you may only vote ONCE. I will post a column every weekday of the contest (so today, tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday) at 7:00 am (eastern) and the voting will be open until 11:00 pm (eastern), at which time the polls will close — the TOP THREE vote recipients will move into the final group (the winner of which will be chosen by the Griffins).
Today the lede will focus on the first 22 submissions. Subsequent days the designs and voting may be a sub-lede, so please be sure to check back and check the full post each day.
Finally, I again want to give my great thanks to Larry Torrez, who worked with me to come up with the poll you’ll see below in an aesthetically pleasing format as well! Great work ElTee (of DC)!
REMINDER: While some of the submissions you see below may include gloves, helmet, pants, etc., you are ONLY voting on the jersey design. Please keep that in mind when casting your vote(s).
The Griffins gave the following parameters for the jersey contest, so please keep these in mind when voting:
“The details are that this jersey is going to be worn on our 90’s Night on Saturday, February 22 (with either red or black pants and red gloves/helmets). We’d like the contest to be for a 90’s inspired jersey. We don’t want to set any other regulations, as we’re not looking for the submissions to be any of our old logos or colors. We’d like something that is created fully by the designers.”
OK? That’s about it. First I’ll display all the submissions for today, which will be followed by the new (sharp-looking and hopefully cheat-proof) poll. Click to enlarge any image below.
My thanks to all who submitted and best of luck.
A. TYLER BEHMLANDER
B. MITCH BEHREND
C. BILL BEUSSE
D. J. COLBERT
E. CASEY DENNIS
F. IRIS DOS SANTOS
G. COLIN EADIE
H. BROOKS FREEMAN
I. TRAVIS GRACE
J. MATT HARVEY
K. MATTHEW JACOBSON
L. STEPHEN JAYNE
N. HUNTER MILLS
O. GARRETT PICKARD
P. KEN PURDY
Q. RAHUL RAMAKRISHNAN
R. PATTY ROYCE
S. YONI SOLOMON
T. CASEY SPROGIS
U. LONNIE WALKER
V. MAC WILLEMEN
And there you have it. Your first 22 submissions. And now, to vote, here’s the poll — to start, click “START”; once you start the poll, the reader design will appear above the name, and you may select as many designs as you like. Once you have finished voting, be sure to scroll to the bottom and hit “SUBMIT” to make sure your vote(s) are counted! That’s it!).
VOTING WILL TAKE PLACE FROM 7:00 AM TO 11:00 PM EASTERN
Next League To Fail The XFL Unveils Team Names & Logos
Yesterday, the XFL, two point oh, unveiled eight new team names and team logos. Until we get to see uniforms, I’m not gonna pay much attention to the next-football-league-to-fail, like so many before it have. Below are the individual teams, logos, and links if you care to explore further:
Los Angeles Wildcats
New York Guardians
St. Louis Battle Hawks
Tampa Bay Vipers
Washington D.C. Defenders
Our friend Conrad Burry has found a couple secondary logos:
Not sure if it's been covered, but poking around on the XFL website, i found these alternate logos for Houston, LA, and Tampa. I could see Houston or LA's being the helmet logo, but we'll have to wait and see… pic.twitter.com/iUe4S7LQlB
— Conrad Burry 🔴🐐🎨 (@conradburry) August 22, 2019
None of these logos seem particularly good nor are the names anything to write home about — unlike XFL 1.0 when you had names like “Hit Men,” “Maniax,” “Enforcers,” and “Rage.” Of course, that league was probably best known for one of the best NickNOBs ever…
And this isn’t from the Onion, but it might as well: It’s as if the logos were designed by a seven year old.
For both photos, click to enlarge
And now a few words from Paul: Hi there. I had a blast appearing on the app-driven trivia show HQ Sports last night. Big thanks to the many of you who gave me shout-outs on social media.
I’m not a natural when it comes to appearing on camera, but I like to think that I’m teachable. So my main goal whenever I have an opportunity like this — aside from, you know, not totally screwing up — is to learn more so I can keep getting better at it. And that was definitely the case last night — host Lauren Gambino and the HQ crew (especially producer Laura Gurfein, who’s shown at far left in the photo above) were really awesome to work with and helped put me in a position where I could be successful in my assigned role. It was a great experience.
Here are some questions that people have asked me, and others that you may be wondering about:
How did you end up on the game?
A producer contacted me last month, just before I left on my vacation to Ireland, and said they were thinking of doing a uni-themed show. She invited me appear and said I could write the questions. Up until that point, I had never even heard of the HQ trivia thing (which I realize says much more about me than it does about them).
So you wrote all of the questions and answers?
Yes. It’s trickier than it might initially seem, because the questions and answers have strict character-count limits, so you have to sort of shoehorn the content into those parameters.
I wrote three questions while I was on vacation and sent them in, just to make sure I was on the right track (they said I was), and wrote the rest, plus several extras, after I got back. Then there was a fair amount of back-and-forth before we arrived at the 12 questions that were used in the game last night. Most of the questions I originally submitted were a lot harder than what we eventually ended up using. The producers wanted to make the questions easier, and they also changed some of the wordings and contexts. I objected to some of what they proposed, and they objected to some of what I wanted, but it was a very respectful give-and-take, and I feel like we all worked hard to come up with content that both sides were happy with. Again, a good experience.
Where and when did the game broadcast take place?
HQ’s offices are in lower Manhattan, about a 40-minute subway ride from Uni Watch HQ. The whole thing is done live.
Was there a rehearsal or run-through?
Yes. I arrived about 90 minutes before showtime, so we had time to prepare, rehearse, and so on.
Why did you stand slightly behind Lauren (the host), instead of next to her?
The game streams on a smartphone app, so the frame is vertical and very narrow. Lauren hosts the show by herself on most nights, so the narrow frame usually isn’t an issue. But when they have a guest, there basically isn’t room for two people to stand side-by-side, so one of us had to sort of overlap the other. Fortunately, I’m not a particularly large guy — previous guests have included the Rock and several large pro athletes. Can’t imagine how they managed to fit them next to Lauren.
Why did you wear a suit instead of a jersey?
They said a suit is the standard attire for guests. They briefly broached the idea of having me wear a team jersey, but I explained to them that I don’t own any (well, except for vintage stuff from old high school teams, company teams, etc., which I figured wasn’t what they wanted), so that was the end of that.
Why not have you wear Uni Watch gear?
We also talked about that possibility, but they use a green screen in their studio, which pretty much ruled out any Uni Watch attire. (They did ask me to bring along a Uni Watch tequila sunrise shirt for promo photos, however.)
Did you wear makeup?
No. They said I could have makeup if I wanted it, but they didn’t think I needed it.
Were they happy with how it went?
They seemed to be. Everyone high-fived me when it was over and told me I did a good job. They also said that the number of people who logged in and played last night’s game — about 120,000 — was higher than their usual Wednesday-night number, which is typically around 90,000. The power of the uni-verse!
Did they pay you?
They don’t pay appearance fees for guests. But they did pay me $120 for writing the 12 questions.
Will you do it again?
I’d happily do it again if they want me back, and I told them so. They basically said, “Yes, let’s definitely stay in touch and do it again,” although I’m not sure if they were just being nice. I guess we’ll see.
I missed the show. Is there any way I can watch it online?
They’ve provided me with the full 15-minute video and told me I can post clips from it, but not the entire thing. Once I get a chance, I’ll put some clips on YouTube.
I think that’s it. Now back to Phil with the rest of today’s content.
Gene Sanny Strikes Again (and again)
He’s back today with another:
Another one you never get to see in color. I took a few liberties with the picture here and there, but I’m pretty happy with it…. Got the kinda cartoony/kinda real look I wanted.
For you kids out there, the picture Gene’s sketched is the infamous Chuck Bednarik hit on Frank Gifford, an upset victory for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New York Giants in 1960 — which was a steppingstone to Philly’s NFL title that season. I love how Gene depicted the ref and Giff sans shoe!
Thanks, Gene — incredible as always!
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader “ojai67”.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
This one’s not only great for this particular game, but it’s just a gorgeous photograph to boot!
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: A few items from Mike Chamernik: Dodgers’ 1B Cody Bellinger lost his pants sliding into third on Tuesday; this ESPN piece breaks down some of the more outlandish baseball cards that have been released throughout the year; Mets SS Amed Rosario will wear Sesame Street cleats this weekend for Players’ Weekend … It appears A’s LF Robbie Grossman was wearing an upside-down No. 8 on his jersey Tuesday night (from Steven Dodell). … The Astros are giving away one of three cap designs to police, firefighters and EMS on their first responders night (from Ignacio). … The Triple-A Durham Bulls will wear Carolina Hurricanes-inspired uniforms on Friday (from @CanesUniforms). … 9 players will honor Tyler Skaggs on MLB Players’ Weekend jerseys (from Phil).
NFL News: The Dolphins will wear a memorial decal for Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti this season (from Anthony Juliano). … New uniforms for the Falcons’ cheerleaders (from Phil). … Washington DL Jonathan Allen has a new helmet and facemask (from Spence).
College/High School Football News: Georgia have added 3D nose bumpers for the upcoming season (from Chris Thorpe). … Arizona will wear a memorial decal for former coach Dick Tomey and will wear uniforms honoring those lost aboard the USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attacks on Saturday against Hawaii. … San Jose State will wear throwbacks on Aug. 29, and Michigan State fans might think the helmet decal looks familiar (from @OlegKvasha). … The Mountain West will recognize players who have already graduated by allowing them to wear this patch (from Damon Hirschensohn). … New uniforms for FCS school Charleston Southern (from Harrison Huntley). … A number of high schools in Kentucky will wear a memorial decal for David Barnes, the coach and AD at Caldwell County High School who died recently (from Chad Hensley).
Hockey News: Golden Knights’ owner Bill Foley said he hopes Vegas can unveil their third jerseys by “early October.” He said the team would have unveiled them earlier, but there was a holdup in getting the correct color shade (from Phil). … Repost: The minor league baseball team in Durham, North Carolina will wear Hurricanes-inspired uniforms for “Bunch of Jerks Night” on Friday (from @CanesUniforms). New purple sweaters for Reading Royals of the ECHL. … New goalie masks for Bemidji State and Robert Morris (from @OlegKvasha).
Basketball News: If this leak holds water, the Warriors will be wearing a early ’60s throwbacks this season (thanks to all who shared). … Larry Bird didn’t appreciate an Indianapolis artist’s depiction of him — especially the fake tattoos the artist added (from Mike Chamernik). … Check out the true-crime themed uniforms for this Memphis summer league team (from @NotHotTakes). … New floor for Gonzaga (from Anthony Nieves).
Soccer News: Here’s a concept for a St. Louis FC badge based on the colors in the St. Louis city flag (from @FireThemCannons). … Apparel company Hummel will make the uniforms for the National Independent Soccer Association, a new third league in the US (from Ed Zelaski).
Grab Bag: When Syracuse opened the Carrier Dome, they awarded the naming rights to Carrier “in perpetuity” after the company kicked in $3 million in costs. But in their 2019 football media guide, the school didn’t once mention the stadium’s name, and many speculate it’s because the school is trying to work its way out of the naming rights contract (from Shawn Hairston). … New field hockey uniforms for Penn (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Team USA will wear new singlets in the 2019 Worlds (from @DevinMeyer_3). … Most Indoor Box Lacrosse is played on turf or concrete floors. But in Queen’s Park Arena in New Westminster, British Columbia lays down green hardwood floor for indoor lacrosse games (from Michael Sullivan). … RE: Monday’s item about the New York license plate — Republican lawmakers claim Gov. Andrew Cuomo is rigging the vote so a design with his father’s name wins the vote (from John).