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Griffins Jersey Design Contest Voting Begins Today

[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.

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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!).


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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:

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Dallas Renegades

Team page

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Houston Roughnecks

Team page

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Los Angeles Wildcats

Team page

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New York Guardians

Team page

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St. Louis Battle Hawks

Team page

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Seattle Dragons

Team page

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Tampa Bay Vipers

Team page

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Washington D.C. Defenders

Team page

Our friend Conrad Burry has found a couple secondary logos:

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)

Weekend readers especially know I will occasionally feature the art and artistry of reader Gene Sanny, who last week gave us this amazing NFL Year One and this fantastic Roger the Dodger sketches.

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.

Gene Sanny

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.

The Ticker
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 NewsThe 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 NewsGeorgia 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 NewsIf 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 NewsHere’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).

Comments (51)

    Gene Sanny’s sketch of Concrete Charlie and The Giffer looks to draw a lot of inspiration from link. Nicely done.

    Can anyone shine light on why the Penn field hockey player’s stick is flat on the blade instead of curved? Is this an optical illusion or is that what field hockey sticks look like now?

    I looked again and I was seeing it wrong, I was mistaking the shoulder of the hanging jersey for the stick’s blade.

    The head of the stick actually is flat only on one side, and you’re only allowed to play the ball with that side. Every player in the sport plays right-handed.

    Regarding the XFL logos being doine by a 7 year old. That “news” site, Kayfabe News, actually IS an Onion-like site. Kayfabe is a pro wrestling term…kinda carny/pig Latin for “fake”. They do parody news. I think the article is just a joke.

    30 July 1967.
    Crosley Field, Cincinnati.
    3-2 Reds, salvaging a split of a double-header v the Cubs, who won the first game 8-4.

    I’m struck by the number of doubleheaders being played; the Reds and Cubs are finishing one, and 4 of the 5 AL games are DHs.

    Also, this scoreboard uses the old system, which Wrigley Field still does, of assigning their own numbers to pitchers and then listing them in the scorecard. I notice that Baltimore’s pitcher is number zero, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, at least not at Wrigley.

    Almost a certainly a pitcher not on the list in the program, a recent trade or call-up.

    Of the XFL names, Roughnecks is the one I like best. None of the logos *really* excite me. DC’s is sad.

    I was actually shocked none of the XFL teams chose a “singular name”. No stupids names like Surge, Maniax, Express, etc. The NY Guardians name is based on the gargoyle statues on many of the old buildings in NYC; but the logo looks more like a panther or cougar. I agree that the DC logo leaves a lot to be desired. Is their color combo Red & Maroon? Weird.

    Good name, awful logo. It’s like a badly over-thought and over-designed ripoff of the old Houston Oilers logo. Unfortunately, it’s still my favorite one of the new XFL logos.

    I think DC’s is the best if they would just drop the “DC” at the bottom and let the bolts work for the DC, it’s like they were scared people wouldn’t see the DC in the bolts so they added the DC text just to make sure…

    Re: Syracuse and the Carrier Dome naming rights. That sounds like a contract courts would void for unconscionability today. $3 million for perpetuity? Today that wouldn’t get an advertiser two years’ of naming rights.

    When they entered into the agreement, it was before naming rights/wrongs were the norm, and that agreement fails to predict/acknowledge/recognize the changing social and business practices that have subsequently developed.

    If I were a lawyer – wait, I AM a lawyer – that’s how I’d recommend the school (MY school!) attack the deal.

    I don’t believe the contract provision is unconscionable at all. Under existing contract law, at least in the jurisdictions I practice in, the contract language would have to be unconscionable AT THE TIME OF CONTRACTING. This was certainly not the case in 1979 Simply because a provision may operate in the future as an unforeseen hardship on contracting part, such does not render the contract or any provision contained therein, void or even voidable. Secondly, no building exists into perpetuity. Sooner or later the Carrier Dome is going to be torn down. Once that takes place, the subject matter of the contract is extinguished thereby terminating the contract and releasing the parties from any further obligations thereunder.

    RE: Secondly, no building exists into perpetuity.

    The Citgo Great Pyramids of Egypt?

    sorry, couldn’t resist

    In my jurisdictions, bargaining power is an important factor. An entity the size of Syracuse University on the wrong end of a bargain, its almost inconceivable that they could plead unconscionability.

    OTOH, if we can somehow find that an interest in land has been granted to Carrier, then maybe we’ve got a rule against perpetuities argument.

    A bit more about the wooden lacrosse floor at Queen’s Park Arena in New Westminster, BC. Not anything new. They have been using a wooden floor for lacrosse at the arena since 1938. In fact, part of the original floor is proudly displayed on a wall inside the arena:


    As well, it is not the only arena in Metro Vancouver that uses a wooden lacrosse floor. Bill Copeland Arena in Burnaby has one as well:


    Which means in the high-level Senior A Western Lacrosse Association, 2 of the 7 teams play on a wooden floor.

    As an Upstate resident, I didn’t even know that there was a Mario Cuomo bridge. I just assumed that, like all of the other options, that generic looking bridge was in New Jersey.

    Regarding the design contest, was awaiting something teal and purple, was not disappointed (not saying I like it, it’s just the easy choice to make for 90’s), was nice to see things that I would expect as far as design elements that started to come into play in the 90’s. With these contests I think it becomes a matter of separating the kitschy designs (like the nirvana/flannel one) from stuff that is trying to be era appropriate of what a team would look like at that time.

    Someone on Deadspin made the right observation that all those XFL designs look they were done by the same person who had access to a couple of fonts.

    The voting form didn’t load for me on iPad (works fine on desktop pC). I feel kind of torn: A lot of great designs, but the ones that I thought were the best 90s-style jerseys weren’t necessarily the ones that I thought were the best overall. Still very good though! Anyway, I voted 90s instead of my overall preferences.

    The LA Wildcats should be the Wildcatters. Also, the name should reference renegade workers, not independent oil drillers.

    Or if the league expands or reshuffles before its inevitable bankruptcy, it can field a team called the Chicago Wobblies, which would amount to the same thing.

    July 30, 1967, game 2 of a DH. Rose’s first year in LF and Deron Johnson’s (#11) last year in Cincy. The A’s last year in KC. Four doubleheaders in the AL! Sunday doubleheaders were really common then.

    Paul did a great job with the questions, some were pretty tough. Of course I got to the last one and missed. The wolf gray choice had me thinking Patriots.
    I hope HQ Sports brings him back for another game.

    I think I voted properly in the design contest, but that polling app was a bit confusing. It was not clear to me at first that I selected the entry…then how to get to the others and finally to hit OK only at the end.

    It also looks like I can vote again on the same computer if I wanted…not going to, but it seems to be letting me.

    Northwestern had in perpetuity rights on their field and blew off that name for a some extra $$$

    Pardon my ignorance, but a question: What does the “P” stand for on the scoreboard for each game? I’m guessing the spot in the standings for each team at that particular point in the season, but not certain.

    Thanks in advance for the clarification.


    P is for pitcher but it’s not their uniform number. If you bought a scorecard at the game it would have an alphabetical list of all pitchers on the roster of every team. So depending on how many pitchers they were carrying the numbers would go from 1 to 11 or 12.

    I would’ve never guessed that. I’m old enough to know and appreciate scorecards, but I can’t say I am familiar with the alphabetical list.
    Thanks so much, TJB! Appreciate the help!

    So how did everyone do on the HQ quiz last night? I was rolling until my son talked me out of the right answer on the sleeved nba jersey question.
    Very exciting to see massless Andy Brown in the quiz. I saw him play for the Penguins vs the Hawks at Chicago Stadium when I was a kid.

    The XFL designed followed the exact opposite of the BIG3 design strategy. No team has an identity, they all follow the league identity.

    Also, Bird was only really opposed to the tattoos, he didn’t hate the mural as a whole. He was even fine if they left the “Indiana” tattoo.

    I like all the xfl names. They all properly end with an “S”. St. Louis has the worst but I’ll take it. You know it could very easily have been Houston “ruffnex”. Thank goodness proper spelling seems to be coming back

    The poll won’t load on my phone (Chrome on Android). Guess I’ll have to wait until I get home to vote.

    The Buccaneers could inherit Tampa’s team colours from the XFL, adding white. I like the V for Vipers, it’s a V that would sort of work for the Vancouver Canucks.

    What I find troublesome w/these yearly designs, and I am sure it gets said year in – year out, is that it undermines the work of true graphic artists / designers and reduces their work to nothing more than a novelty.

    I feel the same way of many so-called YouTube “editors / producers”. It genuinely undermines the hardwork of excellent freelancers who try and secure this work by submitting to these cheap “design” contests.

    Yes, there are some genuine articles, but in the long run, if these people were actually professionals, they would know how to get these accounts.

    SCOREBOARD: July 30, 1967. Game 2 of a Sunday doubleheader at Crosley Field. Reds defeat Cubs, 3-2. Pete Rose playing in left field.

    Only HQ I felt like I should have done better….Paul,you’re much taller on the phone;)

    In that July 30, 1967 Crosley Field game, rookie Joe Niekro (No. 48) is the pitcher for the Cubs – his 23rd career game and 8th career start. He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings to take the loss (5-4).

    Scoreboards from the ’60s with out-of-town scores aren’t too hard to find because of all the team changes that decade. That particular collection of teams narrowed it down to ’66 and ’67, the Reds didn’t have a #48 in 1966, and the first game score of 8-4 gave the date away.

    So, just out of curiosity, will results of today’s voting be posted on tomorrow’s blog? If not, I totally understand, turnaround time and all that with the voting for today not ending till midnight, I was just wondering.

    I’m honestly not sure, as I’m not doing the tabulating (that’s Larry’s area). If we can have the results posted tomorrow, we will.

    The St. Louis FC badge isn’t bad, but it seems like a missed opportunity to not replace the typical concentric circles with the parabolic curve of the Arch.

    Okay. I can see two entrants using the same jersey template to craft their design, but, the odds two would use the exact same font that would say the exact same thing in the exact same place on the art, well they are 1. Either sharing a pre-designed Griffins specific template or 2. Needing to buy a powerball ticket.

    So F. IRIS DOS SANTOS and J. MATT HARVEY are you working together or are you the same person? Your names are even in the same place at the foot of the page! Really!?!?!?

    The Seattle Dragons. Appropriate, given the number of addicts on the street and their discarded needles.


    “Chasing the dragon” is a slang phrase of Cantonese origin from Hong Kong referring to inhaling the vapor from a heated solution of morphine, heroin, oxycodone, opium, or ya ba (a pill containing caffeine and methamphetamine).

Comments are closed.