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The Puck Drops on Another NHL Season

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The NHL regular season began last night, and it included the Blues raising their Stanley Cup championship banner (with no accompanying Enterprise banner, not bad!).

In a move that hadn’t been announced in advance, the Blues also wore a facsimile of the banner as a jersey patch (see above). That’s an interesting design approach — has any team ever worn its championship banner design as a patch? I was having a hard time thinking of any other examples, so I asked about it on Twitter, where several people reminded me that the Kings wore banner-based patches for their 2012-13 season opener, and again for their 2014-15 opener:

The Kings were apparently following the lead of the Bruins, who wore a banner-based patch for their 2011 season opener:

If there are any earlier examples of banner-based patches, I haven’t yet found them or been made aware of them, so for now it appears that the Bruins pioneered this patch style.

Speaking of the Blues, a suburban St. Louis high school teacher named Brent Pearson got in the spirit of the season opener by wearing a suit patterned after the team’s diagonally striped late-1990s uniform. Check this out:

When I saw that, I immediately thought of longtime Uni Watch reader/pal Marty Hick, who’s also a St. Louis teacher and has been known to mix some uni-related elements into his attire. When I showed the photo of Pearson to Marty, he said, “I’m much more nuanced than that.” Maybe so. But deep down, I think he’s envious!

(My thanks to Erik Spoonmore, who was the first of several people to bring Brent Pearson’s suit to my attention. Thanks also to the many people who reminded me about the Kings’ and Bruins’ banner-based patches.)

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This is the part where I say, “Take a good, long look, because it probably won’t be around for long”: According to uni designer Tom O’Grady, what you see above is a jersey for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers.

A few quick thoughts:

• Interesting that they’re going with mesh fabric instead of something more space-age.

• The chest placement for the XFL logo really screams, “Don’t take this league seriously.” (That’s okay, guys, I didn’t.) That said, it’s interesting to see that they’re rendering the league logo in team colors. MLB and MLS do that, but none of the other major pro leagues do.

• The lime green is a huge mistake.

• The other shade of green is very nice — but that doesn’t mean they should be using it for side panels. Ugh.

• Look at the discrepancies between the chest 4 and the TV 4. Yes, I realize the TV number is smaller, but still — seems lazy.

• No visible maker’s marks, but maybe they’re on the sleeves and we just can’t see them in this photo.

Reminder: The XFL season starts on Saturday, Feb. 8. That might be a good time to do something more fun, like cleaning out the garage or having a root canal or something.

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Premier League Uni Roundup — Week 7 (Sept. 28–30)

By Josh Hinton

Sheffield United (red/white) 0-1 Liverpool (black)

Not a huge fan of this matchup. I have never much cared for the Sheffield United home strip. Ditto for the busy Liverpool third kit. 3/10


Wolves (“old gold”) 2-0 Watford (navy)

Battle of the Tiro19 templates, but it looked surprisingly good on the pitch.. Wish that Wolves sponsor logo was all black, though. 8.5/10


Tottenham (white) 2-1 Southampton (grey)

Spurs looked very good, whereas Saints … did not. Dark grey and yellow simply do not look good when paired together. 2/10


Bournemouth (red/black) 2-2 West Ham (white)

Bournemouth and West Ham put on one of the better matchups of the weekend. Two very classy Umbro kits. 9/10


Crystal Palace (blue/red) 2-0 Norwich City (yellow/green)

My personal match of the week. Both of these kits are absolutely stellar. 10/10


Aston Villa (claret) 2-2 Burnley (green)

I really wish Burnley had paired their classy third shirt and socks with dark green shorts; the black/navy shorts seem out of place. Villa have a solid home strip, but I would prefer sky blue shorts. A good-looking match that could have looked even better. 7/10


Chelsea (blue) 2-0 Brighton (black)

Neither one of these Nike strips gets the job done for me. Brighton had their crest and sponsor slapped onto an outdated Nike template, and Chelsea had their busy stadium-inspired pattern on the shirt of their home kit. Not ideal. 4/10


Everton (blue) 1-3 Manchester City (yellow/pink)

Great matchup! Most people can’t stand that City third kit, but I happen to love it. 9/10


Leicester (blue) 5-0 Newcastle (white/black)

Not much to see here. Leicester looked great, as always, in that lovely home kit. But Newcastle were awful in that home kit that I keep saying I don’t care for. 4/10


Manchester United (red) 1-1 Arsenal (yellow)

Two Europa League sides (15 years ago, who would have thought this match would be played on a Monday night with European games the next three days?) both wore fauxbacks in Manchester. I love that United home kit but absolutely detest the Gunners away strip. Call it a push. 5/10

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A bunch of merch reminders/updates: I wanted to catch you up on on a few merch-related items of note, beginning with our gumball helmets. I am now sold out of the helmets with the more modern-looking linebacker-style facemasks. As you can see in the photo at the top of this section, I have plenty of vintage green shells with old-style masks, but I’m down to my last three white shells. Get ’em here while they last.

In addition:

Classic cap price drop: As of today, the price our Uni Watch Classic Cap — that’s the wool cap that’s made for us by Ebbets Field Flannels — has been reduced from $42.99 to $39.99. We have all fitted sizes currently in stock, along with the adjustable version. You can order it here. (Meanwhile, you can still get our cotton “Gold Circle” cap here.)

• More freebie patches: Last week I announced that the price of Uni Watch 20th-anniversary patches had been dropped to a final closeout price of $3.99, plus I began offering a free anniversary patch for anyone who orders a membership card or a gumball helmet.

I didn’t initially think of this, but as of right now I will also give a free anniversary patch to anyone who orders one of our chain-stitched logo patches. Buy a patch, get a patch!

• Cycling jersey update/reminder: Our cycling jerseys have been a big success — people really seem to like them (including reader Eli Selzer, who’s shown in that photo). Because we offered these with custom numbers/NOBs, we can only make them in batches, and we can only do another batch if enough people are interested. So if you missed out on these but would like us to do another two-week ordering window, please let me know. If there’s enough demand, we’ll do another production run. Thanks.


I think that’s it for now. You can see all of our other fine product offerings here. Meanwhile, we have another item in the works that I’m pretty excited about — I’ll have more details on that at the end of next week.

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For those who’ve been asking/wondering: As you may have heard, there’s some turmoil unfolding this week over at Sports Illustrated. I don’t know anything about it other than what’s been publicly reported, and I have no idea yet what, if anything, it might mean for me, but I have to believe that they didn’t hire me two months ago just to change their minds and let me go. (Yes, I know, “last hired, first fired” and all that. But I don’t think that’s going to be how this plays out.)

On the plus side, my SI boss is one of the two people who’ve been appointed as the new co-editors-in-chief, so I now have a friend in an even higher place than I did before. That probably bodes well, at least for me.

And if I’m wrong — if the worst happens — I’ll be okay. I rode out similar waves of turmoil at ESPN for years before the axe finally fell. Wasn’t the end of the world. Shit happens and you deal with it. As an entrepreneurial sort, I figure I’m better equipped to deal with it than the average editorial staffer, so I’m not too worried.

Anyway: My thanks to all who expressed their concerns. I’ll let you know if there’s anything to, you know, know.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsA’s P Sean Manaea wore striped two-in-one socks on the mound last night (from Eric Burak). … Speaking of the A’s, their kelly green jerseys interfered with the green screen ads behind home plate last night (from Cory)… The Rays replaced the MLB 150 patch with the postseason patch for last night’s Wild Card game (from Robert Lipnos). … Nats 3B Anthony Rendon’s daughter wore a “Lil Rendon” NOB on her T-shirt last night (from Andrew Hoenig). … Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw will wear Sketchers cleats during the playoffs (from Russ Havens). … This writer wore a different baseball shirt every day of the 2019 season and wrote a blog about it (from John Cerone). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: An graphic promoting the Braves/Cards NLDS series shows a Cards player wearing a batting helmet with the Ford ad, which the team wore for a few games played in Mexico. Couldn’t they have found a photo that didn’t show that? (From John in Athens.) … The CPBL — that’s the pro league in Taiwan — has a new mascot and is asking fans to help name it (from Jeremy Brahm).

NFL NewsPats QB Tom Brady has apparently been using the same set of shoulder pads since his freshman year of college, which means the pads are older than some of his teammates (from Mike Chamernik). … Seahawks TE Luke Willson wore a bucket hat to practice yesterday — but cut a hole in the top to accommodate his man bun (from Nolan McCotter). … It’s been trending this way for a while, but this piece from The Ringer declares the era of wide receivers wearing numbers in the 80s is dead (from Andrew Cosentino and Manzell B.). … The US women’s national soccer team visited the Panthers and received No. 19 jerseys with a “Champs” NOB (from @PanthersUnis). … Sportscaster Erin Andrews has designed a new line of NFL fan gear for women.

College Football NewsPenn State will wear white cleats with their fauxback uniforms on Saturday (from Chris Grosse). … Iowa State will wear black jerseys with white helmets and pants this weekend. Also, the player in that video is shown wearing a visor with his uni number on the tab. Don’t know if we’ve seen that before (from Chad Lehman and @_S70DD). … Georgia State has added signage tarps to the upper deck of what used to be Atlanta’s Turner Field (from James Gilbert). … New Mexico is going to wear all white on Friday night.

Hockey NewsThe Penguins announced yesterday that they’ll wear their gold third jerseys for all weekend home games this season (from Noah Kastroll). … Maple Leafs C John Tavares has been named team captain — the first Leaf to wear the “C” since 2016 (from James Beattie). … Great behind-the-scenes look on how the Islanders get their playing surface ready (from @GoatJerseys). … The Penn State women have new blue helmets. … J. Colbert has had this Canucks sweater hanging in his classroom for years and didn’t realize until yesterday that the flying skate is facing the wrong way! … Latest example of the sports world fetishizing the “blue collar work ethic”: a new line of NHL/Carhartt caps.

NBA and WNBA NewsFilm director and Knicks superfan Spike Lee purchased a bunch of rare items at auction, including the net from Game 7 of the 1970 Finals — the famous Willis Reed game (from Mike Chamernik). … The WNBA is digitally superimposing a YouTube TV ad on the court during The Finals. Here’s a version of that clip without the ad (also from Mike).

College Hoops NewsVCU unveiled its 2019-2020 uniforms yesterday. … Miami (Ohio) will have a nice, no-frills uniform set this upcoming season (from Omar Elghazawi). … A series of murals under the Chicago “L” station near DePaul University depicts the Blue Demons’ 1979 Final Four squad (from @NotHotTakes). … New uniforms for the Purdue women (from @pinolaphoto). … New uniforms for Syracuse (from @NY_Raider).

Soccer NewsFort Wayne FC, a new NPSL team set to begin play in 2020, unveiled new jerseys yesterday (from LoLo Phynarski). … Repost: The USWNT visited the Carolina Panthers and received No. 19 football jerseys with a “Champs” NOB (from @PanthersUnis).

Grab Bag: Wake Forest has announced it’s implementing consistent colors and fonts across all sports (from James Gilbert). … Busch beer advertises on NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick’s car. Harvick qualified for the NASCAR playoffs this year — along with drivers Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch. So, Busch will be replacing its name with Harvick’s name on his car on Oct. 6 (from Jay Jay Dean). … The North Carolina volleyball team went BFBS last night (from James Gilbert). … Brooks Brothers will be outfitting volunteers at the Head of the Charles Regatta this month, a rowing race that takes place in Boston. … Here’s a good interview about the culture of breast cancer and the use of pink — and how charities are now trying to go beyond awareness (from Andrew Cosentino). … The New York Times has a piece about the evolution of the hard hat (from Mark de Socio). … New uniforms for the Russian men’s volleyball team Kuzbass Kemerovo (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: The nets in the Polish men’s and women’s volleyball leagues will now feature the home team’s city name. … Interesting piece about the dress code expectations and judgments faced by female politicians (from Jason Hillyer).

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Sad tomorrow: In early August of 1993 — I’m not sure of the exact date, but I know it was near the beginning of the month — I was in a record store in Hoboken, N.J., where they were playing a bunch of really good songs, all clearly from the same band. I asked the clerk, “What band is this?” He said, “The Muffs,” and handed me a copy of their debut CD, which had been out for a few months. I bought it on the spot.

Word came down last night that main Muff Kim Shattuck, who wrote and sang all of the L.A.-based band’s songs, died at the age of 56 after a two-year battle with ALS — an affliction she hadn’t publicly disclosed. I can’t even begin to describe how sad I am about her passing.

In the quarter-century since buying that first CD — still their best work — I’ve been an unswervingly dedicated Muffs fan, buying all of their subsequent albums, catching up with their early singles, and seeing them onstage well over a dozen times (most recently a New Jersey show in the summer of 2016, which I wrote about here on Uni Watch). Through it all, Kim’s mix of musical sensibilities — a hodgepodge of punk, bubblegum, Merseybeat, girl groups, and Joan Jett — and her obnoxo-smartass attitude have been an absolute joy in my life. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that her spirit, with so much life behind it, has been silenced.

Kim had her limitations, both as a songwriter and as a guitarist, but it’s hard to think of another artist who’s meant more to me over the past few decades. I’m reeling pretty hard from this one, people. R.I.P.

Comments (54)

    I’m a bit surprised that MLS hasn’t yet made it a “Big 5”. I believe MLS attendance averages are greater than NBA and NHL, and the tv contracts are huge as well. Just a thought.

    I believe MLS attendance averages are greater than NBA and NHL…

    Not a valid comparison, since MLS teams play in stadiums (some of which have huge seating capacities because they were built for football) while NBA/NHL teams play in arenas.

    I know I’m one of the few “soccer guys” that are regulars on Uni-Watch (it seems). It’s rather annoying that soccer still is treated as “minor” by many people in the media.

    When will that turn around and be considered a “major sport”?

    When you compare MLS to other soccer leagues, leaving aside the outlier that is the rest of American sports, it’s comfortably top-10 in the world in attendance.

    Lies, dam lies, and stats. So here are the stats.

    Total season attendance:
    MLS – 8.5 million
    NFL – 17.1
    NBA – 21.9
    NHL – 22.1
    MLB – 68.5

    Of course lots of differences in venue size, number of games played, etc. But MLS is still less than half the next in-person total

    Note: My “Here, here!” was a reply to the Big 5 comment not the lies comment.

    Brian’s numbers largely track with the combination of # of games by capacity of venue
    MLS 34 matches mix of big and small venue

    NFL 16 games very big venue

    NBA seems like about 100 games? (was about 84 when i still followed) small venue

    NHL 84 games small venue with a few very big venues (stadium games)

    MLB 162 games big venue

    “Look at the discrepancies between the chest 4 and the TV 4. Yes, I realize the TV number is smaller, but still — seems lazy.”

    To be fair, the Dolphins have the same problem with their new throwback jersey (I think this is even worse in their case): link

    That Vipers jersey definitely looks terrible though.

    When the Maple Leafs announced their captain and alternate last night, they players skated on the ice with their designation. John Tavares wore the C, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews wore the A. However, it was announced that Marner and Matthews would be alternating. So while Matthews wore the A in the player announcements, he didn’t wear it in the game.

    Paul, gumball helmet question….

    Do you put the decals before you ship them, or is it DIY?

    Just wondering.

    Purchaser’s choice! I can put them on, or I can leave them off and enclose them in the plastic capsule, just like “real” gumball helmets. This is all spelled out on the ordering page.

    It’s been running about 50/50 so far.

    “”real” gumball helmets”….

    I am old enough to remember when they came already *decaled*, then one day/year suddenly they were DIY. I was like, WTH??

    But then I liked to cut the actual logo out of the decal for a truer look. Helmet geek!!

    NASCAR die casts and video games have been putting the driver’s name on the car in place of an alcohol/tobacco company. Cool to see someone doing it for real.
    link Rusty Wallace in place of Miller.
    link again Rusty in place of Miller.
    link Brad Keselowski in place of Miller.
    link Dale Jr. in place of Budweiser.

    When I was a kid my indoctrination into the world of MLB uniform numbers was the Chicago Cubs game programs/scorecards.

    From them I learned that baseball players wore numbers from 1 to 49 – numbers in the 50s were rare, and frequently worn by coaches or the odd, inessential relief pitcher.

    Pitchers never wore a number below 13. Blue Moon Odom was at the vanguard of low-numbered twirlers. When an odd, shaved-headed pitcher named Dave Heaverlo appeared on the Giants wearing number 60, my mind was blown. I’d never seen a number that high on a baseball player.

    I loved the article about wide receivers abandoning the 80s for the teens. Would love to see one about the acceptance of high-numbered MLBers, which seems to have occurred in roughly the same time frame.

    that was a good article. extra points for mentioning one-time Broncos head coach Mac Speedie (though not his Broncos association)

    Speaking of NHL opening night, saw a bit of the Canucks vs. Oilers yesterday. Had to mention that new Oilers G Mike Smith has a new mask which is just awesome. Simple and effective. Not too much detailed artwork which takes away from a good goalie mask for me.



    The XFL jerseys for Tampa Bay look like an alternative for FAMU. Colors and logo are close enough that any typical Floridian will confuse the two at a glance.

    As a FAMU alumni I can say it sure does, especially if the orange was just a little darker. Go Rattlers!

    Every Busch Beer-branded item at Dover (including their concession stand offerings) will say “HARVICK”, not just the car.

    Hi Paul, I’ve been making an effort to always click through from Uni-Watch to read your articles on SI, because 1) they’re interesting and 2) I want to be sure to give you pageviews. I have a small suggestion that would help me in this regard: perhaps you could format the links to your SI articles in a way that makes them stand out form the other links on the page. This could be done with a typeface or an SI logo image or some other way. This way, if I am pressed for time and plan on just skimming the day’s Uni-Watch entry I won’t run the risk of missing one of your SI contributions.

    Thanks, Bort — appreciate your support! I usually make it pretty clear — like, “Here’s my new SI column!” or something along those lines. But I’ll think about your suggsestion. Thanks again!

    Sorry to hear about the SI issues. I just subscribed again after 6 years away. I was a little shocked it’s not weekly anymore, but hope it works out for you man.

    Back when I was a teenager and would blow all the money I earned working on CD’s, I would often buy an album based purely on a blurb I read in a magazine or because listed the band as a similar artist to one I liked already. I remember that I was a fan of the Apples in Stereo, and from that I was recommended the Muffs. I bought “Really Really Happy” because I saw it on the new release rack and remembered the recommendation.

    I’m really, really happy that I did, because that album brought me a whole lot of joy, and so did my subsequent trip through the Muffs’ discography. Thanks for the memories, Kim.

    Random question for anyone —

    Is there any good reason defensive players in football have number restrictions?

    On offense, I can see it from the point of view of eligible vs ineligible receivers (which still doesn’t address why the NFL doesn’t allow QBs to wear numbers in the 20s, 30s,40s, or 80s, or WRs for that matter for the lower numbers) , but I see no reason why defense should have any restrictions whatsoever.

    Is there one?

    probably is mainly just a carryover from the days of two-way players. since they haven’t had a compelling need to change it, they haven’t changed it.

    I think I’ll make fun of a league consisting of professional athletes before it even begins….. to go do more adult things like make grocery store vending machine football helmets…..

    It’s always so interesting to see how some people seem offended, or even threatened, when someone suggests that a new football league might, you know, end up on the scrapheap like all the other also-ran football leagues.

    Anyway: Never claimed to be doing “more adult” things, Pete, nor did I “make fun” of the XFL. Just skeptical about its long-term prospects.

    If you choose to believe in the Tooth Fairy, more power to you. Having lived long enough to witness the WFL, USFL, XFL 1.0, UFL, AAF, etc., I’ll believe it when I see it. Let’s touch base in two years and see who was right!

    I recall watching a Canucks game on TV and Richard Brodeur had the skate crest repositioned on this jersey pointing up like the link above. It was during a rough point for the Canucks, so I think he was trying to inject some positivity into the team. There’s a chance I am completely wrong in my recollection of this, and i always keep an eye out for pictures from that era to confirm my memory. I also recall it went back to normal pretty soon after. Trying to narrow it down to one of the Canucks’ rough patches doesn’t do much to reduce the possible time period.

    Hey Wafflebored,

    I would love to see a photo of that with the jersey if it can be found.

    Speaking of odd uni happenings with Richard Brodeur, I was always curious about the photos I have seen with him wearing the old-style goalie mask with the Canucks. Based on the sleeve number postioning, it would have been between 1982-85, after the time when he was wearing the helmet and cage. Must have only been for a game or 2?


    Yes, this is a popular topic of discussion in the vintage mask community. It’s his old Nordiques mask he repainted and wore. I have an old newspaper article about how he constantly tried new gear and modified stuff. This mask would be an example of this.

    I too was caught off guard by Kim Shattucks passsing. I hope you’ve had a change to purchase her latest band The Coolies record. It’s really good, and all proceeds go to ALS research. Which makes much more sense to me now.

    Hey man, go easy on the XFL. Without the NFL or major college team in the area, it’s all the football St. Louis has.

    I was managing an alternative movie theater in Calgary in 1994. We could put any music we wanted on the PA and I used to play The Muffs first album quite a bit. It was very divisive. Either it was hated or requested. I’ll miss the that voice.

    Am I the only person excited for the XFL? Yeah, probably. I just hope they actually have home and away uniforms, unlike the AAF.

    Brooks Brothers does not outfit the HOTC. They are the direct clothing sponsor of the Regatta and do have a large merchandising tent with many sponsorship graphics throughout the event. But no teams racing are “outfitted” by Brooks Brothers, and thus receive no gear from them.

    I’m heartbroken about Kim. I’ve been listening since she was in the Pandora’s, saw the Muffs live a bunch of times and love the Coolies album. Her high energy enthusiasm was infectious (except to the Pixies who according to Kim, fired her for jumping into the crowd at a show…apparently, a Pixie does not do that). RIP, you will be missed.

    Just saw the SI news. Even though it sounds like you were somewhat prepared for this possibility, it still stinks. It would be nice if employers showed half the class and professionalism you demonstrate on a daily basis. Hope you land on your feet soon!

    If the Tampa XFL jersey is any indication, expect an entire league of stupid whacky fonts and plenty of unnecessary panels and piping.
    What’s even sadder is that this Tampa Bay jersey is still better than the TB Buc!

    So sorry about the SI news, Paul – but I’ll be sure to be around where ever you write.

    Take care,

    Awh crap, I just saw the news. What they are doing is just insane—sounds like they’re turning so into Bleacher Report. Way to kill an institution, TheMaven. At least you’ll be remembered for something.

    Paul, know this sucks—hang tough—there’s more fish in the sea.

    Hey Paul,
    i am sorry to hear the news, we value your work!
    i noticed amazon pay got nixed, any chance we can go through patreon?
    kind regards
    International Communituy

Comments are closed.