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Monday Morning Uni Watch

For all photos in this section, click to enlarge

Good morning! Rare sight yesterday in Denver, as the Browns and Broncos went color vs. color. I asked a Browns spokesman about this and was told, “All-brown is our primary this year, as you are aware. With Denver wearing orange tops, NFL approved our request prior to the season to wear primary uniform on the road.”

On the one hand, it was a brutal-looking game, with two of the league’s worst uniform designs somehow adding up to even less than the sum of their parts. But on the other hand, I’m generally in favor of color/color games, so if this game ends up helping to nudge the league in that direction, it will have been worth it.

In that same game, Browns wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry were told to change their footwear at halftime (additional info here):

In yet another tidbit from that game, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield apparently shaved off his beard after arriving at the stadium for yesterday’s game and left himself with a mustache:

And in still another item from that game, Browns defensive back Denzel Ward had a noteworthy mouthguard:

I think it’s great that the Browns, who are now 2-6, have time to focus on important stuff like shoes, mouthguards, and facial hair, don’t you?

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• Interesting retro move by the Chiefs, who wore grey facemasks instead of their usual white:

They did this because they were playing the Vikings, who were their opponents in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings no longer have throwbacks in their wardrobe, but they still could have played along by adding their own grey masks and wearing white pants instead of purple. Did they do that? Nope. This marks the third consecutive week that the NFL has missed an opportunity to have teams simulate the uniform matchup from an early Super Bowl, which seems really odd for a league supposedly celebrating its centennial.

• Speaking of missed opportunities, the Packers/Chargers game should have been visual feast — and it would have been, if the Chargers hadn’t worn their mono-navy alternates. They changed to navy facemasks, too:

Pfeh. Imagine if the Chargers had worn their powder blue primaries — that would’ve been sweet. (We can get a vague sense of how that would look from this 1970 game.)

• And speaking of the Chargers, yesterday was their Salute to Service game, so 25 of their players wore black helmet decals with white initials for fallen soldiers (similar to what the Lions did last week for cancer patients):

Additional info on the fallen soldiers, and the players who wore their initials, is available here.

• The Bills wore their white throwbacks (the nose bumpers are a nice touch, even though blank bumpers would’ve been more era-appropriate):

The throwbacks made a certain uni number even more resonant:

• Always disappointing when the Eagles choose to go mono-black, as they did yesterday:

• The Panthers went mono-black as well, and also added “51” helmet decals for the annual Sam Mills “Keep Pounding” game:

• The Jags were yet another team going mono-black:

• The Ravens wore their black alternate jerseys:

• Yesterday marked the start of G.I. Joevember, so there were lots of military-themed waistband towels, helmet decals, coaches’ costumes, and so on.

• Two teams wore white at home: the aforementioned Bills and the Dolphins.

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• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Free throw circle update: Following up further on last Thursday’s post about the number of dashes in NBA free throw circles, reader Josh Levy noticed that the Pacers’ court currently has seven dashes — a number we haven’t seen before. Moreover, it’s a change from one of their earlier court designs, when they had six dashes:

I’m not sure what year that photo is from. Anyone..?

If you look again at those two Pacers photos, you can see another design distinction besides the number of dashes. In the second photo, the top part of the circle extends a bit into the lane. That’s standard for most NBA free throw circles. Here are a few examples:

But on the Pacers’ new court — the one with the seven dashes — the top semicircle does not extend into the lane. Let’s take another look:

That’s probably why they were able (or needed) to include a seventh dash, because they had some extra space to fill in the lower semicircle.

And wait, it gets better! When the Pacers changed to their current identity design in 2017, the mock-up they released for their new court design had eight dashes:

And there’s more! On NBA 2K Whatever video games, the Pacers’ court has five dashes:

As far as I can tell, the eight- and five-dash designs have never been used in real life. I mention them here only as a way of demonstrating that we should never trust team mock-ups or video games when assessing this design element. We should only trust game photos. For example, we have this shot of the Lakers’ court with five dashes (and the top circle extending much farther into the lane!), but it’s not a legit photo — it’s from a video game. The Lakers’ real court has six dashes, not five.

So, to recap, we have now seen the following number of dashes on NBA free throw lower semicircles: six, seven, 10, and 15. How many other numbers will we find?

I cannot adequately express how much I love this topic. Super-niche, super-obsessive, endlessly surprising — it’s peak Uni Watch!

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• • • • •

R.I.P., Deadspin: By midday Friday, Deadspin’s entire staff had resigned, the culmination of a weeklong tussle in which the site’s ownership had told the staff to “stick to sports,” which was the latest in a series of contentious edicts that had been handed down (and would also, according to multiple outside analyses, have been bad for business). After acting editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky was fired for disobeying that edict, the rest of the staff quit in solidarity. The owners will presumably hire a bunch of scabs to keep the site going, but it obviously won’t be the same. It’ll be Stepford Deadspin, zombie Deadspin, Deadspin in name only. Deadspin as we knew it is dead.

I won’t spend too much time explaining why Deadspin was special, since many other writers have already done a good job of that in recent days. In fact, two of the best Deadspin tributes came in the Uni Watch comments section on Friday. Reader Mike Styczen posted this:

I enjoyed Deadspin primarily because of its “sports without access” approach. The other outlets write about sports while also being “partners” of the teams and networks. Many of them act as de facto league media outlets — MMQB (or whatever it’s called now) is basically a collection of league press releases and fawning coverage. I don’t know if Deadspin broke many stories [they did, actaully — PL], but they were often the only ones presenting a “league is full of shit” or “team is full of shit” angle when it was warranted.

And reader Tim Bangert had this:

Deadspin was the pin into the puffed-up balloon of the monetized sports world. The best stunt ever was crowdsourcing the Hall of Fame ballot for one of the BBWAA writers. The votes pretty much were in line with the writers’ votes anyway. It cost Dan LeBatard his yearly vote, but it took a lot of the puffery, self-importance, and pious nature out of the process.

I’ll just add that sometimes we’re lucky enough to have a media outlet that feels like a hive mind of prodigious intellect, a critical mass of articulated intelligence. Deadspin always felt like that to me. Its various writers didn’t all speak with the same voice, but they shared a similar sensibility — a sensibility devoted to pulling back the curtain and exposing the sports world’s considerable bullshit for what it is. That’s not to say they were always critical — when there was something worth celebrating, they celebrated it. But they didn’t take celebration as a default mode, like so much of sports media does. Their perspective will be missed.

So what the takeaways are from this development (aside from, you know, “Deadspin was great”)? Here are a few:

1. This is (still) a really shitty time to be a journalist. Looking back, Deadspin’s demise really began in 2016, when its original owner, Gawker Media, went bankrupt in the wake of a defamation lawsuit. Deadspin and the other Gawker-owned sites were then purchased by Univision, which in turn sold them to a private equity firm earlier this year. When you have that kind of chaos and turnover at the top, it’s bound to filter down to the newsroom.

If that story sounds familiar, it may be because it’s very similar to what happened at Sports Illustrated, which in 2017 was sold by Time Inc. to Meredith and then sold again this year to the private equity-backed American Brands Group, which in turn licensed the publishing operation to the private equity startup TheMaven, which in turn sacked me and dozens of my colleagues a month ago.

This is all part of a steady drip-drip-drip that has decimated the journalism industry in the internet era. According to a Pew Research Center study, American newsroom employment dropped 25% from 2008 through last year, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that “jobs for reporters and correspondents will decline by 12% from 2018-2028, while in the same time period, jobs for editors will decrease by 3% and jobs for photographers will decrease by 6%.”

And these job losses aren’t just a matter of greater efficiencies. Entire newspapers, magazines, and websites have shut down. (In fact, Deadspin’s owners shuttered one of Deadspin’s sister websites, Splinter News, just a few weeks ago.)

Obviously, every industry goes through changes, those changes can include contraction and consolidation, and journalists don’t “deserve” their jobs any more than coal miners, tobacco farmers, or film developers do (to cite three other troubled industries with lots of job losses). But a vibrant journalism sector is essential to a functioning democracy, because it helps hold powerful people accountable, so the steady decline in journalism is something that should trouble all of us.

As I’ve mentioned before, but it’s worth repeating, the big problem here is that the old media business model, based on selling the product to the customer and subsidizing it with ad sales, no longer works. Part of that is because some idiots in the 1990s decided to give away their product for free on the internet, and part of it is that most internet advertisers now devote outsized portions of their ad budgets to Google and Facebook (i.e., even if there are lots of ads on a given website, including Uni Watch, those ads usually aren’t paying much). We clearly need to stop the bleeding and come up with a new business model for media — not just for the sake of journalists’ employment prospects, but also for the sake of maintaining a free and open society, something that’s impossible without a healthy free press.

(You may be thinking, “The Deadspin staffers weren’t fired or laid off; they chose to quit. If they’d just done what their bosses told them to do — like I have to do at my job, whether I like it or not — they’d still have jobs today. That’s their problem, not anyone else’s.” Maybe. But ownership had made it clear for months that they wanted to change Deadspin into a very different kind of enterprise than it had long been. They may not have literally forced the staff out the door, but their actions essentially had that effect.)

2. These private equity douchebros are the worst. The common thread in a lot of these recent media crises is the presence of vulture-style private equity ownership that clearly has no interest in journalism and is only motivated to pick the bones clean until they’ve extracted every last bit of value from a media corpse. I mean, have you seen what the plans are for SI? It’s nauseating.

Given the business model issues I already outlined, even the most benevolent owners would face a steep challenge in today’s media landscape. But these private equity pricks bring an extra measure of arrogance and cynicism that makes the whole enterprise reek. As Deadspin’s last full-time editor-in-chief, Megan Greenwell, wrote after resigning in August:

A metastasizing swath of media is controlled by private-equity vultures and capricious billionaires and other people who genuinely believe that they are rich because they are smart and that they are smart because they are rich, and that anyone less rich is by definition less smart. They know what they know, and they don’t need to know anything else.

That whole piece is worth reading, incidentally. It goes a long way toward explaining how what happened to Deadspin last week involved much more than the “Stick to sports” edict.

3. I’m incredibly fortunate. On the one hand, I’ve had a rough year, being laid off by ESPN and SI in a seven-month span. That sucks. On the other hand, I’m used to freelancing, and I have something most unemployed and/or freelance journalists don’t: a blog with a strong following.

This site is, frankly, a shitload of work, and more of that work than you probably realize extends after midnight, or starts before 7am, or takes place on weekends (including these words I’m writing right now). But it’s worth it, because Uni Watch is a special project — not just to me, but to so many of you, as lots of you have made clear in various ways over the years. It’s quite a comm-uni-ty we’ve built here over the years.

That has turned the site into a life raft. It keeps me (too) busy, gives me a creative outlet, gives me an emotional lift, and provides me with a base income (which many of you have generously augmented by purchasing products or memberships, or through donations). No private equity douchebros to answer to, either. With so many of my fellow journalists facing bleak prospects, not a day goes by without my realizing how lucky I am to have this life raft. Thanks, people — even during grim times, you folks are the silver lining.

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• • • • •

ITEM! New Uni Watch product in the works: Ever since New Era annoyingly added its logo to MLB caps in the fall of 2016, a small but devoted cadre of cap aficionados has been using seam rippers to remove the logo — a move I heartily approve of. Some people have also used seam rippers to remove NBA jersey ads and for DIY jersey projects, and some folks are already talking about using seam rippers to remove the Nike chest mark that’s now being added to MLB jerseys. (If you don’t care about maker’s marks on uniforms, that’s fine. You might want to skip down to the next section of today’s entry.)

Some of these folks have said to me, “You should offer Uni Watch seam rippers!” I liked that idea, so for the past year or so I’ve been trying to find a source for customized seam rippers. In addition to having the Uni Watch script printed on the handle, I was thinking maybe I’d get the little red safety ball changed to a different color, like green.

Unfortunately, after looking far and wide, I’ve concluded that there is no way to get customized seam rippers — they just don’t seem to exist. So my next thought was that I’d get a bunch of plain rippers and some dry-transfer decals (the kind that you rub onto a surface, creating a fairly permanent image on the object you’re applying them to). But it it turns out that you can’t do dry-transfer graphics as small as the ones I’d need for the seam rippers, plus applying the graphics to the curved handle surface would have been challenging.

So I’ve gone with a simpler approach: I got myself a bunch of clear vinyl decals with the Uni Watch script — voilà (click to enlarge):

Not bad, right? They’re not yet available for sale, because I’m waiting on a bunch of seam rippers to be delivered from overseas (it turns out that getting round-handled rippers in any color other than red is surprisingly difficult here in the States), but they should be ready to go in a week or so.

I teased these on social media over the weekend, which makes it easy to shift into FAQ mode:

So these are just regular seam rippers with a sticker slapped on each one?

Yes. I would have preferred something more prefab, but it doesn’t seem to be possible, so the decal route is the best workaround I could come up with.

Are green and red the only colors that will be available?

I will also have blue (but not purple, so please don’t ask). And if enough people request it, I’ll make green decals to apply to yellow seam rippers.

How much will they cost?

Probably around $5.99, give or take, plus shipping.

I already have a green (or red, or blue) seam ripper. Can I just buy a decal from you and apply it myself?

Yes, I will make the stickers available for $2ish.

Can you apply the script in the other direction?

Yes. If you look at the photo, the script runs from the end of the seam ripper handle toward the blade. I instinctively oriented it that way, I guess because I’m left-handed. But that would make the script appear upside-down for a right-handed user. So if you want it the other way — running from the blade toward the end of the handle — I’m happy to do it that way for you, like this:

This is stupid. I can go to my local fabric store and get a plain seam ripper for like three bucks!

You sure can — and I encourage you to do so! But for some people who care strongly about a certain issue, using a branded item can make a project or activity feel more personally satisfying. For example, you might want to sign your gun license application with an NRA pen. Or if you’re a vegan, you might want to use a PETA apron in the kitchen. Similarly, someone making a DIY jersey or removing the New Era logo from a cap might get a little extra satisfaction from doing it with with a Uni Watch seam ripper. And I get a lot of conceptual satisfaction myself from offering such an item.

I think it’s fine that New Era puts its logo on caps and don’t see why you get so bent out of shape about it.

Like I already said, I realize some people don’t care about this issue, so you might want to skip ahead to the next section of today’s entry. I’m not trying to convert anyone into suddenly caring about this issue; I’m creating this product for people who already care about it.

You’re such a hypocrite! You’re against logos on products but you’re putting your logo on a seam ripper!

Actually, I’ve never said I’m opposed to logos on products. I just think the only logo that belongs on a team uniform element is the team’s logo, because that’s the only brand the uniform should stand for. If a Uni Watch seam ripper can encourage people to improve the integrity of their uniforms by removing extraneous logos, I’m proud to be a part of that. It’s very much in keeping with what Uni Watch has always stood for.

Think of it this way: Sports teams put their logos on all sorts of things — Dodgers key rings, Steelers shower curtains, etc., none of which I have any problem with. The people buying those items have no idea who made the key ring or the shower curtain, and they don’t care. The Uni Watch seam ripper is in a similar category, but it’s even better, because key rings and shower curtains have nothing to do with sports, while seam rippers can be used for Uni Watch-related projects.

You’re such a hypocrite! The Uni Watch script is distracting from the maker’s mark on the seam ripper, just like you say the New Era mark distracts from the team logo.

Actually, these seam rippers don’t have any maker’s mark, and neither do any other seam rippers I’ve ever seen. They’re simple, utilitarian items, like a safety pin or nail clippers, most of which are also unbranded. I’m just adding the Uni Watch logo to them to turn them into a Uni Watch fan item.

You’re such a hypocrite! You’re opposed to capitalism, except when it suits you, like when you want to sell seam rippers.

Actually, I’ve never said I’m opposed to capitalism. Frankly, as a career freelancer, my life and work involve more entrepreneurial capitalist enterprise than most people’s (which I say not as a boast but as a simple statement of objective fact). But as I’ve explained many times, I view capitalism as a tool, not as a religion, and I think we should be on guard against its excesses. You probably think the same thing — for example, you probably approve of laws that ban child labor, restrict monopolies, and require truth in product labeling, all of which serve to constrain capitalist excess. Does this mean you’re “opposed to capitalism”? Of course not. Now, you and I may have some differences regarding how much and in what areas capitalism should be reined in, but that’s just a difference in degree, not in kind. All of which is a lengthy way of saying there’s nothing inconsistent about what I’m doing here.

Also, as capitalist enterprises go, selling seam rippers for $6ish to a handful of obsessed DIYers is not exactly a huge profit-making project. I’m doing it for the same reason I do most of our merch projects: because it’s creatively satisfying and fun. I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say it’s an art project, but it’s probably closer to that than to a business project.


I think that’s it. I hope to have these available in another week or so — stay tuned.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! Another Vintage Brand raffle: The folks at our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand are generously running another raffle. The lucky winner will get to choose any product from the VB website (like the 1950 Minnesota season ticket canvas shown above).

To enter this raffle, send an email to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern this Wednesday, Nov. 6. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The NHL’s Washington Capitals celebrated the Nationals’ World Series win by hosting a bunch of Nats players yesterday. Most of the Nats players wore white Capitals jerseys, but 1B Ryan Zimmerman wore red and owner Ted Lerner wore a red Caps-like jersey with a Nats logo on the front (from John Muir). … D.C.-area residents will also be able to get Nats-themed Metro cards soon (from William F. Yurasko).

Football News: The Museum of Jerseys blog, which usually focuses on soccer, rugby union, and Gaelic games, points out that the Browns wore 15 of their 18 possible combos, not including the Color Rash alternates, from 2015-18, and all three missing combos included orange jerseys. … The school of the day from Blaise D’Sylva’s helmet collection was Columbia. … You can see Wade Heidt‘s uni-tracking of the Canadian college football conference playoffs in yesterday’s comments. … Wade also tells us that the CFL’s BC Lions wore their black road pants at home, while some Saskatchewan Roughriders players have some odd sock habits: LB Cameron Judge was wearing white team-logo socks, while DB Nick Marshall was wearing baggy green socks pulled over the bottom of his cleats so as to cover the heel. … Two of the oldest high school rivals in the country, Ohio’s Canton McKinley and Massillon, met this weekend. McKinley wore red-black-black alternates. “First time I can recall them wearing a red helmet and first time without a bulldog on the helmet,” says Tom Pachuta.

Hockey News: Cross-listed from the baseball section: The Washington Nationals’ World Series win was celebrated at the Capitals game yesterday. Most of the Nats players on hand for the occasion wore white jerseys, but 1B Ryan Zimmerman wore red and owner Ted Lerner wore a red Caps-like jersey with a Nats logo on the front (from John Muir). … DIYer Wafflebored just finished a mashup of the Canucks’ flying V with the WHA Vancouver Blazers’ color scheme. … The junior United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers and Omaha Lancers both wore military-themed alternates — not against each other — on Saturday. The Gamblers appeared to have some NOB theme going on, but I can’t tell what (from Chris Treft).

Soccer News: Poppy watch: while many teams in England wore Remembrance Sunday poppies this weekend, as we’ve mentioned in the Ticker, I only saw two do so in Scotland: Hamilton Academical and Queen of the South (blue), the latter through armbands. … Additionally, a few women’s teams in England wore poppies for the first time that I can remember, because the 11th usually falls during a women’s international break. … Also in Scotland, Celtic (gold) and Hibernian (purple) both changed against one another, which seems to be their habit when playing at neutral sites. … German team Fortuna Düsseldorf released a fourth shirt to be worn Nov. 23 incorporating the logo of the local band Die Toten Hosen, well-known fans of the club who even were the shirt advertiser during a period of financial trouble for F95 in the early 2000s (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: the finalists of the South American club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana, are both receiving patches for participating in the final. You can see more on Josh‘s Twitter feed. … Kevin Brewer tells us that the seats at Estádio Kléber Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil, one of the venues of the ongoing U-17 World Cup, look like a Piet Mondrian painting.

Grab Bag: Yesterday’s New York City Marathon published an identification guide for 12 top male and female runners (from Chris Lotsbom). … Tiffany has a new pop-up shop in L.A. that includes a display of classic sports trophies, including the Lombardi and O’Brien Trophies (from James Gilbert). … The Justice Department and the SEC are investigating Under Armour for possible shady accounting practices.

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I neglected to mention last week that I recently got my annual flu shot. I do it every year — in part just because it’s a smart thing to do, and in part because I’m asthmatic, so the flu could literally kill me (which is why I’d appreciate it if you got a flu shot as well, to help lower the risk for me and other people with chronic respiratory disorders).

In addition, at a time when a disturbing number of our fellow citizens are rejecting science and embracing fantasies and conspiracy theories, getting a flu vaccination is a good way to reaffirm reality-based public health initiatives. It’s also a good way of reaffirming that we’re all in this together, regardless of any other differences we may have, so I hope you’ll join me in getting this year’s vaccine. Thanks. — Paul

Comments (93)

    Re: Titans Navy/White/Powder Blue uniform combination.

    It just looks unbalanced to me. Their Navy/White/Navy is by far their best combo imo, but the powder blue pants just look out of place to me with the predominance of the darker shades of navy and gray in their helmet and jersey. Does anyone else feel this way, or am I on an island?

    I don’t mind that unbalanced look as long as teams only have one set of pants like the Steelers, USC, ETC. But if you’re gonna have to too many pairs of pants, you might as well match them right?

    Got my flu shot yesterday. Also got the first of two shingles vaccine, with the second coming in two months. I’ve known a few people who got shingles, and it’s awful.

    Shingles varies, actually. For a few people, it’s pretty horrific (and has long-lasting after-effects). For most, not so much. When I got it 3 years ago, I went online and read all the horror stories, but in my case I just had a mildly uncomfortable and ugly rash on one side of my waist for 3 weeks.

    Still, probably best to avoid it by getting the vaccine. And to stay off websites populated mostly by people who had the worst outcomes.

    @RICKAZ, I have gout (no flareups in almost 2 years thank god!) but I have heard shingles pain is on par or worse than gout. Ouch.

    I think your stitch ripper project is a cool idea. I have removed advertising off of things in the past. I will usually ignore a maker’s mark if it is done is the same color as the team (ie red on red or blue on blue), but if it is a different color (ie white on blue) then I will remove the stitching.

    As I was reading your stitch ripping section, I was thinking, “Why don’t you have a ‘uni’ repair / ‘uni’ maintenance kit to sell?” This way you can put the Uni Watch script on the box and not have to worry about labeling the individual pieces. It could have some small scissors to trim stray threads, the stitch ripper, random buttons, etc.

    Who knows. I don’t know what the market would be.

    I like the idea of a kit. Would be fun to think about what should go in it.
    I have also removed advertising off of certain items. At concerts, games, and other events you can often find someone giving away sunglasses or other items with their logo on the item. I don’t really want Captain Morgan sunglasses. I don’t even really want the cheap sunglasses they give away. But my kids break or lose things so they work well for them. But not with “Captain Morgan” plastered on the arms. A little nail-polish remover and I have a blank pair of red sunglasses for them.

    I think that the idea of a kit is SO on-brand for Paul and Uni Watch. I can see the packaging in my mind: it ends up looking a lot like one of those sample catalogs that Paul collects. I’m not sure I would buy it, but as a project, I think it really really fits with the general vibe of this place, honestly.

    Future NFL teams…when trying to cultivate a culture for your organization, study the 2019 Browns and do the opposite. Listen to Dwight Schrute.

    Got my flu shot a couple months ago. My wife is very insistent about that. Also, thanks to you, Paul, I’m well on the way to developing the Dutch reach habit!

    Really sad what’s going on in journalism. I was reading an SI article a few hours ago about the Mets’ offseason decisions, and it stated that they have to decide what to do about Todd Frazier, because he had an off-year…but, then again, the article said, he was still their everyday first baseman. He played a grand total of 15 innings at first base this year, but it’s when I realized that I was reading an article about the Mets by a writer who doesn’t know about Pete Alonso that I realized how spectacularly I was eating my time. So sad to see it carrying a name as iconic as “Sports Illustrated “.

    I think we all understand that until about the ’70s, grey was the only color face mask you could get. So it was a 1960s uniform style by necessity, not choice. If you are still using grey and that is not one of your team colors, you are seriously asleep at the uniform awareness switch. Teams guilty of this are Arizona, San Francisco, and Indianapolis. Dallas, New York Giants, Oakland and Tennessee can argue they have grey as a team color.

    By the way, kudos to the Chiefs for trying to recognize the Super Bowl IV rematch. Chiefs uniforms are still pretty much the same except the gray facemask. Vikings should have put together a 1969-70 throwback for the game. It is NFL 100 anniv. and 50 year anniversary of SB IV. Momentous occasion.

    It is also an indictment of the Chiefs last 50 years, however. After being the dominant AFL team of the ’60s, SB IV represents the pinnacle of Chiefs history. Virtually every other NFL franchise except maybe Houston, Detroit or Jacksonville has had better achievement than the Chiefs.

    Here’s the thing I struggle with regarding the New Era logo. I have a ten year old son who plays a ton of baseball and is a huge MLB fan. Anyone who says that little kids don’t like baseball anymore does not live in my house. He and his friends are all about MLB hats. Even though they are all middle class NJ kids who mostly root for the Yankees or Mets, they actively talk about which other teams’ hats they want. The Brewers ball in glove logo hat gets the most love. Just the other day, I overheard a debate on the driveway while they were playing hoops about which is the better one to want (the traditional royal blue one or the newer navy blue one). Anyway, they talk about the New Era logo as some sort of stamp of approval. I know its essentially little kids caught in the middle of commerce and baseball merchandising, but it really does matter to them. If you have a hat that doesn’t have the New Era logo on it, it’s fine. But, it’s missing that stamp of approval that has been cemented in their brains by all those close up shots that they see when they watch games. Not that they think the hat looks better with the logo, but it’s that they want to wear what the players are wearing and the players’ hats have the New Era logo. If I attempted to take that logo off his Yankee hat, I’d be in a serious daddy doghouse. I’m torn.

    I don’t see why your son can’t wear his hat the way he wants while you were yours the way you want.

    If he objects, you can explain that you spent your whole life, until three years ago, seeing MLB caps without the logo and that *you* think the hat looks more “official” that way, even if *he* thinks the hat looks more official with the logo. Agree to disagree — what’s so bad about that?

    My son (14) doesn’t like the New Era logo, he thinks the cap should be all about the team and not the maker.

    But on the other hand he insists on a flat brim and sometimes leaves the stickers on for a couple of days.

    He think’s my relaxed fit cotton caps with a curved brim are an abomination.

    Kids these days.

    Since NFL teams are switching mask colours for games during the season, maybe the New York Jets should switch to a white mask and just keep it that way.

    Just saw the Astros World Series Champions t-shirt comment from Sunday morning & the mentioning of donating them to ‘third world’ countries. So I work in licensed collegiate apparel that does a lot of contingency designs & prints for NCAA championship events. Some time ago, my boss mentioned that it’s been years since ‘incorrect’ champions merch were donated to ‘third world’ countries but are instead shredded & recycled. I don’t have any proof or sources to back him up but I absolutely stand by what he said. Think about it this way, when was the last time you’ve actually seen an ‘incorrect’ champions shirt worn by some poor child in some African country? I’m thinking early 2000s. I’m happy to be proven wrong with more recent pictures but I’m sure it’s still been a while. Also, how easy would it be for someone in that ‘third world’ country to grab a whole box of incorrect merch & sell it back to fans in the U.S. for inflated prices?

    I saw a documentary about the inherent problem in donating phantom championship gear to these countries, as the influx of cheap clothing results in decreased revenues for local textile businesses, often shuttering them. In the end this act of charity does more harm than good.

    No idea with that, but I live in Indianapolis and go to the Big 10 Championship game about every other year. I bought Michigan basketball “championship” shirts for like $5 a couple years ago. This was from a clearance rack inside the convention center at the official merchandise store. Surprising, but a good joke gift for my Michigan fan little brother.

    Good post today – about the flu shot, about the demise of Deadspin (and what used to be Gawker Media, and about the way media works in 2019), about New Era and branding. So much awful stuff going on. Stay strong.

    Sad to see Deadspin go as well. While I often found their tone to be a bit too pejorative, and often a little smug and self righteous, when it came to sports journalism they really seemed to be the best quality site that didn’t have to cater to the leagues whims because they were concerned about broadcast contracts. At this point the 1,000 lb gorilla ESPN seems nothing more than a marketing arm for the sports they broadcast. A loud voice that called the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA out on their B.S. is now gone.
    I was thinking the other day about how for all its benefits, the “convenience” factor of the internet has had such a strong role in destroying so many bedrocks of our society. Be it quality objective journalism, local physical commerce, or even social interactions, relationships, and civil discourse. And that says nothing about the loss of privacy. Really sobering.

    I agree completely.

    Their slogan used to be “sports news without access, favour or discretion.” They were able to provide a different take because they weren’t reporting on their own broadcast “partners”.

    Most of the rest of the sports media is “insider” takes retyping league press releases (MMQB, or whatever its called now) and its not journalism.

    Ryan Zimmerman was presented a red Caps jersey by the hockey team in the locker room after he read the starting lineup; it was signed and had “WS Champs” on the back, #19. The owner at the game was Ted’s son, Mark.

    The basketball court dash thing is awesome, one of my favorite things here in a long time, but it’s also driving me nuts. What is a dash? A segment of a line that’s broken by empty space? If so, then we’re undercounting literally every example you’ve shown by two, since the “five dash” circles all have seven segments broken by six empty spaces. All of the half-circles start with segments that are broken. On a few courts, the initial segments are so short that they blend into the lane line and almost disappear, which confuses the dash-counting further.

    I’d prefer to count the breaks, not the line segments formed by the breaks, since there’s no conceptual or visual ambiguity about what they are and whether they’re present. So “five dash” line, which actually has seven dashes, is a six-break line. An “eight dash” line, which actually has ten dashes, is a nine-break line. And so on.

    I don’t know how many people have seam ripping experience, but whenever I remove stitching of logos (couple of jackets, windpants, etc) i always go from the backside. Not sure if that is common practice or knowledge, but I learned the hard way, sometimes you can snag the front of the fabric.

    That’s been my experience with seam-ripping in general: I always get snags on the underlying fabric. Which is why I’ve avoided de-flagging my recent New Era caps. I’d be grateful if anyone could share a how-to with photos.

    Couple of things I noticed in looking through the photos from yesterday games. Not every team went with the Salute to Service decals on helmets and other accessories. The Panthers for example still had the Crucial Catch stickers and Captain patches to match. Some teams went without either promotion.

    The Pacers picture in question I’m not sure about the year exactly but it is prior 2014 because they are playing the then Bobcats as that is Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker, Josh McRoberts, and Jeffrey Taylor in the navy unis. For the Pacers you have Roy Hibbert, David West and unknown because his uni number is being covered by McRoberts hand. Maybe George Hill?

    Anyone else notice the yellow around some Washington helmets ear holes vs Buffalo? Peterson had one.

    A few thoughts on the NFL’s 100th year/season celebration.


    Unless you pay close attention you would barely know it’s going on.

    For the NFL’s 50th anniversary in 1969, every team wore a shoulder patch and that seemed to be the extent of things, at least on the field. I’m sure sportswriters and some of the sports magazines came up with lists of alltime/50th anniversary team and whatnot, but the biggest visual “HEY WE’RE 50!!!” was the patch. link

    When the 75th anniversary/year rolled around in 1994 the league had a much bigger and more focused marketing division and they came up with the idea to allow teams to chose uniforms from previous years in the league ie; throwbacks and thus we got this:

    Some of the throwbacks like the Cardinals and Eagles SUCKED.

    Some of the throwbacks like the Chargers, Broncos, Saints and Giants were AWESOME.

    Some of the throwbacks like the Bills and Jets were truly shitty and stupid and dumb combinations of the present day and previous uniforms.

    Some teams like the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Colts and Chiefs didn’t even seem to bother beyond changing their socks, which, COME ON. Granted the Seahawks and Buccaneers had pretty much the same uniforms from their inception in the league up to the 75th anniversary, the biggest change being the Seahawks changing the color of their facemask.

    There were of course the alltime and all decade teams and books and special editions of magazines and an ocean of promotional material.

    Overall it rates as AWESOME, especially considering how conservative the NFL is.

    In 2009, the NFL celebrated the 50th anniversary of the AFL by having the 8 original AFL teams wear throwbacks and they RULED. link

    ZOMG THE BRONCOS HAD VERTICALLY STRIPED SOCKS!!!!!!!! People posting here LITERALLY lost their minds when these unis actually made it to the field.

    But lets be honest the Titans as the Jets were called and the broncos throwbacks were boring and frankly, sucked.

    STILL, overall I rate this as AWESOME.

    And now we are in the midst of the 100th anniversary/year for the NFL and it SUCKS.

    Part of the suckiness is due to the implosion of print media which means you aren’t getting special editions of magazines devoted the 100th anniversary or if there are I haven’t seen them.

    But as for on the field stuff what do we have?

    A uniform logo patch which has been widely derided by Paul and others on this site and the logo is also on the field and on the footballs as well.

    And that’s about it.

    Yes, teams like the Rams and 49ers are wearing throwbacks as well as others but they function more as alternate jerseys than anything else.

    Unlike the 75th anniversary there was no league wide coordination for the wearing of throwbacks celebrating the 100th anniversary, which SUCKS.


    But one really dumb and it turns out bullshit reason for this is that the NFL has mandated that teams may only have one helmet, so if you have a team, like the Patriots whose helmet shells have changed color over they ears you can’t wear throwback uniforms.

    Actually you COULD it would just look dumb, right?

    The NFL has said the one helmet rule is because of ‘safety,’ which, COME ON.

    That’s a bullshit lie.

    If this was REALLY a safety issue then why do college teams like Oregon and Oklahoma State and Maryland use a different helmet for almost every game.

    This seems again to be a case of the owners being cheapskates and wanting to horde as much for themselves as possible.

    This season harkens back to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Super Bowl which the NFL marked by having the shield go from red, white and blue to black and gold and having every Super Bowl MVP be introduced at the Super Bowl, which BORING.

    It SUCKED.

    Just like the 100th anniversary celebration has SUCKED.

    And it could have been AWESOME.

    I would have loved seeing the Redskins in their spear helmet logs unis from the ’60’s and their yellow R helmet from the early 70’s in addition to their current set.

    What a missed opportunity.

    Since you asked, the picture of the old Pacers court seems to be from the 2013/14 season (the only season the Bobcats wore those uniforms and Al Jefferson was on their roster).

    The Deadspin situation (and the Splinter shutdown) is still tough even a few days in. The tools who run it now appear to be running articles with no author names attached and comments disabled. I shouldn’t even click over, it’s just a habit at this point. I know a good number of people hate the Deadspin approach, but for me sports mixed with progressive politics is totally my thing.

    I see people talking about crowdfunding a new venture, but it just seems like talk is all it is. I’m not in the media so I’m clueless but to me it seems like if journalism is going to keep being a thing, we have to reshape the paradigm and somehow shift the model to one of author ownership vs. the current state of these soulless ventures. People often talk about the Athletic, but locally to me in Boston there’s also the boston sports journal, which is founded and owned by Greg Bedard and seems to be well liked as a source premium coverage of Boston teams. Obviously I have no clue on the financial viability but maybe that’s a way forward?

    Regarding the Roughriders and their socks. Back in my college playing days at a D3 school in the early 2000s it was quite common for guys to wear 2 pairs of socks. Higher white underneath and then shorter white on top rolled down over the back of our black cleats mimicking spat. You then taped the end of the sock around the sole. Athletic tape used to be hard to come by for guys who wanted to use it to “look better” so spatting wasn’t an option. I wish I had pictures of this.

    I’ll also add that the 80s/90s of college football with white socks black cleats and white spat is the absolute best look for college. To me it always seemed that college players wore black cleats then once they got to the NFL they “graduated” to wear white (outside of the Bears and Eagles of the early 90s. Wasn’t until the late 90s that you saw more colleges going with white cleats and more NFL teams going black (Eagles, Buccaneers…)

    What was uni notable to me on Cameron Judge’s socks in that pick-6 photo from Saturday was the team logo on the socks. Don’t commonly see that in the league.


    If you hired a staff of writers for this site who constantly wrote about things other than sports aesthetics, wouldn’t be your right as owner to mandate they stick to uni-related subjects? Would you be out-of-line for doing so? Asking the staff of a sports sight to keep their content sports-related hardly seems like a ridiculous request.

    I had a cup of coffee in sports radio many, many years ago. Our show would often drift into non-sports subjects. One day our program director sat us down and gave us a similar directive: keep the show content to sports. His rationale made sense; we were a sports station, people are tuning into hear about sports, and if we aren’t delivering sports those people are more likely to tune out. I may not have liked the directive, but its hard to argue the point. The fact that the Deadspin staff was so defiant over a sports-only mandate for a sports sight says more about the staff than the ownership.

    Classic straw man argument. I never claimed the ownership didn’t have “the right” to issue the edict (and neither has anyone else). But there’s a difference between having the right to do something an doing the right thing.

    Deadspin has always been about a lot more than sports, and that’s part of what readers liked about it (and that’s not a random assertion on my part — it’s borne out by the web traffic analysis I linked to). Does ownership have the right to turn into something else? Sure. But that means it’s not Deadspin anymore.

    David, this argument has a couple of problems.

    1) Deadspin gained its huge following and readership because they didn’t “stick to sports.” Their non-sports stories had huge numbers.

    2) “Sticking to sports” is NOT POSSIBLE in American sports. There are civic displays at every sporting event from high school volleyball up through the Super Bowl. Despite the fact that we take them for granted, the choice to sing The National Anthem and God Bless America, and to put veterans on the Jumbotron, are still political statements. And that says nothing of the fact that so many social issues are playing out in the landscape of sports: domestic violence, the mental health and opoiod addiction crises, wage disparities, free speech, etc…. Sports and society are so tangled, that “sticking to sports” is a completely nonsense request.

    3) The Deadspin writers are a part of a union, and their new bosses have flatly ignored their Union contract in a number of ways, including a collectively bargained commitment to diverse hires, and–tellingly–journalistic independence. The sites owners took down a post written by the editor last week, in violation of their contract. If the bosses aren’t acting in good faith toward their employees, why should the employees believe them when they try and explain that “stick to sports” has a very wide interpretation?

    What’s actually happening here is that the ownership bought a bunch of websites and are systematically castrating (or outright shuttering) the ones they don’t like.

    1) Just because the “non-sports” articles had huge numbers (which seems to be the story thrown out by every Deadspin employee without any actual numbers to back the claim) doesn’t mean that content belongs on a sports site.

    2) Completely agree with you that sports and social issues are often intertwined. If you believe the comments by the Deadspin ownership group, if a story had any connection what-so-ever to sports it was fair game for the site. That would seemingly allow the staff to continue to write about any and all social issues as long as the story has a sports hook to it. Seems like a reasonable request. Maybe that doesn’t leave much room for the “woman takes a dump on Tim Horton’s floor” stories, but hardly sounds like censorship.

    3) If the union had any power they would have had grounds to save their editor’s job, versus all quitting on his behalf.

    I think their ownership group wants to make as much money as possible (as most business owners do). If Deadspin were doing that, or capable of doing that within its current state, the owners probably would have left it alone.

    Just because the “non-sports” articles had huge numbers (which seems to be the story thrown out by every Deadspin employee without any actual numbers to back the claim) doesn’t mean that content belongs on a sports site.

    1) I suggest you read the LA Times article I linked to in today’s entry.

    2) Not sure what you mean by “belongs.” If lots of Deadspin readers were reading those articles, then that would seem to indicate that those articles belonged on Deadspin.

    Deadspin was never a “sports site” per se. It was a culture site that used sports as a baseline topic. Not everyone’s cuppa, clearly, which is fine, but they were very good at what they did.

    1) Surely, the readers should have some say with what belongs on a sports website? Along with, you know, the writers?

    2) “That would seemingly allow the staff to continue to write about any and all social issues as long as the story has a sports hook to it. Seems like a reasonable request.” But who is to decide what has a sports hook and what doesn’t? A lot of people eat chili while watching football, does that mean the chili article is about sports, or not?

    3) The site was already successful! It had huge readership numbers–it has now twice been victim to vindictive, sensitive billionaires who don’t like people who speak truth to power. So they threw their money around and shut it down.

    G/O Media is going to make money for its investors, who will profit by stripping it of its parts and then selling it. In doing so, they are killing independent journalism. Writers on that site have exposed important stories over the last few years.

    Something not being in line with your personal tastes is not a reason for rooting for its demise.

    Unlike other throwbacks that use a blank nose bumper, the Bills changed theirs from their current logo to the throwback logo.
    In OJ’s time, the bumper featured a “Ridell” wordmark link

    Great views on Deadspin, Paul. Too many people are missing the point because they either didn’t like Deadspin and who cares or the ownership was well within its rights to do what it did.

    My thought: I agree with you. I thought Deadspin was well written, funny, snarky and at times, annoying. I didn’t read the stuff I didn’t care to read and loved the stuff I loved. What is insane is ownership thinking they needed to change a model that was clearly working. Deadspin had a niche. It seems as if these owners would rather have 1,000 new site views a month instead of 12,000 dedicated readers a year (generalizing numbers).

    What I also find amazing is their solidarity in leaving. I’m sure most of them will be OK, but that takes courage. We’ve probably all been in situations where we’ve said we’d walk out together if management doesn’t change and no one really has the cajones to do so. Unions strike, but don’t quit en masse. The collective “team” effort, frankly, I find uplifting. I know Deadspin or a site like it will never exist again (just as Gawker was unique), but the dedicate the staff had to the product and to each other is awesome.

    But it was working. You don’t have 400 employees (the whole of GMG media or whatever it was called) if something’s not working. Farmer’s Insurance cancelled a multi-million dollar ad contract last week. You don’t get a multi-million dollar ad contract if your site isn’t working. Ask Paul, I bet he’d love to have that kind of ad revenue.

    The things that killed Deadspin was originally the Terry Bollea lawsuit, that led to a series of transactions that started all of Gawker media’s implosion. The current owners want it to be more like a clickbait site littered with intrusive ads (I never understood what the ad issue was about, but lots of people were angered over it), instead of a part journalistic, part snarky, only partly about sports site. The current owners shuttered Splinter with even less reasoning. They had lots of views, they just wanted more and honestly could care why people were coming, they just wanted them coming. They wanted more people and didn’t care it was at the expense of regular readers.

    It was working great until Hulk Hogan got caught in an extramarital affair, and his grievance suit was bankrolled by a billionaire (Peter Thiel) with an ax to grind against Gawker Media Group. They had revenue approaching $10 million per year. They were successful until a wealthy, thin-skinned techbro decided he wanted to teach them a lesson about speaking truth to power (or at least to insane wealth).

    Exactly right–what many people are missing here is that there is an uber-wealthy class of people who can just spend a fraction of their infinite wealth in order to shutter news outlets they don’t like. That’s a huge problem.

    Of course he had an ax to grind. I don’t think it’s Deadspin’s job to out him as a gay man. I was a big Deadspin fan but not everything they did was so moral.

    This morning’s headlines on Deadspin:

    Browns Even Suck At Cutting A Player Who Threatened To Kill Their Fans

    NFL Quarterback Deshaun Watson Says Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Healed Eye Injury

    Dolphins Dent Pursuit Of Being NFL’s Worst Team, Perhaps Ever

    And for me, a Rugby fan, we get

    “Springboks kill Lions”, with a discussion of the South Africa captain being the first black man to captain the historically apartheid nation.

    None of these stories have bylines, and the comment section on the site has been disabled. Honestly, those headlines look like they were generated by an algorithm trying to create Deadspin headlines.

    Popeye’s Chicken story has “Karu F. Daniels” as byline.

    I never really went to deadspin (unless someone posted a link to something).

    The Popeye’s story is actually a cross post from another G/O site—the ownership have been re-posting old freelance pieces and cross posting all weekend (in addition to the unattributed pieces).

    So because freelancers may be being used, does that in any way change what is being said (especially about South African Rugby)?

    Those of us who follow Rugby and know the history of the Springboks know of how the New Zealand All Blacks even daring to PLAY them in a tour during the height of Apartheid led to various African nations withdrawing from the 1976 Olympics. It was mentioned more than once during the broadcasts that Siya Kolisi, the Springboks Captain, was proud to wear the #6 Shirt (in rugby shirts are assigned by position) as that was the numbered shirt that Mandela wore in 1995 to show support for the then White captain of that team, Francois Pienaar.


    Finally what does a “comment” section have to do with anything? Plenty of sites (to include “news” sites) don’t give an ability to comment…

    Finally what does a “comment” section have to do with anything? Plenty of sites (to include “news” sites) don’t give an ability to comment.

    Tim, if I shut down Uni Watch’s comments section, you’d probably think I was (a) ruining the UW community and (b) shutting myself off from feedback. That’s exactly what Deadspin’s owners are doing. They’re making sure nobody can give feedback on what’s happened to the site. It’s cowardly.

    Regarding the Deadspin segment… I agree with all the assertions you make here and have researched and discussed these very topics in the college classes I teach about media and such… But The biggest nail in the coffin of newspapers over the last decade has been the demise of the classified advertising section. It used to be if a paper could sell a ful page ad for $500, they could get 4-5 times that much for mulitple pages of classifieds at $10-15 a pop. Craigslist is the main culprit here. Do I blame them? Nope, they do what they do and do it well. But that was the biggest diversion in revenue stream that doomed newspapers to the fates of becoming pawns for vulture capitalists.

    The seam ripper looks great and I love your hard-hitting FAQs. I never loved Deadspin but really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I’ve often wondered who was the first media company to post their content for free was. was one of the first websites I ever visited and I remember being stunned even in the early days at what was available.

    Even prior to the internet, SI made the decision to heavily discount the cost of subscriptions in order to boost circulation numbers for more ad dollars.

    Could have come close to a pseudo historic view:

    Broncos: Orange/White
    Browns: All White

    Instead we got what looked like a mix of oranges and chocolate with some blueberry mixed in.

    I was stunned that Cleveland was allowed to wear the all brown monstrosities in Denver. I don’t know who told them to wear these uniforms, they are probably the worst in NFL history. The Browns best uniforms were in the 70s I believe, with the orange helmets and pants with brown home and white road jerseys.

    I disagree with Paul in that Denver has one of the best home uniforms in the NFL. The blue helmet, orange jersey with white pants and blue socks is a great look and the side blue stripes are uniquely Broncos. Their road uni looks terrible though but could instantly be cured with orange pants on the road.

    I’m sorry, Paul, but I have no sympathy for the writers at Deadspin. This was self-inflicted. They could have continued to write about politics as long as there was an intersection of politics of sports, but they just wanted to write about whatever the heck they wanted (which was mostly attacks against conservatives and conservative politics, attacks that often became personal and vicious).

    Let’s also not forget about Deadpsin’s foul-mouthed and vulgar approach to writing, where they basically included gratuitous swear words, which they apparently thought was hip and cool, but which actually gave their site the feel of a high school lockerroom.

    Also, let’s not forget that these were the same people that smeared Steve Blass as a racist, despite any corresponding evidence to back such a claim. This was also the same site that bought a Hall of Fame vote from Dan LeBatard and then decided to give their readers a chance to play a part in the HOF election. Talk about a lack of ethics and a lack of dignity. Good riddance to Deadspin.

    They could have continued to write about politics as long as there was an intersection of politics of sports, but they just wanted to write about whatever the heck they wanted (which was mostly attacks against conservatives and conservative politics, attacks that often became personal and vicious).

    I’m not sure why you think the “stick to sports” thing was strictly about politics. Deadspin also wrote about food/cooking, pop culture, internet culture, and lots of other non-sports stuff — that’s what they were being told to stop writing about. The fact that you’ve singled out the political angle says more about your politics than about Deadspin’s.

    This was also the same site that bought a Hall of Fame vote from Dan LeBatard and then decided to give their readers a chance to play a part in the HOF election.

    Um, yes, that was specifically mentioned in today’s text (you might want to go back and re-read it). Many of us thought that was kind of brilliant. It’s fine if you disagree, of course.

    You’re conveniently leaving out the fact that Deadspin had some of the finest longform reporting of the last 10 years, including breaking the stories on Brett Favre’s sexual misconduct, the Manti Te’o catfishing scandal, Gamergate, and the underhanded practices of the Sinclair media group.

    They may not have been your style–and that’s fine–but they exposed a lot of what’s wrong in big time college and professional sports, and media.

    A little hard to tell but it appears from this video that the Capitals’ throwback third uni’s will have a 3D helmet decal: link

    i read deadspin in fits and starts until about 2009 when i got incurably sick of its pervasive political content. i read edsbs off and on until early last year, breaking from it for same reason before its demise. i’ve come damn close on many occasions to ditching this site too. life is short and the political system in the western world has been broken beyond repair for most of my lifetime. clearly, though, i was not target audience for either of them.

    prior to the rise of newsreels, media outlets were open about their biases. because they were more local, there was more accountability and more opportunity for competition. the newsreels wanted to get as many eyeballs as possible, so they pretended to be neutral. that carried over into radio and tv and expanded into print too. the biases remained, but not honestly any more. over time the distance between the views of the producers and the views of a big segment of consumers grew. consolidation took away accountability and imposed grim uniformity of viewpoint. i quit getting a newspaper around the turn of the century because i refused to subsidize that ubiquitous point of view. i subscribe to a few small online specialty publications that are forthright about their biases.

    Quite the opposite, actually.
    Before the explosion of social media and the ubiquity of the internet, there were a few news sources that we all shared. They were generally neutral, or close to it, and they were unimpeachably the authority. In a large city, you might have had one daily paper skew slightly left and the other slightly right. Same for your news magazines. But with an increasingly splintered market and a decline in the “common communal experience”, people saw opportunities to fill niches. Programming became more extreme to get those eyeballs (Fox News did it first, and still does it very well, but there are sites, channels and blogs on both sides of the political spectrum), leading to a deep split. The problem today, is that nobody is able to disagree with the “other”. We don’t read the same newspapers or watch the same news. We get our content from sites that corroborate our worldview, and ignore anything that doesn’t proceed therefrom. Anyone who disagrees with us is a racist or an moron or a snowflake, worthy of our derision but not our attention. If you’re comfortable admitting you get news from sites that confirm your bias, that’s your choice. Try reading something from across the aisle, once in a while. Challenge your beliefs. See things from the other side. Make up your own mind.

    there were fewer news sources fifty years ago than now, yes. they weren’t neutral or even close to it, though that’s how they posed. there was a very definite agenda.

    these days the “other side” is unavoidable. not just in how stories are covered, but it what items are part of the conversation and what gets memory-holed.

    “Agenda” is a loaded and often inflammatory word.

    Generally speaking, for most people (although not necessarily for you, Gregg):

    – Point of view one agrees with = “point of view”
    – Point of view one disagrees with = “agenda”

    Let’s please stick to “point of view,” which is a neutral term. Thanks.

    Love the seam-ripper idea and will likely buy one. Paul, will you also include instructions on how to do it right? I’d love to remove the New Era logo, but not at risk of ruining the cap.

    FWIW, there have been a few Nats Metro SmartTrip cards over the years. You can see a couple of them here: link

    This is, of course, the first Nats Championship one, though.

    Also – The previous Caps Stanley Cup SmartTrips were made from a different material than the typical card. It’s usually a tiny bit thicker than a credit card. The Caps one was extremely thin and shiny, like the old laminated library cards you used to get. It’s not because of a change in production, because all the other SmartTrip cards I’ve seen have stayed the same. And it’s not because of the photographic front, because they’ve done those before on the thicker cards. It’ll be interesting to see what the Nats one looks like when it arrives in a few weeks.

    I have read various blogs through the years and they tend to come and go but this site and Deadspin are the only sites that I read on a daily basis. I will miss it very much. I particularly enjoyed Drew Magary’s columns and I even bought a few of his books. If you didn’t agree with their politcal views, you could have skipped those columns. There are plenty of other sites on the internet but it was my go-to site whenever I was waiting for something. It was the perfect anti-dote for boredom. It made me laugh. I feel like I have lost a friend.

    I swear, if I could waive a magic wand and change just one of Paul’s opinions, it would be that color vs. color games are a good thing.

    Case in point, that Browns/Broncos shitshow.

    I don’t care what sport it is…one team should always wear white. Otherwise, the game becomes a moving eyesore.

    I would certainly allow for exceptions, UCLA/USC being one of them.

    Maybe the problem is that since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, people are going to disagree on which color vs. color match-ups look good and which ones clash. So I feel like color versus white is the compromise that always looks at least okay.

    I get a flu shot every year. With my job I have to to, since I’m always in different parts of the country on a weekly basis. I’m gonna get the pneumonia and shingles vaccination’s as well.

    Now if they would come up with a vaccine for the common cold, i would be a happy truck driver.

    I never would have thought that professional athletes couldn’t focus on the game and have fun playing the game at the same time.
    So the Browns are 2-6 because of their footwear and mouthguards.
    I bet if they wear just white/black/team color shoes from now on they’ll start protecting the QB and maybe even somehow undo their ridiculous choice of HC.

    So the Browns are 2-6 because of their footwear and mouthguards.

    Actually, that’s not what I said, nor is it even what I implied. So here, I’ll spell it out for you: When your team totally fucking sucks, and when you’ve already had some issues with “Look at me” bullshit on the field (like OBJ’s wristwatches), maybe it’s best to dial back the “Look at me” stuff, because it seems totally fucking tone-deaf.

    First time watching MNF in a while, and it looks like both teams have the individual player’s college logo on the back of their helmets?

    Is this a MNF thing?
    A This week in the NFL thing?
    An all year thing I’m just now noticing?

    A link to any previous discussion would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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