Former Dolphins placekicker Garo Yepremian is remembered primarily for three things: kicking the winning field goal in the longest NFL game ever played (above); throwing — if you can call it that — the most feeble pass in Super Bowl history; and being one of the NFL’s relatively few left-footed kickers.
But Yepremian, who died in 2015 (and who, like a lot of the NFL’s early soccer-style kickers, grew up as a soccer player in Europe before transitioning to American football), also had an interesting side business as, of all things, a neckwear entrepreneur — he had his own line of ties. It was actually mentioned on the back of his 1978 Topps card (click to enlarge):
While most of the tie designs themselves weren’t all that remarkable (we’ll get to that in a minute), they had one of the all-time great label designs. Check this out:
Is that great or what? Longtime readers may recall that I love a good label design, and this one is definitely among the best I’ve ever seen. It’s from a tie that’s currently available on eBay and was recently brought to my attention by Helmet Addict’s Mike Cline.
I love everything about that label design — the green/orange color scheme, the slogan at the top, the striped socks, the inclusion of Yepremian’s No. 1 and his left-footed kicking style, the leaping dolphin, and the rudimentary goalposts. Yeah, the mono uni is a mild downer, but still — so awesome!
There was also a narrower version of the same design (click to enlarge):
That one’s from this tie, the front of which has a football-themed design motif featuring helmets and goalposts (click to enlarge):
Yepremian apparently liked the goalpost motif. Here’s another tie, featuring a dolphin leaping through the uprights (click to enlarge):
The football-themed designs were not part of Yepremian’s original product line. In a 1972 New York Times article, he said, “So far, none of my ties have anything to do with football. But we’re thinking about doing one that shows a goal post with either a dolphin or a football sailing over it.” I guess they chose the dolphin! The article also had this photo of Yepremian’s product line at the time (click to enlarge):
Ultimately, though, the tie designs aren’t nearly as interesting as that awesome label design. Speaking of which, he apparently used two other label formats at various points:
Obviously, those don’t even come close to the awesomeness of the label with the little kicker guy. Which leads to an intriguing question: Who designed that label? Who designs any clothing label? It’s a fascinating little niche discipline executed by talented graphic artists — all of whom are anonymous. A pity.
(Big thanks to Mike Cline for sending me down this rabbit hole, and to Kurt Rozek for reminding me about the tie reference on Yepremian’s 1978 Topps card.)
Click to enlarge
By Brinke Guthrie
This poster is called “A Groovy Glossary of Pro Football.” Issued in 1969 and sold at, ah, head shops, this poster included such football terms such as “Red Dog/Blitz” and “Burning the Defensive Back.” Very in keeping with the psychedelic style of that era. Find yourself a lava lamp and you’re all set!
Now for the rest of this week’s picks:
• Football cleats these days are super-aerodynamic and streamlined. That wasn’t the case way back when, though! These are 1950s US Pro Keds football shoes worn by Notre Dame star Frank Leahy. They look like canvas basketball shoes with a cleated bottom! (I’ve read about current players in the NFL doing something similar. I know Niners rookie star Nick Bosa wore Air Jordan-styled Nikes this season, too.) Now, Leahy didn’t play pro ball — he was a college star and then a very successful college coach. Maybe these shoes were issued due to his coaching fame. Not terribly stylish, but I guess they got the job done.
• Another Pro Keds item here: Look how low-key this Pete Maravich Keds ad is. Snuggling under the tree with his sweetie, sweater and cords outfit, and his faithful 10-speed right there. Pretty unassuming for someone nicknamed The Pistol.
• Interesting set of NFL helmet stickers here! This is a 1970s Laich Sports Products NFL Helmet Sticker Sheet. It has all the NFL teams from that era and with two different logos for the Jets. Seller says, “These stickers are for the Laich football helmets produced in the 1970s and sold as sundaes, I believe at Dairy Queen.” Make mine hot fudge, if you please!
• Ever seen a football helmet facemask that looked like this? This one is called “The Spitter,” for obvious reasons!
• This 1973 45-rpm record about Hank Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s all-time MLB home run record is titled “Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry),” and was recorded by former big leaguer Bill Slayback. Thanks to YouTube, you can hear it right here.
• Pete Rose is looking rather determined on the cover of this 1980 Phillies calendar.
• The Swingin’ Friar is takin’ a big cut on this 1996 promo mug sponsored by Sycuan Casino. It says “60th Anniversary” on there, so it must be also referring to the old Padres Pacific Coast League incarnation.
• Marathon Oil was the sponsor for this 1960s Cincinnati Royals “Guess The Attendance” promo. You fill out the box with your guess, presumably stick it in a ballot box, and then “you will be notified by phone, by the Royals, prior to the next game,” if you’re a winner.
• Since it makes no reference to a city, this Charger Power sticker would still be a nice fan item today! (Nice Fouts-era helmet, too.)
• This 1972 Sports Illustrated pro football board game is simply called “Pro Football.” (Memo to marketing: Maybe punch up the branding for the next release.) I had a similar game, also from SI, but this is the first time I’ve seen this one. The sales pitch on the box front calls it the “most realistic football game ever devised.” Interesting SI logo on there, too.
Yet another membership raffle: Reader Joal Kjarsgaard was the winner of one of our recent membership raffles (he chose a Bo Jackson-themed card design), and he’s chosen to pay it forward by purchasing another membership for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’ll do today.
This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One email per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.
My thanks to Joal for sponsoring this raffle. Meanwhile, if you’d like to help support Uni Watch by ordering your own custom-designed card, you can do so here.
Click to enlarge
A match made in heaven (or at least in Green Bay): I can think of few higher honors than to have one of our Uni Watch Pin Club pins for February adorning reader Wes Muniz’s cheesehead hat. Looks good!
Wes isn’t the only one who’s been proudly displaying the February pin:
Got my next uni watch pin! @UniWatch pic.twitter.com/XxycGhC58w
— Kevin Bryant (@KevinBryant5) February 10, 2020
The February pin is available here. And if you need to get caught up, here’s the January pin (we’ll keep selling that one until it sells out) and our basic winged stirrup pin.
My thanks, as always, for your support of Uni Watch — much appreciated.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: The Giants are reportedly scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to available uniform numbers. OF Billy Hamilton will wear No. 0, and first base coach Antoan Richardson will wear No. 00 (from Laren). … The Nats posted what appears to be their gold-trimmed World Series champs jersey design yesterday. It’s based on the team’s new white alternate jersey (from Jason Wileman and Brandon Lenk). … Speaking of the Nats, they unveiled their promo schedule (WaPo link) for the upcoming season (from Tommy Turner and JM Fisher). … Joshua Johnson notes that the Brewers’ new yellow-paneled caps have inconsistent stitching. The standard cap uses yellow stitching on the front panel, while the low-profile cap uses navy stitching. … The Diamondbacks will give away a tribal-patterned jersey as a promotion for Native American Recognition Day on June 6. The jersey will not be worn on the field (from Andy Hieber). … The baseball designs for the 2020 Mexico Series and Dominican Republic Games have been released (from Eric Abneri). … The Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels’ Class-A affiliate, will play as the Cherubs on May 22. … Couple of notes from Kary Klismet: Iowa unveiled new yellow jerseys at their media day, and Iowa State’s softball team wears their stirrups to perfection. … New caps for Clemson (from Tony Threatt). … The O’Fallon (Missouri) Hoots of the Prospect League are holding a rename the mascot contest (from Timmy Donahue). … Here’s a long thread on outstanding MiLB caps (from Marcus Hall).
NFL News: Here’s a very detailed breakdown of Fox’s new score bug design, which debuted during the Super Bowl. The smaller ribbon was designed for vertical viewing, so the whole graphic could be visible when viewing on mobile (from Joseph Nguyen). … ESPN created a set of illustrations showing Tom Brady in various other teams’ uniforms, although they got the Colts’ number font wrong (from @JayJayDean). … Chiefs OL and Montreal native Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was honored before the Canadiens’ hockey game on Monday and donned a Canadiens sweater with his number. He is the first-ever Québécois to play for a winning Super Bowl team (from James Beattie). … Gross: The photos of Ravens S Chuck Clark signing a contract extension, including one shot that shows his wife and infant child, featured a Ford ad (from Marcus Hall).
College/HS Football News: The Northern Colorado Wildlife Center wants to turn Colorado State’s former stadium into a wildlife rehabilitation center (from Kary Klismet). … Iowa is participating in Ridell’s “Precision-Fit” program, which involves every player being custom-fitted for a new helmet (from Ryan Spaulding). … Whoops: Steve Rausch found a “Minnesota Badgers” hoodie at his local Target. … Ballard High School (Kentucky) is building a new stadium (from Kary Klismet).
Hockey News: The logo for the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal has been unveiled (from Moe Khan and Jakob Fox). …A few notes from Wade Heidt: The Golden Knights wore Chinese New Year warmup jerseys on Sunday; the Canucks are unveiling a new exhibit at their arena this weekend that includes the sweater and locker of every player whose number has been retired in franchise history; and the Calgary Hitmen and the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL went color-on-color on Sunday. … New mask for Flyers G Carter Hart (from Kurt Esposito and Moe Khan). … This time-lapse video shows Air Force’s Falcon Stadium as it’s prepped for the upcoming Stadium Series game between the Avs and the Kings (from Kary Klismet). … St. Lawrence University in New York debuted new home uniforms over the weekend (from @OlegKvasha). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: Kansas City Chiefs lineman and Montreal native Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was honored before the Habs hockey game on Monday and donned a Canadiens sweater with his number. He is the first-ever Québécois to play for a Super Bowl-winning team (from James Beattie). … Glove brand Warrior honored Bruins D Zdeno Chara’s 1,500th game by presenting him with a pair of gold gloves emblazoned with the logos of all the NHL teams he’s played for (from @OlegKvasha).
NBA News: There was a pretty awful white-on-gray matchup last night between the Pistons and Hornets (from Derek Bailey). … Never seen this before: Dr. J wore his jersey inside-out while celebrating one of the Nets’ ABA championships (from Max Weintraub). … New Bucks F Marvin Williams will wear No. 20 and new Magic F James Ennis III will wear No. 11 (from Etienne Catalan). … King George Secondary School in Vancouver recently wore alternates inspired by the original Grizzlies unis (from Timmy Donahue).
College Hoops News: Michigan State confirmed yesterday that it will be wearing 2000 throwbacks to mark the 20th anniversary of their last national championship (thanks to all who shared). … The Mitchell (Ind.) High School boys’ basketball team held a throwback game last weekend in their 93-year-old gym, which they haven’t used in 22 years, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the school’s appearance in the state finals. Players and cheerleaders both wore throwback uniforms (from Kary Klismet). … Drake’s live bulldog mascot, Griff, is passing the torch to his successor, Griff II (from Brad, who didn’t give a last name). … Cynthia Jordan, director of operations for the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team, wore a jacket with a sequined Gamecock on the back during the team’s game against UConn on Monday night (from Andy Shain).
Soccer News: Chicago Fire’s new away uniform for 2020 has leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Inter Miami, the MLS expansion club set to begin its inaugural season, lost the first round of a trademark lawsuit with Italian club Inter Milan (hard paywall) (from our own Jamie Rathjen and Josh Hinton). … Yeti Coolers will be the jersey
partner advertiser for MLS expansion club Austin FC when they begin play in 2021 (thanks to all who shared). … The New England Revolution wore jerseys with last season’s MLS number font during a preseason game yesterday (from @WeberKing). … New shirt advertiser for Scottish side Kilmarnock FC (from Ed Zelaski).
Grab Bag: These ice sculptures of volleyball players from the Asahikawa Winter Festival in Japan are complete with a patterned ball (from Jeremy Brahm). … Check out the NOBs for these two Philly-area quad rugby teams: One team went TNOB, the other team went with traditional NOBs (from Jonah). … The Mercedes Formula One Team will continue to include one red star on its paint scheme in honor of team chairman Niki Lauda, who died in 2019 (from Jack Wade). … Aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation is keeping with NASA tradition by hanging decals of mission patches on their wall. Sort of evokes a retired jersey, no? (From James Gilbert.) … Included in President Trump’s new budget proposal is the proposed paint scheme for a new Air Force One (from @PhillyPartTwo). … I never knew that McDonald’s includes a packing diagram on the bottom of its bags, along with the date of manufacture (from Daniel Shank Cruz). … Johns Hopkins lacrosse wore helmets with an alternate blue jay decal over the weekend (from @fifa10goat). … Here’s a video breakdown of 2020 NASCAR paint schemes (from Andrew Schmidt). … The rest of these are from Timmy Donahue: Back when the NYC subway system began transitioning from tokens to swipe-cards in the 1990s, the department nearly introduced an aardvark mascot called the “Cardvaark.” … Police in Albany, Ill., are ditching duty belts in favor of vests, which they believe make officers look more approachable. … Army scientists are trying to find a way for soldiers to keep their hands warm without gloves, since putting hands in pockets is forbidden.
The site will be undergoing some technical maintenance tonight, the upshot of which is that comments will be disabled from about 9pm Eastern through 1am Eastern. Thanks for your patience and understanding. — Paul
I just want to know what the 1st base umpire in the pic of the old school Clemson pitcher in mid pitch is doing with HIS hat. Looks like he buried his face in it.
Looks like a photographer, not an umpire.
From the ticker… I’m pretty partial to the old logo of my hometown MiLB team, though it’s since been replaced by a tackier and more cartoonish ‘contemporary’ look.
The Lowell Spinners, of the industrial textile mill city Lowell, MA.
From just above the ear to the hip, there are five visible Nike logos on the Iowa player on the left. Assuming they wear Nike shoes, that would make nine visible Nike logos on one player; eight on the guys who don’t wear the undershirt. Wow.
Maybe it’s obvious, but yes, the kicker on the Garo tags is a lefty too. I imagine it IS supposed to be Garo.
Yes — that’s why I wrote, “I love everything about that label design — the green/orange color scheme, the slogan at the top, the striped socks, the inclusion of Yepremian’s No. 1 and his left-footed kicking style…”
It’s OK, I realize it’s easy to skim over something like that!
ACK!! That sentence is so long! No wonder i missed it!
Dono’t know if anyone pointed it out yesterday but the XFL St. Louis Battlehawks used their grey pants with white jerseys when the mock ups showed blue pants on the away jersey.
Interesting the Garo attempts that infamous pass with his right hand.
Throws Right. Kicks Left. Hmmm,… I don’t see that on his Topps card.
Yeah, that was one of the additional comic aspects of his very comical attempted pass!
Maybe he was a righty (thrower). ???
My father and I are both of the throw right/kick left combination. My father has also noted that he plays jacks left handed (or at least he did, many moons ago when he was a kid!). I didn’t realize that was even a thing.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is also of this combination, something I’ve noticed as he’s performed a few quick-kicks in his career. A few year ago the Steelers’ regular punter was also left footed (can’t remember who that was at this point). Once this punter threw a pass on a fake punt, and turns out he throws right handed. So while it’s an unusual combination, it may not be as rare as we think.
How about this: I throw left, punt left, but placekick right!
Can’t explain it. Punting always felt natural with my left leg, and placekicking always felt natural with the right. Crazy, I know!
I have to give credit to the NHL for wearing special jerseys (Like the Golden Knights’ Chinese New Year jerseys) in warmups only and not letting them spill over into the games.
The NHL deserves credit for keeping their uniforms *mostly* clean. The maker’s mark is on the back and, as you point out, they restrict the theme designs to pregame activities (not just Chinese New Year but also other holidays, camouflage, etc.).
And, of course, no ads.
I’m still sad Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s petition to the NFL to have ‘M.D.’ added to his LNOB was turned down by the league.
I would have liked to have seen it myself, but I can also understand why it was rejected. It would have set a precedent, and a bit of a slippery slope, where everyone who had some kind of claim to add professional initials to their last name (some of which would probably be of questionable legitimacy or relevance) would want to add the extra letters to their NOB. Where would they draw the line? And obviously those who are on the wrong side of the line would not be happy.
Sorry about the long post but this 2015 post tells the story about Ernie Harwell writing the song Brinke mentioned.
The most famous Aaron tribute from the era was the work of a pitcher who had never actually faced him: Tigers hurler Bill Slayback. A self-described “dreamer” who had initially set his sights on becoming a musician or artist, Slayback wound up in the Tigers’ farm system after inadvertently impressing a visiting scout while pitching for Cal State Northridge in 1968. Slayback (who actually served up a couple of gopher balls to Aaron’s brother Tommie while pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens) finally made it to the bigs in 1972, pitching seven innings of no-hit ball against the Yankees in his major-league debut on June 26, and eventually racking up a 5-6 record with a 3.20 ERA in 81 2/3 innings for the AL East champs. That season, he told The Sporting News that he enjoyed painting, and also wrote music and lyrics for The Sandpipers, “an easy-listening singing group.”
Though the arm injuries Slayback sustained while pitching for Billy Martin that season would prematurely sabotage his pitching career, the songwriting partnership he established that year with Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell would lead to his lasting fame.
Justly famous for his play-by-play work, Harwell also had an active sideline as a lyricist; more than 60 of his songs were recorded by a variety of artists, including pop crooner B.J. Thomas, Detroit rocker Mitch Ryder, soul chanteuse Barbara Lewis, and country comedy duo Homer & Jethro. (None of the songs was particularly successful, however, leading Harwell to quip that he had “more no-hitters than Nolan Ryan.”) Upon learning that Slayback was a songwriter, Harwell approached him to write some music to accompany lyrics he’d written about Aaron’s home-run chase. The result was “Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry),” a song tuneful and topical enough to pique the interest of Detroit record producer Ollie McLaughlin.
McLaughlin — a former Ann Arbor DJ who’d made his name in the Motor City record biz producing hits by the Capitols (“Cool Jerk”), Deon Jackson (“Love Makes the World Go Round”), Barbara Lewis (“Hello Stranger”) and the Fabulous Counts (“Jan Jan”) — was already familiar with Harwell’s songwriting work, having previously produced “You’ll Wake Up Wiser, Baby” (a 1969 b-side for Jackson) and “Why Did It Take So Long? (a 1970 b-side for Lewis), both of which Harwell co-wrote with songwriter Chuck Boris. McLaughlin produced a Slayback-sung version of the song — which bore more than a passing resemblance to Lobo’s 1971 soft-pop smash “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” and then tried to stretch the single into a double by also producing a soul-oriented version, featuring former Motown recording artist Richard “Popcorn” Wylie on vocals.
McLaughlin released “Move Over Babe” simultaneously on two different labels — Slayback’s on the Karen imprint, Wylie’s on Carla — though they came packaged in near-identical picture sleeves. (Interestingly, the serial number of Slayback’s single was 714, while Wylie’s bore No. 715; this might or might not have been a sly nod to the notion that the lofty latter figure would soon belong to a black man.) Aaron, who doubtless appreciated the song’s positivity in the midst of all the hate mail and death threats, gave the song his blessing, posing for a photo with Harwell while holding a copy of Wylie’s single.
Though neither single wound up charting, Slayback’s version did become the “official” theme of Aaron’s chase, receiving regular airplay on NBC’s “Game of the Week” and other TV baseball broadcasts throughout the 1973 season and into April ’74, when the Braves slugger finally broke Ruth’s record. 1974 would also mark Slayback’s final appearance in the majors; after two subsequent seasons with the Tigers’ Evansville farm club (where he briefly roomed with a young prospect named Mark Fidrych), Slayback left baseball to concentrate on music, working with Sergio Mendes and José Feliciano, and doing jingle work for Budweiser, Miller, and Nike. In recent years, Slayback has released a self-produced CD (“Lady Dancing On Fire”) and done national anthem duty at Comerica Park and Dodger Stadium. Still, his and Harwell’s sunny ode to one of the greatest players who ever swung a bat remains his best-remembered — and best-loved — work.
Thanks for sharing! Great stuff.
A Garo Ypremian tie? I’d wear that.
Although Garo Yepremian wore #1 throughout his career, on at least three of his football cards he is wearing #47.
Comically, it looks like Topps airbrushed a football into the 1971 photo.
OK, now we know Garo also imported ladies shoes in the off-season. What’s up with THAT?!
Picking a nit: “The O’Fallon (Missouri) Hoots of the Prospect League are holding a rename the team contest”. . .
It’s actually a rename the team mascot contest.
If the FTC’s RN/WPL textile database is searched for the WPL number on the Yepremian tie label, the actual company responsible for manufacturing or importing Garo’s ties is identified as Jack Steinberg Neckware from Kansas City.
Legal Business Name JACK STEINBERG NECKWEAR
Company Name JACK STEINBERG NECKWEAR
Company Type OTHER
Business Type IMPORTER MANUFACTURING WHOLESALER
Address Line 1 908 BROADWAY
Address Line 2
City KANSAS CITY
Oooh, good sleuthing — thanks!
If you like interesting clothing labels, you’re sure to like this Instagram account:
That SI cover, the last year NBC had the vintage logo. The subsequent ‘NBC Sports’ logo very visable on Three Rivers outfield wall in Immaculate Receptut ion game a year later.
As bad as the Hornets and Pistons logos were last night, the actual game was even worse.
WaPo article about the availability of Nats blue alts they wore on run to WS Championship-Paul has an MLB team ever done an alt jersey with gold trim to celebrate WS title? link
I don’t think so. Good point!
Interesting thing on the Garo card is he spent 2 years on the Lions Taxi Squad before getting his fame with the Dolphins.
Never knew how the Taxi Squad got its name…Thanks Wikipedia!
“During the 1940s, Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown invented the “taxi squad,” a group of promising scouted players who did not make the roster but were kept on reserve. The team owner, Arthur “Mickey” McBride, put them on the payroll of his taxi company, although they did not drive cabs”
Both Michigan State and Wisconsin are wearing 2000 Throwbacks this year. In 2000 both were outfitted by Reebok and thus had the same number font (they matched up in the Final Four that year).
That means, Under Armour (WI) and Nike (MSU) both are reproducing an in-house Reebok font for their throwbacks, 20 years later.
I wonder if we’ll see the same for the templated Adidas March Madness uniforms when those are old enough.
here is their Semifinal matchup from 2000: link
Is Antoan Richardson the first example we have of a COACH wearing 00? I can’t think of any off the top of my head
This 1972 Sports Illustrated pro football board game is simply called “Pro Football.”
My brother had that game. Probably still does, but I know he hasn’t played it in 40-some years.
Thanks for the Garo Yepremian coverage.
In 1971, as an 8-year old playing my first season of Junior Football, I received jersey number 1. I watched a bunch of NFL games looking for someone wearing #1 — it’s common now, but back then it was rare. It took a few weeks, but eventually I saw Garo Yepremian, and that’s all it took for a little kid from Seattle to choose the Miami Dolphins as his new favorite team.
Up to that point, we were all Raider fans and my announcement of my new affiliation did not go over well, since my mom’s cousin was married to an actual Oakland Raider. But I stuck to my guns and, needless to say, 1971 was a great time to become a Dolphins fan.
Great story, Mike! Are you still a Dolphins fan today??
I gradually switched my support to the Seahawks, but I kept a soft spot for the Dolphins until they completely screwed up the uniform. Now I only root for them when they’re wearing throwbacks.
I found an alternate link to the Inter Miami suit: