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Uni Watch Readers Redesign Logos for the Pandemic Age

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Earlier this week I invited readers to redesign team, league, or event logos to make them more pandemic-appropriate. I’ve already shown you a few of the resulting concepts that readers submitted, but today I have a bunch more, beginning with an absolutely brilliant Trail Blazers design from C. Todd Davis (for most of these, you can click to enlarge):

I love that! As most of you know, the five red lines and black lines represent two basketball teams, so Todd’s solution is a great way to show social distancing. Well done!

Next up is Kevin Rice’s reinterpretation of the Celtics’ logo:

I love that Lucky is equipped with a bottle of Lucky’s Sanitizer and a container of Clover Wipes — nice details here.

Next: The Houston/Tennessee Oilers haven’t existed in over two decades, but their logo is still familiar and timeless enough to serve as the basis for a good redesign by Kevin Rice:

Next: Robert Baker came up with a good Pacers concept but wasn’t equipped to execute it. “I suck at graphics,” he said, “so please take the Pacers’ old ball-in-hand logo and add a napkin between the hand and the ball.” Twitter-er @FishKzor was happy to oblige:

Most of the other concepts have used typography to suggest social distancing. For example, here’s Griffin Smith’s version of the University of Alabama logo:

James Gilbert, who specializes in UNC-related Ticker contributions, took a similar approach to the Tar Heels’ logo:

Hunter Mills separated the “K” and the “C” in the Chiefs’ logo and added a little public service note (I’d like to think there’s an additional version of this with the “open C” floating around somewhere):

And Ross Taylor moved the Maple Leafs’ logo lettering off of the leaf and created a circular arrangement for them:

And in case you’ve forgotten from this week, here are the four logos that got us started on this project — Olympics (by Brands of the World), Twins (by Dan Bodurtha), Twins again (by Ian Lee), and Penguins (by James MacNeil):

I love that these Uni Watch readers are putting their creativity to good use (hey, if you’re stuck inside the house, why not be productive?), and I especially like that they don’t take the lazy default option of adding mask to the logo. Nothing screams boilerplate like turning a mascot into a mask-ot.

I’ve grouped all 11 of these logos into a Flickr set, and I’ll continue to add more logos to that set if you folks keep creating them. If you have one that you’d like me to see, send it this-a-way. Thanks.

Want to see some non-sports logos redesigned for the pandemic (some better than others)? Look here.

(My thanks to all the readers who created these designs. Keep it up!)

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Classroom hero: Got a note yesterday from reader and card-carrying member Zach Pearce, as follows:

I’m a 10th grade teacher and we’ve been moving to online classes during the pandemic. It’s hard to simulate the same crucial interactions with students that you would get on a day-to-day basis, so I’ve been trying to put a little bit of levity in my lessons. Enter the “Hat of the Day,” where I’m pulling (mostly baseball) hats from the closet. So far, we’ve done a 1940 San Francisco Seals and a 1969 Seattle Pilots.

You can see Zach talking about his Pilots cap in the video clip above. Big thanks to him for sharing this, and also for his heroic efforts as a teacher during difficult circumstances.

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Membership update: What’s with the backward number? That’s reader Andrew Hoenig’s card, which he requested as follows:

Bob Tullius was the owner and principal driver of a successful racing team called Group 44 Racing. He almost always raced British cars, primarily Jaguars and Triumphs. Because his long-time sponsor was Quaker State, his cars were generally white with green stripes. Group 44’s other visual trademark was that every car had a backward 44 somewhere on the rear.

So that’s what Andrew wanted for his card. Definitely one of the most interesting and unusual requests we’ve ever had! His card is one of 10 new additions to the membership card gallery.

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days), and the price is now a pandemic-friendly $20 — down from our usual price of $25. As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,400 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Question Time reminder: In case you missed it on Thursday, I’m taking submissions for another round of Question Time, where you get to ask me anything and I do my best to answer.

So if you have a question for me about uniforms, sports, design, or literally anything else, send it to the Question Time address (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address). One question per person, please. No topic is out of bounds, but I reserve the right to not answer questions that are too personal.

I’ll post the questions and answers to the site sometime soon. Thanks for participating!

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Virus Watch, Birthday Edition: Tomorrow is my birthday — I’ll be turning 56 (yes, I know, I’m a fossil). Some people don’t like birthdays, either because they’re afraid of aging, or they don’t like attention, or they don’t like planning a party, or they don’t like cake, or they don’t like how their life has turned out, but I’ve never been one of those people. I love birthdays — my own or anyone else’s. I like that we each get a day that belongs to us, a day when we get to feel like we’re special and the whole world owes us the right of way.

I got this mindset from my parents. Since we weren’t religious and therefore didn’t celebrate most religious holidays (read: We were secular Jews who exchanged presents at Christmas because we were, you know, Americans), they compensated by putting a heavy emphasis on birthdays. And we had a lot of fun birthday distinctions: My father’s birthday was Jan. 23 (1-2-3), while mine is March 21 (3-2-1, plus it’s first day of the Zodiac cycle and, usually, the first full day of spring). My oldest brother’s birthday is Christmas Day (I was taught early on that I had to get him two separate presents), and my other brother was born on July 11 (7-11). With all of that going on, it was easy to believe that birthdays really were special and magical.

Later on, the Christmas Day brother married a woman who had the same birthday as mine, although she was quite a bit older than me. Some years after that, I met a guy who became one of my closest friends (and still is today), and it turned out that we were born on the same day of the same year. More magic.

All of which is a long way of saying I really like birthdays in general and my own in particular. In 1996, I was planning a trip to New Zealand right around this time of year. The best departure date, in terms of convenience, price, logistics, schedule, and so on, was March 20. But it takes nearly 24 hours to get to New Zealand, plus you cross the International Date Line along the way, so that meant boarding the plane in NYC on March 20 and arriving in Auckland on March 22 — with my birthday disappearing into the ether like it never existed! That wouldn’t do, so I pushed the trip back by a few days.

Here’s a little birthday story that I’ve told before (apologies for the repetition, but it’s a really good story): In 1973, when I turned nine years old, we had some sort of outdoor party activity planned with a bunch of my neighborhood friends. I think it might have been a backyard wiffle ball game, or something like that. Anyway, it rained, so that didn’t happen. I was inconsolable.

My father, thinking quickly, said, “Oh, don’t you know? Rain on your birthday is a sign of good luck in the year to come.” It was a very sweet lie that he made up on the spot (he was really good at knowing how to say Just the Right Thing), and I totally bought it.

I’ve had 46 more birthdays since then. On 45 of them, it has rained (or sometimes snowed, and on one occasion hailed) in whatever location I was in on that day. Sometimes it’s just a bit of drizzle at 1am, or at 11:15pm, but it happens. And each time, I think, “Ah, another year of good luck!” And it’s been true — what a great, lucky life I’ve had! (The one dry year was 2008. Not a bad year, honestly at least for me, although it was a rough year for the world at large. I like to think of it as the exception that proves the rule.)

This year, though — well, let’s just say the Saturday weather forecast here in Brooklyn isn’t very promising. Driving to a nearby rainy spot seems like it would be cheating, but that issue is moot because there isn’t going to be any nearby rainy spot:

So that’s a pretty bad omen, luck-wise. On the one hand, this makes sense — given what’s going on in the world, how could I expect good luck in the year to come? On the other hand, if ever there was a year when I could use some good-luck birthday rain, it’s this one.

As you may recall, earlier this week I mentioned how weird it was that the weather seemed like the one thing unaffected by the pandemic. Now it seems like it’s been affected after all. I realize how nuts this is going to sound, but the lack of rain tomorrow is as upsetting to me as anything else that’s happened in the past few weeks. It feels like a sign that the usual order of the universe (if not the uni-verse) really is fucked. Sigh.

Anyway: I usually like to throw a birthday party. That obviously won’t be happening, but the Tugboat Captain is making me a cake, and we’re going to cook something special for dinner. Also, my friend who was born on the same day is organizing a virtual birthday happy hour via Zoom, so we’re all going to get dressed up and have a few rounds — nice.

One thing’s for certain: This is a birthday I’ll never forget.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Fredericksburg Nationals, High-A affiliates of the Nationals (natch), are postponing auditions for their mascot and national anthem singer (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Name-the-team contests aren’t just a modern thing — here’s an article about how a minor league team in Tennessee invited local fans to name the team in 1909! … Here’s former Giants P Barry Zito talking about why he wore No. 75 (from Chuck Church).

NFL News: EA Sports’s Twitter account posted a Madden video clip of Philip Rivers in his new Colts duds — but all the Colts players in the clip had one stripe on their pants, rather than their traditional double stripe. Some folks thought this might indicate an impending uni tweak for the Colts, but Paul checked with a team spokesman and confirmed that they are not changing the pants. … We’ve seen Tom Brady photoshopped into Bucs unis, but how about Tom Brady as Bucco Brady? (From Andrew Mazurek). … This article on the trade of former Lions CB Darius Slay to the Eagles reveals that Lions HC Matt Patricia dislikes the practice of jersey swapping after games, which is a habit of Slay’s (from Mike Chamernik).

College Football News: Do your kids need something to do? Do you need something to do? Be creative and kill some time with these Oklahoma Sooners uniform coloring sheets (from Sam McKinley).

Hockey News: TV and radio reporters are putting their microphones on sticks when they interview people, so they can maintain social distancing. A Canadian reporter for CTV used a hockey stick (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … In light of current events, the CEO of the NHL’s new Seattle franchise says the team is “look[ing] for the right time to reveal our team name and brand” (from Jason Triplett).

Basketball News: The BBC has a good piece on Australian artist Tyson Beck, who has worked with all major sports leagues in North America as well as designing the unis for a few teams in Australia’s NBL (thanks, Jamie). … A designer has created basketball jerseys for each neighborhood of Dallas (from Mark Johnson and Peter K.). … Former Kansas player Marcus Morris had to be convinced to have his number retired by the Jayhawks, because they weren’t retiring his twin brother Markieff’s number (from Timmy Donahue). … Brad Eenhuis found these amazing 1976 Forest City (IA) High basketball unis. Look at those zigzag stripes! Be sure to scroll down to the second photo to get the full effect.

Soccer News: Liverpool’s new away kit has leaked, and boy is it ugly (from Josh Hinton). … Belarusian side Smolevichi has a new, minimalist logo (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: new kits for Dynamo Minsk.

Grab Bag: Never put these together before, but the Cincinnati Bearcats’ logo looks a lot like the Chick-fil-A logo (from @atxaggie07). … NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson posted a video on Twitter of his giant closet full of his old firesuits (from Jakob Fox). … Tokyo has come out with a new mascot, “Quaran,” who encourages people to socially distance (from Kary Klismet). … Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce company in Latin America, is changing its logo from a pair of shaking hands to a pair of elbows bumping to promote social distancing (from Timmy Donahue). … Cool photo of a ski jump being built in Vancouver in 1958 (from Jeremy Brahm). … Can’t get enough swoosh? Nike is now selling apparel with two swooshes on the chest — and a whole lot more everywhere else (from @thanksalottodd and @anthonytx42 [the latter of whom has a funny Twitter avatar).

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night : Alcohol-free porch cocktails yesterday — Diet Coke with a bit of lemon juice for me, seltzer for the Tugboat Captain. One of our neighborhood’s stray cats scampered by just after I took this photo — maybe I’ll be able to get a shot of him next time.

It’s warmer today, so hopefully we won’t have to bundle up. I may even work from my “porch office” this afternoon, whoop-whoop!

For those of you who are enjoying these porch cocktail pics, I’ve created a Flickr set for them, so we can track the progression.

And now, some levity from Uni Watch girl mascot President Caitlin:

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Our latest raffle winner is Matthew McGlamery, who’s won himself a Uni Watch hoodie. Congrats to him, and thanks to Brandon Lenk for sponsoring this one. — Paul

Comments (38)

    Happy Birthday Paul! Been reading you for a very long time. Thank you for Uni Watch and years of entertainment.

    Happy birthday Paul! Hope that it somehow rains a little just for you. It’s an absolute downpour in Northeast Ohio, so maybe it will work it’s way slowly to you?

    Looking forward to a Culinary Corner post next week!

    Happy birthday! It’s also our 21st wedding anniversary (me and my wife, not you and me.)

    Happy Birthday, Paul! Great that you are still making plans to gather with friends, even if “virtually”!

    Happy Birthday Paul. We will get through this. Maybe life will change forever as a result, but we will survive.

    The backwards 44 photo seems broken.

    Also, couldn’t it just be a sideways 4 on top of another 4?

    Happy birthday, Paul. Everyday is a gift, and every year is a reason to celebrate. Birthdays are a good time to tell people we are glad they are here!

    Happy Birthday,Paul!

    I couldn’t believe my ears when Jimmie Johnson mentions in that video that he once drove the #5 car…Sure, enough:

    link just sent out an email for people to pre-order their Tom Brady Bucs jerseys… instead of using the old templates they have a generic black and white place holder jersey there instead


    Barry Zito’s #75 was covered in his 2007 crowd-sourced ESPN column, “Numbers Game.”
    Here, it was said that Zito initially wanted #12, but couldn’t have it, so he went with #75 because the digits added up to 12, and it also had the benefit of being “a nice shelf” for his name. Compare and contrast that with the Q&A on Twitter in the Ticker today…Zito corroborated the “nice shelf” bit (his words: angles), but I didn’t know he actually wanted #34! (Of course, that’s retired in Oakland.)

    Props to you, Zach!! I’m a high school teacher myself, so I am also trying to figure out a way to raise the spirits of my students. Thanks for the idea!

    Tampa Bay buccaneers website is taking orders for Tom Brady jerseys for home road and alternates. Is there any idea what the alternate jerseys are going to look like?

    Happy birthday, Paul! Thanks again for Uni Watch being a daily dose of normalcy in these weird times. Here’s hoping for a drizzle!

    Happy almost birthday, Paul! Hope you have a fantastic day – and, regardless of what does or doesn’t fall from the clouds tomorrow, may there be a truly wonderful year ahead of you!

    On a related note, thank you so much for continuing to do what you do during these strange days we find ourselves in. Uni Watch has long been a must-stop on my daily lap ’round the Internets, and lately it’s been even more valuable to me (and clearly to many others). In a time when we’re all struggling to adapt to our “new normal” you have hit the perfect balance between acknowledging what’s going on with the pandemic and providing a sense of comfort and familiarity in a world that feels increasingly uncomfortable & unfamiliar.

    I’ve always found the love/hate birthday thing interesting. I’ve always liked birthdays (an excuse to party one more time) but have friends, coworkers etc that just hate the day. Never gave much thought why but PL brings up some valid reasons.

    “There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.” -Dave Barry
    Anyway, hope you enjoy your day, Paul.

    I don’t expect anyone, including family, to make a big deal out of my birthday. I do expect them to allow *me* to make a big deal of it.

    Happy Birthday, Paul. Make as big a deal as you can, given the circumstances.

    Those Forest City High basketball uniforms remind me of suits worn by St. John’s in the 1970s. I also wonder why no baseball team has ever tried to switch things up by sewing rick rack onto their uniforms instead of plain soutache.

    Happy Birthday! I grew up one of seven kids. Having a day for just us was a big deal to all of us as well. For a few years, mainly college age, I lost that sense of birthdays being special. My wife changed that. She told me that getting older should be celebrated and we now make sure to have a gathering for our “special day” again. It made me think of friends and family I’ve lost over the years. Celebrate your birthdays, people. Not everyone gets another.
    I turn 40 next Saturday. I have to say I’m more than a little bummed that we can’t have a big get together for it. It will be weird celebrating the Big 4-0 so quietly. But hopefully I will still have my health and a healthy family to celebrate with at home. That’s my wish this year.

    Hi Paul! Happy birthday. Yesterday an item ran about Eddie Murray’s Chief Wahoo cap being scrubbed in the newest MLB The Show game… he’s not the only one. Some players have had it photoshopped into the C logo on their cards. I’ll try to find more pictures.

    I think now is the perfect time for some Culinary Corner features!

    Happy Birthday and stay safe Paul!


    Happy Birthday Paul! Have a good one, and many more to come, and many more new uniforms to look forward to as well!

    I actually really like the new liverpool away jerseys! That’s a nice color blue. I wonder what the rest of the design is…

    Happy birthday, Paul! I normally mock birthdays and the adults who over-celebrate them … But for Paul Lukas, I’m all-in. You had the conviction to start Uni-Watch and you bring us together every day. Love your work. I guarantee you get a little rain tomorrow! Thanks for your dedication to Your work in athletics aesthetics. Much respect.

    My 38th birthday is tomorrow. Good thing the state of Texas has relaxed alcohol to-go laws so I can get a margarita and some fajitas to enjoy at the house.

    Happy birthday Paul!

    Happy birthday, fella!

    My own birthday was last Wednesday, and while I’ve had a number of less than stellar birthdays, this one stands out. We’re not quite on lockdown in the Bay Area, but we managed to sneak out for takeout pastrami sandwiches and pie, so it wasn’t a total loss. Stay well and safe

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