By Phil Hecken & The SMUW Crew
As we begin to wind down the NCAA “season” (I put that in quotes — but maybe a COVID-19 asterisk is more appropriate), new and different unis are becoming few and far between. We got a bunch of GFGS games (including the Ducks vs. Cal), some nice throwbacks, and a few alternate looks, but nothing crazy (for once!).
Oregon went both GFGS and broke out a new uniform set in their loss to Cal last evening. So far this year, they’ve managed to wear a different uni each week, going mono-“Nightmare” green vs. Stanford, mono-white (with a green hat) vs. Wazzu, mono-dark gray vs. UCLA, and mono highlighter (with a silver dome) vs. OSU. They’ve actually yet to wear their mono-apple-green unis this season (look for that one against Washington next weekend). So it only stood to reason they would bust out another new combo for last night’s game at Cal.
The “color” of their new unis is “wolf gray,” which just happens to be the same color as the Seattle Seahawks alternate. It’s a very light gray, so thankfully Cal wore mono-blue (as we’ll see, not every team that went GFGS yesterday was so “lucky”).
It’s not a bad looking uniform — just completely unnecessary. Oregon has worn many different GFGS unis (and pants/helmets) over the years, and they haven’t always had good luck in them (if you read yesterday’s UW, Dennis Bolt had a nice writeup on the Ducks in gray). With great school colors of green and yellow, it’d be nice to see those on a permanent basis.
Maybe yesterday’s loss will finally end the GFGS-era at Nikegon. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’d be nice.
Now here’s TJ with the rest of your…
Sunday Morning Uni Watch
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
Week 14 is in the books! As always, a huge shoutout to Blaise D’Sylva for his monumental efforts. See you next week!
• Given that Florida is my second most-hated SEC team (Au(ful)burn being the #1 most-hated), and the fact that my sister earned her grad degree at Georgia, I’m normally not one to praise the Gators. That being said, can we TALK… about these helmets? This is a look I didn’t know I needed to witness, and I’m all the more thankful for it. These flat blue helmets look to be repurposed from the fauxback helmets worn with their throwback uniforms that they wore against Mizzou on Halloween (Blaise’s notes). And for a white-heavy game, the contrast was quite nice. But to be fair, Misha Mansoor said it best long ago. Speaking of contrast…
• Contrast Matters: D I S G U S T I N G Edition.
• Contrast Matters: D I S G U S T I N G II: Electric Boogaloo Edition. How did this happen IN THE SAME DAY? Do Illinois and Arizona share the same singular brain cell? INB4 “Well, Iowa and Colorado should’ve worn black, they’re just as much as fault”
• Arizona State wore 1975 throwback uniforms against UCLA (here’s the hype vid, although I find it interesting that they chose a song released in 1981 to celebrate a uniform nodding to 1975). Steve Valdez and Curtis Galvin noted that redshirt-Junior RB Jackson He had His name written in Chinese on his NOB, (image credits are respective of the previous names mentioned) and there aren’t enough heart emotes in the world to express how much I love this (here’s a better look). Austin John on Twitter noted that OL Lineman Henry Hattis wears #70, but the helmet he was wearing was #74.
Week 14 is in the books! Tune in next week for the rarest of SMUW’s: me writing during the Army Navy game, because there’s a slew of games happening next week. See you then!
5 & 1 — Guest Pickers Edition #1
Yesterday I let you guys know that I had selected four guest pickers (out of many excellent submissions) for the 5 & 1. Two of them have made their selections for this week (congrats to Douggie Keklak and Harrison Hamm), and next weekend will be the second two (Gretchen Atwood and Eric Bangeman). Please let them know how they did in the comments section below.
Depending on how things go, one or more of these four may return for the Conference Championships and/or Bowl games, so please be kind but constructive in your thoughts on their picks. Remember, this is largely a matter of opinion (I frequently didn’t agree with other 5 & 1 pickers, but they probably wouldn’t necessarily agree with my picks either — plus you guys don’t want to see Alabama/SEC teams and the Ducks every week!)
First up today is Harrison Hamm, with his 5 & 1:
5 & 1 by Harrison Hamm
Without many terrible off uniforms, like Indiana’s camo last Saturday, it was a good uni week. Finding the and-1 wasn’t so easy this time around. The top five gave us some good matchups, including a number of matchups that we might not usually see here.
5. Hawaii vs. San Jose State
San Jose State had a Chargers feel this week against Hawaii’s usual black-white-black combination. The yellow pants provided a great contrast to Hawaii’s darker colors. This only would have been better if Hawaii put out some version of their rainbow warrior uniforms.
4. Alabama vs. LSU
You can’t go wrong with this classic matchup. LSU has one of college football’s best uniforms, and against Alabama’s classic crimson, it fits even better than it did last week against Texas A&M. While the home fans weren’t thrilled with the result, this uniform matchup is best in Death Valley.
3. Notre Dame vs. Syracuse
Syracuse’s orange-white-orange combination is perfect for the five-and-one: it’s well-designed, with blue-white-blue striping and a solid font, and it has the potential to match up exquisitely with a uniform that has an inverse combination. That happened in South Bend, as Notre Dame’s shiny domes contrasted very well with Syracuse’s well-executed burst of color.
2. North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech
North Texas has been wearing some good-looking throwbacks for much of this season. They looked particularly good matched up with Louisiana Tech’s red-white-red look on Thursday. These are uniforms with different approaches to design, but they take on a classicist feel and present bright and interesting colors, without doing too much. Nicely done.
1. Florida vs. Tennessee
The Gators picked a great time to debut their inverse-colored blue helmets. Rather than contrasting their orange helmets with Tennessee’s own classic orange, Florida wore a beautiful blue-white-blue combination, with a gorgeous matte finish on those helmets. Against the Vols, wearing their usual combo, Florida made this the week’s best-looking game.
&1: Oregon vs. Cal
This falls more under the “sacrificial lamb” type of selection, but this Oregon-Cal matchup was fairly brutal on the eyes. Oregon wore dishwater, and while I’ve always been a supporter of the Ducks’ various combinations, I will always struggle to get over the ridiculous large font. Without good colors around that font, the uniform is just bad. California’s all-navy is okay, but it doesn’t do much to save this matchup.
Thanks, Harrison. Next up is Doug Keklak
5 & 1 by Doug Keklak
Honorable Mention: Baylor at Oklahoma
If Baylor would have added just a hint of athletic gold into this ensemble, this matchup and its contrast would have cracked my top five.
5. Memphis at Tulane
This early afternoon AAC clash had some beautiful shades of blue and green. Memphis sported their white and blue Cincy Bengals-style helmet along with white jerseys over blue pants while Tulane went green/green/white offset with their light blue striping.
4. Western Carolina at North Carolina
UNC is one of my favorite uni teams this year. In my eyes they have had very few missteps. They hosted the Catamounts of Western Carolina out of the Southern Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision (nee Division 1-AA). Aside from a cool nickname, they sport some interesting school colors. Officially “purple and gold” it’s a very light shade of gold that almost skews tan. A classic Carolina look of blue helmet/blue jersey/white pants on the other side of the field mixed well.
3. Syracuse at Notre Dame
In my opinion, Syracuse has strayed too far from classic looks in recent history but this was a solid road white jersey/orange pants set. While the Orange I grew up watching had a helmet sans logo, this look will still do. It paired well with the classic Fightin’ Irish home look. The only thing that would make this better would be if they went back to natural grass at Notre Dame Stadium!
2. UCLA at Arizona State
Late entry here, but I cannot ignore these gorgeous 1975 Arizona State throwbacks. I mean this helmet (and Sparky sleeve patch)! The jersey with the faux mesh (and look at the little detail of the trident being held by the BLM logo!) Just the entire look is really well done, down to the socks and black cleats with white laces. As far as UCLA is concerned, while their home look is their money uniform, I do prefer the lighter blue on the road whites than to a darker, more navy shade they’ve also used in the past.
1. Florida at Tennessee
The 3:30 SEC on CBS matchup was easy on the eyes! Classic home look of the Vols up against a blue lid/white jersey/blue pants combo of the Gators was visually appealing. This is exactly what you should do when you share a color (albeit a different shade) with your opponent. Florida’s new helmet design was a welcomed “something new” to the action at Neyland Stadium and all its checkerboard glory.
&1 Iowa State at WVU
While you had several teams trying to out “wolf-grey” each other in a battle for GFGS silliness, this game had the overall worst two teams in my eyes. This is not one of WVU’s better combinations, the blue pants just don’t do it for me. It’s only trumped by a BFBS “black out” uniform from Iowa State that is void of ANY school colors. I’m not sure if I’m mad that ISU didn’t change the colors on their on field graphics to play along with the black out, or if I’m ok they left them alone so I can see what they really should look like.
And thank you Douggie! OK, readers — please thank Harrison & Doug for their efforts and let them know what you think of their selections!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2019 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.
We started the year off with three conferences (SEC, B1G, PAC-12) not playing at all, but now all five of the Power 5 have returned to play.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences (I’ve left all the previous tracker info in their usual slots, even if the conferences aren’t playing. In case you want to click on any of the links):
Rex is up first today (ACC):
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2020 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
Click to enlarge
And now a few words from Paul
Hello! In case you missed it on Thursday, we’re now offering a Uni Watch toque! It’s available here. We can no longer guarantee Christmas delivery (the ordering deadline for that was yesterday), but I’m told that it’s still likely if you order today.
In addition, we have a bunch of new Uni Watch Color Remix caps available in a variety of autumn and Christmas color combos (click to enlarge):
Plus we’ve brought back most of the previous Color Remix caps. All of them are available here. Again, if you order today, Christmas delivery is possible but not guaranteed.
While we’re at it:
• We’re also taking pre-orders for Uni Watch hockey and cycling jerseys, all with your choice of number of NOB:
You can order these items here. Get your order in by next Friday, Dec. 11; the jerseys should ship by Jan. 11. (Sorry, no holiday delivery for these.)
• In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s design for December is here, and it’s a beauty, with our winged stirrup logo repurposed as a holiday stocking brimming with gifts (click to enlarge):
This is a numbered edition of 200, and there are about 40 remaining There are now ab available here while supplies last.
Also, important: People who’ve collected all 12 monthly pins are eligible to get our Uni Watch Pin Club 2020 All-Star pin as a free bonus. If you qualify, you can claim your prize by emailing me with (a) your mailing address and (b) some combination of photographic evidence and/or receipts. For example, if you order the December pin today, you could send me a photo of the 11 pins you’ve already received plus your email from Teespring confirming that you ordered the December pin. Or you could wait until the December pin arrives and take a photo of all 12 pins. Or you can simply go to “My Purchases” in your Teespring account and take a screen shot of that. As long as you can prove that you collected ’em all, that’s what I’m looking for, okay? Okay!
• The Uni Watch Classic Cap is currently selling at 10% off its usual price. We have all fitted sizes in stock, as well as the adjustable strapback version. Available here.
• The rest of our Uni Watch merchandise is listed here.
Okay, end of sales pitch. Thanks for listening! Now back to Phil.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: The Seattle Pilots may have only played one season in MLB before moving on to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers, but there is a Seattle Pilots Facebook page, and they have offered up a Seasons Greetings for the fans of that page (from Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell). … Tweeter Stirrups Now says “Teddy Higuera apparently wanted his number on the baseball in the Brewers glove logo. I’ve seen this on more than one of his photos, but not on other Brewers of the mid to late 80s.” … The New Era Double Logo collection using vintage logos (from Ignacio Salazar).
NFL News: A week after (finally) breaking out their white over white combo, the Saints are back to wearing white jerseys & black pants against the Falcons. … Mississippi State alum Coach Judge was decked out in Ole Miss gear after losing a rivalry bet with Evan Engram (from Mike Chamernik). … The Chiefs are going “full tomato” for their Sunday night matchup with the Broncos (from Kary Klismet). … “Here are three links to pictures of a 1973 IndyCar with the Atlanta Falcons logo and team colors” writes Roger Cooper: One, Two, and Three. He adds, “The race car was known as the Atlanta Falcons Special and was driven by Mel Kenyon. The car was owned by Lindsey Hopkins who was a part owner of the Atlanta Falcons. Kenyon qualified for the 19th starting position of the 1973 Indy 500 at an average speed of 190.224 MPH and he finished 4th in the race itself.” … Champion Athleticwear has signed on to be the uniform supplier for a new football league called “Fan Controlled Football” (from Kary Klismet). “There seems to be a lot going on with this new “Fan Controlled Football” league, including current online voting to choose the teams’ uniforms, and the release of team logos as voted upon by the public,” he adds. Here’s the league’s website for further context. … OK, now THIS is cool: “My sister-in-law had a custom golf cart made for her die hard Vikings fan husband to tool around their vacation community in the Poconos,” tweets Paul Friedmann. … This probably doesn’t qualify as news in the least, but someone thought it important to note Seattle going mono-blue at home vs. the Giants. … New England Patriots coach Brian Belichick will be sporting Travis Roy Foundation sneakers for #mycleatsmycause during today’s game against the Chargers (from Brandon Weir). … First “Leotard effect”? Kurt Rozek writes, “The first NFL team I recall that wore dark socks with dark pants was the New Orleans Saints of the late 1970s. But they had stripes on the socks, so it wasn’t that obvious. The first team I recall having colored pants with solid, colored socks were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the early 90s. Who do you credit or blame with being the first team to promote the leotard effect? It’s been all downhill ever since.”
College Football News: Reader JohnMark Fisher recently stumbled upon a copy of the 1955 “Badger,” or what used to be UW-Madison’s year book (you can see many photos here). He notes, “I loathed the red helmets Gary Andersen forced upon us in 2013, but I had no idea they were part of our normal rotation historically (that Yahoo article states they were in regular use until the late 60s). I assumed Wisconsin had always worn White-Red-White or W-W-W, but from these photos (Google Photos Album), I can see the following combinations used during the 1954 season: R-R-R; W-W-W; R-W-R; W-R-W.” … This Columbia Lions helmet from the 70s seemingly used Detroit’s same logo (from Ciaran O’Donnell).
Hockey News: Arizona State’s hockey team has unveiled uniforms that pay homage to the school’s 1975 football team (from Kary Klismet). … The custom skates for the World Juniors have leaked (from Mike Chamernik and Brian Smith). … Check out Lukáš Parík’s pads for upcoming World Juniors in Edmonton bubble. Submitter Wade Heidt notes Lukas is an LA Kings draft pick who plays in the WHL for the Spokane Chiefs.
NBA News: Now that all the NBA
City alternate unis have been unveiled, folks have begun ranking them. Here’s another such list. … The website LakerStats.com includes a page providing a comprehensive history of the franchise’s uniforms dating back to its days in Minneapolis (from Kary Klismet). … Reader Matt Staley says, “Paul’s article about the NBA’s odd attempt to reference the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jogged my memory about the 1997 All-Star game in Cleveland and a prototype jersey that I had seen. Thought you might also enjoy taking a look at this monstrosity.” … LeBron James says he’s still going give his No. 23 jersey to Anthony Davis after this season. James was going to switch back to No. 6 last summer before Nike delayed the plan because it “could not accommodate the request,” per @ChrisBHaynes (from Jakob Fox).
College Hoops News: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: not every color vs. color game (in any sport) looks good, but every so often we are treated to a very pleasant look on the court, as shown by Wisconsin vs Marquette (from Andrew Cosentino).
Soccer News: Here’s a short video tour of the new stadium that Boston United F.C. of England’s sixth-tier National League North played in for the first time on Saturday (from Kary Klismet). … Re: Friday’s ticker link about FC Groningen, Mark Sencich notes, “I noticed that the current jersey had Robben’s name on the front … it appears they do not use names on the back of their jerseys at all and they only appear on the front. Here is a link showcasing the new jerseys for this season and a paragraph mentioning the names on the front and indicating this is not the first time they have done this.”
Grab Bag: Virgin Galactic has unveiled its pilot uniforms for its commercial space tourism enterprise (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Kerrang!, a magazine devoted to hard rock, has released its ranking of the best heavy metal band mascots of all time. “I’d say the choice for #1 is sure to generate some controversy,” he adds. … Here’s a brief history of the evolution of Australian naval uniforms (from Graham Clayton). … Hey readers — Li’l Help? Karen Sciorilli asks, “I’m looking to identify this jersey. I’m thinking it might be the Hamilton Tigers but I can’t be sure. It was worn by one of the members of Chicago, Terry Kath, in the late 70’s.” … The jerseys of Michael Jordan, Colin Kaepernick and Barack Obama have broken records in an online auction (from Tom Turner). … This one is kinda long, but please read through (from Hunter Sewell): “During the documentary “Chasing the Sun” (about the 2019 World Cup Champions,South Africa) head coach Rassie Eramsu made a statement about the player who scored the winning try in the final, Makazole Mapimpi. During the quarterfinal match the Boks wore numbers that featured pictures of their family inside the numerals. Mapimpi only had pictures of himself and other random fans as filler within because he came from a very poor background. His brother and father had both passed away and he couldn’t afford to have photographs taken beforehand. There aren’t any clear photos taken but here is the clip and what I could find. Mapimpi is #11.” … Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) is giving away a collaboration of Gundam robots and J-League teams, 19 of them (18 J1 teams + a league version). From Jeremy Brahm. … Also from Jeremy: Hello Kitty and NEC Red Rockets women’s volleyball team collaboration goods. … Toronto’s oldest operating movie theatre, the Revue Cinema, is selling naming rights to its seats in order to survive the pandemic. One seat $250, or $200 for 2+. Each seat will have a plaque on it for 3 yrs, but $2k gets it forever (from Timmy Donahue). … Argentina paid an on-field tribute to Diego Maradona in their dramatic draw with the Wallabies on Saturday night in Sydney, with the national rugby team wearing No. 10 on the sleeve of their jerseys after being slammed for not doing enough to honor the late football legend recently.
And finally… that’s all for this week. Thanks, as always to the SMUW crew, as well as to Harrison and Doug for their 5 & 1 submissions. Look for two new guest pickers again next Sunday too!
Everyone have a good week and I’ll catch you back here next Saturday.