Lots to like in yesterday’s KC/Dolphins game, as the Fins wore their throwbacks, KC went white over red, and the late-year sunlight looked Just Right on Miami’s grass field. A visual treat! Click on the highlight footage embedded above to revel in the uni goodness, and you can also see plenty of photos here and here. And yes, the Dolphins should wear this uni full-time, blah-blah-blah, we all know that already but they don’t seem inclined to go that route so whaddaya gonna do.
In other news from a very uni-eventful day around the league yesterday (for most photos, you can click to enlarge):
• If you like striped socks as much as I do, you had to love the scene yesterday in Chicago, as the Bears brought out their 1936 throwbacks (additional photos here):
• In that same game, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan had some issues with the striping tape on his helmet:
• The Bengals went mono-black:
• The Jags went mono-black as well:
• The Panthers were yet another team that went mono-black:
• And to save the worst example for last, the Eagles wore their miserable mono-black alternates:
• The good news is that the Lions didn’t go mono-black; the bad news is that they went mono-blue:
• The Chargers went mono-blue as well:
• After not going mono-white for over a decade, Washington did it for the second week in a row:
• Similarly, after not going mono-white since 2012, the Vikings did for their second consecutive road game:
• The Bills, in their annual tragic misstep, went mono-red:
• It was a wacky day for undershirts. First, Jags running back James Robinson had a bit of base-layer malfunction:
Here’s a video clip of that play — not quite as good as the photo, but still interesting to see:
Love James Robinson.. his cuts are so smooth.
Unfortunately this was brought back due to too many guys on the LOC. Illegal Formation pic.twitter.com/SeotsGgT2S
— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) December 13, 2020
• The same thing happened to Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor:
• And it also happened to Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb:
• And in yet another base-layer development, Raiders offensive lineman Trent Brown cut a fringe pattern into the bottom of his undershirt, creating a sort of grass-skirt effect:
• Speaking of Brown, he also wore a Black Lives Matter facemask during pregame activities (but not in the game itself):
That photo also provides another view of the fringed undershirt.
• Earlier this week, each team announced its nominee for this season’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Those 32 players all wore the Payton Award icon — the one that looks like Darth Vader — as a rear-helmet decal yesterday, as exemplified here by Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson:
Thompson and the other 31 nominees will continue to wear that helmet decal for the rest of this season. The eventual winner of this season’s award will wear the Payton icon as a jersey patch for the rest of his career, just like all past Payton winners who are still active.
• The aforementioned Bears were the only home team that wore white.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Matt Barnett, Robert Delano, Andrew Joseph, Brian Spiess, Trevor Williams, @NFL_Journal, and @MadeByTim.)
Big news out of Cleveland: The New York Times broke the story last night that the Cleveland MLB team has decided to change its name, with an official announcement possibly coming as soon as this week. Half an hour after the Times published its story, ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed the report.
The Times report said that the team might keep the Indians team name and uniforms for one last season in 2021 (and then go forward with a new identity in 2022) or might instead choose to play simply as “Cleveland” in 2021 (similar to the Washington Football Team). Later in the evening, Cleveland.com reported that the team has chosen the first option — keeping the existing name for 2021 and then rebranding in 2022 — although it sounds like the situation is still somewhat fluid.
Either way: Good for them! As for what the new team identity should be, I’ll leave that for Clevelanders to debate. I’m just glad the old name’s days are numbered.
To Indians fans, I understand the sense of loss you may be feeling, and I’m sorry about that — really. You deserve something better to rally around than the block-C, so I hope the team’s new identity, whatever it turns out to be, includes a great new logo for you to embrace. While they’re at it, maybe the franchise can finally settle whether they’re a blue team with red trim or the other way around. Lots of opportunities here to tie up loose ends!
This is the latest in a series of moves throughout the sports world to eliminate Indigenous-themed team names. The first team to do so was the NFL’s Washington Redskins (who are currently playing as the Washington Football Team); then came the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos (who are in the process of choosing their new moniker); and now the Indians.
Next up: the Braves, Chiefs, and Blackhawks. You’re on the clock, guys.
Ouch: ESPN put together this entertaining video about why NFL players don’t wear a protective cup. It’s about three-and-a-half minutes long, which feels just about right. Worth checking out!
(Thanks to Anthony Nuccio for this one.)
Darnold for MVP: Saturday Night Live did a segment the other night called “Sportsmax,” which was a sports-themed parody of wackadoodle cable “news” channel Newsmax. It featured two “Jetsperts” who insisted that the Jets are actually undefeated and that any suggestions to the contrary just prove that the NFL is “rigged” (and they have a stack of signed affidavits alleging fraud to prove it!).
As you can see in the embed above, one of the segment’s key visual props was a Jets three-peat T-shirt. I initially assumed that the wardrobe department created that shirt just for the segment (which would’ve been a pretty inspired move), but it turns out that the shirt is a commercially available item, which feels a teeny bit less satisfying. If they do a follow-up segment, maybe they can make an “Adam Gase for Coach of the Year” tee for the occasion.
Click to enlarge
’Tis the season: One of the most cherished holiday rituals here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of a box of baseball uniform-themed cookies from longtime reader and national pastime treasure Elena Elms. I’ll let her explain this year’s batch:
The theme this year is honoring the six National Baseball Hall of Fame members passed away in 2020 — Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Joe Morgan, Whitey Ford, and Al Kaline.
Four of them wore only one uniform, with a slight variation for Brock having to wear the blue away pullover jerseys. Kaline had to wear a grey pullover late in his career, but it wasn’t colorful enough to include. I didn’t reproduce every uniform that Seaver wore — just two significant ones. Wish I’d done the back of Gibson’s jersey so he’d have multiple cookies like everyone else, but he’s one of a kind, so one it is.
Joe Morgan gets too many cookies because he wore so many different jerseys. I did his three Houston ones because of the history, and the A’s one because it’s green.
Those Houston cookies are particularly spectacular, no? Thanks so much, Elena — you are, as always, the best.
Twice as nice: Reader Christopher Pisciotti sent me this clever holiday card design over the weekend. He said he doesn’t know who created it, although it appears to have shown up on Reddit two years ago.
So I tweeted the design and soon heard from Uni Watch fan Ryan Bricklemyer, who informed me that the design was created by his wife, Sameeha Bricklemyer! What are the odds, right? The card, along with lots of other cool stuff, is available in her Etsy shop.
Mary Scissorhands: The Tugboat Captain was in full craft-y mode over the weekend, making these amazing paper snowflakes that she later put in some of the windows here at Uni Watch HQ. Whenever I try to make these myself, I end up with some sad Charlie Brown-ish result, so I’m lucky to live with such a gifted partner!
LAST CALL for the “Collect ’em all!” documentation: If you’ve collected all 12 of this year’s monthly Uni Watch Pin Club pins, you’re eligible to get our 2020 All-Star pin as a free bonus. But to qualify for the bonus pin, you must notify me asap by emailing me with (a) your mailing address and (b) some combination of photos of your pins, screen shots of your purchase receipts, or screen shots of your purchase-confirmation emails from Teespring to prove that you’ve purchased all 12 pins. In short: Collected ’em all? Great — prove it!
I will be ordering the All-Star pins TODAY, with the quantity based on how many people have emailed me their documentation. I’ll definitely order an extra dozen or so (because I know there will be stragglers and late-comers), but that’s it — a dozen extra, not 50 extra. So again, if you’ve collected ’em all, please prove it, pronto. Thanks!
By Jamie Rathjen
Football News: Texans DL J.J. Watt arrived to yesterday’s game in Chicago wearing the shirt of his wife, Chicago Red Stars winger Kealia (from Ignacio Salazar). … The Canton Repository ran a story about the 1902-03 indoor world championship, which were the first indoor football games (from Tom Pachuta).
Hockey News: The first two items are from Wade Heidt: Here is U.S. G Spencer Knight’s mask for the world junior championship. … Arizona State is one team that can wear multiple combos, and yesterday debuted all maroon except for yellow pants. … The Coyotes’ ECHL team, the Rapid City Rush, wore kachina-derived warm-up jerseys yesterday (from Josh Pearlman).
Basketball News: FIBA revealed the logo for the 2023 Basketball World Cup, in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines (from Jeremy Brahm). … Color-vs.-color men’s college games yesterday included Richmond/West Virginia (from Timmy Donahue), Michigan State/Oakland (from Stephen Brooks), and Grand Canyon/Arizona State (from Chris Mycoskie). … Former Illinois-Chicago head coach Jimmy Collins died yesterday, so the Flames added a memorial to him on their court (from Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike: Speaking of UIC, they have some pretty wild flag/skyline-themed uniforms. And as you can see in that shot, last night’s game against Loyola was color vs. color.
Soccer News: Bayern Munich wore their Humanrace hand-drawn fourth shirts in the Frauen-Bundesliga yesterday. The numbers and NOBs had a similar effect. … Some teams in England’s women’s top two tiers started wearing “Take a Stand” patches in support of the charity Kick It Out, which are to appear on those teams’ shirts for the rest of this season. By my count at least half of the 23 possible teams participated, with the rest planning to do something else besides the patches. … Elsewhere in the Women’s Super League, Arsenal and Manchester City both wore on their warm-up shirts the number and NOB of Arsenal center-back Jen Beattie, who made public her breast cancer diagnosis last week — and has been playing since she learned about it. Beattie also wore pink boots. … Scottish club Aberdeen started renaming three of Pittodrie Stadium’s stands after fans for each game while they can’t attend. … Cross-posted from the football section: Texans DL J.J. Watt arrived to yesterday’s game in Chicago wearing the shirt of his wife, Chicago Red Stars winger Kealia (from Ignacio Salazar). … An artist in London turns soccer shirts into pieces of art (from Trevor Williams). … New shirts for the Colombian national team.
Grab Bag: Limerick won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship yesterday, which the blog Museum of Jerseys points out makes them the first county team to win an All-Ireland without a shirt ad since Down won the Gaelic football version in 1994. Reader Adam Ingle says Limerick are the only county team that currently doesn’t have a shirt ad. … Ferrari’s two Formula One drivers, Charles Leclerc and the departing Sebastian Vettel, had an inconsistency around one of the ads on their similar helmet designs this weekend, despite Leclerc’s being a one-off design that derives from Vettel’s (from @bstew22). … Australian Twenty20 cricket’s Big Bash League gives the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker golden caps to wear while fielding.
Sad about the Indians :(
Familiarity is a super-underrated aspect of why sports are so great and why people are drawn to them.
I wrote this a little while back, the Indians section sort of outlines what I feel about the name/logo. Forcing a city/fanbase to reverse course on what they’ve cheered for, for years/decades is always a tough situation. The Tribe has always been my secondary team because of my family ties, but I really do feel bad for the rest of the fans, and having to adjust these next few years to something that’s going to be very unfamiliar to them.
Great comments. People have ties that go back generations with this team. Keep in mind, 25 years ago the city of Cleveland fought to keep the name, colors and records of their football team. Letting go of the nickname will not be easy for some people, particularly in baseball where the fans are older. The change was inevitable but it’ll still be odd to walk into Jacobs Field post-pandemic and not see the giant script “Indians” on the scoreboard.
Yes, familiarity is an important part of sports fandom. That’s why successful teams are always so loath to change their uniforms.
But this is still the right choice given the weight on both sides of the issue, with fans’ discomfort on one side and the Native American community’s desire to remove what they see as “derogatory and harmful stereotypes” on the other. No contest.
I hope the fans can see past their own familiarity to recognize that this is a win for everyone.
I understand that it’s hard to lose something that’s been part of your experience as a fan, but I encourage you to think about this from a slightly different perspective:
–Professional baseball is not leaving Cleveland. As Doogie reminded in another comment, this is not the same as a team moving to another city and abandoning its loyal fanbase.
–Changing the team’s nickname invites in a new and enthusiastic group of fans who felt excluded by the name, whether it’s indigenous people living in Ohio or baseball fans who were turned off by the name and imagery.
–There are opportunities for a new logo and on-field look. As a fan of athletic aesthetics (as we all are), this should be something to look forward to! (Here’s hoping the team comes up with something great.)
I’ve never been to Cleveland, and never rooted for the team, but if the new logo and hats look good, I’d consider buying one.
I appreciate the politeness of your response and of course the points you brought up are well taken and have been mentioned many times in all corners of the internet for several years now (I collect all MLB hats so if their new ones are better than the horrible block C, which I’m sure it will be, it’ll at least be a small silver lining to all this), but there’s nothing “slightly different” about this particular perspective, it’s a complete 180 compared to how most fans are going to feel about it haha.
Bud (and everyone else), let’s please try to speak for ourselves and not pretend to speak for “most fans” or engage in any other form of mind-reading or speculative projection. Thanks.
Fair. The ‘slightly different’ perspective is, in my opinion, a fairly polar-opposite perspective I was trying to give in my above comment then haha
My point is not that my perspective is unique, rather to encourage you to broaden your view on what’s happening with the name change.
I do empathize that this is painful! I’m reminded of stories that fanbases of soccer teams in Europe protesting when the team changes the color of its shorts. The difference here is that the goal in the name change here is a noble one: welcoming marginalized communities into a fanbase is a good thing.
Iunno that my view is particularly narrow, though. I certainly understand the arguments for changing the name/logo, and don’t even really necessarily disagree with them, at least for the most part. But for today at least, sadness is the prevailing emotion.
Well, as a baseball fan in Cleveland today’s bittersweet. I’ve already come to grips the team name would be changed and somewhat excited for a meeting name and identity, but also sad that something I that’s been in my life for 30+ years as a sports fan is going away. I think at this point I would almost prefer them to go with “Cleveland Baseball Club” and us fans give it an unofficial nickname. (hopeful that without any NA imagery they can be referred to as “the Tribe” since most Clevelanders call them that anyways but prob think that wouldn’t be a good idea)
I guess I could live with Spiders but as a person who doesn’t like Spiders I don’t know if I’ll ever love that. I dunno. This is harder than I thought it would be. I know it’s the right thing to do but still feel a sense of “loss” over something that’s been such a big part of my sports fan life.
I totally understand that. Baseball in particular relies very heavily on tradition and continuity.
I also recognize that it’s easy for me to say, not being a fan of a Native-American-themed team, but if it helps you can feel good knowing that your team did the right thing.
*Somewhat excited for a NEW name and identity (correcting a typo above)
Massive Cleveland baseball fan here. Call me a cynic but the news of the name change (which was inevitable since Chief Wahoo was retired), comes at a time when they are looking to move fan favorites Lindor and Carrasco, as part of an effort to drastically reduce their payroll. I hope there’s no use of Spiders or rock & references in the new name. I want a complete rebrand with new colors and a name that allows for a character or image, something other than a letter, to go on the cap.
I agree. If you’re re-naming the team, go all out. I’d love to see navy and maroon, or maroon and baby blue, something more unique in the wide world of sports. And whether it’s a character or cap logo, drop the block C – it’s so bland and boring. It would be kind of fun to go way back traditional and be the Cleveland Nine or the Cleveland Baseball Club and not really have a strong nickname. Do something much more than slap a new name and alt logo on our existing jersey (which I have fond memories of from the 90s and which they’ve tinkered with endlessly since 2001 for some reason).
I would really love to see Cleveland adopt maroon and shift away from the red, white, and blue that basically every other team in MLB uses. More variety!
Why does the NFL allow the base layer to hang out conspicuously below the bottom hem of the jersey? For that matter, why are the jerseys allowed to be untucked? I get that it is a collision sport and clothing gets loose, but our uniforms had belts and your jersey was tucked in. MLB and NBA players can do it. The base layer hangs out by a good 6-8 inches and it makes it look like a cummerbund. Not only is it a terrible look, it’s another way for a player to be tackled.
NFL players have been looking sloppy recently; used to be that you could get fined for not tucking your shirt in or not pulling your socks all the way up. Nowadays, it’s “anything goes.”
Actually, some fines are still issued. The players just don’t care, because it’s pocket change to them.
“A fine is a price” – Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini.
Unfortunately, the NFL does nothing about policing the uniforms anymore it seems. This surprises me considering there were standards in the past. It is really bad now with socks and wearing pants like they are shorts. Now players are taking it too far, such as the tasseled base layer Trent Brown wore this weekend. That fashion display from Brown is a sign is time to step in and help make the league look professional.
Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb had his base layer stretched to the max as well.
Oooh, I’ll add that to the entry!
I know the guy who does the inspections at Lambeau on Sunday. The NFL still does it. But I think the speculation that the fines are relatively small hits the nail on the head.
I really hope the Cleveland franchise selects something that isn’t faddish or aggressively generic. Many teams in this position default to something akin to a children’s rec-league basketball name. And for some reason bird-of-prey related? Thinking of the Marquette Golden Eagles, Miami RedHawks, North Dakota Fighting Hawks, etc…
Animal names probably seem safe and easy for a club or institution looking to get away from the controversy.
I’m for naming teams after famous roller coasters, which explains my attachment to the “Thunderbolts” moniker.
Clevelander here hoping for Spiders.
Non-Clevelander hoping that’s what you get. ;)
Backing this 100%.
Spiders is what I have been hoping for for years.
“Spiders” would be cool. Especially if you had a latticework on the uniform instead of vertical pinstripes.
They should just relocate the Indians to another city and then give Cleveland a new team in a few years. Then the fans won’t be too upset about losing any personal connection to the franchise.
That would honestly be easier for most people, yes.
Uh… you know that’s a lot like how Cleveland lost the Browns, right?
I’m a Twins fan in the AL, so Cleveland is both a divisional rival and a team whose name I abhor. But I basically like the city of Cleveland and all the Clevelanders I know are terrific people and good sports fans. So one upshot of the team changing its name is that Cleveland’s baseball team will drop off my list of hated rivals and I’ll switch my passionate rooting-against energy to the White Sox. The renamed Cleveland team will join the Royals and Tigers as teams that I don’t mind winning the division if the Twins can’t.
For the Cleveland fans here, what team names are you hoping for?
Cleveland Spiders or GTFO!
Agreed. The perfect name is just sitting right there.
I tweeted this last night, but may have been too late to make the ticker for today: link
New shirts for the Colombian national soccer team. Looks a lot more like some of their classic shirts from the past. Also includes a small logo of the country in the national flag colors on the back of the shirt above the nameplate area.
It’s right there in the soccer section of the Ticker, Michael!
How about Cleveland Rockers (since the R&R HOF is there)? Or something music-related?
If we have one more guitar logo in this city… so help me…
But I hear that Cleveland rocks.
The Cleveland Careys.
I think that’s a terrible name because everything having to do with the R&R HOF is so overdone there. Worse, it is the name of a failed WNBA team that played from 1997 to 2003.
“Rockers” is also currently used in baseball by the High Point (NC) team of the Atlantic League.
That makes sense but when they play colorado, the Rockies VS the Rockers is way too similar
Them’s some nice snowflakes! And correctly produced with six-fold symmetry! (I have a real peeve about 8-pointed (or any non-six) paper snowflakes).
If we’re going with alliteration, I like the Cleveland Kings. If you’re looking for a nod to something significant to Ohio, I like Aviators (for the Wright Bros) and feel it is much more significant to Ohio than the RNRHOF. I mentioned Stars as a nod to one of Cleveland’s several Negro League franchises, but was told that Nashville (I didn’t even know they were in the running for the Rays or an expansions team)has dibs on that. I’m less crazy about Spiders (but it’s okay) and remember when the Charlotte expansion NBA franchise bandied Spiders about (they eventually went with Bobcats) they were threatened with legal action from the University of Richmond. Rockers sounds terribly minor league-ish, but after seeing the All-Star logo I think this may be the direction they’ll head.
Rockies would likely object to the Rockers name. Especially if they want some sort of interlocking CR logo.
Curious about whether Richmond’s legal claim would have held up. I doesn’t seem like a mid level college program should have exclusive dominion over an animal name in perpetuity, blocking out any future team in another sport/geographic area.
I thought the same thing, but it was pretty well known that Spiders was a smokescreen and that Bob Johnson was going to call the team the “Bobcats” from the get-go. I would’ve liked to have seen Spiders over Bobcats and thought a little palm greasing at UofR would’ve solved the issue.
“If we’re going with alliteration, I like…” –
“If you’re looking for a nod to something significant to Ohio (Cleveland), I like…” –
351’s (for the engine), though it’s widely considered a ‘Detroit’ brand.
Nothing problematic about naming a team after a band of Christians who waged war specifically to take conquer Islamic Jerusalem
Are you sure that Jets 3-peat shirt predates the skit? It’s not exactly the same shirt, and all of the reviews are from the past three days.
Could be an enterprising fan of the show is capitalizing on the skit.
No, I’m not sure (although I did notice the slightly different design). Given that the years on the shirt are ’16, ’17, and ’18, I figured this is a shirt that’s been floating around the internet for a few years and has been knocked off and bootlegged several times along the way.
But I don’t know any of that for a fact.
It is strange. I sort of figured that the instant-printing industry had struck again.
Asking my Jets-fan friends if anyone’s seen that shirt before.
Interesting that the shirt has the 2019 logo, with the “three-peat” taking place before the logo was changed.
Yes, I was about to say that the shirt is different (particularly the number font and the outline around the numbers). I’m sure the costume department created the one used in the skit. But yeah, I don’t know if it predates it.
Why is anyone in favor of renaming the the team after one of the worst in history?
It is an opportunity to do something fresh and original.
Because the name is fresh and original. Unused in professional sports, huge potential for good graphic design.
Few people know how bad the first Cleveland Spiders team was, and I dare say that fewer people care.
Both of the names fans in Washington pined for for decades – Senators and Nats – mainly reflected decades of futility and lossiness. A team name can be beloved even when fans understand that the team(s) bearing the name were pretty bad.
As a lifelong Mets fan, I can relate to this sentiment.
Naming the team after the 1895 Temple Cup winners would outrageous.
The 1899 Spiders were the worst in MLB history, it’s true. But the Spiders were actually quite good in the early 1890s. They had Cy Young!
Using the old “Cleveland Crusaders” nomenclature has a great alliterative quality to it, and it even follows the precedent of naming a baseball team after an extinct hockey team. That’s exactly what the Colorado Rockies did. Only, the notion of a “crusader” in the original sense of Christian interlopers driving Islamic natives into the Mediterranean Sea wouldn’t pass muster in the circumspect 2020s.
Chiefs would just have to alter their logo to revolve around the theme of fire chiefs. They already have the perfect colors for that.
Put the “KC” within an outline of Missouri. Won’t even need to make Left- and Right-side versions.
I prefer a Dallas Texans-inspired approach…white state-shaped decal with a yellow star/something-or-other marking KC’s location.
“Missourians”? Uhh, no.
I like this concept with a Missouri decal on one side and a Kansas decal on the other.
But the name? Kansans? Missourians? Midwesterners? Oh-yah-you-betchas?
No, wait … Heartlanders!
Except that would really annoy the Kansas part of Kansas City – they need to appeal to the entire metro area and not risk a decrease in ticket sales, etc.
The Peoria Chiefs (minor league baseball) did that very thing. Everything was changed to a Fire Chief theme.
Cleveland had a pro team back in the prehistoric MLB days called the Cleveland Blues. I don’t hate that. I realize that it’s probably a bit generic, but unlike the recent generic team names like Predators, Bobcats, etc… this gives the illusion that it’s been around forever. Reds, Red Sox, Browns, White Sox, Crimson, etc…
I was thinking the same thing. Something “Baseball-y” along the lines of Red Sox or White Sox and immediately though of Blue Sox. I didn’t like it, but Blues would be great.
As a native to Utica, New York I am possessive of the Blue Sox name, even though the team hasn’t existed for almost 20 years.
I’m mostly kidding, but the great point that the team name should be evocative of the fact that professional baseball has been in Cleveland for more than 100 years. The name shouldn’t make the team sound like an expansion team.
The Blue Sox continue to play in Utica, at least as a summer collegiate league team. But professionally the team hasn’t existed since the 1990s.
Commissioner Brockmire forced the sale of the team and the new owners dubbed them The Colonizers.
The Cleveland Redhawks is summarily disqualified, if I have anything to say about it.
Everything must be whitewashed. Can’t have one person offended in a “free” society. Bland are we! Born to be free! Just like the fish in the sea!
There are plenty of things to be offended about in society without a pro sports franchise actively disenfranchising whole groups of people based on their heritage.
Offense is the most irrelevant concept in a free speech society. Exactly, there is a lot more to be “offended” about than a silly sports team.
Go ahead, you tell Native Americans that they’re wrong.
Actually, nothing is being “whitewashed,” nothing is happening because “one person [is] offended,” and there’s no need to put scare quotes around “free.”
If you have a substantive analysis or critique to offer regarding the lengthy process that the team has gone through in order to arrive at this point, I’m sure we’d all love to hear it. But bad-faith sloganeering that has no relationship to reality is not welcome here, so please don’t do that again. Thanks.
Well, the scare quotes are important because of the lack of ability for people to handle unimportant things and turn them into major issues (a team name, on the scale of problems, is low). A uniform website is not the place to discuss the immense wealth and lack of real issues facing America that forces to look at team names as if it’s something that is important because we’ve (America within its own borders) conquered the many immediate causes of human pain.
I suppose whitewash may be the wrong word, but it’s trying to make everything generic and meaningless.
I’ve read this site daily since the page 2 days (it’s been 17 years!)and this is the only thing that has bugged me, because it assumes that attitudes have never changed and that naming your team name is part of free speech (says the courts, not just BS). The problem is, that teams like Blackhawks (an actual tribe), Braves (ya know, warriors or vikings (surprised you’re ok with this considering their violent history and the caricature of the mascot) or whatever fighting group name you want to use), or Chiefs are just names that use imagery from things that came before us. Additionally, if you know the history of Native American tribes, you’d know that they were warmongering, violent, kept slaves, raped women (and pregnant women), took scalps (something westerners adopted) and took land.
Oklahoma literally means red-people in Choctaw, so “offense” is always relative.
You are (a) mischaracterizing my positions, and (b) substituting assertions for facts. I don’t have the time to deal with either of those now because I’m in the middle of a big project today, so I’ll just ask you to please try to stay tethered to reality, and also please don’t quote me or paraphrase me, because I’m not in a position to respond today. Thanks.
In what way is you being upset about them changing the name substantively different than someone else not liking the previous name? Either way, it’s being “offended” about the name of a sports team, isn’t it?
I’m not discussing the offensive nature nor am I upset about the name changing per se, it is more the lack of reasoning behind the name since the offense is really relative, imaginary and meaningless. No one forces you to support or watch it. It’s devolution of thinking into child form.
Nope nope nope.
The fallacy that this entire issue is based around people being “offended” is just that – a fallacy.
There are lots of other issues, including cultural misappropriation, dehumanization, and more. (I, for one, am not the least bit offended by the use of Native American imagery in sports — I just think it’s wrong, for reasons I’ve spelled out countless times and don’t have the personal bandwidth to address here.)
If you restrict your critique to the notion of people being “offended,” you are willfully ignoring the larger issues and engaging in straw-man-ism, which is a bad-faith tactic. One more time: Please DO NOT engage in bad-faith debate on my website.
You know what else is a bad-faith tactic? Reducing things to “take it or leave” (“If you don’t like it, don’t watch”), which is almost always a false choice. If someone thinks they can improve a situation, why shouldn’t they, instead of settling for the take/leave binary?
You appear to be articulate enough to know all of this already, which is why I think you’re arguing in bad faith — you know better.
Here’s a better idea than Cleveland deciding whether they’re a blue-with-red trim team or a red-with-blue trim team as part of the rebrand, I think: take the opportunity to select a new unique color scheme rather than continue to be part of the insufferably dull coterie of almost a third of MLB teams who have the same colors.
We desperately need a maroon team in MLB.
Or maybe forest green for the Forest City?
I suspect they’ll stick with RWB to make the transition easier for their fans. But they shouldn’t.
“We desperately need a maroon team in MLB.”
And that team should be the Phillies.
Ooh, no. I mean, if anyone COULD do it, the Phillies have done it. But the team has been around for 137 years. They wore maroon for 23 of those years. The vast majority of the history has been red and white (and some blue thrown in).
Agreed on both counts. On the one hand, absolutely Cleveland should take the opportunity to rethink its colors. On the other hand, no the team absolutely doesn’t need to choose between red and blue. The core longtime signatures of Cleveland’s uniforms have been a blue cap with a red bill, red jersey lettering, and navy alternate jerseys. Red and blue balanced. The block-C era has muddled that, but until quite recently the team has done an exemplary job being a two-color team with good balance. Everything the Rangers fail to do with their red/blue duality, Cleveland has mostly succeeded at.
For people who are understandably arachnophobic, maybe this character will help soften the blow should Cleveland rename its baseball team the Spiders:
In terms of marketing, the San Francisco Spiders IHL (minor league hockey) jersey is highly sought after by collectors. Totally an avenue waiting to be opened up again in pro sports.
I don’t get, however, the strong dislike for the block C logo. I think it looks great on the hat, though I get that as an organization they could have a better logo for other purposes.
While problematic on many levels, I’d like to revive the practice/tradition of having a city’s baseball and football teams having the same name…
The Cleveland (Baseball) Browns.
Share the name, share the colors.
Won’t happen any more, since each team will think that sharing the name dilutes its commercial value.
I fear whatever they come up with will be minor league and cartoonish. They’ll probably combine two streams of thought and become the Cleveland Rockin’ Spiders. And have a teeth-gritting spider swinging a guitar like a bat on their caps.
So true. And Brandiose is already working on it.
Is the Indianapolis AAA team destined for a similar fate?
I am from Indianapolis. The Indian’s org has already started discussing a name change:
Indianapolis has had 3 major league teams. Two were named Hoosiers (one in the National League the other in the Federal League) and one was (were?) the Blues. I would imagine they will come up with something to tie in with the Indy 500. Maybe reuse the WHA Racers name.
I dread the inevitable advent of the Indianapolis Pit [Noun]s. Pit Monsters? Pit Doggies? Pit Monkeys?
When a city has a demonym as cool as “Indianapolitans,” that should be the go-to sports team name.
May as well just drop all nicknames so activists won’t cry. Columbus Hockey team, Boston baseball team, Houston football team, Los Angeles basketball team. Stupid decision to cave to activists.
Actually, nobody has cried. Change happens, cultural standards evolve.
If you have a substantive critique, feel free to offer it. But bad-faith straw-man arguments are not welcome here. Please don’t do that again. Thanks.
Why not make everybody happy and go with the Cleveland Wahoos (with no related imagery).
Will that make everybody happy? Reminds me of crazy people and/or the University of Virginia
and make their logo a turkey.
Little nitpick here: in the Basketball section you should say that Jimmy Collins was the *former* UIC basketball coach. It’s a little unclear as it is and makes it seem like he was the coach up until his death.
oops, sorry for the duplicate comment
Good call — fixed!
official news release from MLB
Dolan’s email to Cleveland Fans
He says no Native American imagery (e.g. Tribe) will be considered as the team name. He did say they will continue to identify as the Indians until rebranding is complete (likely 2022)
this is something i should have known and probably do… but for some reason, today i learned, or bothers me?, that goalie masks are called goalie masks.. not helmets.
That’s funny — it bugs *me* when they’re called helmets! (Which doesn’t happen often but occasionally.)
The original goalie masks were just that — masks. There was no upper-head covering. Just a mask and a backplate (love that word). I guess that’s why I prefer “masks” over “helmets.”
If Cleveland does go with Spiders I sure hope they use the opportunity to make their netting behind home plate look like a spider web.
That is a fantastic idea. Don’t know if it would pass MLB safety standards without being too hard to see through, but it’s still a fantastic idea.
It’s easy to see how they could get carried away with all the spider-themed stuff — but the netting, I agree, would be AWESOME!
Interesting for Trent Brown, he had a dark colored shield over his BLM facemask/helmet, but no shield with his regular face mask. I wonder if he had a second helmet made (auction?) or if he had the equipment manager do a quick-change between warmups and the game?
Braves, Chiefs, and Blackhawks,
Do not give in to the SJW’s. A company has a right to call it’s business whatever the hell they want. I will still call them the Indians, as I still call the Washington team the Redskins, and Edmonton the Eskimo’s
Actually, Skip, nobody ever said they didn’t have the right to call their business whatever they want. Hell, Daniel Snyder has the right to go back to “Redskins” if he wants — I’ve always affirmed that position.
But the right to name your business whatever you like is not the same as the right to be free from critique or protest, or the right to be free from prevailing standards of public acceptability. Those rights do not exist (for Dan Snyder, the Indians, or anyone else). If a team wants to maintain a name that many of our fellow citizens find unacceptable, and if they’re also willing to handle the feedback they may receive as a result of that choice, they’re perfectly welcome to do so.
Try addressing reality instead of making up straw-man arguments. Thanks.
As a Braves fan, I am grateful to the Cleveland Indians for providing a valuable object lesson: never give an inch. Retiring Wahoo wasn’t good enough for the usual suspects, and any piecemeal concession Atlanta should make would only be treated as blood in the water. Bring back the Screaming Brave, I say.
I’m not sure who you mean by “the usual suspects,” or why you think the views of these “suspects” are any less legitimate than anyone else’s. Trying to delegitimize a point of view by slandering the people expressing it is a bad-faith tactic. Please don’t do that again.
As always: Engage with the message, don’t insult the messengers. Thanks.
As the great Mr. Jameson put it: “I resent that; slander is spoken. In print, it’s libel.”
But regardless, I mean nothing nefarious by “the usual suspects,” Paul, other than “people who find it very important to change the names and accessories of teams like the Indians, Braves, etc.” Now, of course their opinions are no more or less legitimate than mine … but our opinions are unavoidably opposed. As a result, I am not inclined to oblige them, and think it a sound strategy to thwart them as wholly as possible. None of that’s libelslander, I take it?
No, that’s fine, as long as you act in good faith. Referring to people as “the usual suspects” is a delegitimizing term that attempts to diminish a message by diminishing the *messenger.* As you know, I don’t look kindly upon that. In a battle of ideas, stick to the ideas — not the people expressing them.
Don’t make that assertion until you examine teams that have been through this process. The best examples I can cite are Dartmouth College and Stanford University, who shelved their Indian imagery decades ago. If Big Green and the Cardinal have been allowed to go about their business, good for them. (We can argue whether the new names are any good; I find them a bit dopey). But if you can cite evidence American Indians and their allies have continued to twist their arms lately, you’ve got a scoop.
I have expended so much energy into renaming this team (just like Washington NFL Football) that I have worked myself into a lather. Oooh, call them the “Riders”! No! Wait! The “Captains” is even better! Wait! I’ve got it! The “Barons”! It’s depressing. I’m sure the perfect name exists, I’ve been staring at it for years, but the attention I’ve been giving it makes me change my mind every day.
Best one is a historical name.
Cleveland Lake Shores. The logo can be a drawing of the Cuyahoga River on Fire.
The Indians were my team in Little League, and they’ve been my team ever since. Growing up in Utah, we had to find a creative reason to root for a team and for younger me it was Chief Wahoo. That being said, I’ve known the name wouldn’t stick around for long, and know this change is absolutely the right thing to do. Honestly I’m excited about it just because we can finally get rid of the block C – aka, the most bland and uninspiring logo in all of sports. Here’s hoping the rebrand is done well because I’m looking forward to buying some new Cleveland gear! Otherwise, I might be faced with an existential crisis of having to root for a team whose aesthetics don’t jive with me. Fingers crossed!
“Cleveland Spiders” will be widely accepted in the community, and I predict that if that’s the choice? Somehow, within 3 years of the rebrand, they’ll win a World Series.
Anything else? And they may as well fold the franchise, because fans will turn on them.
Really interesting reading these comments. This is not my thought but I’ll paraphrase from another comment I saw on another website today:
It is really interesting that people want to make a stand on behalf of racism by boycotting or whatever. Instead of boycotting a team with a racist nickname they are saying racism is important to them and they want to let everyone know that.
Are you rooting for the Indians, Spiders, Blues, etc.. or the team from Cleveland, Ohio? Because they are still in Cleveland.
Finally, why aren’t you boycotting because of the lousy management/owners the past few years? That would actually make sense.
I’m not really following you here, Steve. Here’s why:
1) What exactly is wrong with boycotting as a form of economic protest, which is a perfectly legitimate form of engagement with a long, proud tradition in America and around the world?
2) On what basis do you say that certain people “are saying racism is important to them and they want to let everyone know that”? And even if you’re right about that, what exactly is wrong with people wanting to draw attention to a cause that they feel is important (whether it’s racism or anything else)?
As always: Try to engage with the message, not the messenger. Thanks.
Fair questions Paul.
I had a bunch all typed up but my words failed Sorry that it did not come across correctly. I will do better next time.
However, *I* do have a problem with people who draw attention to themselves for what they feel is important if that important thing is racism, homophobia, antisemitism, or other hateful things. Because some of those people have a tendency to attract large number of followers.
Anyway, Happy Hanukkah! Would love to see your latke recipe…mine never come out that great.
Just to make sure I understand you — you’re saying that you have a problem with people who *espouse* those hateful things you mentioned, not with people who draw attention to *opposing* those hateful things, right?
Happy Hanukkah to you as well! No latke recipe here — Mary (the goy of the household) just wings it, always with spectacular results.
Is Notre Dame planning to change from the Fighting Irish?
Not that I’m aware of. But you can certainly lobby for them to do so if you like.
Thoughtful commentary from everybody today. A recommendation, though, for those who rue the coming of a day when one can’t find “Indian”-emblazoned apparel: Indian Motorcycles are still made in Medina, MN, and I’m sure they’d be happy to have your business. I have no stake in the company; I simply appreciate pretty motorcycles and my dad rode one in the 1950s.
That skit was pretty funny. Also seeing the new NBA unis (Hornets, Hawks, Raptors) in action have do your opinions change on them? I personally really like the Hawks look, I like the hornets, but the raptors shouldve used the white stripe across the chest.
Thanks for your words, today, Paul. We share a similar perspective, but you’re infinitely more articulate.
It’s too bad about the Indians. Will miss the name. I hope they go back to Spiders though!
so, the minor league hockey team, that logo looks a lot like Bill The Cat, no?
and i also am beyond pleased to see Cleveland finally ditching the nickname. great news.
At this point, let’s get rid of the Padres, Dodgers, Pirates, Brewers, Braves, Yankees, Mariners, etc…all offensive and based on human characterizations. I’m sure I’m missing some, but the point here is anyone can take offense to these names over time. Simple question, when do today’s sensibilities become tomorrow’s outrages? When does this end?
Actually, I’ve never heard anyone object to any of those team names, have you?
Do baseball players (when batting and, I assume, catching) wear them?
Cricketers over here absolutely do when batting (we call them ‘boxes’, but they’re the same thing).
Rugby players don’t.
Some baseball players do, some don’t.
I was dumbstruck by the fact that “Chief Wahoo” first appeared as the primary logo for Cleveland in 1946. It remained primary until 2014 and they were still selling merch with it until 2019. That’s 70-plus years, and generations of baseball fans associate the team name with that demeaning caricature. For that alone the owners knew they had to change the name after defending it when they first bought the team. I vote for Freighters reflecting Great Lakes shipping, with the primary logo a smokestack with a stylized C. (Note that George Steinbrenner was from a shipping family from Cleveland.)