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Uni Watch Fan Appreciation Day, 2022 Edition

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Good morning! It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back, literally, to the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical about it, the time when I clear out all the freebies that have accumulated here at Uni Watch HQ over the past year (along with some things that readers generously donated). Either way, for the 14th consecutive year, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.

As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent my way over the past year. I realize people often frown upon regifting, but sometimes I have duplicates of certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.

For shirts and jerseys, you’ll see a size followed by a measurement (L, 21″, for example). In each case, that’s the tagged size, assuming there is one, followed by the pit-to-pit measurement across the chest. If the back side of a shirt isn’t mentioned or shown in the photos, you can assume it’s blank.

One note: All the items below are numbered, but I mistakenly had two separate items that were both No. 26. After reader/commenter Jeff pointed that out, I changed one of them to 26A, so as to avoid renumbering all the subsequent items. So if you’re wondering why one item is No. 26A, that’s why.

We have a lot of great stuff to give away this year, so let’s get to it:

1. A complimentary Uni Watch membership card.

2. A complimentary one-year subscription to my Premium content on Substack.

3. A green Uni Watch basketball jersey (S, 20.5″):

4. A white Uni Watch basketball jersey (M, 23″):

5. A green Uni Watch hockey jersey (M, 21.75″):

6. A white Uni Watch hockey jersey (L, 23″):

7. A Uni Watch tequila sunrise T-shirt. This is the original edition from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club in 2015 (not the version we currently sell on Teespring), so it has the T-Shirt Club “patch” on the sleeve and the front and back stripes don’t align so well (M, 21″):

8. A Uni Watch blank notebook. This is a one-of-a-kind prototype that a manufacturer sent me, but I opted not to put it into production:

9. A Uni Watch “gold circle” cap. very similar to the version we sold for a while. Low-profile, strapback:

10. A purple Uni Watch tequila sunrise T-shirt from Purp Walk 2019, generously donated by reader Steve Haller (L, 21.5″):

 

11. A Puppy Bowl XVIII sweatshirt (M, 22.25″):

12. A pair of Puppy Bowl XVIII socks:

13. A pair of Puppy Bowl bandanas, just like the ones worn by Team Ruff and Team Fluff:

14. A 49ers replica jersey. All graphics screened on (M, 21.15″):

15. A purple Brooks windbreaker that I thrifted for about two bucks, thinking I’d wear it for the big Purp Walk party out in Denver back in May. I ended up getting a different purple jacket that I liked better (M, 24″):

16. A purple cycling jersey. Again, I thrifted this for a couple of bucks with an eye toward Denver but ended up not needing it (L, 20″):

17. A pair of purple socks, which were ultimately supplanted by purple stirrups:

18. A Sabres Reverse Retro jersey. Blank on the back except for the Adidas maker’s mark on the rear neckline (46, 22″):

19. A Sabres Reverse Retro winter hat:

20. A Mets T-shirt that I was given by the New York Blood Center after I donated blood in July (M, 20″):

21. A Mets/Seinfeld stadium-giveaway T-shirt (L, 21″):

22. A pair of Mets wristbands. Zipper compartment on one side, annoying ad on the other:

23 and 24. A pair of Brooklyn Cyclones stadium-giveaway baseballs with Easter egg-style decorative designs. Each ball is a separate prize:

25. A Sugarland Space Cowboys T-shirt (L, 21″):

26. A Sugarland Space Cowboys cap. Low-profile, strapback:

26A. A “Brip” soccer jersey. I think this was a sample that reader and Equipt Studios founder Austin Chen sent me when we first discussed partnering on the Uni Watch soccer jersey project, so I could assess the quality of his jerseys (M, 19.5″):

27. A “Kit Swap” soccer jersey. Another sample that Austin sent me (L, 21.75″):

28. A soccer jersey for the Colombian team Atlético Nacional, generously donated by reader Zac Neubauer (M, 20″):

29. A “Harry M. Stevens, Shea Stadium” polo shirt, generously donated (and modeled, in the photo below) by reader Daniel Cruz (XL, 22″):

30. An A’s Ray Fosse memorial patch:

31. A soccer bobblehead doll, generously donated by reader Brad Eenhuis:

32. A Staten Island FerryHawks ticket stub, autographed for me on Sept. 14 of this year by former Mets player Ed Kranepool:

33. A copy of The Great NFL Fun Book, which I blogged about earlier this year (96 pages):

34. A copy of The Great NFL Fun Book II, which I wrote about in that same blog post (96 pages):

35. A copy of Black Fives: The Epic Story of Basketball’s Forgotten Era, by Claude Johnson (470 pages):

36. A copy of All Caps: Stories that Justify an Outrageous Hat Collection, which I wrote about in October (282 pages):

37. A 1974 Dodgers mail-order brochure and accompanying envelope, generously donated by reader Steve VanderWell:

———

And there we are. Here’s how to enter the raffle:

  1. Send an email to the raffle address.
  2. In the body of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 10 prize choices, in order of preference, by number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, but I don’t expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate the winners’ choices.
  3. One entry per person. Non-USA readers are welcome to enter, although I may ask you to chip in on the shipping charges if you win something heavy.
  4. Entry deadline is next Friday, Dec. 23. As per our longstanding annual tradition, the winners will be announced on Christmas Day, and I’ll try to get everything mailed out by New Year’s.
  5. Please join me in thanking Daniel Cruz, Brad Eenhuis, Steve Haller, Zac Neubauer, and Steve VanderWell for generously donating items to this year’s raffle. I’d also like to thank all the rest of you who contribute in various ways to Uni Watch. Honestly and truly, I wish I could provide gifts for all of you, and I wish all of you luck in the raffle!
 

Culinary Corner

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In addition to the year-end raffle, another longtime December tradition around here is the preparation of my annual batch of homemade Irish cream. In other words, homemade Bailey’s. In other words, melted ice cream that gets you drunk. It’s super-easy to make, it’ll make you the hero of whatever holiday party you bring it to, and lots of you have told me how much you like it. Here’s how to do it:

Start with some decent Irish whiskey — Bushmills, Jameson, Tullamore Dew, something like that (but not super-high-end stuff, because the nuances will be lost in this preparation). Pour a pint of the whiskey into a large-ish container and mix it with a can of sweetened condensed milk; a pint of heavy whipping cream; a tablespoon of chocolate syrup; a teaspoon of vanilla extract; a teaspoon of instant espresso dissolved in two tablespoons of hot water; and a quarter-teaspoon of almond extract.

Mix well (if the container has a tight lid, you can just shake vigorously), refrigerate, serve over ice, top with a bit of grated nutmeg if you like (that’s what I do), and get ready to become the most popular person in the room. No need to thank me afterward, but you’ll want to do so anyway — trust me. Enjoy!

This year’s batch of Irish cream, which I prepared last night, had a funny wrinkle. As I got the point where I had to open the can of sweetened condensed milk, I rooted through a few drawers and realized I no longer owned a can opener. Mary must have taken it with her when she moved out in October, and I didn’t realize it until yesterday because I hadn’t needed to open any cans. So I ran around the corner to the dollar store (in the rain, ugh) to get a new one. It wasn’t until I got back home with it that I noticed the little brand name stamped into the handle:

How funny is that? It was meant to be!

 

Substack Reminder

In case you missed it on Thursday, my Premium article on Substack this week is the latest quarterly installment of “Ask Me Anything,” where I answer questions submitted by Uni Watch readers. This edition is enormous, clocking in at over 5,000 words. You can read the first part of it here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll have to become a paying subscriber to my Substack content, which I hope you’ll consider doing. Thanks!

 

What Paul Did Last Night

Yesterday was the third Thursday of the month, which means it was time for me to go see the wonderful Pre-War Ponies. They’ve been doing this monthly residency for years and years, and they’re also semi-adjacent to a few other bands I know, so I really should have known about them ages ago, but somehow I missed the boat and didn’t discover this until this past spring. In the time since then, I’ve become a devoted fan and have also become friends with the band — it’s no exaggeration to say that getting to see them every month is one of the best things that happened to me this year.

Here’s one more of their songs from last night:

However you spent your Thursday night, hope it was a good one!

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Comments (24)

    The best part of this site, in an age of nearly identical influencers and brands, is how idiosyncratic Paul is. You can see that in the comments when he goes to town on commenters—most influencers don’t clown their audience! Or here, where he treats giving away literal junk he got for free or thrifted as a big deal. Stay weird Paul!

    Weird as it may seem to some, I have been entering uni-watch raffles for years, and when I finally won one last year, it was a true thrill. I would love to be gifted some of these items this Christmas.

    I do enjoy that the Uni Watch white hockey jersey is a nod to the old University of Regina hockey jerseys from late 1980s/early 1990s. A good-looking uniform.

    link

    I say it every year – that Baileys recipe is legit and has been a staple of my holiday tradition for years now. Thanks Paul!

    Seconded…my wife reminded me last week that we hadn’t made any yet. We are now on our second batch of the season.

    Ugh — numbering glitch.

    I’ve changed the second 26 to 26A, so as to avoid renumbering all the subsequent items. Thanks for catching that!

    Hm…..I have always wondered if the Irish cream would work without the espresso. My wife and I are not coffee drinkers (Tea!), so we have none, and are not going to buy any, especially for that small amount!

    Maybe I’ll try it this year.

    I’m not a coffee drinker either! But a small jar of instant espresso costs about $3.99, so it’s no biggie.

    Or you can leave it out. Recipes are just starting points — you’re always free to improvise!

    Dialing back the whiskey is my modification, depending on who I am serving/gifting it to.
    Reduction, never elimination!

    Another non-coffee person here, but I. An vouch for a little espresso powder boosting other flavors *really* well! (Dark chocolate desserts come to mind!)

    Thanks Dan, Brad, Zac, and Steves. All good stuff. Even as a Pens fan, that Sabres stuff is delicious. Can do without the white breezers though.

    I don’t *know* why, but my guess would be that 00 (or 0) = nothing, and Seinfeld was/is known for being a show about nothing.

    Maybe because 00 was George’s number (with KOKO NOB) for the Kruger Industrial Smoothing softball team?

    Paul, I’m surprised you don’t own a church key. Seems right up your alley. Or maybe Mary took it too? Who knows! For pourable canned items it’s my go to. I love the simple old-schoolness to it.

    Paul – it’s always great to see the Irish cream recipe. In a crazy way, seeing that posted on Uni Watch every year (for the last very many years) is one of my “it’s Christmas Time” markers.

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