BallWonk

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  1. My in-laws just sent me one of the new Twins road caps for my birthday. With the Target Field Inaugural Season patch, of course. I was going to post here and comment that while I still don't like the concept of the hat, the execution is quite good. In that the red bill draws out the red in the TC logo a bit more, making the red C a bit more easily visible. And the cap just plain looks good. But then I was in a crowd this morning waiting to hear President Obama give a speech at a local college, wearing my new cap, and from over my shoulder I hear a guy say, "Hey, Cleveland! All right! Go Tribe!" I turn my head to see what's going on, and there's a guy in an Indians cap looking at me with a big grin. The instant I catch his eye, he sees my cap, mouths an "oh!" and says, "So you guys gonna sign Mauer or what?" We chatted for a minute or two about the AL Central. Turns out he saw my navy cap with red brim from behind and thought it was an Indians cap. (Out here in DC, I'd have assumed a Braves cap, but the guy was a Cleveland native, so he saw the Indians.) First time I wore this cap in public, too. So I'm thinking maybe the new road cap isn't such a great marketing move for the Twins after all.
  2. Why the assumption that "Colonials" is in any way related to "Patriots"? I mean, historically, the fundamental defining characteristic of the revolutionary patriots was that they fought to stop being colonials. (This is why Colonials is such a terrible nickname for my alma mater, GWU.) The word for an American fighting for independence from the British is not "colonial," it is "continental." As in, whenever the colonists wanted to stress the fact that their country was no longer a colony, they used the word "continental" in place of "colonial." So it was the Continental Congress and the Continental Army and so forth. If the new team were the Hartford Continentals, then I would assume that the team will look too much like the Patriots. But with the name Colonials, an identity that points back past the Revolution to the colonial era seems quite plausible.
  3. The story that green reduced glare under the brim is nearly as old as baseball itself, or anyway seems to be. I can vouch from experience that at least since the mid 1970s, "because green reduces glare" and "because that's how it's always been" were the only two explanations ever offered for the use of green under visors. Also from personal experience, green worked a heck of a lot better than gray, but black works better than green. I don't know about glare and whatever studies were ever done, but the real goal is for the wearer not to see and be distracted by the brim of his cap at the top of his vision. The old green created a nicely uniform dark area, whereas the gray showed much more variation in lighting conditions. Black works best, since the whole point of the green was to create the illusion of the absence of color and light.
  4. Plus, this incident has given the guy free national attention and given him the chance to be seen widely responding responsibly and appropriately to a minor bit of wrongdoing. It also highlights the degree to which his campaign relies on volunteers. True, his chances are close to zero. But his chances are better now than they were before his campaign put up a stolen sports logo.
  5. Nope. Every year MLB has at least two teams doing something really, really ugly. The closest I can come is 1991: Dressed to the Nines But even that has huge flaws: The bad old Giants script, the pinwheel Expos caps, Cleveland in its beer-league softball uniform heyday, and the Padres just beginning their "is San Diego still in the major leagues?" uni phase. On the plus side, everyone was wearing full-button jerseys, the Royals still wore powder on the road, and the Phillies were still in maroon. 1993 is a solid choice, though. I also give high marks to 2002: Dressed%20to%20the%20Nines"]Dressed to the Nines Outside of baseball, I might go with the 1998 World Cup. Countries were still trying to have distinctive, consistent uniforms, and manufacturer templates had not yet come to dictate that all teams be equally ugly. And, of course, it featured that sublimated Mexico jersey: And Scotland! In the World Cup! With plaid! (If you can't see from the picture, that's plaid in the shield holding the Scotland crest. The jersey itself, alas, has sublimated stripes, not plaid.)
  6. Um, the guy is a Libertarian Party candidate. Libertarians don't have campaign staffers. At best, a handful of highly motivated, most likely college-age part-time volunteers. And we should expect to see more of this kind of thing in the near future. For one thing, the Obama 2008 campaign seriously raised the bar for political branding; suddenly every politician feels the need to have a complete brand identity, not just a wordmark with some flag clip-art. For another thing, the whole Tea Party movement is bringing a new wave of amateur activists into politics, both within the two major parties and into third parties like the Libertarians. This means more campaigns as more incumbents face primaries and more third-party candidates wage organized general election campaigns. More campaigns means more candidates looking for logos, and it also means that good logos will be more valuable, as they'll help differentiate candidates seeking national attention from the same small pools of web activists and donors. We're going to see a lot more amateur design and ad-hoc campaign organization, both of which raise the likelihood that candidates who are searching for a strong logo will find sports-logo ripoffs offered to them by volunteers who don't know any better.
  7. I would disagree: it's not evidence of bad design that the formal elements of a design have non-obvious origins. In this case, no one is the poorer for not knowing why each color ring is the length that it is; it works just as well whether you know the 17/20ths thing or not. A magazine layout that uses a prime-by-prime grid isn't "bad design" just because no reader will ever be aware that the page is laid out on a 13x7 grid without it being explained to him. Even when the formal elements of a design carry meaning, it's OK for that meaning to be obscure as long as it's ancillary to the purpose of the logo. That is the case here. That said, I think this is a poor design, especially compared with the bid logo. The combination of a subtle plaid with lettering clearly inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh made the bid logo beautifully site-specific. I love visiting Scotland, and the bid logo looked a lot like how my memories of Scotland feel. The event logo loses all of that sense of place, and while it's not a bad design, it's a bad match with the event. It looks like a good City of London corporate logo. If the games were being held in Greenwich, this would be perfect. Glasgow? Not so much.
  8. Given the direction this affair has taken, a press release announcing that the Fielders will spend the 2010 season as a rec-league bowling team would be the logical next step."Come watch the Fielders bowl up a storm. Dollar dogs on Tuesday nights. Laser bowl and Pink Floyd on Thursdays. Baseball like you've never seen it!"
  9. If the Yankees ever do formally drop red from their color scheme, it will mean only one thing: Crimson alt jerseys for the Mets! Functionally, the Yanks have only one color, and so I like how the gray allows them to offer contrast where needed without introducing an additional color the team doesn't otherwise wear. Being the Yankees, I kind of want to hate anything the team does, but in this case I just can't. The blue and gray looks good. Elegant, even. I had kind of hoped that the Nats would be named the Grays with a blue and gray color scheme, and the Yankees are demonstrating what a good look these colors can be. But I'll join the hate-em crowd if the Yankees ever turn their gray into silver. That would be a step too far; gray is understated and complements the midnight blue. Silver would be a brashly discordant note.
  10. Thanks for posting that. It'll be a great World Series logo, as long as it's the Rays versus the Padres or the Royals versus the Brewers in October. Any other teams, and there will be some serious uniform clash issues with the patches and field art for the Series.
  11. Personally, I think it would be kind of neat if 60 years from now the fact that Charlotte has an eponymous team name were one of those bits of trivia that hardcore fans know about but most people don't. If the team does rebrand, please let it be to a plural word, not a mass noun. Flyers, for example, not Flight. And not Dragons; were I a Charlotte fan, Jordan's record with the magically themed Wizards would be enough for me to find a new team to root for if he named his team the Dragons.
  12. So Team Canada's jersey has an extraneous bit of gold embroidery, and Canada's men and women both win gold. Team USA's jersey has an extraneous bit of silver embroidery, and the American men and women win silver. Thanks a lot, Nike!
  13. No, I don't know, but the US has the number 1 seed so I presume that means that they get to pick what jersey they wear. In this tournament the home teams have been wearing their dark jerseys, but we could see the Americans bring out the throwbacks again for some more Squaw Valley good luck. If I had to take a guess, it would be USA-white throwbacks, Canada-Red. If I had to guess, I'd guess as you do. But I hope that if the US has a choice, it wears the blue jersey. That is fast becoming my favorite USA jersey, pretty much ever; it gets just about every big design question right. I love the USA font, I love the lettering, I love having a star on each shoulder (though not necessarily that star), I love the balance of the white and red stripes at the bottom. Even the shade of blue is perfect to represent the United States. I don't care for the sublimated sleeves, but those are basically invisible on TV, even in HD. I'd love to see a number of tweaks to the regular white version, mainly to balance blue and red better in the stripes, and then have this set used as the basis for Team USA going forward. At first I resented the rejection of the federation logo in the Olympics, but the more I see the block USA jerseys the more it appeals to me. First, because of the connection with history, since a block USA is basically how Team USA has always looked, and second because it projects a much stronger spirit of representing the nation rather than just the national hockey governing body. Then again, Canada's red jersey has become my favorite of the Olympics, and easily one of my favorite hockey jerseys of all time, so I won't be disappointed of Team USA goes with one of its whites.
  14. Make the feathering cream instead of white, and I'd be with you. But whether and how the Giants put stripes on their socks really doesn't matter unless the team requires every player to wear a minimum length of visible socks. It's either part of the uniform or it's not, and I'd rather see plain socks on any team where some players will show socks and others will tuck their pants into their shoes.
  15. Yes, but we're speaking of ships here. So these two pirates are standing on a dock, watching the boats go by. One pirate turns to the other and asks "Yar, what kind of boat is that?" Other pirate says, "Frigate." First pirate says, "Yar, yer right. Who gives a what kind of boat it is?" Speaking of the Syracuse Sky Chiefs, Reno Aces, and Lakeland Flying Tigers, a young Air Force pilot just back from duty in the Middle East is talking with his WWII-veteran grandfather. Gramps starts talking about one particular mission, escorting bombers across Germany. "Just before we reached the target, some damn ball-bearing factory, the German fighters hit us hard. Twenty Fokkers dropped down on us from the sun, where we couldn't even see them until three of the bombers were shot to pieces. I can tell you, I didn't think any of us would make it back from that mission!" Grandson, a student of aviation history, is perplexed. "But gramps, your P-51s could fly circles around a Fokker. That should have been a turkey shoot for you!" "Turkey shoot?" gramps asks. "Them f***ers were Messerschmitts!"