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Pat Patriot, Silver Wings and Monochrome White Sox

Discussing the Best and Worst of Sports Uniforms

Seattle Evergreens / Pilots Design Contest, Pt. 2 -- Legion Crossovers
football
tombierbaum
OK, here's part two of my entries for the Seattle NHL uniform challenge being put on by the Uni Watch column at ESPN.com. As described in my prior entry, this is my adaptation of the wonderful uniforms of baseball's short-lived Seattle Pilots to a hockey configuration.

So here are white- amd dark-jersey versions...




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Seattle Evergreens / Pilots Design Contest, Pt. 1 -- Legion Crossovers
football
tombierbaum
For my friends who are fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes and have some interest in my uniform re-designs, this entry is for you. ESPN.com's Uni Watch column is running another design contest, this time to suggest a look for the expected Seattle NHL expanson franchise. Luckily for me, the deadline came after the Thanksgiving weekend and I was caught up enough on things in general that I was able to devote the necessary time to pull an entry together -- in fact I couldn't narrow it down to just one concept and managed to do two entries.

Part of the issue was that it popped into my mind to suggest hockey adopt one of the best designs in sports history, and one that's criminally left ignored and unused these days, the uniforms for the beloved 1969 Seattle Pilots (who were moved after a single season to Milwaukee, where they've played ever since as the Brewers). And once I got that idea for a Pilots hockey team in my head, I had to go with it, even though it felt like it wouldn't get full consideration as a "real" entry but rather a kind of novelty entry (even though I personally would 100% love to see the name and design actually take to the ice in the NHL). And in any case, a Pilots concept would be based on somebody else's long-ago design rather than something completely original on my part.

So I felt compelled to do a second totally original submission. And when I thought I abouy doing something that showcased the neon green color Seattle sports fans have so embraced, I tried to think of a name that suggested a green uniform, and with Washington being the Evergreen State, the name "Evergreens" seemed like a natural, especially when I then saw in my mind an unabashedly joyous pine tree cartoon character playing hockey. If I needed one more nudge to go with an Evergreens concept, I got it when I also saw in my mind a big capital "E" like what Legion of Super-Heroes member Element Lad used to wear in his early days (in the case of the Evergreens, I'd add a lower-case "s_attle" to that big capital "E" to spell out Seattle). With these different ideas feeling rightand falling into place for me, I felt like this, too, was a design I must get down on paper.

So that's Legion reference #1, with a second one coming later on.

So first, here's that Evergreens design, home and away (or I guess actually away and home since I guess the NHL is currently using dark jerseys at home in a switch they made several years ago that I still haven't really gotten used to)...



Here's a close-up of that happy Evergreen mascot, then, it's kind of hard to see, but the Element-Lad "E" logo that also says "Seattle" in neon green lettering, and finally the inaugural patch that was required in the ESPN.com contest...

For the opposing teams, versus the white-jerseyed Evergreens, I finally put down on paper the idea I had back in the 1990s when I failed to enter the local contest to name the Erie minor-league hockey team -- at that time I should have suggested a team identity I made up with some of my brothers (Bob and / or Jim?) for a fictitious hockey league we were playing, the Erie Specters. Here for the first time in 45 years or so I'm updating whatever visuals we may have created for the Specters back then and a giving them team colors of gray and white and a wordmark and numbers in the kind of dashed lines comics used to use to illustrate phantoms and invisible characters.

Versus the dark-jerseyed Evergreens is a re-design of the Calgary Flames.

And I think I'll do a separate post for the Pilots artwork.

Tennessee Titans Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
One more recent set of entries for an ESPN.com Uni Watch Uniform Re-Design contest, this one for the Tennessee Titans. In this case, I went with a favorite color scheme from the team's distant past when it was the Houston Oilers -- sky blue, metallic sky blue and red.  And there are a couple of my trademark cartoon-ish logos.  Here's the home version...



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Las Vegas Raiders Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
Catching up on the entries I've done for the last few ESPN.com Uni Watch re-design contests, here's what I came up with for the Las Vegas Raiders...

Cartoon mascot? Check. In fact, two of them.

Brighter colors? Check (though one could scarcely get any less bright than the Raiders' traditional colors of silver and black).

Here's the home design...



Note that I've augmented the old silver and black with Vegas gold. The opposing team is a Denver Broncos design that takes that team's orange and blue colors, adds metallic orange, uses the 1968-1996 helmet logo and combines the great shoulder panels of the 1965-66 uniforms with the number logo of the current uniforms.Read more...Collapse )

Jacksonville Jaguars Re-Design
football
tombierbaum

Here are my entries in the recent ESPN.com Uni Watch contest to re-design the Jacksonville Jaguars...

As usual, I went for bright colors and a some kind of cartoon mascot...



That's the home uniform, showing the Jags squaring off against the New Orleans Saints in a new Saints uniform that puts a gold halo on their helmets and includes the classic Saints mascot "Sir Saint" on the front of the helmets presenting the player numbers.Read more...Collapse )

Merry Christmas II
football
tombierbaum
Here's another shot from that great snowy 1963 Patriots-Bills playoff game...



For some reason, this photo takes me right back to visiting relatives in Queens, NYC right before Christmas in 1963, though the game is in Buffalo three days after Christmas. Again, that almost impossible combination of a snow-covered football field when the sun is out makes it look the way I remember the snowy days up in New York City or at home on Christmas when I was a kid.

Oh, and for once I'll perform the important courtesy of attributing the photo, which I copied out of a greet book on the AFL history of the Bills, called "Rockin' the Rockpile," with this photo being credited to Robert L. Smth of Orchard Park, N.Y. I found the prior photo on a "Best AFL Photos" page on Pinterest, though I'm unable to track it down again.

Merry Christmas from Pat Patriot / Silver Wings / Monochrome White Sox
football
tombierbaum
Here's a nice Christmassy football photo featuring a couple favorite uniforms, the  Patriots and Bills of the 1960s...



What makes this picture so special is the very rare occurance of a snow-covered football field on a sunny day. Since they keep the fields covered until game time, any snow on the field has to fall after the game starts. So snowy games are a rare occurence to begin with and  it's infinitely more rare to get enough snow to blanket the grass and then also get sunny conditions within the same game. This happened for least a brief period during the 1963 AFL East playoff, won by the Patriots 26-8 on Dec. 28, 1963.

We were living in Delaware at this time and got a rare white Christmas that year. Pictures from this Christmas week game sure take me back to what snowy days looked back then.

I really didn't start rooting a lot for these two teams until they went into decline in 1967 and beyond, but I now have great nostalgia for their battles that decided the AFL East title in '63, '64 and '66, in part because I remember decorating the Christmas tree one year when they were playing a vital game late in the AFL season.

Minneapolis Timberwolves Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
Here's an entry that's much-delayed from last summer, when ESPN.com held its most recent uniform re-design contest, this time a challenge to overhaul the Minnesota Timberwolves (who I re-named the Minneapolis Timberwolves since I much prefer teams named after cities rather than states of regions).

This one was more of an adventure than usual for various reasons, but more on that in a minute. First I'll show you what I came up with, starting with the road uniform...



And then the home uniform...



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An Honorable Streak
football
tombierbaum
At the risk of tooting my own horn, it occurred to me during the last espn.com sports-uniform re-design contest that I'd had a decent streak of being named either a "winner" or at least getting an "honorable mention" (HM) in several of the contests.  It seemed to me like it had been as many as four or five in a row. So when I got another HM in this week's Detroit Lions re-design contest, I tried to figure out how long my winning/"honorable" streak might be.

And based on what I've posted on this journal, it looks like (going backwards in time), I was either a winner or HM for contests to re-design the Lions, the L.A. Rams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the LA. Clippers, an aniticpated Las Vegas NHL team, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Charlotte Hornets, the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins.

To my surprise, if my method of counting is accurate, my streak is up to nine contests in a row. Further, as near as I can tell, I've entered a total of 12 contests and been a winner or HM 11 times (striking out only with a Cleveland Browns design [that I thought was actually one of my better entries considering the limitation that you had to keep the team's current helmet -- and therefore couldn't change the color scheme]).

Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one to notice that I'd been getting a lot of attention in these contests.  Another  participants in the Lions contest, one who didn't get a mention, posted the following comment:

While it is in-line with how you run the site, I find your redesign contests very frustrating (and not just because of how I used the vertical stripes in a unique way and didn’t get mentioned. Well, that’s part of it.)

There were some really, really nice designs that did not get mentioned in the article at all. I imagine people put in a ton of time creating beautiful logos and uniforms and you just mentioned Tom Bierbaum’s work for the millionth time instead (no offense, Tom.) Again, I get it: you’re quirky and the site and the contests reflect that.

I enjoy seeing your winners, but I would also like to see a contest component where people other than you could vote on the designs to validate the designers’ efforts, kind of like those that Phil used to run.


The ESPN sports-uniform authority who runs the contests, Paul Lukas, responded:

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Detroit Lions Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
There was another re-design contest run by the Uni Watch colum on espn.com, this time re-designing the NFL's Detroit Lions. Word is the Lions are going to overhaul their uniforms, with possibly new colors, in 2017, hence the contest. So I took as my starting point an imaginative and approrpiate new color scheme for the traditonally blue-and-silver Lions and came up with a combination of authentic lion colors -- tan/gold and brown -- combined with a light blue/silver hue as an homage to the team's traditional colors...



To this distinctive color scheme I added a cartoon Lion mascot featured on the helmet and shoulder patch. I searched the Internet for intersting, nostalgic styles, including good old Fred from the Super-Chicken cartoons, and found my inspiration in the cat "Choo Choo" or "Chooch" from "Top Cat," so I worked toward his style and added a mane, lion-shaped face and rounded lion ears...


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