Monthly Archives: December 2019

Nike, Adidas reveal World Cup soccer uniforms designed specifically for women

Nike and Adidas have unveiled new uniforms for women’s soccer teams that are designed specifically for women.

Nike unveiled uniforms for 14 women’s teams at an event in Paris on Monday, according to a company statement. On Friday, Adidas released its designs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, according to The New York Times.

The Times reports that this represents the first time that Nike is designing uniforms specifically for women instead of creating a spin-off from the men’s team design.

“We believe this summer can be another turning point for the growth of women’s football,” said Nike chairman, president and CEO Mark Parker in the statement. He added that he hopes to “deliver more innovative and compelling product design for women.”

Uniforms are just one battle women players have been fighting.

All of the players on the U.S. women’s national team on Friday filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation alleging gender discrimination.

They allege that the federation discriminated against them in pay, practice time, practice locations, medical treatment, coaching and travel.

The Women’s World Cup will begin in June. The U.S. team will be defending its 2015 championship title.

Sean Miller talks gold jerseys, Arizona’s recruiting strategy, A Player’s Program, and more on Adia Barnes’ podcast

The first episode of Arizona women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes’ new podcast, Made for It: The Adia Barnes Podcast, debuted Monday and the first guest was men’s basketball coach Sean Miller.

The two chatted for roughly 15 minutes about various topics. You can listen to the full episode here. Below is the transcript of some of the noteworthy things that were said.

Miller explains Arizona basketball’s gold practice jersey system: “The Gold Standard is probably very similar to what you guys do and I think what a lot of programs try to do. And that is, what’s fair is fair. When you put out the starting five in college basketball, it’s a big deal. Everybody wants to be introduced and be the first five to walk out there for the jump ball. It’s probably the same as when we played the game. You want to start. So not only the starters, but just roles in general, how do you give feedback to players that they’re doing well or that this is why you started, this is why you didn’t start?

“We have a managerial staff of about 10 to 12, they do a great job. We keep statistics in every competitive segment of practice. So if a week goes by, at the end of that week we tally it up. Usually we’ll double check everything and then we’ll give the players feedback. And it’s the single player who has the highest score, statistically, from every live segment from the previous week’s practice. They then get, for the next week, a gold jersey. They stand out. And what are they exempt from or what’s their prize? They don’t have to run for any anything, any competitive segment that their team would lose the following week or whatever. They’re exempt from it.

“But I think the bigger prize is in our locker room. We keep it and anyone who watches us practice knows why that individual player is in a gold jersey, because he was the best practice player from the week before. And it’s amazing how it develops a sense of pride and it’s something that I think legitimizes why we play who we play as coaches.”

Miller explains the A Player’s Program moniker: “So, more than 10 years ago, I came here as the new coach at Arizona and for every person that said, ‘awesome opportunity, you should do it,’ there’s probably 10 lined up saying ‘you know, when you replace a Hall of Famer like Coach (Lute) Olson, it’s not going to work out for you. Are you sure you want to do that? Not to mention you’ve never lived out there, you’ve never recruited out there in the West.’ And understandably so. It’s not always an easy decision to take any job especially because we were at Xavier and it’s a fantastic place. But I really looked at our only chance, and not only our only chance, but the way to do it, is to really embrace anybody—former assistant coaches, obviously Coach Olson and his family, the great players and teams of the past, to make sure that they knew although I was coming from the outside and would be new, that this will always be their program, and that they never looked at it as ‘that was then, this is now.’ And it’s so easy to do in today’s world because you don’t know them, they don’t know you.

“The second level is, while they’re here to just make sure that we really offer them the best of everything. At the University of Arizona, they deserve the best so that there are no excuses. If they come in with a great attitude that they can reach their goals and dreams, that we have all the things in place for them to develop. And then the final part is just A Player’s Program is the future. The lifeblood of all of what we do is who’s not here right now and who’s an 11th grader that will one day come here and make a difference? So, recruiting not only talented players, but kids that want to win, that want to be a part of what we have here at the University of Arizona because it’s such a special place. Very few programs have the entire attention of a city like Tucson of a million people when you’re, in some ways, the only show in town when it comes to sports. … That doesn’t happen everywhere. Not when you have an NBA franchise, NHL team, concerts, traffic, another university and we don’t share Tucson with anybody. And I think that when we’re recruiting these young people, really to sell them on what a special place this is.”

Miller on what he looks for in recruits: “I think it’s changed over time. The one thing on our side, the men’s side of college basketball, is our best players leave the quickest. You think about if you are running a company and you had maybe your best every year as a company, and the most talented people that you employ, they leave (laughs). It’s like fundamentally flawed and wrong. So, because of that, there’s a lot of variables we look for. One of which is realistic expectations. If somebody has an opportunity to come to our program and become a part of the NBA in a year, we hope we can help them do that. And while they’re here, I think they can help our university and our program.

“But there’s others that could be here longer, and that’s OK. Solomon Hill is an example of somebody that was here for four years, graduated, and was a first-round pick. He, right now, is entering year seven as an NBA player. T.J. McConnell transferred from Duquesne University, sat out, played two years, was 23 years old when the draft happened and he’s going into his fifth year. So there’s a lot of different ways to do it. And I think for us, it’s just having a balanced prospect with a support system that knows that, ‘I want to go to the University of Arizona, not just because it can help me become an NBA player, but because it’s a great place and I want to play in a Final Four, or I want to win a Pac-12 championship and I believe in the Pac-12 conference and Tucson.’ So we’re looking more and more for those families and kids that really believe in who we are, not just what we can do for them.”

Miller on dealing with so much roster turnover each year because of guys leaving early for the NBA: “Back in the day, Coach Olson, he would get a great class, maybe a balanced class of four or five. Well, the following year, there’s nobody in their right mind that would want to come to Arizona because they know who’s in front of them and they’re not leaving. Well, these days it’s like the better class that you have, the more opportunity the next year. So it’s like a vicious cycle.

“It’s difficult (to build a culture). John Calipari at Kentucky, he does not get enough credit for doing that. Imagine him because nobody experiences more turnover per year. And I think sometimes the outside world focuses on the great talent that he has, which he does, but they’re all very, very young and they clearly are there to win but also to become NBA players in one year most of the time. And just to kind of think about him replacing that crew of talent every year and recreating his culture, it’s something you have to work a lot on and some that we’re hard at right now, especially coming off of the last couple of years, but especially last year for us.

“The one thing that I think we’ve all learned here is we don’t determine the NBA Draft and neither does the player that we’re coaching. The NBA does. And you have to do the best job you can, at least on our end, to guide them and their family to listen to the NBA because the NBA doesn’t want players entering their draft or entering their world who aren’t ready. They really want players that are mature and ready to go. That helps their programs, their teams and organizations. But no doubt that’s a big part of college basketball.”

Miller on the difference between players now and players back in the day: “When we were growing up or when we played, skill development was just something that was on the side. I think some players worked on their game individually more than others and that was always looked at as a good thing. I can almost flip it today and say that almost every player, every kid who aspires to play in college basketball or beyond, has a personal trainer or somebody that they consider their workout coach and they invest a ton of time in that part of things—but at the expense of playing. And the competition… I would say that’s a big deal. On the men’s side, it was shirts vs. skins. And if you won, you stayed on the (court)…and you wanted to win because if you didn’t, you stood on the side if you didn’t get picked, right? And that developed competitiveness. And if you’re playing 5-on-5 in that dynamic, you’re not going to take a bad shot or you’re not going to do something that quite frankly you’re not good at because you’re going to have four teammates looking at you crazy. I think in a sense it taught guys how to play the game and how to be competitive. Today’s world is so much more about the shooting, skill development and sometimes that same talented player doesn’t get enough of that competitiveness, 5-on-5.

“And most of the time when they play it’s very organized. It’s travel team ball. And there’s some definite advantages. I mean, if we had the ability to fly all over the country and play in the best tournaments against the best competition, we may make the argument like, ‘wow, that would have been great. Maybe we could have developed a better.’ But… it’s almost become more like an individualized sport. Golf, tennis, you know how they work on their game. But if you think about their competition, they don’t have a teammate. And in our game, it’s almost saturated on that side and I think all of us would like to see it a little bit more balanced.”

Ask Sam Farmer: How much does an NFL uniform weigh?

Former Chargers center Nick Hardwick, blocking at right in 2012, said “it normally takes assistance to get in and out of the pads.”

Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: [email protected]

How much does an NFL uniform weigh?

Ralph Miller, Fort Collins, Colo.

Farmer: That’s just the kind of weird question I appreciate. To check this, I consulted Rams equipment manager Brendan Burger, who kindly put a helmet and shoulder pads on a scale. These are rough estimates, and they differ depending on the size and manufacturer. A helmet weighs between 4.25 and 4.75 pounds, shoulder pads are 4 to 5 pounds, a game jersey is about a pound, as are the pants, and players might wear about a pound of additional pads. Not terribly surprising, and maybe even a little lighter than I expected.

To gain a little more insight on uniforms, I turned to former NFL center Nick Hardwick for his thoughts. He noted the difference between a player’s game uniform, and what he might wear for a full-pads practice during the week. With offensive and defensive linemen in particular, they wear their game jerseys so tight they’re practically painted on. That way, no one can use the loose fabric to pull them this way or that.

“The game jersey is so tight that even without shoulder pads, it’s hard to get on,” Hardwick said. “You’re put in there like a hand-stuffed sausage, especially the lumpier guys. The jerseys Velcro to the shoulder pads, so there’s not even an iota where a guy can grab a guy by his jersey and throw him down. That’s the real issue, a guy can manipulate your body the way he wants to instead of just beating you with straight technique.

“It normally takes assistance to get in and out of the pads. Getting in and out is a Houdini act.”

For Hardwick, the most elaborate part of his uniform, if you will, was wrapping his hands. He did that the way a boxer might.

“The whole fear is that you’re just going to shred your fingers and tear ligaments,” he said. “I have so many torn ligaments in my fingers. But the real fear is that you’re going to hurt your thumb. If you tear ligaments in your thumb — if that happens, you can’t play; your season’s going to be done.”

One of his quirkier uniform memories since his days with the San Diego Chargers was that fullback Lorenzo Neal wore two pairs of shoulder pads stacked on top of each other. Now that’s a weighty proposition.

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I was wondering if you could explain the rules for how football players can celebrate plays on the field. I remember times when just spiking the ball resulted in a penalty but after several seasons of protests, the players were finally allowed to spike after a touchdown. Then the scoring player was permitted to dance and spike after scoring. Now it seems that the entire team can do anything from striking a silly pose to a full halftime dance from any big play such as interceptions or touchdowns. I’m just curious when did the league give them carte blanche on celebrations and are there any limitations to it?

Tim Berreth, Santa Clarita

Farmer: The so-called No Fun League loosened its tie in May 2107 after league executives spent the spring talking to players, coaches, officials and fans about ways to relax the rigid celebration policy. That cleared the way for group celebrations, and for using the football as a prop.

But everything in moderation.

“We want to make sure that sportsmanship is a big factor here in the way that we implement this,” commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time. “And of course nobody wanted to see anything that was either violent or sexually offensive to people, and everybody has a little different line there.”

That means Rams receiver Brandin Cooks can’t resume the celebration he had in New England of pantomiming an archer who shoots an arrow into the crowd. That is, after all, a weapon.

“We want to make sure that sportsmanship is a big factor here in the way that we implement this,” commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time. “And of course nobody wanted to see anything that was either violent or sexually offensive to people, and everybody has a little different line there.”

That means Rams receiver Brandin Cooks can’t resume the celebration he had in New England of pantomiming an archer who shoots an arrow into the crowd. That is, after all, a weapon.

It’s time for the Yankees to add an alternate uniform

The game of baseball is getting younger, and with that, is it time for the New York Yankees to consider adding an alternate uniform?

The New York Yankees are the most prestigious sports franchise in history, as the Yankees and their fans take pride in the rich history of the organization. But, as a new decade is approaching, it is now time for the Bombers to add a new road uniform to the rotation.

There are Yankees fans that are totally against the idea of adding a new uniform and there are fans that are totally for it. When you separate the two groups of Yankees fans, the ones who do not like the idea seem to be older and more experienced, as the ones who do like the idea seem to be the younger generations.

The game of baseball has been drastically changing. The younger generation of fans enjoy home runs, bat flips, a big personality, and variety in uniforms. The Yankees are a team that have all that, but need to get in on the excitement of a new uniform.

Nike has taken control of Major League Baseball’s new uniforms. Fans have been dying over the new looks of their favorite players. Seeing a player look clean and cool on the field with their new uniform can only bring more attention to the ball club and therefore more revenue. The concept is similar to advertising. Fans love to see change, especially if it is a new aesthetic to their team. Altering uniforms every once and a while can bring a new sense of fandom to the Yankees and rejuvenate the team and fans altogether. Seeing your favorite team wear new and cool uniforms will get the fans reinvested immediately.

The uniform that the Yankees should add is the 2019 Player’s Weekend look. The black on black is an unorthodox approach by the Bombers. Some fans were skeptical with the look as others really loved it. With that being said, the nicknames should not be on the back, as it should only include the player’s number, as this is Yankee tradition. Alternating the black on black with the grays on the road will only make fans want to buy the new uniform and see it live in person at games. The black on black should never be worn at home because the pinstripes are what make the Yankees, the Yankees. It is an iconic and popular look at Yankee Stadium.

Are Yankees fans really too connected to the road grays that they would not want to add another uniform? Well, maybe the Bombers will wear the black on black uniform to enliven a west coast trip. Nike could go all out on the black on black and totally wash away the grays, calling for the new uniform to be their road jerseys.

All in all, the game of baseball is changing. Batters are not getting drilled for showing up the pitcher as much as it used to happen. Players are administering energy into a game that tons of fans think take too long and lack action. The Yankees are a team that likes to stick to the old school routes. However, it is now time for the Yankees to jump on the bandwagon of replenishing their uniforms, or they will become known as the old men of MLB.

August 25, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) runs to third on an error committed by the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in an MLB Players' Weekend game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

3 Reasons Your Corporate Softball Team Needs Custom Athletic Uniforms

Softball team huddle before the start of a softball game in color.  All logos have been removed.Baseball might have initially started in the U.S., but it’s since spread worldwide, with more than 100 countries now participating in the International Baseball Federation. The first official baseball game took place in 1846, and only 41 years later, softball was born.

Today, just as baseball has become a worldwide phenomenon, softball is played all across the globe by men, women, and children alike.

If you’re a working adult, your company may have a summer softball team. Playing ball with your coworkers is a great way to blow off some steam after a tough day at the office, and it’s also a great team-building activity that can greatly improve your company’s morale and productivity.

If your office does have a team, why not invest in some cool softball team uniforms? Here are three reasons team apparel like custom team uniforms will help you make the most out of your corporate softball experience.

  1. Build team spirit

Cultivating a sense of team spirit is essential to get the whole team excited about the games. Company softball team uniforms will help you spread that feeling from the team members all the way back to the office where your coworkers will feel a sense of pride for their home team.

2. Intimidate the competition

Other teams will turn green with envy when they see you march out onto the field in matching athletic apparel. If you want your company to stand out as the best, you need to be the best at everything, including being best dressed in the league.

3. Spread the word

Wearing team uniforms will help your marketing efforts both on and off the field. While you’re playing, all of the spectators will know who you are and where you’re from. As long as your company name and logo are present, and your colors match your brand identity, you can increase brand recognition even when you’re off the clock. And, when your company goes out for victory pizza after the game, your uniforms will continue to spread the word about your company all across town.

Whether you win or lose, you can still consider every game a victory when you’ve got impressive softball team uniforms representing your company.

NFL, Nike Introduce Inverted Football Jerseys

Nike and the National Football League this weekend launched a new set of jerseys which they’re calling the “Inverted Legend” series.

The jerseys, which appear to be a retail-only “fashion” option, for now, and feature the usual team jersey designs but re-coloured with the usual secondary colour now used as the base hue.

A few of the more colourful and interesting examples here:

 

Unfortunately for most of the teams included in this series, the prominent secondary colour used is grey or silver, which leads to more than a few fairly uninteresting designs from the lot — I mean it’s grey, it’s kinda hard to make it exciting.

Here’s the entire set, as shown for sale at NFLShop.com at the time of this post. Only 19 of the league’s 32 teams available:

I wouldn’t mind seeing some of these designs on the field one day, Ravens in gold? Sure! The Bills retro style in navy blue is also a surprisingly good look. Share your favourites in the comments.

Rounding up Minor League Baseball Rebrand Season

For exactly two months, beginning October 5 and culminating December 5, eight affiliated minor league baseball teams announced rebrands. The season of rebrands featured everything from teams merely updating an existing suite of logos to franchises changing cities and adopting entirely new identities. See below for our recap.

Fredericksburg Nationals (FredNats)
Date Unveiled: October 5, 2019
Designer: Studio Simon
Previous Name: Potomac Nationals
League: Carolina, High A

The Story: The somewhat uninspired decision to maintain their parent club’s nickname in the wake of a move from Potomac to Fredericksburg was offset by a terrific suite of logos that incorporated both George and Mary Washington, an homage to the first first family, which lived on nearby Ferry Farm.

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Date Unveiled: October 23, 2019
Designer: Studio Simon
Previous Name: Kannapolis Intimidators
League: South Atlantic, Single-A

The Story: The team needed a new brand because Intimidators was controlled in part by Dale Earnhardt’s estate. The new name incorporates the word “Cannon,” important because the town exists because of the historic Cannon Mills textile plant, but does so without specifically referencing the military weapon. Also important: The human cannon ball character has a Dale Earnhardt mustache.

Missoula PaddleHeads
Date Unveiled: November 4, 2019
Designer: Brandiose
Previous Name: Missoula Osprey
League: Pioneer, Rookie

The Story: The team made the rare choice of ditching a hyper-local brand—osprey are so local there’s one that lives on a post at the stadium—in favor of one with a broader appeal. That said, the moose-themed brand was selected on a day when an actual moose walked through downtown Missoula.

Wichita Wind Surge
Date Unveiled: November 13, 2019
Designer: Todd Radom Design
Previous Name: New Orleans Baby Cakes
League: Pacific Coast, Triple-A

The Story: The franchise, which for the past three seasons has been the poster child for wacky minor league brands as the New Orleans Baby Cakes, went a different direction with a more sophisticated brand. The identity is a tribute to Wichita’s reliance on wind in various forms, as well as its status as an up-and-coming city.

Danville Braves
Date Unveiled: November 22, 2019
Designer: In House
League: Appalachian, Rookie Advanced

The Story: The D-Braves stayed true to their Braves brand, but updated a suite of logos that had been in use since 1993.

Worcester Red Sox (WooSox)
Date Unveiled: November 25, 2019
Designer: Brandiose
Previous Name: Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox)
League: International, Triple-A

The Story: Fans and media started calling the franchise the WooSox the moment it was announced that they would move 40 miles north to Worcester for the 2021 season, so the name was not much of a surprise. What was a surprise was the smiley face themed logo, an homage to Worcester’s own Harvey Ball, who invented the iconic image in 1963.

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
Date Unveiled: December 3, 2019
Designer: Brandiose
Previous Name: Fort Myers Miracle
League: Florida State League, Class A Advanced

The story: After 28 years playing with a name they brought with them from Miami, the franchise, under new ownership, adopted a new brand associated with local aquatic life, with a focus on fitness.

Norwich Sea Unicorns
Date Unveiled: December 5, 2019
Designer: Brandiose
Previous Name: Connecticut Tigers
League: New York-Penn, Short-Season Class A

The Story: The franchise ditched their parent club’s brand in favor of a unique nickname. The Sea Unicorns’ brand taps into mythology surrounding narwhals, which have long been associated with legend and mythology.

Dallas Renegades reveal new black and blue uniforms ahead of XFL season

The Renegades’ 10-week regular season begins on Sunday, Feb. 9.

Dallas Renegades, the area's new XFL pro football team, unveiled their new uniforms during a team event at an Arlington, Texas hotel, Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

As the NFL season rolls on, the XFL’s journey back into the professional football landscape is about to begin.

The teams have been named, players have been drafted, and now, uniforms have been revealed. The Dallas Renegades unveiled their new look on Tuesday, and will be taking part in their first practice this week.

Along with the uniform release, the team announced home jerseys will retail for $79.99. Authentic No. 20 jerseys will also be available for $225 starting Dec. 17, and customization will be available in-stadium during games.

The re-envisioned XFL got its start in January 2018 with owner Vince McMahon’s announcement that he was bringing back the league that had been dormant after one ill-fated season in 2001. The Dallas franchise was announced in December 2018 and it was revealed home games will be played at a reconfigured Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The XFL is divided into two four-team divisions, East and West. The XFL East features teams in Washington, New York, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. The XFL West has teams in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Each team will host five home games and play a schedule that features a home-and-home series against division rivals and one game against each team in the other division. The regular season ends on April 12. The division finals will be the following week and the winners will play for the championship on Sunday, April 26.

Eagles wearing black jerseys against Giants on Monday Night Football

Ideally won’t be dressing for their own funeral.

The Philadelphia Eagles are breaking out their all-black uniforms for this week’s game against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

Monday will mark the second (and likely final) time the Eagles wear black during the 2019 season. The team previously wore their alternate jerseys when they defeated the Chicago Bears at home back in Week 9 on Sunday, November 3. That’s the last time the Eagles actually, you know, won a football game.

The Eagles’ history of wearing black against the Giants has typically worked out pretty well for Philadelphia. The black Birds beat the Giants 27 to 0 — their first shutout win in 18 years — on Sunday Night Football in 2014. The Eagles then beat the Giants 27 to 7 on Monday Night Football in 2015. The Eagles most recently defeated the Giants while wearing black in Week 12 of the 2018 season.

We’ll see if the Eagles can keep up their dominance of the Giants on Monday night.

Texas Rangers Unveil New Uniforms For 2020 Season

The Texas Rangers will be heading into the 2020 season with a new ballpark and some new uniforms.

On Wednesday, the team unveiled several new uniforms at Texas Live! as their new home, Globe Life Field, heads into the final stages of construction.

Two of the uniforms feature the word “Rangers” across the front of the jersey, which the team said is the first time they’ve used that word on their home jerseys since 2008.

The team also showed off its new secondary logo with the letters “TX” on the patch.

The new powder blue jerseys appear to be the standout of the new ones unveiled as it has garnered mixed reaction from fans. The team said these jerseys will be worn for Sunday games.

The Rangers will look to debut their new uniforms in their new home starting in March 2020.