Monday, July 10, 2017

What is the BIG3?


If you lamented the end of the NBA season, basketball has quickly returned with BIG3, a new league that features some familiar faces. BIG3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by rapper Ice Cube and comprised of former NBA players such as Allen Iverson, Jermaine O-Neal, Mike Bibby and Kenyon Martin. Played without a clock and on a half-court setup, the first team to score 60 points (and win by two) is the winner. The game is a bit rougher than the modern NBA, with players allowed to get away with harder fouls that remind fans of the NBA from decades past. Let’s take a quick look at the teams of the league and their colors (all logo credit to!

3’s Company – 3’s Company features a mixture of orange, blue and grey. The use of the colors reminds us of Syracuse or the New York Knicks.

Killer 3s – The Killer 3s logo invokes a bee with its lightning bolts and yellow and black color scheme. Their uniforms even include some horizontal striping to mimic a bee.

Tri-State – Patriotic to a T, the logo and colors for Tri-State remind us of something you’d see the Wizards, Nets or 76ers wear.

3 Headed Monsters – We love the clever detailing on the M and S of “monsters” to resemble a pointed dragon’s tail. The color scheme of purple, green and yellow is very New Orleansesque, especially when the Jazz played in the Big Easy.

Trilogy – A creepy, bloodshot basket-eyeball dripping black goo? Sure, why not?

Ghost Ballers – The curvy design of the text on this logo adds to the feeling of the ghost, and we like the decision to use purple here instead of navy blue. Purple doesn’t get the respect it deserves in many color schemes, so using it as a primary instead of an accent here is nice.

Ball Hogs – A very literal definition of the term, the Ball Hogs logo is a great use of shades of green and yellow we haven’t seen since the Oakland A’s of the 1970s. Glad to see this boar is concerned with hygiene, what with its sweatband and all.

Power – We like the subtle saw blade design around the basketball, which, paired with the sharp edges of the lettering, gives this team a blue-collar feel to it. The use of a brighter blue (a la the Orlando Magic) instead of a deeper, royal blue really lets the letters stand out against the black background.

The BIG3 is already getting a ton of publicity thanks to its loaded roster of former NBA superstars. If the league does well over the years, we’re likely to see more and more teams join the fold. What colors do you hope they toss into the mix in the future? Call us crazy, but something uncommon like orange and green would be pretty cool. Share your thoughts in the comments below and enjoy the 10-week season!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Five Most Dominant Softball Teams

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The Oklahoma Sooners just beat the Florida Gators for the softball national championship in the Women’s College World Series, including a 17-inning thriller in Game 1. If you haven’t paid close attention to the WCWS over the last few years, you might think we’ve been watching reruns of the games each year. That’s because either Oklahoma or Florida has been in the softball championship round for eight of the last nine years. That sort of dominance is almost unheard of, and it got us thinking about college softball teams that have mopped the floor with their opponents over the years. In no particular order, here are five of them.
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1. UCLA – From WCWS inception to now, the UCLA Bruins have mauled team after team on their way to a staggering 12 national titles on 19 tries. Another ridiculous statistic: the Bruins only lost double-digit games one time over any of those championship seasons. Get used to the baby blue and yellow on your T.V. screens for years to come.

2. Arizona – 13 times in the championship series, the Wildcats have walked away with eight titles to their name, with the most recent one coming in 2007 and their last appearance in 2010. While the team didn’t make it into the national title picture this year, they hit .341 as a team, barraging defenses with their timely hitting. As a show of the stiff competition in Division I, that average was only good for fourth best in the country.

3. Florida – The Gators from Gainesville are no strangers to the national championship stage, making five appearances since 2009 and winning twice. They know their way around a softball bat, but it’s their defense that’s gotten the attention. This year, Kelly Barnhill led all of DI college softball with an unbelievable earned run average of 0.51. Just over half a run allowed per game. As a team, the Gators lead the nation with an ERA of 0.81. Teams might as well have conceded defeat after the first batter of each game.

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4. Oklahoma – The other fixture in recent championships, the Sooners are 4-for-5 in national title series and are quickly looking like the next major softball dynasty. They were a top ten team in earned run average this year, batted over .310 as a team, hit a ridiculous 66 home runs and 99 doubles, and struck out only 91 times on the season.

5. Minnesota – The Gophers are new to the national spotlight in college softball, but we don’t see them having a short stay. This year, the Golden Gophers batted .342, batted in 406 runs over 61 games, pitched a 1.19 team ERA and struck out 462 batters to just 240 hits. They’ve got tough competition in some of our other entries on the list but look for Minnesota to hang around the WCWS title picture for quite a while with their mostly-underclass squad. Five straight trips to the post-season shows they mean business.

Who do you think is going to dominate softball headlines next season? Are we in for more of the same or will someone dethrone the Gators and Sooners? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

When is the Color Black a Bad Uniform Color?

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A day before the start of the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers revealed a new set of logos and wordmarks for the 2017-18 season. Aside from a few font and logo changes, the Cavs will be introducing black as an official part of their color scheme. Black is a pretty divisive color in sports uniforms. Some think it adds an element of intimidation and sleek styling to a team’s identity, while others find it shoehorned into an otherwise perfectly fine color combination. It works for some teams (the Raiders, White Sox and Giants) and not so much for others (the Clippers and Mets). Regardless of your stance on black in sports uniforms, here are five instances where teams went too far with the look.

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1. New York Mets (1998 – 2012)
The Metropolitans were one of the bigger teams to jump on the black bandwagon back in the late ‘90s, almost relegating their crisp orange and blue colors to window dressing. They had a dizzying number of alternate looks, all featuring black to varying degrees and styles. In 2013, they finally went back to their roots of orange and blue, and the baseball-watching world is all the better for it.

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2. San Francisco 49ers (1996 – 2008)
This one can’t definitively label 2008 as the ending year, since the Niners still parade themselves in an all-black snoozer of a uniform from time to time. Still, ’08 was the year they dropped the egregious use of black drop shadow on their uniforms and went back to the clean, crisp red and gold of their glory days. You’ll still see some thick black on their logo, but the regular uniforms remain black-free. The football gods are pleased.

3. Kansas City Royals (2002 – 2006)
It only took four seasons of ugly uniforms to sour fans of this once-proud franchise. The Royals began dabbling in black drop shadow, jerseys and caps before the 2002 season, relegating the clean blue to a secondary color. They saw the light in 2006, however, and reverted to blue, eventually adding a 1970s- and 80s-inspired light blue jersey in 2008.

4. Buffalo Sabres (1996 – 2006)
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Classic blue and yellow is an underused, underappreciated color scheme in pro sports. After nearly 30 years of beautiful uniforms, the Sabres traded it all in for a busy logo with a black and red color combo. They even dropped swords from their primary logo entirely, making them look like a team called the Buffalo Buffalos. After a brief attempt at a new logo with blue and yellow in the late ‘00s, the team reverted to their classic logo of a buffalo with crossed sabres. You don’t mess with perfection!

5. Houston Astros (2000 – 2012)
We mentioned this one in a previous blog post about drastic color scheme changes, but it deserves double the exposure. Houston had spent a few years in navy and gold before this change, but 2000 saw a full team identity overhaul. Granted, they limited the amount of time black was front and center on their uniforms, but its presence was there in some capacity for an agonizing 12 years. They shifted back to navy and orange in 2013 and now they’re the best team in baseball. Coincidence?

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We certainly didn’t cover all the instances of black creeping its way into uniforms (looking at you, Cincinnati Reds), but these are a few that we just couldn’t forget to mention. What do you think of the Cavs wearing black regularly next season? What do you think of black being included in sports uniforms? Share with us in the comments below!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Brushing Up on the MLB Season So Far

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We’re just a handful of days away from the NBA and NHL wrapping up their respective seasons, which means baseball will garner most of the sports media attention around the country until football season returns in the fall. If you haven’t been paying attention to baseball this season, you’ve missed some surprising developments. Here are a few pieces of knowledge to get you up to speed before the mid-season break so you can impress your friends with all your baseball knowledge while rocking your colorful, totally-appropriate-for-any-occasion game bib overalls.

1. The Rockies are good. Like really good. Playing in the high altitude has never been easy on pitchers, as the thin air gives them less room to make mistakes. That doesn’t seem to be bothering the Rockies this year. Their bullpen has converted 21 of 24 saves, the team has walked the 6th fewest batters in MLB and batters are hitting an average of .243 against them. Their defense is 4th in putouts from the field, and they have an OPS (on-base + slugging) percentage of .767. You might not know what some of those metrics mean, but trust us, they’re good.

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2. The Astros are even better. This one probably isn’t a surprise to most, but after a disappointing 2016, Houston has righted the ship and then some to grab the league’s best record. As a team, they rank in the top 10 in hits, RBI, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Their pitching isn’t too shabby, either. They have the second-best earned run average and have struck out the most batters in the league. Scary good numbers coming out of Houston.

3. The Giants have fallen off the face of the earth. After years of battling the Dodgers for NL West supremacy, the Giants may have finally lost their edge. They are second to last in runs scored, last in home runs, second to last in RBI, hit a combined .231, and have the second worst on-base percentage in the league.
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4. Aaron Judge is a beast. As this is his first full season in the big leagues, he’s considered a rookie. Through the first 60ish days of the season, he’s turned that into 15 home runs (tied for most in the league), a .315 batting average, 30 RBI, a 1.104 OPS and highlight reel after highlight reel on defense. He’s also a terrifying 6’ 7” tall. The Yankees facilities team has already capitalized on his popularity with a section of seats dubbed the Judge’s Chambers.

5. Mike Trout is putting up MVP numbers. The quietest, hardest working player in baseball is having a terrific spring with 50+ hits, double-digit two-baggers, 35 RBI, 15 home runs, a mind-boggling .342 batting average and an OPS north of 1.2.

Some call the space between basketball and football a sports desert. We beg to differ, and this season is already shaping up to be one for the record books. Who will you be watching as the calendar changes to summer? Now that you have a few nuggets of knowledge under your belt, turn on the T.V. and catch up!
Friday, May 12, 2017

The Evolution of Baseball Uniforms

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With hockey and basketball approaching the ends of their respective seasons and football not kicking off until September, America’s collective sports focus will be on baseball. More than any pro sport, baseball uniforms don’t seem entirely intuitive. Why dress head to toe in polyester in the heat of summer? What’s with the weird socks? We wanted to take a closer look at how baseball uniforms have evolved over the years to help explain why baseball players dress the way they dress.

In the Beginning
Back in the mid-1800s, baseball players wore baggy pants, a plain shirt and a straw hat. Once more teams became organized, they needed a way to distinguish between each other for the fans. Enter alternating uniforms for home and away teams as well as colors, logos and patterns, such as pinstripes and checkerboard.

It’s Not Always Pants Weather
Just the thought of playing baseball in wool pants in the summer heat has us feeling faint. Teams back in the mid-1800s remedied this by introducing knickers that cuffed just below the knee to give players a more breathable uniform option.

Identity Lies in the Sock
During the same time as the introduction of cuffed knickers, stockings became popular for absorbing sweat. Teams started coloring the accessory to match their uniform and added unique stripe patterns to make it part of their team’s identity. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first to popularize the fad. The practice has stuck, with modern teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and A’s utilizing patterns and colors that are instantly associated with team colors and style.

Caps: More than Just Sun Blockers
Teams began experimenting with brimmed caps in the 1860s, with a range of styles including tall pillbox caps and the beginnings of the rounded, classic cap look that has endured to this day. Colors and logos started creeping into cap design until it became a staple of every team. Oddly enough, helmets were not mandated by Major League Baseball until 1971.

What’s in a Number?
At first, players didn’t wear numbers on the backs of their uniforms. Even the great Babe Ruth, known by many to have worn #3, didn’t have a number on the back of his uniform early on in his career. When numbers were first introduced, they were used to signify the batting order of the player as well as easily identify them on the field. It wasn’t until 1932 that numbers became required, and it wasn’t until 1952 that any teams featured additional numbers on the front of their uniforms (you can thank the Brooklyn Dodgers for that one).

In the last several decades, the biggest changes to uniforms have come from colors and fabrics, with the 1970s ushering in a bright splash of colors and the move towards a lightweight polyester. Since then, the biggest trend is the baggy, loose-fitting uniforms most players wear. What will be the uniform style in 10 or 20 years? We think high socks/stirrups will come back into style more than they already have, and players will start wearing more form-fitting uniforms. What do you think? Share with us in the comments below and enjoy your summer of baseball!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Predicting the NBA Playoffs by Uniform

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In what might be quickly becoming a Game Bibs tradition, we’re back to predict yet another playoff tournament based solely on team colors and uniforms. Today’s league is the NBA, owner of arguably the longest playoff tournament in pro sports. Now that the first rounds have eliminated some teams and done a bit of the legwork for us, it’s time for us to swoop in and give our infallible picks for the rest of the tournament.

The clean, classic look of the Celtics has rarely been tweaked over the years, and as fun as it has been to see the Wizards making strides in a symbolic color combo of the District, Boston’s green and white look has this one in the bag.

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The Raptors dropped their purple a few years back for a simpler, cleaned-up look of red and black. We can’t fault them for that, but no one wears wine and gold like the Cavaliers. Cleveland has our pick.

So, who’s representing the league in the finals? That’s a tough one considering how awesome these uniforms look on the court. The classic fan in us says Boston, but the new age fan can’t ignore Cleveland...unless they wear those awful black uniforms.

The Jazz made a smart move when they reverted to their old “J note” logo from their New Orleans days and updated it with some greens, blues and yellows. You just can’t ignore the iconic blue and yellow of the Warriors, though. Golden State takes this one easily.

Black, silver and white could look boring, but not when the Spurs wear it. Most sports fans have been clamoring for the Rockets to return to their yellow-and-red colors from decades past, but they’ve started wearing black instead. Spurs find a way to scratch out some victories against the pesky Rockets.

In the West, it’s a toss-up. Skill says the Warriors will win, but classic uniforms say the Spurs. We’ll go with a safe pick and choose the Warriors.

In yet another rematch of Cleveland and Golden State, NBA fans might feel like blue, yellow, wine and gold are wearing out their welcome. Maybe so, but the Finals could look a lot worse from a uniform standpoint. The Cavaliers won’t take seven games to get us to love their color combo. Cleveland in six games.

Who do you have winning it all this year in the NBA? Share your opinions with us below and keep your eyes glued to the television!

Friday, May 5, 2017

NHL Playoffs Predictions

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Now that the first round of the NHL Playoffs is in the books, the second round is nearing its end and the cream of the crop is all that’s left, it’s time for the crew to jump in and make some Nostradamus-esque predictions. Would it have been bolder of us to make predictions before the playoffs started? Sure, but then we’d look foolish for thinking the Blackhawks wouldn’t be swept by the lowest seed in the Eastern division. Chicago woes aside, here’s who we think will make their way through the rest of the tournament based, of course, off the flashiness of their uniforms and colors.

Let’s assume the school-bus-yellow-wearing Nashville Predators will continue their improbable run into the conference finals by beating the St. Louis Blues (we secretly like the yellow, btw). In a color palette mashup that would hurt the eyes of weaker hockey fans, we predict the Oilers will get past the Ducks for a conference title showdown of small market teams. Will the team most people forgot exists make a run against an Edmonton squad trying to recapture their 1980s glory? By a nose, the fellas from Nashville will hoist the conference trophy.

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The matchups in the Eastern conference seem more rooted in tradition and rivalry. First up is the Ottawa Senators and the New York Rangers. If there was ever a more classic use of red, white and blue in a uniform, we haven’t seen it. Can’t say colors combinations will help them beat the pesky Senators, but they’ve got our vote based solely on uniform aesthetics. Since they reverted to a rich, bright yellow instead of shiny gold, the Penguins’ uniforms have been a thing of nostalgic beauty. They’re also the Achilles heel of the Capitals, so we don’t see Washington making a valiant comeback. In the conference finals, we have to give the edge to Pittsburgh.

So here we are. Upstart vs. tradition. Blue and yellow vs. black and yellow. Experience vs. inexperience. A sabretooth tiger vs. a…penguin with human hands? Throwing actual hockey ability and experience out the window, this is probably a matchup few analysts would’ve predicted. We’re throwing our weight behind Nashville to continue this run and cause an uptick in yellow sports fan apparel everywhere.

Who do you think will win it all this season in the NHL? Share your comments with us below, and enjoy the games!