Friday, May 24, 2019

Some Game Bibs Championship Predictions

Photo credit:
The final rounds of the NHL and NBA playoffs are nearly set, with just a few games left to decide whether the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks will take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. On the hockey side of things, the Boston Bruins cruised into the Stanley Cup Finals and waited for a back-and-forth fight between the St. Lous Blues and San Jose Sharks to be decided before prepping for the Blues.

While this marks the Warriors fifth straight chance at a title, it will be either the Raptors’ first appearance ever or the Bucks’ first since 1974. As for hockey, the Bruins will be making their first championship appearance since the 2012-13 season, while the Blues will be making their first ever appearance. That all said, it’s time for us to give our expert opinion on these matchups the only way we know how: by uniforms and colors!

NBA - Warriors vs. ?
Since Golden State reverted back to their familiar blue-and-yellow color scheme after many years of wearing a weird blend of navy blue, orange and yellow, they’ve been a uniform darling of the league. Royal blue and standard yellow are an underappreciated pairing, and it’s great to see a great team rocking those colors on the court. Their uniform logo is a bit on the large side, but it’s uniquely styled so we give them a pass.

Photo credit:
The Bucks have played around with their uniforms and color combinations over the decades (let’s all try to forget those dreaded green-and-purple years), but have always retained green as part of their uniforms. The team underwent a uniform redesign a few years ago after sporting a red-and-green Christmas getup that resembled their first ever uniforms, and now their secondary color is a cream gold that resembles the lagers Milwaukee is known for brewing.

The Raptors have also toyed with their uniforms and color schemes since coming into the league at the height of 1990s fashion, sporting bright purple as their main color. They’ve since dropped purple entirely for a blend of black, red, white and gold, and their uniforms look pretty slick even if they are a bit uninspired.

Our Prediction - The redesign of the Bucks looks clean with just enough unique elements to elevate them above the competition. They might not win on the court, but they’re our pick for NBA champions based on their uniforms.

NHL - Bruins vs. Blues
You have to appreciate teams that don’t mess with a good thing. While other black-and-yellow hockey teams flirted with shiny gold for a few years, the Bruins have always stuck to their traditional look since serving as one of the founding members of the NHL (even if they had brown for a few years in the 1920s and 30s).

Photo credit:
The Blues have always been blue, but they’ve thrown in different shades of blue and even some red as recently as the 1990s. We wish they’d take a page from the Warriors’ book and return to a simple blue-and-yellow set, and maybe a league championship will encourage team ownership to make the full switch.

Our Prediction - Tradition trumps all in this one. It’s a bit of a toss-up how the games will turn out on the ice, but we like the Bruins to take the win based on those classic uniforms.

Which uniforms/colors do you like in this year’s crop of championship teams, or do uniforms not matter so much to you? Let us know in the comments below and enjoy the finals!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Draftees Get Jerseys in Record Time

Photo credit: Andy Lyons / Getty Images
The latest edition of the pro football draft just wrapped up this past weekend, with 254 individual players realizing their dream of being drafted to a team. The bulk of those players celebrated in the comfort of their homes with friends and family, but the marquee names were on-site in Nashville to cross the stage and receive congratulatory hugs from the league commissioner. They also got to pose with a jersey with their name on it. Ever wonder how they got a personalized jersey in a matter of minutes? We did too.

In regular-season games, player names are either screen printed and then stitched onto the back of a jersey or embroidered directly onto the jersey itself. In the few minutes the jersey team has to screen print a jersey and get it in the hands of the draftee, they don’t have any time for sewing. Here’s how it works:

  • All prospective first round draft picks have their surname nameplates stylized in the font and color of all 32 teams.
  • This is, at minimum, 960 nameplates made ahead of time if all 32 selections plan to be in attendance.
  • Once the pick is selected, the jersey-printing team is informed before the commissioner walks out on stage to announce the pick to the audience.
  • The printing team immediately grabs the appropriate jersey and the player’s nameplate in the correct font and screen prints the jersey. 
  • The jersey is removed fresh from the press and passed along to be given to the draftee as he arrives on stage.

This whole process must be done in a little under two minutes. Imagine the pressure of doing it right under a tight deadline! To account for the unexpected, the printing team keeps extra jerseys on hand just in case teams make trades to acquire more picks in the opening round. Word has it they’ve had to pull spare jerseys off mannequins when they ran out of jerseys!

Photo credit: Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune
What do you think of the practice of players holding up jerseys when they’re drafted? Would it be cooler if they held a team-branded football or helmet instead? We don’t know about you, but a pair of color-coordinating game bibs would be just the ticket! Let us know what you think in the comments below, and best of luck to your team this upcoming season!