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Warm-Ups for Teams-The Long & Short of Them

This is not Sports Uniforms Guy
As you can probably tell from my photo to the right, I ain't exactly "long & lean" in build. What was —back in the 70's or thereabouts— a broad shouldered athletic build has slid in a southerly direction to a more, er..."rectangular" form. By no means of the William "The Refrigerator" Perry proportion, but "solid state" chassis about sums it up.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry in all his glory!In the nine years TSP has been around, we've always sold warm-ups.
I bring this up because, this is the time of year when a lot of coaches, ADs, etc. are needing to consider purchasing warm-ups for their teams (in a wide range of different sports). This is true even down south and in other warmer climates, where a springtime shower can throw a serious wrench in an athlete's performance. And can cause a dysfunction of the discus from the meniscus. And it never ceases to amaze me how all over the map sizing can be from brand to brand. One brand's Adult Small can sometimes pass for another's Large.
It can be baffling.
Mind numbingly baffling
This is no more true than when one considers warm-up pants. Where a divining rod is sometimes a useful tool for calculating size. In particular, inseam length. Namely, the long and short of it.

I have a 36" waist. (There, I said it! You happy?) And at 6'tall (though rapidly descending toward the core of the planet) You'd think Extra Large-ish. But I gotta tell you, I have often tried on a perfectly fitting warm-up top or jacket, only to SWIM in the pants. And flounder over myself (illegal in several states) with inseam lengths almost a half a foot too long.

I'm no fashionista. I wear clothes primarily with comfort in mind. With warm-ups, comfort should be a central governing force in design, fabric, and so forth. There should also be a certain perfomance element. (We're not talking Seinfeld's George Costanza warm-up pants here.)

illegal pants
But SIZING or more specifically the calculation of inseam length seems to fall into the category of Newtonian physics for most warm-up brands. This is true or at least has been my experience, for "top of the line" brands as well as relatively inexpensive ones.

Part of the problem is rooted in the simple fact that there are few instances in team sportswear manufacturing where you have to "hit a mark" so cleanly and distinctly. Shorts can be long or short. And it doesn't matter much (expect to your average 12 year old boy)

Until the recent & regrettable "Manny Panty" phenom in baseball pant length (see M. Ramirez) almost all inseams could fall within a length with some "wiggle room". But not with warm-up pants. As a manufacturer, you got say, "Adult Large? Let's make them...(Insert sound of dart hitting dart board)...36" long!" It's like science....almost.

So...Since neither my wife or mother sews (talk about a dysfunctional family), I usually just break out the scissors and my handy, dollar store sewing kit. (I tell you, the things I gotta do to keep my short stump-like legs from public view.)

And that's the long & short of it.

Sports Uniform Guy


Women's Volleyball Uniforms - Short Shorts in Particular

Womens Volleyball UniformsLooking for Volleyball Uniforms? Click Here!
Falstaff, a comical, yet world weary, buffoon in the Shakespearean canon, put forth the notion that "The better part of valour is discretion." Henry V, Pt. I
Henry V, Pt. I
Left unspoken, was the notion that the proper length of women's volleyball shorts, left unto itself, would somehow declare itself. With discretion be damned. Or ignored. Or being "JUNO"-d out of exist or relevance.
volleyball shorts
...And Falstaff, Shakespeare & most coaches & parents wouldn't be any wiser. Except now.
Let me go on.
About 6 years ago, 5" compressions shorts for women's volleyball was considered a tad "risque" due more to the "cling" factor than the length or lack thereof.
About 4 years ago, there started to be a directed (astounding) push toward SHORT and TIGHT. Ala: 2 1/2" inch shorts and Lycra and/or Spandex.
The reaction was nearly immediate and dead-on. It has become the WAY and FIT of most club teams???
Since when did HS VB players associate with Pussy Cat Dolls in VB Uniforms?
To be honest: When HS players started to look like COLLEGE players.
It's the TRUTH and it ain't wrong neither.
THERE.. I said it.
Sports Uniform Guy
Women's Volleyball Uniforms -



It was a mere city block from the Team Sports Planet office and appropriately nuts. Check it Out!

The Team Sports Planet Sales Team

Sports Uniforms Guy

Click here to see a slide show of all our pictures!

Phillies World Series Champion Parade

Sports Uniform Guy


Basketball Uniforms - Lost Youth

I've written in the past about how street fashion drives basketball uniform styles like no other sport. What I failed to mention then is something that struck me just recently as I watching a wretched high school basketball game on a local cable channel. Not the level of talent; I take that for what it is.(i.e., Excessive palming, erratic shot selection, a reluctance to play team defense, etc.)

What I was newly struck by was how ridiculously out of control basketball shorts' length and overall bagginess have become. Since every 5th grader has --at least in their mind-- mastered the between the legs dribble, this combination has produced many -- if they weren't so annoying -- comically moments.

With the school season soon upon us and an AAU run in the not so distant offing, I am making my case to STOP THE MADNESS!

Proper proportion is a fundamental design characteristic. Not just in basketball uniforms, in almost all things that are well-designed. What is proportionally out of sync is easily detected by the human eye, even at an early age. Then why have we found ourselves in the pickle of watching young hoopsters fall over themselves in circus-worthy shorts?!?!

Why? Because "That's how the kids want to wear them?" To which I reply, as my father would have said "Tough darts."

At TSP, we sell tons of basketball uniforms every year and have done so for going on ten years. In the past two years, we've sold almost no youth sized basketball uniforms. Don't get me wrong, we're selling to more teams and schools than ever, but almost no youth sizes. Coaches of 5th graders are ordering Adult larges in the hopes that they'll be "baggy enough for the boys."

Manufacturers have made the adjustment. They did so 3-4 years ago, bowing to style. But no matter. A 4 foot guard is currently "pantalooning" at a gymnasium near you. Enough already!

The saying goes, "Youth is wasted on the young." And that true to some degree. But can we at least get them into a properly fitted uniform in the process?!?!?

Sports Uniform Guy


A-11 Offense: Football Uniform Numbering Rules!

I know that most high school football coaches have by now gotten wind of the A-11 Offense(if not, go here) But for the rest of us, even the semi-literate like me, I have to say, I am amazed.

The skinny on it is this: The National Federation of HS's was trying to be helpful & realistic by letting "non-center" numbered players, long snap in punting situations. (They confuse it a little by referring to punts as "scrimmage kicks" (and I know there's "quick kicks") but I digress. Thoughtfully, the Feds wrote an exception that made sense. Essentially, any kid --wearing any number (i.e., not just 50-59)-- could long snap on punts. That's all it was meant to mean & do.

A thumbnail image of the Tron Guy that links to a larger versionUnless you watch way too much Arena football and have far, far too much time on your hands as --apparently-- the "Director of Football Operations" at Piedmont HS (a small Bay area school with about 800 total students) does.NOTE: I tried to contact the "Director of Mathematical Operations" at Piedmont HS for a comment about this "numbering" issue and was met with a stony silence, followed by a quizzical "...The Who?"an image of a man with a calculator, goggle and a cigarette.

But as me and my accountant harmonize monthly, "Let's Go to the Numbers!"
An accountant with an old fashion calculator

As Joseph Heller noted, there's just one catch, "Catch-22." Or, to update, the A-11 Offense. Taking advantage of a loophole in the rules, one (yes you read that right --ONE) high school (the aforementioned Piedmont)in California is using a gimmick offense to somewhat positive results.

The thing for me and cause for this post, is that it's a UNIFORM NUMBERING LOOPHOLE that is the basis for this controversy. (It's been BANNED in 10 states) Great googly-moogly!!!

Seems that Piedmont is sending out a how slew of players with RECEIVER eligible numbers. But they ain't, mind ya! They just look that way! (Rules for the # of eligible receivers on any given play have NOT changed in ANY way.)

There little chance of this "FAD" offense gaining any ground at the collegiate level and ZERO chance of it getting to the NFL. Frankly, even at the HS level, it'll probably go the way of the leather helmet before it reaches anything close to common usage.

An image of the short lived Execution style helmetDon't get me wrong, I applaud out of the box thinking and credit the coaches at Piedmont for strategically countermanding a competitive disadvantage.

And, I love the scene in the original "Raiders of the Lost Ark" wherein Indiana Jones is confronted by a master of the whip or sword throwing (I forget which) and then calmly pulls out a pistol and just shoots the guy.

I just don't think football was meant to be played certain ways. (note: I have yet to be able to watch more than 10 minutes of Arena football)

Sports Uniform Guy


The Little League Coach:Teaching Life Lessons

I’m into team uniforms, team sports, and I like to peruse coach’s blogs from time to time. While I’m hardly an expert on the subject of coach’s blog’s, I can say with good authority that there are a lot of horrible ones out there. Many times, people will just throw up a few softball drills or the like, and expect you to buy their DVD series on “Coaching Youth Athletes” for only 5 easy payments of $19.95.

That’s why when I first came across The Little League, I found it so refreshing. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a blog to market whatever it is you do, I sincerely believe that first you should have valuable content, and then you can try and sell whatever your heart desires.

And that’s where this blog really comes through for me, content. This blog is stuffed full of informative, and sometimes entertaining articles on all aspects of coaching and running a Little League. From practice tips to advice on getting parent volunteers, this blog really covers everything you would ever want to know about Little League.

Written by a long time Little League Coach & board member, this blog has something for every audience. Players, coaches, team parents, you name it, there’s probably something here for you. Heck, I don’t fall into –any- of those categories and I still keep going back. After following this blog for a couple of weeks, I feel like the content really stems from a sincere desire to share his 19+ years of experience with anyone willing to listen. His blog isn’t about just winning games, but about “teaching life lessons” as he writes on the front page. In his posts he talks about ways to make the entire Little League experience better for everyone involved. After reading through some of his many posts, and conversing with him via email he comes across like the coach we all wish we could have had.

So if you’ve never heard of this blog, go check it out, and if you have heard it, then go visit it again. Whether you’re a coach, parent, player, or even just a guy fondly remembering his own Little League days after reading this post, this is the coach’s blog to read. So what are you waiting for?

Sports Uniform Guy


Sublimated Uniforms...The New HDTV?

Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 9 2008

I remember going the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas in the early '90's. Every other booth seemed to have a high definition television displayed. Serious, sweaty & emphatic sales people gushed effusively that HDTV was going to be all the rage. Was going to change the world. Blah, blah, blah.

They went on & on about how unbelievably clear the picture quality was. When I mentioned that, if you changed the channel, the picture looked like crap, I was informed that that was because no one was yet producing televison in HD. Oh.

In short, the "awesome" technology of high definition television (read: the Hardware) was only as good as the content it displayed (the Software). The technology was so good, it made "inferior" low def. content look WORSE. "But you wait....", they told me.

I did. For over a decade.

Now, I love watching sports on my 52" HDTV. Incredible. (Sure, the non-HD stuff is almost unwatchable) but in sum, good things did come to those that waited.

We're about 5 years into the "Decade of Sublimated Uniforms" and I guess I can't help but feel kind of the same way I did at the mid-point of the HDTV revolution.

Sublimated uniforms, without question, have some really, really excellent qualities. The decorative elements (names, numbers, etc.) will never peel, crack and so forth. You can make the case that sublimated uniforms a are inherently lighter in weight as no "third party" elements are screened, sealed or sewn to the garment itself, sparing the athlete the ignominy of the classic "puddle of sweat" around these decorative elements.

But there's likewise little question that we are still in the early stages of this technology's developmental curve. It's still a little pricey, for one thing. The fabric restriction (read: polyester) is another.

Don't get me wrong, the splashy colors & design freedom that sublimation empowers is a welcome trend. But, IMHO, style needed not supercede substance. And a lot of what I see in sublimated uniforms today, skews toward the stylish and even if ever so slightly, away from the substantive. I honestly don't know if this aspect is simple market positioning by the manufacturers or is somehow a byproduct of the existing technology. But I know what I see and feel in my hand.

I remember the 1st time I did a presentation for the head of a large city's school board. The 1st thing the decision maker did when I handed her a uniform was turn it inside out. She didn't care what it looked like. She wanted to see the quality of how it was made.

Kind of like HDTV in the '90's!

Sports Uniform Guy


Cheerleader Uniforms: I’m Shocked, Shocked

Sarah Palin in Philadelphia
With apologies to Casablanca’s Captain Renault, I’m shocked, shocked. Although I’m not sure at who. Or why exactly.

Some of you may have –no doubt- already gotten wind of the controversy surrounding the University of Idaho’s cheerleading uniform controversy. Seems that, some obliquely identified source(s) of complaints about the new uniforms’ “skimpiness” has lead to an immediate retraction of said offending cheerleading uniforms by the school.

Oliver Stone fans might readily suggest it’s due to the fact that the U of I is Sarah Palin’s alma mater (which is true, Class of ‘87). But, when you realize that the Republican party’s VP candidate spent time at five (5) colleges in five (5) years to get her undergraduate degree…well, it’s not exactly a new grassy knoll.
Let’s first realize that “skimpy” really is in the eye of the beholder. Suffice to say, I don’t think the fellas on the football team were lobbying for the change(See before and after photos) Parents, pundits, prudes and some professors, no doubt were probably represented in not some numbers.

Odd to me was that there were quotes ion the article that suggested some of the cheerleaders themselves objected. One opining, “not every on is a size zero.” True enough. But not everyone is on the football team either. Or the swim team for that matter. Are burkas next?

Before and After

See the article in the local paper linked below. The most shocking statement came from the Athletic Director or someone with purchase authority, who, earlier this same season had to “retire” objectionable football pants. Someone had apparently thought that having letters “U-I” on the buttcakes of the players was a good idea. In his defense, he exclaimed “We didn’t know how they were gonna look” (or words to that effect). I don’t know how a roast pig on my head is gonna look either, but I got a good guess it ain’t gonna be pretty

It’ll be interesting to hear how Senator Joe Biden addresses Governor Sarah Palin in this Great Uniform Decency debate. That’s what the debate thing tonight is gonna be about, right?

Idaho cheerleaders to replace skimpy outfits

Sports Uniform Guy


Football Uniforms - Stop the Throwbacks Already!

Maybe I'm not as nostalgic as most. Guilty. But I really thought the NFL's decision to introduce the throwback uniforms was a one year aberration. It was kitschy. Put some extra moolah in the, er, cash-strapped NFL's coffers.

But enough already. Just stop trotting out self-respecting, modern football teams in these sideshow travesties of uniforms. Now. Before I hurl.

Watching Brett Favre play in the old New York Titans uniforms on Sunday was torture. It's confusing. It distracts from the game. It is arguably belittling to the players & fans alike. As a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I should not have to live in mortal fear of seeing my beloved team in their positively Horrific throwback jersey any time again in my lifetime. That goes for MLB, NBA & NHL, too!

Sports Uniform Guy


The Benefits of Brand Name Uniforms

This is kind of a complementary post. It works best in conjunction with my last one, though you can read either one 1st.

What unequivocal benefits are there in buying well-known brand name unis & stuff versus some lesser known brands. (Again, I always adhere to the credo, "There is no definitive answer to the question 'What's the best uniform?'" The only answer is :'Depends on a LOT of factors') But, that said...

Brand name sportswear is a competitive multi-billion dollar industry. It's a fierce marketplace. It's serious. And brand name manufacturers play to win.

But what's all that mean to the average purchaser of team uniforms on the Internet?

The most obvious benefit is quality assurance. Believe me when I tell you I've samples or surveyed or worn something from every manufacturer you've ever heard of out there and, to be perfectly frank, if it's a well-know brand, it's gonna be pretty damn good.

True, a MFTR is gonna have different products for different price points (and their buyers) within their target audience, but the brands you know in this biz generally deliver on the quality promise (whether they deliver on time is a whole other problem for a different posting). If you KNOW of them --not "think I heard of them"-- but KNOW you KNOW them, you're in good shape.

And, an Internet merchant's Adidas, Under Armour, Wilson is the SAME EXACT THING as that available in the "brick & mortar" world. PHHHHHewwww! Took a long time to get to that simple point, huh!

While there is --absolutely-- some great stuff at great prices from MFTRs you have never heard of or are vaguely familiar with, there's also a noticeable dollop of crap. Poor design, lackluster sewing, dyes that fade before your eyes and so forth. But there isn't really the reciprocate.

By that I mean, if you stick with well known brands, there isn't any awfulness waiting to rear it's ugly head after the first washing or post-season.

Sure, you're gonna have PREFERENCES. Different people like different things about their unis. Whether fit, fabric or function related. But that's not a QUALITY issue. Again, it's a preference.

Probably the biggest tangible value you get buying brand name stuff from a reputable Internet merchant is...peace of mind. When you have players, parents, board members and so forth, just waiting to chime in with their ...uh, "unique perspective" on the unis you bought, it's kinda nice to not have to repeat the MFTR's name 2-3 times because no one's ever heard of them before.

"Look, they're made by Russell Athletic (Or Under Armour or Wilson or Reebok, et al)" It can get you out of any "spirited discussion" about the unis this year!

AAAAAAAAAhhhhh.....Peace of Mind...........Priceless!

Sports Uniform Guy


When Brands Go Bad

There's no denying the simple fact that well-known brand name uniforms and apparel have some distinct advantages over second tier, "non-brand" name goods. For one, the brands have a brand name to protect in the RETAIL channel (vs. Team) and they do so through quality. Ergo, your average Under Armour uniform, irrespective of the sport, is going to be of a better quality than a 2nd tier brand's. Duh.

Let's take price off the table and say --not matter what the price-- which is the better uniform for my team or school? Well, that's where it starts to get a little tricky...

If you're buying "Blanks" (un-decorated --i.e., no team name, numbers, etc.) then yeah, the brand name goods are gonna be --on average better. And, again on average, be a little pricier. After all, you are paying for the brand. Again, Duh.

If you want to get the best quality and the selection and convenience of buying via the Net, blank brand name purchases are a very comforting way to go. You'll lose no sleep, because a web merchant's UA, Russell, Reebok, etc. is gonna be the exact same as the local dealer or retailer. Even if you buy direct from the manufacturer (evil!) A brand is a brand is a brand.

But most folks prefer a turnkey solution. They want decorated unis. And, that said, the value of brands becomes a little more nebulous.

Suppose your brother in law has a t-shirt shop and you're upgrading your unis from tees to --well, almost anything is an upgrade-- but let's say your new travel squad wants a well-known brand name. (And bro-in-law still wants his piece of the business too!)


Today's performance fabrics are very different than t-shirts. Know how to precisely deal with them is a scientific skill and knowledge set. Nothing againist your in-law, but he is officially "out of his league" at this point. (Those really cool tees he did for the Big Jamboree last month notwithstanding)

So, in this example, the benefit of the brand becomes non-existent. Let me explain.
Most errors in the team uniform biz are a by-product of the decoration (screening, embroidery, sublimation, etc.) The core product --the blank jersey-- can be fantastic. And yet, it can be likely rendered virtually unusable through shoddy decoration (numbers that fall off, team names that "melt" and so forth.)

A brand name uni in this case is just penny wise and pound foolish. Or the opposite, I've confused myself. But I think you get the point.

If you have a "local guy" who knows how to work with sports team uniforms and new-ish performance fabrics (ASK to see samples of his/her work!), then sure, go with the brand name blanks. But when in doubt, go turnkey.

Sports Uniform Guy


If "6" turned out to be "9"?

Kind of a stupid Jimi Hendrix reference...but "HEY! I'm trying to generate traffic!

My point is actually this: NUMBERING sports team uniforms can be ridiculously complicated. For example, were you aware that it is perfectly legal for two players on the same college football team to have the same exact number? Truth is... YES!

It is perfectly legal. The players (normally an offensive and defensive player) just can't be on the field at the same time. How's this so? Well, it's in the numbers!

College football teams can carry in upwards of 120 players on their "roster". They ain't gonna play them all mind you; but they can keep them all throughout the year. Pro teams have a 53 man roster with 6-8 players on the development squad.

This is just one of ---pun intended--INNUMERABLE examples of NUMBERING problems in team sports uniforms...

Let me hear your numbering horror stories....

Sports Uniform Guy


Basketball Uniforms and Fashion

No team sport's uniforms seem to be more driven by or conversely affect general sportswear attire more so than basketball's. While one could argue the golf's tepid trends rule large over the “corporate casual” domain, for the youth (and young at heart)nothing compares to b-ball's domination of what drives fashion
(for young men in particular).

Think about it. Haven't the length of men's & boy's short --in general-- reflected the fashion of at or below the knee length shorts that first cropped up on the court?

True, for a while an little ways back, the football jersey in it's “throwback” form was fashionable. But so were basketball jerseys at the same time. Fortunately, both these trends, much to the chagrin of the fine folks @ Mitchell & Ness (a leading manufacturer of throwbacks). FYI: They're also based in Philly!

Baseball jerseys are cool to wear at the ballpark, but are suspect anywhere else. And the push to the ankles and beyond of recent baseball pant styles are even regretable in MLB. I may be getting old or just be old school, but when a new kid comes up from the minors and he's sporting traditional just below the knee pants, I find myself rooting a little extra for him.

Soccer suffers from several maladies in crossing over into mainstream sports wear "fashionability". The dominance of Adidas and it's ultra strict "3-stripe hegemony" renders --at least to American consumers-- virtually unwearable. I will say that in Europe, N. Africa and other locales, Adidas is enormously popular as "street" attire. It does not make it or those choosing to wear these jerseys any more fashion forward.

No. Basketball uniforms, both jerseys and shorts, play a significant yet little noted or appreciated role in the trend-setting of general sportswear. Let's all breathe a sigh of relief that competitive swimming's latest fashion trends will forever be relegated to the pool. "Love how you look in that Laser!" isn't going to be a catch phrase any time soon.

Sports Uniform Guy


Uniform Spelling Snafus

The folks over at Sports Review Magazine caught a great uni snafu with a misspelling of the MINNESOTA Twins uni.

It reminded me of one of the early mistakes we at Team Sports Planet made.

Apparently there's a town near Sacramento, California named FULSOM, not at all related to “FOLSOM” AS IN THE PRISON (of Johnny Cash fame).

Well...we were new to the uni game and not as detail oriented as this biz requires and we failed to pick up on this —ONE STINKING VOWEL— difference.

As you might expect — and they had every right to be so — the fine folks of FULSOM were not at all thrilled when we delivered, ostensibly, PRISON GARB, for their little leaguers to play in!

Fortunately, we've gotteen beeter and grown to sucha degree that this is a humorous anecdote now and not "the final straw" in our biz history.

Sports Uniform Guy

Nike Allegations

While the root of this story involves one Chinese track team member, it also involves the Internet and, well, NIKE, so it's "in our wheelhouse" here @ SUS.

Seems as though the sportswear behemoth felt a little threatened by — I kid you not — the words written by ONE blogger. In China.

That reminds me of one of my favorite quips about China (I read it in Tom Friedman's "The World is Flat"). The saying goes, if you're "one in a million" —in China 2,500 people just like you.

Anyway, I saw this NIKE conspiracy theory at

It's disturbing no matter how much of it is fabricated (or not) just from the company's reaction. Like...huh?

Sports Uniform Guy


Worst Uniforms Ever!

I can't take any credit for having stumbled across this — one of the crack team of team sports uniform people at TSP found it and sent it to me (Thanks, Adrian). Men's Vogue compiled a photographic listing of the worst team sports uniforms in history. It's hysterical!
Worst Uniforms Ever!

Sports Uniform Guy


San Diego Padres — CAMO look

Padres Camo Uniform
Looking for Camouflage Baseball Uniforms? Click Here!

This is probably old news to the folks out west, but I got a kick out of seeing the Padres (playing our hometown Phillies) on Sunday night sporting the "Camo" baseball jerseys.

ANY new development in baseball styling is a cause for cheer, (where every year almost every team wants to look more like the '27 Yankees) but to trot out a full blown camo look was almost shocking.

The announcers said that they'd been doing it every Sunday all year...though I missed the reason why. San Diego is a huge military town (a four hour stay at their airport once made me realize that) and well, it was probably a nod to our men & women in uniform in that hellhole of Iraq. To which I say, Kudos!"

Sports Uniform Guy


Kobe Qvells About USA Basketball Uniforms

I was watching NBC's coverage of the Olympics about 11PM EST on Friday night, when Kobe Bryant filled the screen for an interview. He said, approximately (I was a little bleary eyed) that the 1st time he saw his USA Men's Basketball uniform, he "laid it down across my bed" and just looked at it, "humbled" (A word many had previously believed was not in Kobe's vocabulary). "I had goosebumps", Kobe continued. This was frankly, positively startling. Kobe...arguably the best basketball player of our generation...was emotionally affected by a simple (albeit nice) basketball uniform. What up with that?

I'm a Philly guy. Lifelong hoops fan. And, for full-disclosure's sake, worked for the LA Lakers from 1991 to 1995 in corporate sales. During what was commonly referred to as the Randy "No Fun" Pfund & Del "Dull" Harris era. Interrupted, ever so briefly, by the 19 game Magic Johnson head coaching fiasco.

Kobe, as the son of former Sixer Joe "jellyBean" Bryant, claims "Philly-roots" when in actuality the guy grew up in Italy for most of his formative years. JB moved back to Philly with a sweet-heart asst. coaching deal @ St. Joe's Univ. when they thought they might have a chance of signing wunderkind that was Kobe.

As we all know that didn't quite work out. Jerry West, B-ball talent evaluator extraordinaire, took one look at the HS Kobe and deemed that giving up chain-smoking Seribian Vlade Divac was expendable (along with cash, future considerations, and the equivalent GNP of several Eastern European nations...or something like that).

So Kobe was a laker. And with Shaq...all was very good.

But Kobe's mind...was too, well, Shaq-a-licious. (In other words, "he ain't no [fill-in the name of any center on the Michael Jordan lead Bulls]")

Oh, and I didn't have sex with that woman in Colorado either...Or...IF I did she wanted it, too. (Survey says: Wife Gets 5 Carat Diamond!) you can feelings about Kobe are...conflicted.

But I agree that he is the best NBA player of our time.
(With LeBron a-knocking)

I was just astounded that such an "anointed one" could be so --seemingly & heart-feltedly-- taken aback by the very sight of...a basketball uniform.

Sports Uniform Guy


Volleyball Uniforms - Mizuno Vs. Mizuno

Pictures of Japan's Olympic Volleyball Team Uniform and of the U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team Uniform
Or should I say - US vs. Japan in round one action in Beijing. Both teams are wearing Mizuno unis...albeit slightly different versions thereof. Here's what I'm thinking...

I wasn't sure if Japan or the US was going full sublimation (where the player numbers , names and team emblem are sublimated, as opposed to just the other design elements of the unis. Frankly, they just switched over to fencing so I'm not sure even as I type.

I prefer the US squad's version as the Japanese take is a little clunky around the neckline for my taste. The fit on both is incredible.
(Go figure!)

Both shoulder cuts seem to be stylish and very functional (what more could you ask for?)

I actully like the Japanese team's "fade" look vs. the pure solids of the US though. There's a reason why sublimated design is rapidly growing in popularity. In short, you can do some really cool stuff with it.

Sports Uniform Guy


Performance Wear - Be "Me, Too" Mania

It wasn't so long ago (think 5 years) when the words "performance wear" & Under Armour were almost synonymous. The wicked hot, Baltimore-based company (founded in 1996) had virtually invented the category and ruled the roost and justly so.

While they still rule (with good reason) the category they created has run amuck with contenders and pretenders, posers and...well, some nice additions.

What's a coach, AD or average "Joe-buyer" supposed to do...?

At this writing, every respectable sports team uniform manufacturer in the free world has some variation to promote in the "performance" category. If I never hear the word "anti-microbial" again, I will die a happy man, but I don't suspect that'll happen. Same goes for "moisture-wicking". Nonetheless, the "performance fabrics and processes" (yes, there are two separate things) are here to stay. And they definitely are worth paying attention to.

They feel very good. They DRY very quick. They have tremendous value for just those reasons.

For that reason and much more....I will continue to expound on this subject for weeks/months and perhaps years to come...Please feel free to join the conversation!

Sports Uniform Guy


The "Best" Uniform for My Team

You'd think that "What's the best uniform for my team?" would be a fairly straight-forward question. Maybe a few questions asked (How much can you spend, when do you need them, etc.) & answered would suffice. But that is not usually the case. Why?

As with so many things in team sports, the devil is in the detail. There really isn't a singular answer to a series of linear questions to determine what ultimately is the best team sports uniform for your team or school.

As disheartening as that may seem, it is true. The devil really is in the details.

First off, ususally is budget. But this simple metric is mitigated by the question: "How long do you want/need these uniforms to last? There's some really awesome unis that look fantastic -- cost accordingly -- and will NOT last more than 2 seasons for an intense elite/travel team. For some teams, (i.e., elite/travel U16-18 teams) that's the "best" option. When those SAME EXACT PLAYERS are playing for their school teams, ikt'd be frankly CRAZY for them to be wearing the same uniforms.

Yeah...same exact players, different circumstances...the "BEST" uniform solution is going to be DIFFERENT.

It ain't rocket science...but it sure helps to talk to some one that knows.

Sports Uniform Guy


Olympic Uniforms

I'm gonna be keeping a keen eye turned toward trends and representations/manifestations of team sports uniforms the world over come THIS Friday night. Any one else gonna be taking this --admittedly unusual-- albeit profoundly valid perspective when 'the Games' start?

Keep an eye peeled for the ---guaranteed--- TOTALLY OFF THE HOOK team outfit from some previously under-appreciated country (think Senegal, Tajikistan, et al.). You watch!

Or just check back with moi.

Sports Uniform Guy


Soccer Uniforms -- New Brand on the Pitch

Soccer presents something of a contradiction. It's the world's most popular sport, in part because there is so little --in terms of money-- to participate. Shirts & skins and a ball, some goal markers and you're pretty much good to go. Paradoxically, when it comes to soccer uniforms, you'll find no more brand name conscious sport out there.

I had one soccer company guy (not a soccer uniforms manufacturer, but a goals & equipment guy) say to me:"If I walk into a store and don't see Adidas, it ain't a soccer store." No question Adidas is the undisputed brand of soccer the world over. As much as NIKE may argue, that's the truth.

Close -- but not THAT close -- 2nd tier brands are Umbro, Diadora and the like. But those companies have had a world of trouble getting distribution in the US. True, league play (as opposed to Travel & Elite) gets a lot of attention from Far East manufacturers that sell direct (e.g., Score), but thats kind of a whole different ball of wax.

The big news for the coming Fall & Indoor seasons is that Under Armour, the biggest toughest new kid on the block has decided to flex it's marketing and manufacturing muscle on the pitch. Under Armour is doing soccer uniforms. And doing so in a big way. Their advanced and hugely popular fabric technologies gives them a big edge on all the other also rans of years past.

With UA on the pitch, there's sure to be some shaking going on.

Sports Uniform Guy


Football Uniforms - Heat is the Enemy

Looking for Under Armour Football Uniforms? Click Here!

I remember the Under Armour ad campaign "Cotton is the Enemy". Well, since they've recently come out with a new product line that "Feels like Cotton, Works like Performance Fabric" (or something like that) they've kinda backed off that contentious campaign. By the way these cotton-esque Under Armour products are the BOMB.
I love performance wear and UA is still hands down the best, even if EVERY manufacturer has some version of it these days. That said, I love the feel of cotton, too. It's buttery softness. And, no matter how good most performance wear is, it can still feel a little polyester-like (Uh...because that's what it large measure.) So this new fabric blend from Under Armour is awesome. Go to my company's site, give us a call, we'll get you out some samples....But I digress. (Sorry I am an entrepreneur/small business owner.)

Football training camps are staring us in the face. It's great. And it sucks, too. My personal recollections, even 20 + plus removed are ones of abject misery. Exhaustion. Sweat. Pain. Sweat. More pain. Much more exhaustion. And, yes, gallons upon gallons more of sweat.

Football training camps at any level are many things. Pretty ain't one of them.

From a coach's point of view, the experience is, however, invaluable. The concentration level, the singularity of focus, the bonding, the....well, you get the idea.

But with the advancements in fabric technology in the past few years (along with proper hydration) , football players in training camps need not be candidates for heat related illness or injury. The thinking man's football coach looks at addressing the potential problems from the inside out.

Start with the body --again-- keep your athletes hydrated. No exceptions. Next, utilize quality performance wear underneath shoulder pads. Here's a link to a study that proves this point beyond a doubt.

Risk of Heat Illness in Football Players...
(Thanks, "Mom's")

Then, strongly consider upgrading to performance (i.e., moisture-wicking) uniforms. Jerseys in particular. I know, me being who I am, that this may sound self-serving. But the simple fact of the matter is that heat stroke is serious and can even be life-threatening.

Football uniforms as a whole are designed for performance. Their purpose is functionality in an intentially violent enviroment. You wouldn't think of going without a helmet, shoulder pads and other protective aspects. Performance fabric in your team's uniforms should be added to that list.

Sports Uniform Guy


Cleaning Baseball Uniforms

I found this remedy to getting baseball uniforms clean. It's specifically for red clay but it seems as though in might work well for all diamond-tex and grass stains as well. Let me know what you think.
Cleaning Baseball Uniforms

Sports Uniform Guy


History of Football Uniforms

I'm not a nostalgic kinda guy, but I did find this site, which is devoted to the history of football uniforms to be kinda cool.
History of Football Uniforms

Sports Uniform Guy


Softball Uniforms: Shorts or Long Pants?

Here's a link to a cool little video about softball uniforms where they look at shorts versus long pants: Softball Uniforms: Trend Change

Sports Uniform Guy
Fastpitch Softball Uniforms -

What Will This Be?

This is where anyone involved in team sports (players, coaches, ADs, anyone) can discuss anything involving team sports uniforms. In any sport you want. Stuff can be related to unis directly or indirectly. Just somehow related.

It can be about styles, features, what you like or don't. There's gonna be links to other blogs and news stories about team sports uniforms.

That's all I can think of right now.

Sports Uniform Guy