Search This Blog



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