You may have caught sight of the Washington D.C. baseball team's decorating snafu (Shown here) It seems downright wacky & nearly impossible to comprehend, right? How the hell could anyone misspell "Nationals" in our nation's capital?!?
Well, when you've been around the team sports uniform block a few times like I have, this is understandable, albeit still almost unforgivable. Then again, didn't we have a vice president of the country once who misspelled "potato" in front of a 1st grade class? (see: Quayle, "potato" with an "e")
But what separates a fixable "little snafu" from a bonafide, "Damn, gotta RE-DO all of them-type Mistake"? Ain't as easy
I remember growing up that the Harlem Globetrotters always played a team that came from Washington (The Generals???). That's what I first thought off when I saw the spelling error for the Nationals. (Probably not a good thing to have come to mind for any MLB team)
That is, by definition a "Mistake" of the Magna Order (or something really serious). But what if it was a Little League team's t-shirts that were paid for by a sponsor?
My personal screw-up of this variety involved a prison. That would be Folsom Prison, of Johnny Cash song fame. And a small town in California, or section of a bigger town, still not sure, named Fulsom.
As you might expect, the folks in that town (or section) are VERY sensitive about being confused with the prison of a similar name. Suffice to say, when I delivered a 100 or so t-shirts for the parents to the TOWN with the name of the PRISON, they were none to happy. That was a RE-DO type thing.
But what if PLAYER's NAME is misspelled. Most folks would think, of course, that a re-do, too. But the piss of it is that, to completely re-do the jersey (and shooting shirt in basketball) rather than just fix the NAME, is insanely expensive. With all the set-ups that are inherently involved, it's gonna cost a company about the same price as getting --almost -- a whole new team's worth of jerseys. YIKES!
That's a big "no can do re-do". Now the proud paying parent ain't gonna be too happy with that as a resolution. (I speak from experience, fortunately few, but "heated" debates nonetheless) But it is the only rational way. They're doing amazing things with solvents these day. With a heat-sealed player name (the most common method), you can get the misspelled name off with almost 100% clarity.
And that's a good point, too. All misspellings are not the same. The tackle twill split front, full button Nationals' fiasco is SO complicated as decoration goes, that it's probably easier to just chuck it and start anew. Unless the whole team's have been misspelled.
Margins have always been tight. And mistakes are always gonna happen. It's just never absolutely black & white as to when a "Mistake" has been made. Nor is it ever gonna be easy to determine what is the one & only "best" thing to do when they do happen.
(Oh, and lastly, please forgive any spelling mistakes in this post.)
Sports Uniform Guy
I grew in Philly, home of the Penn Relays. This annual event, for the uninitiated, is arguably America’s foremost track meet. It was 1st held in 1895!
While I had a brief and unillustrious track career as a member of my jr. high school’s 440 relay team, self-dubbed “The Speed Boys” (Yes, I was the slowest boy), I always had an appreciation for the Penn Relays and respect for the athletes who competed there every year. It was hometown pride, too.
Thirty years later (I’m 48 now), my respect is unchanged and my appreciation has matured. Age (and bad knees) will do that.
I’ve lived a good part of my adult life in New York and Los Angeles. I returned to Philly 8 years ago to start Team Sports Planet. Honestly, prior to moving back, I’d kind of forgotten about The Penn Relays. It’s cool that my appreciation for them has been reinvigorated.
If any of you have the chance to visit Philly for this event, you’ll definetly get a kick out of them. It’s a festival for the senses. Great sights, sounds and the occasional pounding of the heart. All taking place on the University of Pennsylvania’s storied campus, just minutes from the historical heartland of Philly’s downtown area.
What’s new and exciting about the event – or more so the athlete’s—is the parade of ultra modern fabrications that are represented, in a wide and colorful swath each day of the event (Okay, the occasional thunderstorm, can dampen the display, but nonetheless…).
Perhaps second only to swimming in the need for ergonomic sensibility, track uniforms have been at the forefront of modern fabrication technologies and design architecture. In particular for sprinters, where wind resistance is the enemy.
Go to Franklin Field during the Penn Relays this year (they start on April 19th), and you be treated to a smorgasbord of styles, in bright colors, reflecting the efforts of hundreds of schools, thousands of coaches, athletic directors and, of course, the athletes themselves as they fight the foe that is, in a word, wind.
Blends of Spandex, Lycra, Nylon and more are calibrated to wring peak performance from the nation’s best track performers. While Olympic aspirations justly fill the minds of some participants, almost all can proudly strut their stuff in the fashion forward world of modern track uniforms.
And every year, for….oh, about the past 114 years or so…they’ve done it in my hometown…in Philly @ the Penn Relays.
Sports Uniform Guy