Top 10 Ugliest Jerseys in NBA History

Given that my lists on the ugliest hockey jerseys and ugliest baseball jerseys are my two most read posts, continuing the series was a no-brainer. Coinciding it with the end of the NBA Finals is decent timing on my part, but the truth is, I started working on this list months ago and gave up. The history of the NBA simply doesn’t get much attention, so the resources for finding some of these ugly jerseys was getting too difficult. It’s a league very much focused on the now, paying little attention to anything that happened before Magic and Larry, other than the obligatory nod to Dr. J, Russell’s Celtics, and Wilt. But I persevered, using the knowledge that people everywhere will click over to this blog, get pissed because I’m insulting their favourite team, and then never visit again.

To tell the truth, I could easily do ten butt-ugly jerseys from the mid-to-late 90s alone, and it would look pretty convincing. A basketball jersey should be a simple thing: choose a two-colour scheme (with maybe a third shade for accents), put a word mark across the chest, number on the stomach, number on the back, done. Sure, you could mess it up by choosing ugly colours, but more often (and especially throughout the mid-to-late 90s) what makes an ugly jersey is messing with this formula. There’s not a lot of real estate on a basketball jersey, so when teams try to push the limits, the results are usually gaudy monstrosities.

One note: given that there’s some repeat offenders, I’ve limited this list to one jersey per team. That way this whole list wouldn’t be all Detroit, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Also, given the spotty info available out there on NBA history, some of my dates might be wrong. Feel free to point them out, just try not to think of me as stupid for making them (instead, rely on my opinions and prose to make your judgements on my intelligence).
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Top 10 Ugliest NHL Jerseys of All-Time

The NHL season is now upon us and as mandated by my Canadian passport, I’m obligated to make some sort of hockey-related post. In a former life, I used to work at a store that sold jerseys, with NHL jerseys being our most popular sellers, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Of the four major North American sports leagues (we here in Canada still like to think of the NHL as being part of the four major North American sports leagues, and in fact aren’t so sure if the other three measure up), I’d say that hockey lends itself best to providing really ugly jerseys. Most of this has to do with the simple fact that hockey jerseys (or sweaters as traditionalists like to call them, even though they stopped being sweaters sometime around the advent of colour TVs) are the biggest jerseys, and thus provide a bigger canvass for people with no taste to mess with. It doesn’t help that NHL teams aren’t exactly run by the savviest of marketers (when much of the talent and front office personal in a sport come from backwater Saskatchewan and the like, fashion sense isn’t an overly valued commodity).

So while baseball has its basic button up shirt designs, football has its basic colours and big numbers design, and basketball has the smallest canvass to work with, hockey jerseys are neck to thigh, full sleeved chances to throw in far too much colour, piping, or horrible logo choices. The flip side to this is that when a jersey is done right, it can be amongst the best looking jerseys in all of sport. But that’s not the case with these abominations.
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Top 10 Ugliest Uniforms in Baseball History

Apparently, MLB used this as their logo from 1960-1968, which makes it fitting for this list, since it looks like it was designed by a retarded six year old with a crayon. On LSD.For the most part, baseball uniforms are all pretty similar and business-like with the buttons down the front. For most of major league history, all home jerseys were white with the team’s name or logo on the front, and the road jerseys were grey with the name of the team’s city on the front. They brought in colour in the seventies, often replacing the road jersey, or just using the coloured jersey as an alternate jersey. Currently, every team in the league has at least one white home jersey and a grey road jersey. Then, teams have a bunch of other coloured jerseys as alternates, some with home and road alternates (generally, but not always, distinguished by the name on the front – nickname at home, city name on the road). None of the uniforms on this list are currently being worn in the majors.

A couple of notes on the list before I begin. One, I’m only counting jerseys that were worn in games by major league teams (not including gimmick jerseys, like the time the majors had futuristic jerseys). So no batting jerseys, which are often so experimental and gaudy that they’d need their own category. Two, while I list a year for the jersey, it isn’t necessarily the only year that particular jersey was worn, it’s just a year I know for sure it was worn.

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Coke Zero Man’s League Update… Update… Update

If you recall, earlier this month I mentioned that I had gotten an e-mail read in the ESPN Fantasy Focus Football Edition Podcast, which led the host to proclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. This resulted in them asking me to join the Coke Zero Man’s League, a 16-team fantasy football league they created in an effort to embarrass and shame their producer Jay Soderberg, since he plays in a small, 8-team fantasy baseball league (and because embarrassing and shaming Jay is their most favourite thing to do).

So they wanted to see how Jay would do in a deep league, and set up a 16 team listener’s league (which is a really deep fantasy football league. Standard sizes for fantasy football leagues are generally 10-12 teams), filling the other 15 spots with listeners who e-mailed in to be a part of the podcast. One of the 15 listeners (dubbed “Crazy Guy”) subsequently started being a jerk on the message boards, and was hurting the league’s competitive balance by giving away his players in terrible trades. So they kicked him out, rescinding his last trade in the process, then eventually offered me his spot in the league. I accepted the offer mostly to be a part of the show, since I knew his roster was terrible and that it’s difficult to improve a roster in a league that deep (not that I haven’t been trying).

They routinely give updates on the progress of the league throughout the week on the podcast, giving the one host (the Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry) plenty of opportunity to call me “Stupid Andy from Calgary”, since my e-mail disagreed with his opinion. Since the other host (Nate Ravitz) agrees with my opinion, he countered by calling me “Sage-like Andy”, which quickly morphed to “Horine-like Andy”, with “Horine” being the last name of their boss (Mark Horine), and thus becoming a synonym for “sage”. “Horine-like Andy” has become my nickname (accept to Matt, who gets upset when he hears that and continues to call me “Stupid Andy”).

A continuing bit they do on the show is that they chat with whoever is playing Jay during the week before and after the weekend. Sadly, the hosts were away last Thursday, so I didn’t get my pre-game interview as I played Jay this past weekend. But they did call me up today to discuss the horrible 122-59 defeat I suffered at the hands of Pod Vader (Soderberg’s nickname), making it my international podcast debut.

To listen to my appearance on the show, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 and play or download the podcast for 10/30. My segment comes up at the 21:20 mark. Behold my witty repartee.

The Saga Continues…

Once again, Andy from Calgary gets a mention on the ESPN Fantasy Football Focus podcast, this time as the big news item of the day (it’s a very slow news day in the football world, as Tuesday is an off day). To hear the brief segment about me, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then choose the podcast for 10/3. I’m the lead story at about 1:55 in, and then they talk about my entry into the league for about a minute or so before moving on.

So, there you have it. Minute 14 of 15 of my fleeting brush with fame.

My Brief Flirtation with Almost Fame

Most of you know that I am a participant in that wonderfully wacky pasttime known as Fantasy Football. As part of my fantasy football preparations, and more importantly as part of my attempt to distract myself from my job, I listen to ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast featuring The Talented Mr. Roto Matthew Berry and his co-host Nate Ravitz. I mostly listen to it for entertainment purposes, as most of their advice doesn’t really pertain to the rules and make-up of my fantasy league, and, as a four-time champion of said league, I don’t really need much advice (3-1 so far this year, and the league’s highest scorer).

But it’s an entertaining listen if you’re in to fantasy football and have a half hour to kill Monday through Friday. One thing that bugs me is that Matthew Berry is always going on about the importance of handcuffing your studs (for you non-fantasy football fans, this means to draft the real-world NFL back-up of the best runningback on your fantasy roster, in case that best back, AKA your “stud”, gets injured). I think this is one of the most overrated pieces of fantasy advice, leading people to hype the unknown runningbacks that happen to occupy the spot behind your guy in the depth chart, even if that guy has never proven himself a viable fantasy player. NFL players are not interchangeable, so just because one guy performs really well for a team, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy replacing him will also do well.

An example of this came this weekend, when Brian Leonard replaced the injured Steven Jackson as the St. Louis Rams starting runningback, and proceeded to do nothing. Seizing upon this example, I e-mailed the show in an effort to expose the flaw in Berry’s logic. They, in turn, read my e-mail on the show, and then proceeded to engage in a rather spirited debate about the subject that led to a rather exasperated Matthew Berry to exclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. For the rest of the podcast, they kept coming back to me and my e-mail, to the point where Nate suggested that I should replace Matthew on the show (as a joke… I’m mostly sure).

As a result of the six minute debate my e-mail set off, I was invited to join the 16 Team Man’s League the show set up, to replace a crazy guy they had to kick out, an invitation I accepted. I expect this to not be the last you hear them talk about Andy from Calgary, as they update league progress a few times a week.

To listen to this ever-so-brief brush with ever-so-small fame, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then select the Fantasy Focus Football: 10/2 edition and play it (or download if you so chose). Then skip about a third of the way in (in the ESPN player, you can scroll to above the rewind button) and that will get you to the part about me. I keep coming up for about six minutes, then come up again a few times after that.

POST #33: Slo-Pitch

The league doesn’t offer basketball in the summer, so instead, we’re playing Slo-Pitch. Since it’s dependent on sunlight and currently Kim works only nights, she was able to sign up with us too, along with her friend (and blogathon sponsor, and Gromit-sitter) Julie. We’ve played three games so far, and it’s been great.

In some ways, it’s more fun than basketball. I enjoy basketball more, since it’s always been my favourite sport to play, but slo-pitch has a different appeal. It’s a more languid, less aggressive game that allows us to just goof around in the sunshine. We have a good amount of laughs in basketball, but the simple fact that you have to run a lot in that sport means that you’re going to be more intense.

Unusually, even though slo-pitch is far less aerobic than basketball (as in not aerobic at all), I’m still getting sore after every game. Sore in ways that I hadn’t been near the end of basketball season. So I guess I’m still being active! w00t.

It’s a really lax league, where we pitch to our own team, and are only allowed three pitches per at bat. Unless we somehow get really awesome, I think I’d prefer to stay in this division. It keeps everything light and fun, which is basically what I’m looking for.

POST #31: Basketball

To pick up from where I left off, after high school my basketball playing started to slide off. Every once and awhile I’d find some friends interested in playing, but it didn’t last, as the lure of the adult life drew them to bars and the like (never been one for bars and nightclubs myself. They really aren’t that much fun if you don’t drink, which I don’t, or are socially awkward, which I can be in those situations… I’m much more of a small group or one on one guy). Eventually, I stopped playing altogether, pretty much because I couldn’t find anyone to play with, but also cause I got busy with adult stuff like college and, well, sex (cause as much fun as basketball is, it ain’t got nothing on sex).

Partially as a result of this inactivity, I got fat. Adulthood kinda sucks like that. Understand, I’m not morbidly obese or anything, and for the most part I’m healthy going from the standard doctor’s tests, but I’m definitely overweight (like the typical white dude, it’s all in the belly. I have the beer gut without the beer to show for it). So last September I finally decided to do something about it, since my job finally afforded me a fixed schedule (unlike retail and school), and joined up with a rec basketball league with my friend Anthony (). The next season (in January), we were joined by Stephen and Jon. Kim has even come out a few times when we needed a female sub.

It’s been a lot of fun. I’m not quite the player I used to be, but every once and awhile my game catches fire and it feels great. When it doesn’t, it’s still tonnes of fun. The people on my team are great, and it just feels good to be active and competing, even if its just once a week.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ve lost any weight as a result. So that’s annoying. I am eating better now too, and have maintained the same weight for at least a couple years. I guess I’ll have to actually work at it if I want to lose this gut. I’m still undecided as to whether or not it’s that much of a priority, since I’m otherwise healthy. But I am considering playing another sport this fall along with basketball, so I’ll be burning calories twice a week. Otherwise, I’ll just continue having fun playing the sport I’ve loved for so long.

POST #30: Childhood Summers

Jon asked me about my favourite childhood summer memories a few posts back. I don’t really have one defining memory that I can think of right now, mostly the summer was just an all around great time. I was good at school, but that doesn’t mean I liked being there.

Instead, I’ll write about my summers in junior high and high school. Basically, I spent them playing basketball constantly. We moved communities when I was in grade eight, but I stayed in the school I had been in since kindergarten. So for the summer between grade eight and nine, I had to either ride my bike the significant distance from my new community to my old one to play basketball with my friends, or get a ride from my dad. But I still did, because playing basketball was the best thing in the world.

The following summer was a very lonely one. Near the end of the school year I had a falling out with my group of friends over something really stupid, but ultimately it was probably a reaction to the fact that I was simply a lot different than them. We were evolving into different kinds of people, which probably made me someone they didn’t want to hang out with anymore. It made for a fairly uncomfortable final few months of school, but I was okay with it. I had mostly outgrown the whole place and was looking forward to starting over in a new high school were very few people from my junior high attended, and none of that group of former friends.

But this meant no more basketball games for me. Instead, I’d go out every night by myself and shoot hoops at a local elementary school hoop close to my house. Maybe once or twice someone showed up to join me, but for the most part, it was just me shooting around by myself. It sounds sad and maybe a little pathetic, but in truth, it was pretty great. I’ve always been pretty good at avoiding peer pressure in my life, but when you’re in grade nine, that’s not as easy as it sounds. I probably did a better job than most kids my age, but I was still letting myself be influenced by that group of friends in negative ways, and trying to be something I wasn’t. Spending two months with just a ball and a hoop let me re-centre myself and realise that I was far better than anything I might’ve been trying to be for them.

The next few summers were spent playing pretty intense games at the local junior high hoop, just a few minutes up the road. Heh, I could’ve been playing real games all along. But it was best that I spent the time alone. I’d arrive at the Annie Gale courts sometime around 5, then play til the sun went down (sometimes later, trying to keep going with the lights of the school going). One day we even painting the court, filling in the key and marking out three-point lines and the mid-court circle. There you go, a specific memory from my almost childhood after all.

Sports Chat: The Cult of Parcells

I’m gonna try something new here that I’ve been mulling over for a bit now, and have regular (I hope) posts about sports, a column of sorts where I’ll discuss anything in the world of sports that might be bothering or interesting me. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now, as a large portion of my day is spent reading sports websites and blogs while I’m pretending to be working. I’ve held off for a couple reasons: one, I can only think of one person who might be reading this that will remotely care about what I have to say, and two, there’s already a world of things I want to write and don’t have enough time for, so why add one more?

Ultimately, I’m aware enough to realise that I shouldn’t worry about what people want to read on my blog, cause the truth very well be that they’re equally disinterested in everything I write. I do this for me, and if anyone else cares to read or relates to what I write, then that’s just gravy. As for whether or not I have the time, well, if I’m spending this much time thinking about it, then getting the thoughts out in writing might just make my life easier.

I also hate tuna.

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Your 2006 FFL Champions

The Eagles got an interception just as we got in our car to leave for dinner to put me ahead by one, then iced it on Dallas’ final drive with a sack, giving me a 50-48 victory and my fourth FFL Championship! This is the best Christmas ever.

That’s it for fantasy football talk for awhile, we now return you to your regularly scheduled cross-posted reviews.

Tie Game

This sport is trying to kill me. We’re in the fourth quarter of the Eagles/Cowboys game, and thanks to two sacks and an interception, the score of my championship game is now tied, 48-48. Unfortunately, my opponent holds a half-point lead in the case of a tie, as a result of finishing the regular season with a better record than me. I need one more sack, interception, or forced fumble, and for Terry Glenn to continue to do nothing.

Sadly, it’ll be awhile until I find out how this goes, as we have to head out for Christmas Dinner. Oh fantasy football gods, why doth thou taunt me?

Going into Monday Night

No more TDs today, so LT let me down for the first time all season. He got me 2 points on yardage, but Vernon Davis did the same for my opponent, so no difference in the point differential, I’m down 48-45 going into a Eagles DST vs Terry Glenn matchup, which I need to win outright (a tie does not help me). I need a Christmas miracle (stupid kickers).

Well, time to spend some of the holiday with my family.