Who Wore it Best? 9-0

Photo: Dr. Odd

What a long, strange journey it’s been. We started all the way at 99, and have now arrived at our final edition of “Who Wore It Best?” Single digits can be tough, but we’re up for the challenge.

9 – Gordie Howe

Photo: Pinterest

I mean, “Mr. Hockey” has to make the list, right? Howe’s career spanned nearly 40 years, in which he won four Stanley Cups, six Hart Trophies, and appeared in the All-Star game 23 times.

Honorable Mentions: Ted Williams, Drew Brees, Bobby Hull, Mike Modano

8 – Kobe Bryant

Photo: Newsday

Maybe the closest we’ll ever get to MJ. We all know Kobe ended his career rocking 24, but he was great enough to take the eight cake. He spent his entire 20 year career with the Lakers, in which he won five NBA Championships, the 2008 MVP, and made 11 All-NBA First Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken Jr., Yogi Berra, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Alexander Ovechkin

7 – John Elway

The greatest player who was a doppelgΓ€nger of their team mascot. But that’s not the only reason Elway makes our list. He held the “couldn’t win the big one” tag his entire career, until he shut everyone up and won back-to-back Super Bowls his last two seasons in the NFL. Even if he wouldn’t have won the two Lombardis, Elway racked up an MVP, nine Pro Bowl selections, and passing title in 1993.

Honorable Mentions: Mickey Mantle, Phil Esposito

6 – Bill Russell

Photo: Photos.com

The man who ran out of fingers for all of his championship rings. Russell won five MVPs, was a four time rebounding champion, and a member of the NBA’s 25th, 35th, and 50th Anniversary Teams.

Honorable Mention: Stan Musial

5 – Albert Pujols

Photo: LA Times

We’ve shown our appreciation for The Machine on this blog before. Pujols’ first 11 years in St. Louis were enough to get the guy in the Hall of Fame. His time with the Angels and Dodgers, while not as great, hasn’t done anything to diminish that. His approximate career numbers have him as a .300 hitter, closing in on 700 home runs, and well over 3,000 hits.

Honorable Mentions: Joe DiMaggio, George Brett, Johnny Bench, Kevin Garnett, Donovan McNabb

4 – Lou Gherig

Next to Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig was the best player on the Yankees during their incredible run in the 20’s and 30’s. Gherig was a part of six World Series championships, was a two time MVP, and won the Triple Crown in 1934.

Honorable Mentions: Brett Favre, Adam Vinatieri, Bobby Orr

3 – Babe Ruth

Keeping it young and fresh with back to back 1920’s Yankees. This one’s a no doubter though; Shohei Ohtaini before Shohei Ohtani. At the plate, The Great Bambino hit 714 home runs, slugged .690, and ended his career with an 1.164 OPS. On the mound, The Colossus of Clout went 94-46, with a 2.28 ERA, and threw 107 complete games.

Honorable Mention: Allen Iverson

2 – Derek Jeter

Christ, enough with the Yankees already. Jeets is an easy choice in a not extremely tough field. The recent Hall of Fame inductee wrapped up an illustrious career with a very succinct five World Series rings, Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards, as well as 14 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mention: David Akers, Brian Leetch

1 – Ozzie Smith

Photo: MLB

The best defensive shortstop of all time, and possibly best overall defender ever. Smith won 13 Gold Gloves in 19 seasons. Along the way, he was a part of the 1982 World Series Championship Cardinal team, made 15 All-Star games, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Honorable Mention: Warren Moon

0 – Russell Westbrook

A nice, easy choice to get us to the finish line; not a whole lot of competition at the zero spot. The 2017 MVP is a nine time All-Star, two time All-NBA First Teamer, and is essentially a walking triple double.

Honorable Mention: N/A

We made it, friends. All the way from 99 down to 0. We laughed, we cried, and made some friends along the way. This was a fun project to complete and remember some names that haven’t been brought up in a while. Hopefully this was as interesting to read as it was to write. Who knows what our next series will be…stay tuned.

Sunday State of Mind: November 22nd-November 28th

Photo: Jattdisite

Holy smokes, what a week in sports. College football rivalry week, NFL, NBA, and a partridge in a pear tree. We look back fondly in this week’s SSM.

That matchup we simply call “The Game”
Wolverines & Buckeyes, emoji flame
Jim Harbaugh finally got him one
Against their rival, losing streak done

Big coaching splash at USC
The Trojans have hired Lincoln Riley
Away from the Sooners, Oklahoma no more
That team out west is never a bore

One more college note, LSU
Coach O’s last game, and they bid him adieu
A walk off win against Texas A&M
Farewell to Coach O, an absolute gem

Game of the week in the NFL
Packers and Rams, defenses shelled
Green Bay did enough to secure the win
Packers chilling at the top of the North again

The Aughts Hot or Not – The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

Photo: YouTube

Did you start to hear the bass drum when you read the title? How about the guitar? Dmmm, dm DM dm d dmmmm dmmmm…Dmmm, dm DM dm d dmmmm dmmmm. So great.

In today’s edition of AHN, we’re looking back on The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.” It’s one of the band’s most commercially popular songs and even has a few different connections to sports. The song came from the “Elephant” album in 2003, and was a huge hit in the early aughts.

Music Video (Photosensitive Warning)

The great thing about this music video, and you could have said the same thing about the White Stripes before they broke up, is that that there’s not too much going on, while at the same time there’s a bunch of shit happening.

The main character in the video is a repetitive triangular shape that keeps regenerating and coming at you throughout the entire song. Just before the one minute mark, and as we get to the first iteration of the popular guitar riff the song is known for, strobe lights kick in and things start to get weird. The video does a great job of pairing the visuals with the pacing of the song itself, (ex: strobes at the high points, fades to black when things slow down).

Other worthwhile developments in the video come around the 1:25 mark, we get waves of skeleton soldiers marching to the beat. A nod to the title of the song, one would presume. At the 3:10 mark, we get our one and only elephant to come through the continued heap of depictions spewed at us. This of course appears due to the aforementioned album title named above.

The video is a perfect mess of bland and hectic. It give you more than enough to keep your eyes entertained throughout the duration.

Best Lyric

I’m going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I’m gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore
And I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding
Right before the Lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will sing no more

I think these lyrics hit the best in “Seven Nation Army” because of the messenger. Jack White seems like the rockstar who you’re not 100% sure wants to be a rockstar. He seems like a guy who could just quit the music scene (far from this opera) without notice, for a simpler life (work the straw in Wichita).

It’s almost like he’s threatening us that he can do without the life his celebrity has brought, and can go do whatever he wants without needing any of us…and to have that power is pretty great, I would imagine.

Worst Lyric

And I’m talking to myself at night
Because I can’t forget
Back and forth through my mind
Behind a cigarette

Cigarettes are bad, don’t smoke them.

Rating

This was a very strong effort by a band that many of us wish were still making music together. This song was not only stand alone great, it made it’s way into sports as an extremely popular stadium chant. That has to count for something in my ratings.

Rating: 7 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

Sunday State of Mind: November 15th-November 21st

We are on the brink of Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving football is one of our greatest traditions. But we’re not here to look forward, but back on the week that was in this week’s SSM.

Jonathan Taylor, leading the way
For the winning Colts, five tuddy Sunday
The losses are piling up for the Bills
A bit of a shocker, team usually kills

A real strange league, this NFL
Often leaves us wondering, “what the hell?”
After winning six straight, and facing Houston
The Titans lost, and their win streak is done

We’ve got new MVPs in the MLB
Bryce and Shohei, unanimously
Neither of these studs made it to the postseason
Baseball’s a weird game, for many strange reasons

It took 17 games to get our first ax
Of the NBA season, Luke Walton’s been sacked
The chronically bad Sacramento Kings
Seem so far away from competing for rings

Sunday State of Mind: November 8th-November 14th

Photo: Calm.com

The sports weeks come, the sports weeks go. When the latter occurs, Sunday State of Mind shows up to remind you of the former.

Cam Newton is back in the blue black and gray
Signed earlier this week, scored twice on Sunday
A quick turnaround for the big quarterback
Announced to the league “I’m back, I’m back”

More NFL moves, Rams did it again
Signed Odell Beckham, they’re still all in
OBJ in LA, it just sounds right
Rams O has no reds, only green lights

The Detroit Lions did not lose!
They didn’t win either, don’t get confused
A tie with the Steelers, score was 16-16
No victory or loss, something in between

This week we tipped off college basketball
Really getting into the sports schedule of fall
Field seems wide open, blue bloods and mid majors
Plenty of action out there for some wagers

Local Millennial Takes Big Career Leap from Cleveland to Los Angeles

After what can now be defined as a disastrous two seasons in Cleveland, Odell Bechkham Jr. has officially moved on.

It only took not talking to his quarterback, having his Dad and LeBron James both eviscerate the Browns organization, and a waiver period in which zero out of the 32 teams claimed him for OBJ to land in Hollywood.

Sean McVay and his perfect hair, Matthew Stafford and his rocket arm, and Aaron Donald and his 0.0% body fat were waiting in the wings, and were the lucky winners of the “Free Odell” movement.

Plenty of reasons OBJ picked LA. Beautiful weather, ability to go boating year round, and a pretty good football team. Who could blame him? One would assume he still has a good amount left in the tank to give to the all in Rams in their Super Bowl run.

The only question left is, will he shack up at LeBron’s crib now that he helped his buddy get out to LA? Only time will tell.

Sunday State of Mind: November 1st-November 7th

Photo: PBS

The colors are changing, but the sports world is not. We look back at the week that was in this week’s SSM.

World Series Champs, your Atlanta Braves
A bonus Astros loss, what baseball fans crave
A total random champ in the MLB
Finally Atlanta fans filled with major glee

Bad week for the Bills, lost to the Jags
No TD’s on either side, not riches but rags
Real life Spiderman meme, two Josh Allens
Final score of 9-6, two teams with no talons

Speaking of bad weeks, Odell Beckham Junior
Got divorced from the Browns, should’ve happened sooner
OBJ got his wish, went and got waived
Time for a new team, and a path to be paved

Aaron friggin’ Rodgers, what a wild week
Talked on McAfee’s show, one hell of a streak
He missed this week in KC, after a positive test
For COVID 19, needs a PR life vest

More bad PR, from the NBA
Two awful owners, who maybe just might pay
For their terrible actions, probably time to go
The Suns and The Blazers, both guys really blow

A Tradition Unlike Any Other – NBA “City Edition” Jersey Analysis

Look at all those beauts.

A great start to the week for all of us uniform analysts out there. The NBA dropped their 2021-2022 “City Edition” jerseys on Monday. One of our favorite traditions around here is being completely uninformed fashion critics. As we did last season, we are here once again to provide commentary that no one asks for or needs.

Atlanta Hawks – pretty clean. Yellow sucks as a main color but the “Atlanta” font has a nice throwback feel.
Boston Celtics – these looks like a team whose uniform budget ran out of white thread to fill in the letters and numbers.
Brooklyn Nets – always a good idea to throw back to the Jason Kidd/Richard Jefferson/Kenyon Martin era. Turns out the Nets Big 3 in the early aughts might end up being better than their current Big 3.
Charlotte Hornets – if you are privy to migraines, don’t dig too deep into these bad boys.
Chicago Bulls – the throwback font on “Chicago” is cool, but the basic number font doesn’t pair well, be better Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers – at time of writing, the Cavs have yet to post about their City Edition jerseys; simply shocking that an organization so well run would miss something like this. If you really want to get an idea, go watch Hoosiers.

Dallas Mavericks – not a bad effort here. Just surprising that the player they chose to model is never healthy enough to wear any of their uniforms.
Denver Nuggets – not only are these fun, but educational! I liked that Denver incorporated the ABA ball, and had no idea before today that their old logo was a miner. Also, the rainbow/mountain look always plays for the Nuggets in the uniform game.

Detroit Pistons – aren’t these pretty much just…their normal uniforms with the colors flipped? Only redeeming quality here is a that hint of Grant Hill era green/turquoise on the shorts.

Golden State Warriors – same vibes as the Pistons here for me. These are basically jerseys we’ve seen before, with one saving grace: the “splash” feature is awesome.
Houston Rockets – these are slick. I always liked the Barkley/Pippen/early Yoa Ming era Rockets jerseys, and it’s a nice touch incorporating that with their current logo on the shorts without it looking dumb.
Indiana Pacers – my answer to the above tweet? That these are only temporary.
Los Angeles Clippers – wowzers these are clean. Nothing crazy, crisp letter & number font, great shade of baby blue. Not many wins for the Clips so far this year, but this is one.
Los Angeles Lakers – “lost” is an appropriate word the Lakers used in the above tweet. I get what they were going for here, but I think it’s a miss. If you’re one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and you City Edition jersey looks like the Charlotte Hornets Starter pullover jacket we all had in the 90’s, you missed.
Memphis Grizzlies – anytime you have the opportunity to lean into some of the greatest uniforms of all time, you need to take it. Opportunity squandered.

Miami Heat – year in and year out, the Heat are at the top of any type of alternate uniform list, and nothing changes here. The ability to pull off all of the neon blues, pinks, etc. puts them at an unfair advantage. Excellent as usual.

Milwaukee Bucks – kind of cool, I guess. The side panel with all of the greens and purple works, but another weird letter/number font combo.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett would be proud, and so am I. Nice and easy look, the accent trees on the belt and shorts, with the throwback font as a cherry on top.
New Orleans Pelicans – looks like the Pelicans and Pistons share the same design team. This is just their normal jerseys, right?
Oklahoma City Thunder – “Welcome to Create a Team on NBA2K22, this is the first screen where you start designing your team’s uniforms!”
Orlando Magic – one of life’s most intriguing questions; what is with the Orlando Magic’s infatuation with the color orange?

Philadelphia 76ers – nice 70’s ABA vibe here. The multi-colored side panel gives off a little Nuggets/rainbow feature as well.

Phoenix Suns – the Suns haven’t posted about their City Edition jerseys at time of writing. But, it doesn’t appear they changed anything from last year. Those were perfect, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Portland Trailblazers – not a huge stray away from their normal threads, but this still plays. How about the argyle-ish side panel, when was the last time we saw that on an NBA uniform?

Sacramento Kings – the lion logo is above par, the rest is fine. I’m going to use my joke from last year’s review (because it was so hilarious), I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has β€œsac” on it, which is approval enough for me.

San Antonio Spurs – all in on these. Bright colors really work when teams try to think outside of the box on uniforms, and the Spurs’ color history works perfect for this.

Toronto Raptors – the Raptors kind of have a Magic/orange obsession with gold; very random. But you have to give some points here for the old school logo. A dinosaur dribbling a basketball, how absurd.

Utah Jazz – no social media post, and based on the picture above it doesn’t look like the Jazz put too much effort into their City Edition jerseys this year, sad!

Washington Wizards – ending with a winner here. Fairly basic design, love the font from the Washington B*llets days. Well done in our nation’s capital.

Another year, another mediocre City Edition jersey review. This is a fun thing the NBA does every year, and while I’m sure they love the conversation and extra dollars that come with it, the misses are almost always as good as the hits.

Sunday State of Mind: October 25th-October 31st

A spooky, after dark edition of SSM this week. We take a scary hayrack ride through the week that was in the sports world.

Those scrappy bad guy Astros, just keep hangin’ ’round
The Braves could have been World Series champs, no king yet has been crowned
Atlanta still up 3-2, one more win on the way?
They’ll get a chance to become champs this coming Tuesday

The Jets have won a game! What a New Jersey dream
Even more impressive, they beat a first place team
Tough loss for the Bengals, hopefully a minor stop
In what would be a great season while rising to the top

Sticking in the AFC East, but opposite result
Dolphins lose their seventh straight, total football insult
The Bills bounce back for a win, after a Monday loss
Come playoff time, Bills Mafia will not be crossed

The NBA is in full swing, the sports world has no lulls
The Eastern Conference has been surprising: Knicks, Hornets, and Bulls
Out in the Western Conference, Clippers are 1-4
Hope it will get better, a start the Clips ignore

Got an in state battle, down in East Lansing
Sparty came out, beat big brother, totally did their thing
A tough loss for Michigan, but they’re still top 10
Another ranked opponent beating Jim Harbaugh again

A really tough two weeks for Iowa football
Number two two weeks ago, since then been all fall
After losing to Wisconsin, another unranked foe
Hawkeyes fall to number 19, there their playoff dreams go

Caleb Williams and the Sooners, rolled up Texas Tech
Six touchdowns through the air, Red Raiders saying “what the heck?”
Incredible start to a career, the young man is a battler
Continues to be special and play over Spencer Rattler

An Ode to Joakim Noah

Photo: NBA.com

Joakim Noah, the Bulls newest ambassador and one of the NBA’s most interesting men on and off the court, will be properly honored Thursday night in Chicago. The son of a professional tennis player and Miss Universe contestant will get his due at The United Center for his efforts and contributions during his 13 years in the NBA. The Knicks come to town to play the Bulls in a matchup of two of Noah’s former teams for “Joakim Noah Night.”

The Bulls put together a great (long) thank you video outlining what Noah meant during and after his time with the organization.

For anyone who appreciated the Noah/Rose/Boozer/Thibodeau era of Chicago basketball, this whole week has been a nostalgic blur. The Bulls Twitter account has been full of content and pictures that will bring any fan back to an incredible time.

Here at UDS, we would like to join the party in heaping praise on Joakim. Some of his greatest career highlights (in our opinion) are below.

Draft Day

One of the GOAT pictures in NBA, if not all of history.

Where do we even start?

Every single aspect of this picture brings joy. The tan pinstripe suit, the draft day hat barely containing the glorious hair, the gap-toothed infectious smile, the oversized bow tie.

The overall complete contrast next to David Stern makes Noah’s draft day picture one of the greatest of all time.

It’s so perfect.

Photo: Pinterest

Too Lit

After his time in Chicago, Noah signed with the Knicks in 2016.

An unfortunately unsuccessful tenure that only lasted three injury-filled seasons.

In an interview with Chris Vernon, Noah admitted: β€œI can look back at it and say I was ready for New York City…[b]ut I wasn’t. Not just the pressure. I remember after the first game I had 60 people in my house. I’m too lit to play in New York City.”

The blunt honesty is something so rare we get as fans, and Noah should be applauded for being so sincere on such a public failure.

Photo: Celebs First

Celebrations

That guy on the left looks like someone who loves to celebrate, no?

Joakim always showed his emotions, and was never scared to acknowledge a dunk, basket, or defensive play.

From his college days at Florida, to random intramural soccer matches, Noah is here to enjoy his time.

We miss him, and we love him for it.

Photo: Pixels

So Jo, Sticks, Mr. Noah, Stickity, and any other loving name we can use, thank you. Your energy, openness, and general vibe made you one of the most entertaining players the NBA has had in its history.