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.

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.

Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie in the Ben Simmons/76ers Feud

Photo: CBS Sports

Crikey! This has gone from bad to worse.

On Tuesday, the heavily reported rift between the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons reached a new level. After previously leaking he was done with the 76ers, the point guard reported unannounced, practiced with his phone in his pocket yesterday, and then got kicked out of practice today for being unwilling to participate.

After saying “g’day mate” to his teammates on the way out of practice, Simmons was subsequently suspended for the team’s opening night matchup against the Pelicans. Woof.

Simmons will now have a some time away from the team. With all of the strange offseason moves in the past few months, what he’ll do with this time, no one knows.

He would presumably have time to enjoy all the Vegemite he desires. Or maybe practice his free throw shooting? How about trying to get back in with the Kardashian family? While his old fling Kendall Jenner is currently with Devin Booker, Simmons has already shown that he follows the “just because there’s a goalie, doesn’t mean you can’t score” mantra in life.

After a tumultuous offseason and a seemingly broken relationship between the 76ers and their point guard, all you can hope for is that this thing doesn’t get any uglier than it already is. If both sides can sit down and talk over some cheesesteak and meat pies, maybe they find some middle ground. Until then, the saga continues.

Who Wore it Best? 19-10

Photo: Dr. Odd

The finish line is in sight on our recurring series “Who Wore It Best.” In our penultimate edition, we’re getting into the teens.

19 – Johnny Unitas

Starting off young, fresh, and hip. While 19 turns out to be an incredibly strongly represented number, Unitas is widely known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Four championships, three MVPs, and a member of all three of the 50th, 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams gives Johnny U the nod.

Honorable Mentions: Tony Gwynn, Willis Reed, Steve Yzerman, Jonathan Toews

18 – Peyton Manning

Photo: CBS

Back to back Colts quarterbacks to get us started here. A member of the most recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee class, Manning put up some unreal numbers en route to two Super Bowl wins. Manning’s trophy case is busting at the seams with five MVPs, the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year Award, and number retirement plaques for his number 18 in both Indianapolis and Denver.

Honorable Mention: Denis Savard

17 – Todd Helton

Photo: Fansided

Todd Helton played baseball and football at University of Tennessee, and was a teammate of Peyton Manning’s. However, Helton makes our list for his accomplishments on the diamond. Helton retired in 2013 with a career average of .316, 369 home runs, and 2,519 hits. Along the way, he won three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and a batting title in 2000.

Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers

16 – Joe Montana

Photo: Esquire

Much like Unitas, Montana is a firm part of the “best quarterback of all-time” conversation. Montana lead the 49ers to four Super Bowl rings, while being the MVP in three of those four wins. One of the more accurate quarterbacks of his time, he lead the NFL in completion percentage five separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Whitey Ford, Brett Hull

15 – Bart Starr

If we’re including Johnny Unitas, it’s only fair to involve Bart Starr. The quarterback who lead the Packers to victories in Super Bowls I and II, while winning MVP in both games, finished his career with five championships, a regular season MVP award, and four Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mentions: Carlos Beltran, Jim Edmonds

14 – Pete Rose

Photo: Time

Taking a bit of gamble including Rose on our list, but here we are. The all-time hit king (4,256) does have a stellar on-field resumΓ©. Seventeen All-Star games, three World Series rings, the 1973 NL MVP, and two Gold Gloves.

Honorable Mentions: Ernie Banks, Oscar Robertson, Dan Fouts

13 – Wilt Chamberlain

Photo: SB Nation

Of course the only man to score 100 points in an NBA game is making our list. Wilt the Stilt averaged a silly 30.9 points per game and 22.9 rebounds per game over his 15 year career. He also won two rings, four MVPs, was a seven time scoring champion, as well as an 11 time rebound champion.

Honorable Mentions: Alex Rodriguez, Dan Marino

12 – Tom Brady

Photo: Amazon

The greatest quarterback of all time at the most important position in sports. TB12’s resumΓ© is too long to outline here; but it’s headlined by his seven Super Bowl rings. On top of that, Brady has lead the league at one point in his career in passing touchdowns, yards, and rating.

Honorable Mentions: John Stockton, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Jim Kelly, Joe Namath, Bob Griese, Aaron Rodgers, Jarome Iginla

11 – Mark Messier

Being the center piece of a dynasty goes a long way in lists like these. Messier was the unquestioned leader & captain in Edmonton, where he lead the Oilers to five Stanley Cups. He also became the only player to captain two separate teams to Stanley Cup victories when he lead the Rangers to the cup in 1994.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Larkin, Larry Fitzgerald

10 – Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton walked to Steve Young, Michael Vick, and the like could run. Not only did Tarkenton sling it for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns, he also ran for 3,674 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career. Another fun fact: his only MVP season came in 1975, his 15th year in the NFL.

Honorable Mentions: Walt Frazier, Guy Lafleur

Heavy quarterback representation here. Any other noise was a faint whisper from baseball. Abysmal showing by hockey and basketball. We’ll bid farewell to our ongoing series in the next edition of “Who Wore It Best.”

Who Wore it Best? 59-50

Photo: Dr. Odd

The dog days are over, the dog days are done, and “Who Wore it Best” has returned. In this edition, we’re checking out the GOATs of the 50’s.

59 – London Fletcher

Photo: Pinterest

One of the most underrated players in NFL history. Fletcher racked up 2,031 tackles, four Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring in 16 seasons. He also never missed a game, which is incredible considering the beating an NFL linebacker takes season in and season out.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Kuechly, Carlos Carrasco, Jack Ham

58 – Jack Lambert

This man was MEAN. One of the stalwarts in the Steel Curtain Defense of the 70’s, Lambert racked up pretty much any award that was available. Six time first team All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Papelbon

57 – Johan Santana

Johan Santana had some nasty stuff. Over his 12 year career, he won 139 games while maintaining a career 3.20 ERA, was a two-time Cy Young winner, and tacked on a Gold Glove in 2007. “No-han” threw an unbelievable 134-pitch no hitter in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Rickey Jackson

56 – Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Seriable

Lawrence Taylor was an absolute DAWG. We’ve gushed over LT in previous blogs, but he’s that good that we’re going to do it again. Two Super Bowls, an MVP, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and eight first team All-Pros are just a fraction of what Taylor accomplished over his incredible career.

Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle

55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was way more than his infamous finger wag; he was a defensive stud. Mutombo lead the NBA in blocks three times and rebounds twice. He made eight All-Star games, won Defensive Player of the Year four times, and has his number retired by two different franchises in the Nuggets and Hawks.

Honorable Mentions: Junior Seau, Orel Hershiser

54 – Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher was the epitome of a Chicago Bears middle linebacker. He played his entire 13-year career in Chicago; tallying 1,361 tackles, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and four first team All-Pros. The eight time Pro Bowler was also named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:
Goose Gossage, Horace Grant, Randy White, Zach Thomas

53 – Artis Gilmore

Photo: NBA.com

Artis Gilmore was a stud in both the ABA and NBA. If you combine his career between both leagues, he was the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, made 11 All-Star games, and scored a shade under 25,000 points.

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Abreu, Mick Tingelhoff

52 – Ray Lewis

Photo: Zimbio

Say what you will about the overzealous speeches, or don’t say anything about the off field issues, but Ray Lewis could flat out ball. Two Super Bowls (including MVP in one), two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a seven time first team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: CC Sabathia, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews

51 – Randy Johnson

The Big Unit! Easily one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen. Johnson ended his 22-year career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 303 wins, a perfect game, one no hitter, five Cy Young trophies, and was the MVP of one of the biggest World Series upsets when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001.

Honorable Mention: Dick Butkus

50 – David Robinson

The very rare story of a service academy athlete becoming one of the best to do it in professional sports. Robinson reached the rank of lieutenant during his three years of service in the Navy, a great achievement. He wasn’t a bad basketball player either; in three separate seasons he lead the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Admiral also won Rookie of the Year, MVP, and two championships.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Singletary, Corey Crawford

A lot of solid athletes in the 50’s; strong showing by football and baseball. A severe lack of hockey here; will they recover in the 40’s? We’ll have to wait and see…

Sunday State of Mind: June 14th-June 20th

Happy Father’s Day! Read this week’s SSM to Dad since he was probably napping in his recliner during all the action.

Madden 22 has released their latest cover
Two goats, one game, great for football lovers
Brady and Mahomes are your newest cover boys
On the video game that has given all of us years of joy

Spider Tack introduced itself into the public eye
MLB cares all the sudden, truly wonder why
No chance that it could be because batting’s now a joke
Anything they can do to fix a sport that’s nearly broke

Suns and the Clippers, finals in the West
Phoenix and LA going to see who is the best
Bucks advanced in the East to face the 76ers or Hawks
Philly or Atlanta in game seven, loser has to walk

Sunday State of Mind: June 7th-June 13th

Photo: Faxo

A heavy dose of NBA this week, as Sunday State of Mind is back in a big way.

Your newly minted MVP is Nikola “The Joker”
He’s the best player in all the land, in no way a choker
The guy has done it all this year, averaged 26 & 11
Having a big man like that on your team must feel like absolute heaven

Bad news for the MVP, his team is playing the Suns
Denver is down three games to nil, looking all but done
The Nuggets need a miracle, to advance over Phoenix
Looking into Denver’s future, it’s all crying and Kleenex

As of writing this afternoon, all other series are 2-1
Jazz & Clips, Sixers & Hawks, Nets & Bucks, all fun
The Bucks stole one at home Thursday, otherwise have looked bad
Scary injuries for Embiid and Spider, Philly and Utah need their launch pads

Sunday State of Mind: May 31st-June 6th

Photo: USA Today

What a week it has been, and we’ve made it to the end. Sunday State of Mind is here to remind us how great it was.

Breaking NFL news, Julio to Tennessee
Henry, Brown, and Jones, a dominant big three
The Titans had to give up a bundle of draft picks
To improve their chances of getting to Super Bowl 56

Jacob DeGrom continues to simply be God status
His right arm should be ruled an illegal apparatus
Through nine starts this season, a 0.62 ERA
Mets should thank their lucky stars every fifth day

NBA Playoffs, first round is now done
Some tasty Western matchups, including Nuggets and the Suns
The Eastern Conference semis also do not suck
Sixers and the Hawks, Nets and the Bucks

Sunday State of Mind: May 24th-May 30th

It’s a holiday weekend, and we’re here with a wrap up of what happened in sports this week with Sunday State of Mind.

The biggest story far and wide, the rivalry continues to grow
Brooks Koepka went viral with disdain for Bryson DeChambeau
Most golf fans would agree with Brooks, Bryson’s a bit of a tool
No surprise Tom Brady came in, and continued his Twitter Rule

Another weird moment this week, in the story of Julio Jones
When speaking with Shannon Sharpe, “didn’t know” he was on the phone
Either way it seems to be the end of Julio in the A
His relationship with the Falcons continues to decay

The NBA playoffs just keep chugging along
The Sixers, Hawks, and Nets are all looking strong
The Cinderella Knicks might be ending their run soon
Only seemed a few weeks ago they were going to the moon

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

NBA All-Star Sunday is our focus this week. We recap an enjoyable Sunday night, event by event, in this week’s SSM.

The premiere event in our basketball binge
Was the Taco Bell sponsored Skills Challenge
A long shot winner, Domantas Sabonis
Dribbling, passing, shooting, guy could not miss

Next event up, the three point contest
From behind the arc, let’s see who’s best
Trey’s were falling, it was a tree point flurry
An obvious winner here, the man, Steph Curry

The dunk contest was the halftime show
We had Obi Toppin and two names you won’t know
It was Anfernee Simons of Blazers fame
Who won the contest, and cemented his name

Now the main event, Team Lebron vs. KD
Alley oops, no defense, and plenty of three’s
A glorified scrimmage, but it’s always fun
170-150 was the score, Team Lebron won

Another ASG in the books, a way different look
Great job by the NBA, and all who partook
A normal All-Star weekend next year, fingers crossed
Without events like this, sports fans would be lost