All over Oakland right now people are wearing Warriors shirts and flying their Warriors flags from their cars, and as much as we like our hometown team here at 99pi, we've been following these NBA finals for another design-related reason. When you watch the games in Toronto the whole stadium is filled with people wearing red raptors jerseys, but every now and then you'll see these little flashes of purple. Those bold fans are wearing one of the most polarizing jerseys in the history of sports. A jersey that we actually did a whole episode about last year. So in honor of the Toronto Raptors, and the beautifully ugly jersey they gave the world, we're gonna rerun that episode for you today, along with an update from our new 99pi team member Chris Berube, a Torontonian and Raptors fan since he was a kid.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is not nine percent invisible time, Roman Mars, all over open when people are wearing warriors shirts and find their warriors flags were their cars as much as we like our hometown team. Here at nine, a m p. I weep involving these NBA funnels for another design, related reasons when you that's the games in Toronto. The whole stadium is filled with people with Red RAP his jerseys in these teachers they say we the north on them, but every now and then easy little flashes of purple those. Old fans, aware one of the most polarizing jerseys in sports history, a jury We actually did a whole episode about last year, so an honor the Toronto Raptors and the beautifully ugly Jersey they gave the world looking rerun that absolutely today, plus an update from our newest ninety nine p. I t member crisper Ruby, who was raised and currently resides in the great north. He is very excited right now. Stay with us. No
on a March afternoon and ninety ninety six, the Toronto Raptors, a brand new team in the NBA at the time, plain the Chicago Bulls, fade away, jumper from the base, the boy with the best team in the league and the rafters we're pretty terrible six thousand fan showed up that day and the raptors actually beat the balls but it was mostly meaningless game at the end of the season. This is, reporter Whitney Jones, I would say, trusting to me about this game isn't who want or how the teams played, but the way they looked, there's the balls. We're just classic NBA the same logos and nineteen sixty six their wearing their red away, jerseys that look basically like every Chicago Bulls, Jersey ever its red with the word bulls, written across a frightened black and white lettering. It's simple classic! but then there is the Toronto raptors.
The team is wearing their white homey reforms which have jagged silver and black pinstripes, as if they were cut by slashing raptor clause and then across the whole prime there's, a giant red basketball, plain dinosaur who himself is wearing sneakers, Andy, Uniform, a totally different, uniform and he's drill, a basketball, and that was their home uniform, the road jerseys that year were even more fun. There were bright purple all this. Including the rafters name, had been inspired by the velociraptors in the wildly successful movie Jurassic Park, but these jerseys got compared to a different much friend. We are nineties diamonds That's now known as Barney design, because their road uniform was purple. This is Paul Lucas,
perform form, obsessive and writer of a ESPN called uni watch it just it looks cartoonish. So ridiculous. You look at it ants like really that's a professional, a top level team. The Raptors Jersey may have been particularly garish, but it wasn't the only jersey of its kind, the ninety were this insane decade of NBA Uniform Design a producer. The wildest jerseys that, if ever graced, basketball cordon loud Wacky designs, the likes of which had never been seen before and haven't been seen since, like the Atlanta Hawks Red and Black Jersey, with a fierce looking hawk swooping and across the entire front of it holding a basketball and its little talents. Or the Milwaukee bucks green uniform with a giant picture of a purple stag, although is called this one great, I mean great in the sense that it was so awful of his great. They had this this purple garish purple and green color patronage, useless ridiculous, but it definitely all these designs definitely
pushed and extended the idea of what a basketball uniform could be or should be, and many of these designs can be traced back to one man, I'm Tommo Grady. I join the NBA. Ninety ninety is leagues, first creative director Tom Group in Chicago Sky, King Henry sketching the logos of his home town, Chicago Blackhawks and other classic pro hockey. Teams, Tom's love for sports and eye catching made this new NBA gig dream job. My first day the NBA was just filled with excitement. I'd always been a big sports fan and I loved design and my studied graphic design Cure Colombia, cod, back in Chicago, and so when I walked in the door and junior ninety. Ninety icon had a pinch myself, because I really didn't believe what was happening. Before Tommo Grady joined the league. Most NBA Jerseys looks something like that: classic bulls. They had simple two or three color schemes with t names across the front. There might have been
tripe here or there may be a cool font, but that was about it and they designed by designers. The press, Designing team uniforms is mostly lift up. The team equipment managers because they will respond spoke forgetting the players outfitted to play the games most. This consisted of the equipment managers flipping through a catalogue, choosing a design they liked with the right colors. It was not a sophisticated business. Let's say that they were happy just to get uniforms and the players back. But that was all about to change, because in one. Eighty eight, the Charlotte its introduced, a radical new idea, the colored teal in it cable news, footage from nineteen eighty, eight or its player Kelly or stands on stage in front a flashing cameras he ripped off his teal terawatt warm up to reveal the Hornets new uniforms the was not a traditional NBA Jersey, color and be read it.
And be a blue. It's not celtic screen. It's not Lakers, Yellow Tommo greedy had nothing to do with the tea or Hornets uniform, but he took it as a sign. The league was ready for bolder designs. It was, I was the kind of a leap of faith leads to say no. This is not really something we ve seen before it, but as an expansion scheme will probably let you have this one, because maybe there's something you we can learn from this and it turned out fans loved the tea or Hornets Jersey. It looked fresh. Indifferent. It was really very popular. They soon became known as the men of tea in all sudden, the Charlotte Hornets gained great recognition before they never played about. The ball game when Tom already was hired as the NBA is first creative director two years later and ninety ninety he wanted to Jersey, design, even further, not just the colors but the designs on the uniforms until the early ninetys. There had been real limits to how wild you could get with these designs, because all the details,
numbers the names and the logos had to be sown on to do any kind of complicated graphics, taken a massive amount of embroidery at all that thread what add additional weight and made the jersey hotter to wear soon after Tommo Grady join the NBA, he would get some new tools to work with computer programs like Photoshop and illustrator, TIM dream up new logo designs, and there was a new technique to get those drawings onto a jersey. It was I'll die. Sublimation sublimation changed everything simple me is a process. A printing died directly into the fabric. Now, for the first time you could design something in Photoshop. You could make it big and you could add, a bunch of different colors. Then was sublimation, you could basically print that design straight on to the material without embroidery extra weight. So it allowed us to start to take things. We would never normally even consider doing an a jersey,
We started doing more outrageous uniforms and stuff because we could we can so we will Tom's. First big design was for the phoenix who are celebrating there twenty fifth year in a league, They were moving into a new arena and they wanted a new look. So Tom met with their team Jerry Calandria, low Jerry's, great NEWS for Chicago and so soon ass. He heard my axe and he's like I think we're gonna get along you now. I think us your Chicago kind of get this here's what I want to do, I want to have a logo. That's can last for the next twenty five years. I don't want to have to change it, so I want something futuristic, but classic so Tom Honest He started on his sons, redesign. They come up with this big basketball, that's also a son It has its long red the Orange Gradient Sun Rays coming off of it, and then they print this and a bright purple background under their new Jersey. It's not exactly what I would call classic, but it is bold definitely thought as luck would have it. The Phoenix sons made it to the NBA finals that here and the whole country
got to see that bright Purple Jersey, with its blade, basketball son, all over national tv. We Exposure for that uniform. That was priceless that changed everything for us, we re to do things with Europe. Forms that we could not imagine even two years before that. Like a deal Detroit Pistons Jersey with a flaming horsehead logo or a pinstripes used Rocket Jersey between a cartoon rocket, with an angry face on it over the course of the decade, two thirds and be a teams got new uniforms with new logos and new color schemes. Who is a lot of teal and purple, treaty lettering. An oversized graphics were everywhere. We look back at us While some of this stuff is pretty outlandish, but it's ok. That's what was happening at a time, the technology, let us go wild and Tom's boss and commissioner, David Stern gave him the freedom to keep it bring the designs further. He said you know
what selling and everytime you this is. What's gonna work at retail come in before the nineties. The NBA wasn't doing much with merchandising if a fan wanted by a jersey. They had to pay the full cost of a genuine stitched, NBA Game Jersey, which were sometimes over two hundred dollars, but with all these poppy the new designs Tom at the NBA, got thinking why don't? We can have a jersey that we can sulphur, forty five to fifty dollars, that's like some the game, Jersey, and we saw this business explode, may now, in fact, there's no went from almost like a baseline of nothing to a multi million dollar business, largely on the jerseys that we were designing the ear about vanish and be a uniform has reached its apex and ninety ninety five without Jersey. We talked about at the beginning that one from Toronto Some people call the Barney design. We were told direct
by the team owner at the time, John, but all I would like the happy meal acts of uniform designs and we can look at imposed like what did he mean by then he said, I'm not going to wear this uniform forever. I don't you know. Kids, don't eat out of Happy meal Box forever, but if you going to get the kids into your store you're going to win over if having real design isn't a term. Yet I'm making it one right now the goal was taken hockey loving kids in Toronto, that they should care about this new basketball team, and so we created the purple uniform. He's jagged edge club pinstripes that look like a raftered common rifted and misled the big dinosaur right in the middle of it. It read because can He wondered red wrapped up to represent Canada, which made all the sense in the world. I don't know how much sense that made, but Thou Jersey it. So I think it was top selling expansions him global we ever did even today. Sale
her through the roof before they ever played a game. Before the team had even signed a single player, the raptors worse event in a league and merchandise sales What is the nineties came to an end? Change was afoot and stuff about a get a lot more boring by the early, two, thousands, the NBA. I become a booming global industry and wealthy business people worse only interested in team ownership. People like Howard shorts, who turned Starbucks into a multi billion dollar business in two thousand one short by the Seattle supersonic. He came into the league with a whole laundry list of changes to make he wanted to replace the popular here in the arena game night jazz. He wanted his team to stick to the fundamental, less flashy dunks and show boating favoured teen basketball over individual stars. It was actually really bad for his team because it pissed off their actual stars also shoulder
in this context. Nineties luck that had been designed by none other than our pal Tom. We were, will it take this kind of basketball, spinning around speed Needle and can we have this super man fuck at an added toward silence in there and they changed the color. From green and gold, the dark green red and a metallic bronze old, Howard, jazz incentive, Hip Hop Schulz was not a fan, so he hired Seattle Design, firm, Cornel, Anderson to completely remake this graphic identity, its jersey, warm ups, logos, everything, My parents are so damn excited this. Is Andrew, Wigand the lead designer on the project. I hated what the sun looks like at that time too, in the water other teams. Frankly that had been rebranded in the nineties. So yeah I was, It was kinda, store, direction they were given was clear, immediate
they go back to the old classic green and gold color scheme and do something Iconic Howard's word I want this to be something that nobody would ever want to change. I wanted to be although Cubs the New York Yankees, the Green Bay Packers, those are sound shapes, simple shapes. They are simple: color palates, its simplification is its strength. By the start of the two thousand one two thousand to season. Everything was in place, green and gold. No three anything, no giant logos across the chest. Do you. Forms looked like an update on the ones they started wearing, innovate, seventies, but of Howard Schulz, was committed to making this annex and iconic franchise with an iconic work. His comment but sholtos. Last very long, through sexy sold the team in the new owners move the sonics to Oklahoma City,
Derek Vision, rippled throughout the league throughout the arts, one team after another, slowly return to the old color schemes and lost their big graphic jerseys. Even the raptors look has completely changed, Miss the two main jerseys were red and white and they just say raptors on the front in a simple thought: no crazy, clockworks, no dinosaurs. It's like I've, seen better area jerseys at college. Here is Tommo Grady again there just there's nothing to it. Zero there lifeless and I don't get it so what you will about Tom greatest jerseys, but they were not lifeless his signs- are mostly gone from the NBA now, but they live on and blog posts. Enlisted goals of people's favorite Disease from in me, a history or their least favoured in their turn, fifteen list of the ugliest basketball jerseys of all time, sports illustrated wrote, quote the until raptors cartoon dinosaur logo is one of the worst in all sports, thankfully,
it will soon be extinct. But Tom doesn't mind when people call his designs, garish or even ugly, he's proud of Iraqis. Jersey was meant to be provided cement to be kind of eye catching we could taken and start out with you. No seventy two point have Attica that says Toronto and a big number on the back and call it a day, but I think that had it been a memorable, identity are ignored or greatly to introduce a new team into new market, and if people are still talking about it. Then he D this job right. I'm fine criticism about people, thinking it's the worst thing ever because it is certainly is certainly says: hey. You know. We noticed that we have an opinion about it. We have a strong opinion about it, but we remember it- and I think that's that's great and the raptors original plan to hook kids with the happy meal of NBA Jerseys loved her hated. You could view that it worked they Toronto has a loyal fan base and over the past five years.
I've had some of the highest attendants numbers in a league and as for those, gold nineties jerseys. They haven't actually gone extinct there. Entire companies that produce retro, jerseys and many of the designs Tom Grady and his team came up with, are really popular and wanted Top sellers is a bright purple jersey with the jagged clock, pinstriped, and a red dinosaur rippling about the term
The rafters have won their way into the NBA finals and that Barney Jersey is more desirable than ever. Whoever report from nine ivy I editor and canadian crisper obey. After this we often dont, think of winter as a time of growth or creation. But if you think about it, it's the perfect time to greet your own website, because your cooped up your thinking about being productive and now square space can help you do it with Squares Bates. You can take your cool ideas, you ve creative content, your services, goods and you can turn them into a beautiful website in just a few clicks. This, because there is to use templates, are created.
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aimed Toronto. Nobody in Toronto cared about basketball over hockey in, like the really early days they actually played in a baseball stadium. As the Basque was hidden, wasn't ready yet so they set them up in this baseball stadium and if you had like fifteen thousand fans, like that's a good number of baskets ball fans, but a baseball stadium seats like forty five thousand people, so they just head these rows of empty seats with tarps over and when you go to the game, it was really dispiriting and players just really didn't want to play in Canada, partly because of stereotypes about it's too old, and you know the taxes are high and the taxes are also high in places like California, comparatively bedroom. People didn't wanna move up here, but very famously one player just refused to come Alonso morning was like traded to the rafters, and he said yeah, you know, don't understand to do that and they had like great him somewhere else and players kept having these. Like weird excuses for
being here, like there's this guy Antonio Davis, who played for the team who said he was actually like worried about his kids learning the metric System without any anxiety for him, so there is this, like fatalism to rafters handle merits nobody wants to play here. It's a place that you know players. It's not! it is like a desirable location for players to end up, and then you know we had to wear them. Uniform and really early days with the rapporteur on it and the bright purple and lots of players didn't like that. Like us, a players were saying like yeah. This is the only profession where, like you, hit the very top of your field and then you have to wear a purple dinosaurs, uniform unless your field is being Bernie, the dinosaur, if that is the only on her work, Ernie, the dinosaur, if that is the only her walking bodies, so it's people can come around on it, especially with the playoffs happening now
So in I've had all these friends who have been going out to buy raptors gear ends in other than lineups the door and all the dinosaur stuff for the most part is just completely sold out, and I went to this vintage or actually fairly close to where I am called in vintage. We trust its run by this guy named Josh Router and hastened selling raptors merchandise ever and he is Toronto born and raised, or Michel dollar Toronto. Indians. We a Toronto Indians, but you would say Toronto leniency. Am I missing something? What is the difference between those two things you just yet well IRAN Tony, and if you hit that last t that shows that you're not from here it's people, her from her say, terror,
oh rob the last. He eyes it so it's the Toronto Raptors, not the Toronto rafters yeah. If you want to sound credible in the next few days, you say the Toronto Raptors, so Josh and his partner Chantelle. They run this vintage store and he says the last few weeks he's been getting requests like every half hour for some version of the purple dinosaur uniform from the early days and Josh he's like everybody here both the dinosaur is a pretty ridiculous. Look. It almost makes no sense, like the actual law, logo, is at I ain't a sore turning whole dribbling, a basque of all one way turning around the other way and his toes are coming out of a Paris sneakers. It's completely absurd and ridiculous, and not only is it like a log onto had as fan the players are wearing literally wearing this logo on their jerseys. It's insane
Everyone wants to Barney Jersey, but also everyone coming Is there a little bit silly? So so why do people like it now talking to Georgia, came away with two things? So the first is that the team is winning and nobody wants to look like a ban wagon fan. So nobody wants to look like they heard about the rules of basketball in the last two weeks. They just realize this is a bigger obsessed with so everybody. What's to make it seem like they ve been there since the beginning rise. So if you were the purple, Diner Jersey, you look credible so especially fits a really obscure player. Lake Josh told me beginning request for people like Oliver Miller, who I had. Look up. I had no idea who that son of a shared for forever, so people are spending like all this money to get these jerseys of of players nobody's ever heard of the other thing is the right nostalgia does not have to make sense, it doesn't have to be something that is pretty or nice, and this is what our says vintage is all about its about what the logo evokes for people it's what time it sends you back to
and when you look at that, rafters uniform when you look at that a purple on the jersey that is the nineties, they remind me of like space Of like this era, when there was so much silly basketball stuff happening, and it really just send you back to that time, the logo is cartoonish in its very reminiscent of a specific era and people love reliving parts of their lives through tangible items, things that they can touching feel that's what people are paying out to own and original peace, because there are investing in their past, so Obviously the raptors are not wearing the purple uniform for the night he's in the finals right now, they're wearing their current uniform, which is pretty simple. It's pretty clean. It's like a white uniform with the black sans serif fonts, the word raptors across the front, and then sometimes they wear a red uniform with a y.
Since Aruf Raptors across the France and then room- and this is where it gets very exciting. They have a third uniform, which is black with a white since Aruf wrapped across. It gets really excited mix it up. But I have seen this one: that's like it's as north on it. What do you described that one for us yeah debate? They called it the site the Jersey. It's a Red Jersey. It has like a white chevron, so it's like this white arrow pointing up and it says north on it. I actually think that it's pretty stylish Lange. I like that when the best of their current uniforms, but with all of them it's like they're, good design, their very clean there very simple and ultimately there very safe the current rafters uniform. It doesn't have a lot of. It's kind of weird for me to look at a Raptors jersey with no purple in it. I guess
like you, I would you want to move away from the purple for a few years, but like wise, in the dynamo Jersey being born as an alternate by the team at this point like how crazy what a fan get for why Leonard Raptors, Dinah Jersey, like you, imagine, give the people what they want at the time are recording this game five happened. The series are still alive, the rafters have one or two chances to make this happen. So quite Leonard. I know you are an avid listener of of design in podcast, see if you can make this happen before the final are over Oh you re! So great of this showed up on the court at Oracle. I mean, oh, my god. I love it all right! Thank you, Chris Thankee Roman Ninety nine percent, invisible was produces week by Whitney Jones and Emmett Fitzgerald within assist from our new editor. Crisper Reuben makes into
protection by Sharif use music by shown Rio condemning. Is this in your browser? Kirkwall step is the digital director. The recipe include senior editor to Lenny Home, a breach, often turn Massa Vivian leaves opiate clatter, Joe Rosenberg, and me roman Mars. We are approved Many one point: seven K, L W in San Francisco in produced on radio row in beautiful downtown Oakland, California, ninety nine percent, invisible as a member of Radio Tokyo from PR acts of fiercely independent, collective of the most innovative shows in all of pod casting fund more and renewed Opiate Don FM you, when the show endurance questions about the show on Facebook. He entreated me at Roman Mars in the show at ninety nine by Oracle on Instagram, Tumblr and Reddit too, but you can tell us all about your favorite NBA Jersey on our website tonight. At nine p, I org.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.