The Evolution of the Detroit Tigers Logo


The Detroit Tigers took the field in 1901, facing off against Milwaukee for their American League opener in front of 10,000 fans. The team has come a long way since, and has drawn in over 120 million fans to home games throughout its history. Fans flock to Comerica Park from all over the country to witness the Tigers play.

Tigers’ Origins

The team name officially comes from the Detroit Light Guard – a military group that “fought with the ferocity of the jungle beast” during the Civil War. Members of this group were referred to as “Tigers,” and residents praised them as one the most highly regarded groups to come out of Detroit. The city’s baseball team honored the military unit by naming their squad “The Detroit Tigers.” The unofficial story derives from the black-and-orange stockings worn by players in the 1890s.

An Old English “D” will go down in history as one of the most iconic logos in baseball history. The D – which stands for Detroit – was first adopted by The Detroit Free Press in the 1830s and later donned the team’s uniforms. Over the next 100 years, the Detroit Tigers would experience a branding nightmare: various versions of the “D” due to different manufacturers producing their uniforms and hats.

Creating a culture of their own, the Tigers are currently the only team in the league to utilize a color on their road uniforms that does not appear on their home attire – orange.

Domination in Detroit

The Detroit Tigers have had quite the history in the MLB. They have won a total of four World Series (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984) in 11 eye-opening appearances. Detroit’s roster has also had its fair share of superstars, including Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, and fan favorite Miguel Cabrera.

Read on to see how the #DetroitTigers have maintained their navy blue, white, and orange color schemes over the years, while still dealing with the ever-changing “D” emblem crested on their uniforms.

Notable Logo Changes


19011902: The inaugural logo for the Tigers features a smoked burgundy outline of a cartoon-styled tiger.

1903: Before the Old English “D” is adopted, the team utilizes a brown block-lettered “D” as their logo.

1904: Imitating the font used by The Detroit Free Press, the Tigers approve the use of the Old English “D” – perhaps one of the most iconic logos in baseball history.

19051907: Maintaining the same font from the previous year, the logo is recolored navy blue.

19081913: The outline becomes slightly thicker in spots, and minor modifications are made to the “D.”

19141915: Over the course of the next two years, the “D” is redesigned – now wider than ever.

1916: Parting ways with the Old English “D” for a bit, the team reverts back to the block-lettered “D” but keeps the navy blue.

1917: The Old English “D” swiftly makes its way back as the logo in a newly trimmed manner.

19181920: The Tigers introduce a new logo – a mix of both the block-lettered and Old English “D.”

19211924: After experimenting with their hybrid logo, the Tigers switch back to the Old English “D” – this time a tad thinner than previous years.

1925: The “D” loses one of the lines that runs down the center.

1926: Maintaining a similar appearance, the second line reappears.

19271928: Going for a new look, Detroit introduces an orange tiger head with white eyes as their new logo.

1929: Back to the basics, the Old English “D” returns, this time with an orange outline.

1930: The team ditches the orange border around the “D.”

19311933: Straying from the Old English “D,” the block-lettered “D” makes a comeback with sharpened edges.

19341956: Similar to the 1930 logo, the Old English “D” is greeted back with a warm welcome.

19571960: Echoing their logo from the ‘27–’28 season, Detroit brings back a more realistic tiger head as the team logo. The head is front-facing with its mouth wide open.

19611963: The tiger head is shrunk and placed inside a circular border featuring the team’s city and name.

19641993: This logo is quite similar to the previous year’s logo with a few exceptions: most notably that all shades of brown or black are replaced with a shade of blue.

19942005: The team brings back the Old English “D” with a tiger skulking through the letter.

20062015: The classic Old English “D” makes its return.

2016Present: The present day logo features a modified Old English “D” with horizontal accents taking the place of the second vertical line.

Heading over to Comerica Park to support the #TigersNation? Embrace the Old English “D” by picking up the latest gear from Fanatics – the one-stop shop for all your Tigers essentials!


The Evolution of the New England Patriots Logo


The New England Patriots are a well-known modern-day NFL powerhouse dynasty; they’ve racked up four Super Bowl wins in the last 15 years. The franchise, however, has been around for decades, getting its start in the waning years of the 1950s when a group led by businessman William H. Sullivan Jr. captured the eighth and final franchise in the brand new American Football League.

Locals poured name suggestions into the new team’s Boston mailbox. Sullivan ultimately chose “Boston Patriots,” a moniker suggested by 74 fans. The team’s first 11 seasons were spent in four different Boston stadiums, but they eventually moved to suburban Foxborough to set up shop in a brand new stadium in 1971. After the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the team was placed in the AFC East, where they remain today. Shortly after, they also took on a new team name – the New England Patriots. This helped reflect their location change as well as their growing popularity throughout the general New England area.

Success in New England

The early years of the Patriots didn’t induce much cheering – the only time they reached the playoffs before 1976 was a 1963 roll that ended with an AFL Championship defeat. However, one of the bright lights of those days was fullback and Pro Bowler Sam Cunningham, who was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2010. The squad steadily gained ground after those years, though, and had two playoff appearances before finally reaching the Super Bowl in their 1985 season – which the team did not win.

Things started to finally change in the ’90s. Drew Bledsoe was drafted by the Patriots as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He’d shone for the Patriots, throwing 4,555 yards his second year with the club, leading the NFL. He continued to be a prolific passer until the 2001 season, when he was sidelined with a serious injury during the second game of the season. Ultimately, this resulted in a quarterback change for the franchise.

That quarterback was Tom Brady. Brady was also drafted by the Patriots, but not as the first pick, nor even in the first round. He was a sixth-round draft pick in the 2000 NFL Draft and backed up Bledsoe for the first season and then some, but eventually took over the reins when Bledsoe was knocked out with his injury. Once he settled into the captain’s chair, Brady never looked back. When Bledsoe was medically cleared to return to play, Brady remained the starter. Since then, he has gone down in Patriots (and NFL) history as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He has led the team to six Super Bowls, and he has won the Lombardi trophy four times.

The team has come a long way from their humble beginnings as one of the AFL’s first teams, and so has their logo. Let’s take a look at how it has changed over the years.

Patriot Pride


1960: The original logo is a simple blue and white tricorner hat. The design, much like the name of the Patriots themselves, is inspired by a fan named Walter Pingree.

1961–1964: The 1961 season sees the introduction of “Pat Patriot,” the brainchild of Boston Globe cartoonist Phil Bissell. Team owner Billy Sullivan is so inspired by Bissell’s cartoons that he makes Pat Patriot getting ready to snap the ball the official team logo.

1965–1970: Pat Patriot remains the team logo, but his features become more refined and realistic.

1971–1992: In 1971, there are a few minor changes to the logo, most notably to the skin color of Pat Patriot himself.

1993–1999: Pat Patriot is retired after the 1992 season, and a new logo makes an appearance. It features a gray-faced minuteman sporting a red, white, and blue tricorner hat, which seems to flap in the breeze.

2000–Present: The present-day logo is put into place for the 2000 season and is nearly identical to the prior logo, except that it is a darker shade of blue.

Whether you’re a fan of the Patriots early AFL days, or a newer fan of the modern squad, has a ton of Patriot garb, including jerseys, baby clothes, and even stocking caps. Check it out today.


The Beginners Guide to #NHL: Become a Fanatic Overnight: National Hockey League

Header_Fanatic_NHLGuide to Becoming an NHL Fanatic

Not only is it cold in the arena where athletes play ice hockey games, but if you’re unfamiliar with the rules, you might get a chilly response from a fan if you ask them to run you through the basics midgame.

Instead of earning a cold stare that sends shivers down your spine, it’s time to learn all the necessary details to start enjoying the NHL (National Hockey League). So lace up your skates and read our Guide to Becoming an NHL Fanatic. This will take you out of the penalty box and put you on the ice!

Puck Drop

Even though it’s called the National Hockey League, it is actually an organization that contains 30 teams located in the U.S. and Canada. There are seven teams in Canada, the most in any of the four major sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL). The 30 teams are broken up into two conferences – Eastern and Western.

The Eastern Conference is made up of 16 teams across two divisions of equal size, the Atlantic and Metropolitan. The Western Conference is made up of 14 teams also in two divisions of equal size: the Central and Pacific.

These teams must win enough games in the regular season to make the playoffs (16 teams progress), with the goal of taking home the Stanley Cup. It is awarded to the final winner at the conclusions of the playoffs.

Center Ice

Hockey is a fast sport. While three 20-minute periods sound like a long time, minimal stops of play and quick transitions between offense and defense means there is no time to change the channel or leave your seat. In fact, the only times that the clock stops are when there is a penalty (rules infraction), the puck leaves a play, or a goalie secures it (known as “freezing”).

Each team tries to score more goals than the other, scoring when the puck moves into the goalie’s net. If there is a tie at the end of regulation (three periods), the game shifts to a five minute, three-on-three overtime. If they’re still deadlocked, the game goes to a best-of-five penalty shootout. If there’s still a draw, then the shootout continues as sudden-death penalty shots, where the next team that misses loses. Hockey isn’t short on action.

The last rule to keep in mind is the power play. Resulting from a player breaking the rules, and subsequently being forced into the “penalty box” for a period of time, this leaves another team with a man advantage on the ice. This is a great chance for a team to score and usually forces the disadvantaged team to become defensive with their play.


The Lineup

Each team lines up with six players on the ice, going head-to-head in the pursuit of a win.

  • Goalie: As men responsible for protecting the net, they’re the ones with the crazy cage masks protecting their faces. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins are two of the best in this position. And they’re worth watching for the amazing saves they pull off!
  • Defensemen: Defensemen, charged with protecting the goalie and initiating the counter, play a dual role. With two on the ice, one is responsible for the left side of the ice and the other the right. Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings are two to keep an eye on in this position.
  • Forwards: Playing either on the left or right wings, or as a center, these athletes score goals. Or at least that’s the plan. They generate the attack and put the defense on their heels. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks are offensive players that light up the arena with their shooting skills.

Who is Icy-Hot?

Here are a few hot teams in the coolest professional sport that you should be watching:

  • Florida Panthers: Yes, they play ice hockey in Florida, and this team is really good! They set multiple franchise records this season – including sending four players to the All-Star game! And the future looks bright for the Sunshine State’s youngest NHL team.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins: Even though this franchise has only been around since the 1960s, they’ve won four Stanley Cup titles in that time, including the 2015-2016 series. They play with finesse, favoring speed and skill over brutal defense. If you’re looking for a team that’s set up for future success, look no further than the “Pens.”
  • Washington Capitals: Suffering an early exit from the 2015-2016 postseason, their captain Alex Ovechkin looks to lead them back to the playoffs next season. The three-time league MVP gives everything for his team. Will they be able to help him finally win the elusive Stanley Cup?

Play On!

You might not be ready to throw on some pads, lace up a pair of skates, or start body-checking other players into the boards, but you’re now ready to watch NHL games like a true fan.

You know the fundamentals, which teams to watch out for, and even the names of the different positions. Don’t forget – as you get ready to take in a game or root for your new team – to pick up officially licensed NHL merchandise or apparel from the best place to find them,


TOP 10 Best-Selling Soccer Player Jersey 2016

Messi, Ronaldo toppled in annual top-selling shirts countdown

After an extended period of dominance from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, a new king of has been crowned – but who came out on top in our third annual player printing countdown? reveals all, as we put our sales figures under the microscope.
Click here for last year’s rundown – or read on for the top ten best-selling player shirts 2016…

10)      Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Despite seeing his Belgian side unceremoniously dumped out of EURO 2016, midfield marvel Kevin de Bruyne has wowed Kitbag customers sufficiently to become the first of six new entries on our chart. Contributing the opener in September’s Manchester derby win at Old Trafford, the 25-year old was on target again a week later in the Premier League leaders’ 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth at the Etihad. Does a first career English domestic title await? Shop for De Bruyne jerseys.

09)      Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Shifting to the #11 shirt to accommodate the incoming Zlatan Ibrahimović, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial makes his first appearance in our October countdown, off the back of a successful first season in the English Premier League. Finishing up the Old Trafford club’s leading goalscorer for 2015-16, Martial has seen some of Jose Mourinho’s high-profile signings take precedence this season, but was able to net his first goal of the campaign at home to Stoke City in early October; albeit days after our period of focus concluded. Shop for Martial jerseys.

08)      Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Starting the 2016-17 season with an irresistible burst of form, Sergio Aguero has helped his Manchester City command a slender, one-point lead at the peak of the Premier League table, while helping himself to a formidable 11-goal feast across all competitions. Among Aguero’s early season victims, the likes of Sunderland,  Stoke City and Steaua Bucherest and while Borussia Monchengladbach may have weathered September’s Manchester storm, the Bundesliga side were ultimately unable to contend with Aguero’s attacking force, as the Argentinian claimed a hat-trick 24 hours later in UEFA Champions League play.


07)      Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

One of European club football’s proverbial Marmite figures, the inimitable Luis Suarez did enough in recent months to play his way into our top ten; the third newcomer on our list, yet far from a stranger to success. Providing an affirmative answer to any questions of marketability that his controversial career might throw up, Suarez opened his account for 2016-17 in Barcelona’s Supercopa triumph, before claiming a hat-trick in the Catalans’ 6-2 thrashing of Real Betis and making a landmark 100th appearance in Barcelona colours. Shop for Suarez jerseys.


06)      Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

The pride of Wales, Gareth Bale is the only player from the British isles to crack our top ten countdown and another newcomer on the 2016 list. Scoring his first goal of the new campaign only two minutes into Real Madrid’s La Liga opener, Bale would add a second in stoppage time to rubber-stamp the 3-0 win at Real Socieded, before nabbing the equaliser against Eibar at the Bernabeu in early October. Back on home soil, Bale would later edge ever-closer to Ian Rush’s international goalscoring record in Wales’ 1-1 qualifying draw with Georgia. Shop for Gareth Bale jerseys.


05)      Neymar jr. (Barcelona)

Moving up two places from our countdown a year ago, Barcelona star Neymar Jr. is yet to return to the heights of 2014, when he finished as runner-up. Nevertheless, his consistency as a shirt seller can only be commended, with the Brazilian one of only three players to rank in our chart in all of the three years compiled. A recurrent threat to goal, as demonstrated by his successful free-kick against Celtic, Neymar’s four assists in the Champions League humbling of the Hoops re-affirmed his status as a key component in the Barça team jigsaw. Shop for Neymar jerseys.


04)      Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Returning to Old Trafford after a starring role at EURO 2016, expectations surrounding Frenchman Paul Pogba have reached an almost-immediate high; and while the potential of Manchester United’s investment is still to be realised on the pitch, Pogba’s popularity has already been reflected by significantly strong shirt sales. Debuting in the 2-0 home win over Southampton, before breaking his deadlock for 2016-17 in the 4-1 defeat of champions Leicester, time will tell if Pogba’s promising start results in the silverware he covets. Shop for Pogba jerseys.


03)      Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

A familiar face on the list to say the least, Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2016 has ranged from the sublime to the storybook, as the Portuguese pin-up pinned down UEFA Champions League honours, before becoming the only player in our ten to win the European Championship. Back in La Liga, Ronaldo returned from injury to help dispatch Osasuna, before scoring in each of the Spanish club’s latest European outings, as they begin their defence of the UCL title. Shop for Ronaldo jerseys.

02)      Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Finally heaved from his lofty perch, the majestic Lionel Messi continues to shift replica shirts like few of his like have before, yet the Argentinian has ultimately failed to repeat the level of sales success that led him to the top spot in 2014 and 2015. Taking solace in retaining his edge over career rival Ronaldo, one-club man Messi bagged a brace for his beloved Barcelona against Betis to begin 2016-17, scoring twice more in the 5-1 win at Leganes. Shop for Messi jerseys.4792243

01)      Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)

Literally towering above the competition, our highest-ranking newcomer and the king of 2016 is the mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Recently turning 35, Zlatan is the oldest player on our list yet has emphatically captured the imagination of our customer base since Manchester was welcomed to Zlatan in typical style this summer. Scoring on his competitive debut at Bournemouth to continue an impressive streak of first impressions in La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League alike, Ibrahimovic was additional on target in August’s Community Shield and September’s Manchester derby; while scoring twice to see off Southampton in the campaign’s inaugural Friday night fixture. The duration of the Swedish star’s Premier League stay may currently be unclear; yet the support received by way of his phenomenal shirt sales to date offers a clear message from the faithful… Shop for Ibrahimović jerseys.

Long live the (new) king.


Relegation Zone

Memphis Depay is our countdown’s biggest faller; the Dutchman dropping off the chart from the dizzy heights of third 12 months ago, after falling out of first team favour in Manchester.

Bastian Schweinsteiger finished fourth in 2015, but has since been frozen out at Old Trafford, as Jose Mourinho moves to bring in his own in pursuit of EPL redemption.

Eden Hazard saw his Belgian side flatter to deceive at EURO 2016, much as his Chelsea team had done the preceding domestic season. Scoring twice against UCL holders Real Madrid in July’s International Champions’ Cup and again in Chelsea’s first two home games of new season, the midfielder nevertheless plummets off our list, from a high of fifth position.

Wayne Rooney will hardly need reminding of his downturn in popularity, following a veritable kicking from the media and public alike and the recent removal of his England captain’s armband. Once a mainstay in lists such as ours, Manchester United’s decorated marksman will require an upturn in form and fortune to return to our chart next time.

Alexis Sanchez reluctantly joins the England skipper in the doldrums; the Arsenal man plunging off our countdown, after two consecutive years among’s key sellers.

Phillippe Coutinho completes the list of fallers; the Liverpool forward failing to bring home the Europa League trophy and experiencing further defeat in the Copa America Cenentario, in spite of scoring his first international hat-trick in the colours of his native Brazil.

Numbers Game

Only four clubs are represented in our 2016 top ten, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid providing an even split of players from the Premier League and La Liga and an equal 50% share between the Nike and adidas brands. Eight different nationalities are featured in the countdown, with Argentina and France contributing a pair of players apiece and with two of the top ten currently in their 30s, four others were born in the decade of the ’90s. Meanwhile, the most commonly-selected shirt number in our list is #11, as worn by three of our leading shirt sellers. The total sum of the squad numbers featured arrives at a satisfying 101, with a gap of 11 between the highest (de Bruyne’s #17) and the lowest (Pogba’s #6). Elsewhere, in terms of footballing silverware, our top ten have snared a total of five Premier League titles between them, as well as 16 La Liga championships and 11 UEFA Champions Leagues. Finally, while our ten featured players have been capped 774 times for their respective national teams, not one of them has managed to win a FIFA World Cup; an intriguing fact to ponder, as we conclude our sales analysis. AC

As in 2014 and 2015, the 2016 list focuses on club shirt sales from 1 July to 30 September on

Greatest Debuts: Auston Matthews


First Pass at Greatness

Auston Matthews may have only made his NHL debut this week against the Ottawa Senatorsbut he’s already making history. At 19 years old, Auston was the first player ever to score four goals in his first game, and only the fifth to score a hat trick in their NHL opener. That puts him among others like Derek Stepan and Real Cloutier who also managed to pull off a hat trick in their first games.

Journey to the Top

So who is Auston Matthews? Besides being the first overall 2016 pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs and a self-proclaimed fan of Kobe Bryant, Matthews was born in Northern California and developed an affinity for hockey at a young age. In 2014, he helped the U.S. Under 17 Team and U.S. Under 18 Team win gold in the the World U17 Hockey Challenge and the U18 World Junior Championships. In 2015 he was voted MVP after leading the U18 World Junior Championship team to gold, and in 2016, he helped them win the bronze. 

In place of a collegiate or junior career, Matthews took the road less traveled to prepare for his entry into the NHL by playing in Sweden for the ZSC Lions until he became eligible for the draft. Matthews’ season with the Lions culminated in a tie for seventh place in scoring with 24 goals and 46 points in only 36 games – an average of 1.28 points per game, fourth overall in the league.

This year, Auston Matthews was the first American to be selected first overall in the NHL draft in almost a decade. While his legacy in the league has only just begun – he’s already performing to critical acclaim.

Reactions Around the League

Several of Matthews’ fellow players, as well as retired legends Martin St. Louis and Teemu Selänne, chimed in with their reactions after Wednesday night’s game:

Long Term Implications

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the NHL’s original six teams, but they’ve been down on their luck over the past few years. Auston Matthews is their first overall draft selection since 1985, and he may represent the best hope the team has had for decades to bring the Stanley Cup back to Toronto – a place it hasn’t been since 1967. While it may be too early to tell if Matthews is going to be able to lead the Maple Leafs to the promised land, or a postseason berth, it’s definitely not too early to start hoping.

If you want to jump on the Matthews bandwagon, at the start of his career, head over to where you can find everything you need to celebrate his success and show off your Maple Leaf pride!


The Evolution of the Cleveland Browns Jersey


Established in 1946 as a member of the All-American Football Conference, the Cleveland Browns are one of the NFL’s most unique franchises. Out of the entire league, they are the only team named after a former coach – legend Paul Brown. The Browns are also the only team in the NFL without a logo on their helmet.

The team has played in the league for sixty-eight seasons and has a total of eight championships – all pre-Super Bowl era. With these victories coming before the big game was even created – the Browns have yet to appear in a Super Bowl.

The Browns were a source of attention in 1995, when owner Art Modell looked to move the team to Baltimore. Cleveland retained rights to the team and its namesake, but Modell’s move transformed the franchise into the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns were re-introduced as an expansion team in 1999 and have struggled to find success in the years since.

Built in 1998 as the new Cleveland Browns’ stadium FirstEnergyStadium serves as their home field. The stadium is situated on the same grounds where the Cleveland Municipal Stadium once stood – the gridiron where the Browns won all eight of their championships. With a current capacity of 73,200 – FirstEnergyStadium serves as the ideal location for the Browns to call home.

Read on to see how the Browns have transformed their jersey since their inception, and how their iconic helmets compare in fashion & popularity to the rest of the league.

Notable Jersey Changes


1948: Cleveland’s first uniform combination consists of plain white helmets with white and brown jerseys. A brown-orange trim aligns the pants and sleeves of the jersey, and the numbers feature a light shadow.

1950: The team introduces the classic orange helmet for the first time—a feature that is still used today.

1953: An orange jersey with minimal brown and white coloring is used. The orange jerseys would come and go throughout the years before making an updated return in 2015.

1957: For the only time in franchise history, the Browns add an image to the helmet in the form of player numbers.

1960: The familiar brown striping is added to the team’s helmet and brown player numbers also make an appearance on the sleeves.

1969: A special patch is added to the uniform’s left shoulder in celebration of the NFL’s 50th anniversary. Thin, white stripes were also added to the sleeves.

1970: The Browns add player names to the back of the jerseys.

1975: The Browns opt for orange pants – a first in team history. Facemasks are also changed to white.

1984: Jerseys are redesigned with bold orange trim, and orange pants are replaced by white pants that feature a center orange stripe outlined in brown. Also, brown jerseys are worn with orange numbers, before being removed due to difficulty of identifying players on the field.

1985 (1986 depicted): After just one season, the team ditches the intricate design and return to the old-fashioned Browns look.

1999: The franchise moves to Baltimore, but a new ownership group would reinstate the Browns franchise with a “return” to Cleveland. The team wore a “1999” patch to celebrate the return.

2002: Orange jerseys are featured as an alternative uniform kit. The jerseys feature white numbers with a brown drop shadow.

2003: Orange pants return, only to disappear a few seasons later.

2008: The Browns introduce solid brown pants for the first time.

2013: Following the NFL’s change to Nike as the uniform provider, the Browns change their look sporting an all brown uniform appearance.

2015: The Browns underwent drastic changes to a design that has seen little significant alteration for the majority of the franchise’s existence. All three jerseys were redesigned with new striping, updated colors and a bold font. The pants now feature partial striping with the team name on the side, and the jersey adds the city name over the number in large, block font. Cleveland also adds a brown face mask for the first time.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Although the Browns have yet to see a Super Bowl victory, or appearance for that matter – the team has witnessed legendary players take the field, decked in their trademark brown and orange jerseys. The team has a total of eight championships with sixteen players inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame – the sixth highest total league-wide. The organization has been noted to lean on the stingy side when it comes to retiring jerseys – with the current number standing at five.

Since their inception into the National Football League, the Browns have retired five jersey numbers:

No. 14 – Otto Graham

No. 32 – Jim Brown

No. 45 – Ernie Davis

No. 46  – Don Fleming

No. 76 – Lou Groza

Heading over to FirstEnergyStadium to support the #ClevelandBrowns? Be sure to stop by Fanatics – the one stop shop for all your Browns essentials!


The Beginners Guide to #NBA: Become a Fanatic Overnight: National Basketball Association


Guide to Becoming an NBA Fanatic

When you hear friends shout the phrases “check,” “brick,” or “from downtown” at the televisions, they’re celebrating the game of basketball. We don’t want you to miss out on enjoying all of the action! Our Guide to Becoming an NBA Fanatic will transform you from rookie to All-Star overnight, and leave you ready to tell others about the difference between a field goal and a 3-point play.


Thirty teams across the U.S. (and Canada!) make up the National Basketball Association, better known as the NBA. There are the Eastern and Western conferences, each containing 15 teams; there are three divisions in each conference (six in total). The Atlantic, Central, and Southeast divisions make up the Eastern Conference, and the Southwest, Northwest, and Pacific divisions make up the Western Conference. This format is helpful when coordinating a team’s schedule throughout the 82-game season.

Shot Clock Violation

Each NBA game takes place over 48 minutes, divided into four quarters. After the first two quarters, there is a “halftime” break. At the end of regulation (four quarters), the team with the highest number of points wins the game. If both teams are tied, a five-minute overtime begins. If there is still a tie, the teams continue playing until an overtime period ends with one team ahead of the other in points.

During each game, the clock can stop for many reasons: when a player passes the ball or steps out of bounds, when a foul is committed against another player (rule violation), when a coach or player calls for a timeout, or when a team scores.

Dribbling Down the Court

Each team places five players on the court at a time. While a player may have a specific position based on physical attributes and style of play, there is no requirement for a set number of positions to be present on the floor. For the five positions, each is commonly equated with a corresponding number:

  • Point Guard (PG): 1
  • Shooting Guard (SG): 2
  • Small Forward (SF): 3
  • Power Forward (PF): 4
  • Center (C): 5

If you’re trying to associate the names of players you’ve overheard with these positions, here are a few examples of current key ballers:

  • Point Guard: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Shooting Guard: James Harden, Houston Rockets; Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
  • Small Forward: Paul George, Indiana Pacers; Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
  • Power Forward: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers; Blake Griffin, LA Clippers
  • Center: Al Horford, Boston Celtics; Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks

During the game, any of the team’s five players on the court may be substituted with another player on the bench. Rotating players in and out of the game can be a strategy – with coaches sometimes looking to match up a type of player against another (for instance, a speedy playmaker versus a strong and tall defender), or just to give their player a break after a long stretch.


Mo’ Buckets

There are two phases of the game – offense and defense. These are very fluid in basketball and are interchangeable within seconds. Each team is able to score either one, two, or three points per shot.

  • 1 point: Free throws, awarded after a player is fouled in the act of shooting
  • 2 points: Any shot made inside the 3-point line
  • 3 points: Distance shots made anywhere from 22 to 23.75 feet away from the basket (they earn an extra point over a regular shot due to the skill and accuracy required)

Must-See Teams and Players

So now you’re ready to hop on the court and start making threes, but hold on – let’s leave that to the professionals. You need to choose a team with exciting players to follow, and we have a few recommendations:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Fresh off of winning the 2016 NBA Championship, the state of Ohio and the city of Cleveland are back on top. They are led by one of the best players of the past decade, LeBron James, and the supporting cast is worth watching every time they take the court. Here’s the big question: Will they become repeat champions next season?
  • Golden State Warriors:  the Golden State Warriors, minutes shy of winning back-to-back NBA Championships, are one of the most exciting teams to watch. Steph Curry, the league’s MVP for the last two seasons, leads a team of All-Stars. Another All-Star, Kevin Durant, just made the switch to “Splash City” from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: Led by Karl-Anthony Towns, the 2016 Rookie of the Year, and Andrew Wiggins, the 2015 Rookie of the Year, this young, scrappy team looks to take the next step in the 2016-2017 season with a new coach. The Eastern Conference might be in for a major surprise, courtesy of the T-Wolves.

Final Shot

If you’re watching your first full NBA game, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Each team puts five players on the court.
  • They can score one, two, or three points for a shot.
  • Don’t be surprised if the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors make it back to the NBA Finals next year; they’re loaded with talent and built to compete for it.
  • And get the best officially licensed NBA apparel and merchandise from to cheer on your team.


Dick Butkus: Chicago fans are a certain breed because…

Dick Butkus is a name synonymous with football. Famous for his days as a feared anchor of the Chicago Bears defense, Butkus was a football player since childhood. He recently sat down with us for a little to talk about his roots and what it was like being a fan while out on the gridiron.

Butkus was “born and raised on the south side of Chicago” where he was the youngest of nine children born to working class parents. He attributes his first involvement in sports to his older brothers and the family’s childhood proximity to Fernwood Park, a public park on Chicago’s south side.

Butkus described this green space where he could play sports as a boy as “a dreamland for me.” Butkus built upon these games with his brothers and neighborhood friends and played with distinction at the Chicago Vocational High School.

From 1962 through 1964, Butkus played both ways (center and linebacker) for the University of Illinois, twice earning All-American accolades. In 1964, he finished third on the Heisman Trophy ballot. His number is retired by the University of Illinois and his standout play earned him a number of individual awards. In 1985, the Butkus Award was created to honor the nation’s best linebackers at varying levels of play. It remains a prestigious award at all levels.

Though drafted by both NFL and AFL teams, Butkus signed with his hometown Chicago Bears, for whom he played a legendary nine seasons before injuries forced him to retire. He was six times named All League and went to eight Pro Bowls. A hard hitter who was deeply feared by opposing players, Butkus also had a special knack for forcing turnovers and retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in forced fumbles, though the record has since been broken.

Born on Chicago’s south side, Butkus did not grow up a Bears fan. He said, “I became a fan after I played with the Bears.”

A special moment that stood out in his memory as a player-fan was a famous game in his rookie season. On December 12, 1965, the Bears were hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Wrigley Field. A fellow Bears rookie — Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers – ran for six touchdowns, an individual performance still considered among the greatest ever.

But Butkus remembers a fact lost to the history books. He told us:

“Being a fan while I’m out there on the field … as a fan, I was hoping he was going to get seven … I think we had the ball at the two-yard line and Halas took him out.”

Butkus is referring to legendary Bears head coach George S. Halas, known affectionately as “Papa Bear” who substituted Sayers out on that play. His replacement ran the ball in for a touchdown, stealing Sayers’ would-be seventh touchdown away.

Beloved by Bears fans, Butkus told us the admiration and respect is reciprocal.

“The Chicago fans are a certain breed and that’s because they’re loyal and they’re smart – they know what the hell the game’s about.”


Fans can shop for Chicago Bears gear on Fanatics.


Happiest NBA Teams


With the NBA salary cap on the rise, it’s hard to imagine many players and teams being unhappy. But which basketball teams and positions are the happiest? We wanted to understand what conditions made for happiest teams. Is it the city they play in? Or maybe they just win more than others?

We used recent player profile pictures from ESPN, analyzed them using Microsoft’s Cognitive Services Emotion API, and ranked them by the teams and positions that appeared the most or least happy. Who earned the title of the happiest team in the NBA? Read on to see just who is living out a baller’s dreams.

Jolly Band of B-Ballers


Before the 2015-2016 NBA season concluded, we analyzed the player photos and found that the Golden State Warriors were the happiest team in the league.

By all accounts, they should have been – given the number of records they broke (best start to a season, best ever All-Star break record, quickest playoff berth, longest ever home court winning streak, and more). “Splash City” went on a historic run, and it should have become second nature for all of their players to smile at the camera.

Golden State might have been the smiliest team throughout the majority of the season, but the eventual champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were happy too. The team, led by LeBron James, weathered a change in head coach and adversity with grins and glee. Maybe at the beginning of next season, fresh off of enjoying their summer as champs, they’ll power past Golden State in happiness. As we know, it wouldn’t be the first time the Cavs upset the Warriors.

Happy Where They Play


Examining our analysis by positions instead of teams, we saw that small forwards were the happiest bunch of players across the entire league. This position includes athletes like Cleveland’s LeBron James, 2016 NBA Finals MVP; Golden State’s (by way of Oklahoma City) Kevin Durant, 2013-2014 league MVP; and Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul Pierce, 2008 NBA Finals MVP with the Boston Celtics.

On the opposite end of the spectrum were centers. They were possibly the grumpiest bunch. That group that includes the Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, and Boston Celtics’ (by way of Atlanta) Al Horford. Perhaps playing the position that’s more about defense and rebounding – and less about sweet shots from a distance – doesn’t give these players the warm and fuzzies. Don’t forget to smile, guys!

Happiness, a State of Mind

The 2015-2016 NBA season gave us plenty of amazing moments, from the Golden State Warriors’ dominating the league to the Cleveland Cavaliers restoring hope to their city with a championship. These two teams were the happiest across the entire league. When it came to positions, no group was as happy as small forwards. They’ll need to share their joy with those playing center next year.

You can be happy too when you’re sporting the best licensed merchandise and apparel for your favorite player or team, so head over to and get some!


The Evolution of the Toronto Blue Jays Uniform


The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1976, after the American League voted to expand into Canada – or more specifically, into the city of Toronto.

The Jays received their name after holding a “Name the Team” contest in ’76, involving close to 4,000 names and 30,000 entries. The results proved “Blue Jays” to be the winner, but some claimed that majority team owner Labatt Brewery had a role in choosing the name for advertising purposes. Regardless, blue had been the primary color used by Toronto teams since 1873, when it appeared on the jerseys of the Canadian Football Club’s Toronto Argonauts.

Since becoming part of Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays have had two World Series appearances and six playoff appearances. The Jays won their first World Series Championship in 1992 after taking the series 4-2 against the Atlanta Braves. During the 1993 season, Toronto would go on to capture not only their second consecutive A.L. East flag, but also a subsequent World Series Championship – downing the Philadelphia Phillies in game six. Despite their success during those two seasons, the Jays did not make the playoffs again until 2015, when they lost the ALCS match.

Over the years, the Blue Jays have kept their uniforms pretty simple utilizing red, white, navy blue, and royal blue as their primary colors. The team has maintained a consistent look in their home uniforms by keeping them solid white with various fonts and accents in blue or red.

Continue reading to see how the Toronto Blue Jays have rebranded, transformed, and maintained their signature look since their inception into Major League Baseball.

Notable Uniform Changes


1977: The original uniform consists of a pullover shirt and elasticized pants. The team uses two types of blue, white, and red as their color scheme as well as a unique letter styling.

1989: The first major round of changes take place, adding a belt and offsetting the Blue Jay logo to one side. The team also wears a symbolic patch on the left sleeve as hosts of the All–Star game during the season.

1993: After winning the 1992 World Series, the team adds a ceremonial patch to their right sleeve for the season. Blue hats are also used with the home uniforms.

1997: Red striping is added to the sleeves and pants along with a new maple leaf logo on the hat.

2001: The team replaces the red with with blue piping through the middle of the shirt. The left sleeve features a commemorative patch celebrating the team’s 25th season while the right sleeve marks the American League’s 100th season.

2003: A new primary logo is adopted and used throughout the uniform. It combines a Blue Jay and red “T” representative of Toronto.

2004: The team rebrands with a new primary logo and color scheme. A new type style is used to display “Jays” on the front of the shirt.

2009: A red maple leaf patch is added to the right sleeve as well as a ribbon patch featuring “TED” to honor late team owner, Ted Rogers.

2012: Another rebranding features multiple uniform combinations similar to those from the team’s early days.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Traditionally, teams in the MLB tend to retire the uniform numbers of players who have displayed true strength and determination on the field. The Blue Jays follow this trend, but to a much lesser extent; they have retired only two uniform numbers to date (one of which, Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, was retired across all baseball teams).

The Toronto Blue Jays currently have two retired uniform numbers:

No. 12 – Roberto Alomar

No. 42 – Jackie Robinson

Rooting for the Jays this season? Step up to the mound and be a part of the #BlueJaysNation by decking out in the latest Blue Jays fan gear. Look no further than Fanatics – a one-stop shop for the best sports merchandise in the game!