Evolution of the Kansas Jayhawks


Basketball at the University of Kansas has been around since, well, practically the beginning of the sport itself, and the program has since made great strides toward becoming an NCAA powerhouse and perennial tournament participant. Here’s where this esteemed basketball program got its start, and how its unique logo has changed over time.


Rock Chalk Jayhawk History

Dr. James Naismith is often credited with inventing basketball when he was a YMCA instructor in Massachusetts in 1891. After leaving his Y post, he got a medical degree in Denver, and then got a job at the University of Kansas. There, he founded its basketball program in 1898 and served as its first coach for nine seasons. He was succeeded as coach by a former player, Forrest “Phog” Allen, whose legendary coaching and efforts to lead the team to the university’s first NCAA title led to a permanent tribute on campus – today’s team plays in Allen Fieldhouse (also known as the Phog).

Kansas plays in the Big 12 Conference and has made an appearance in 14 Final Four and won three NCAA championships. Since Allen’s departure, the team has had a bevy of great b-ball coaches, including Dick Harp, Ted Owens, Larry Brown (who won KU’s second national championship in 1988), Roy Williams, and current head coach, Bill Self (who won their third championship in 2008).

He put the team on his back! #KUbball defeats Baylor 70-67

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Logo Evolution

KU’s mascot is the Jayhawk, which stems from early Kansas struggles between those who were in favor of slavery and those who wanted the territory to remain free. The “free” people, especially those from Lawrence, were known as Jayhawkers, and the image began to take on a patriotic feel. The bird first appeared in a KU cheer in 1886, and when the sports team got its start, it was naturally called the Jayhawks.


The mascot and logo have gone through many changes over the last 100 years. Its first incarnation features a blue bird with a large yellow beak and shoes – for kicking opponents.


The next logo depicts a less cartoonish bird perched on the letters KU. This guy is also mostly blue, but his beak is sharper and narrower.


This is the first year the Jayhawk is depicted with a red head. The “KU” also appears on his body for the first time in red, and his beak is rounder and freakishly large when compared to its prior version.


This version is similar to the last, with a few notable changes. The beak is smaller, the Jayhawk looks fierce, like he meant for business, and he has talons on his legs.


The 1941 rendition is shorter, stouter, and has a wide, frowny beak that pairs very well with his “I mean business” steely glare. The KU remains on his chest but is now depicted in white.


The Jayhawk undergoes one more change. He’s a little spunkier now, walks with a jaunty step, and features a smile instead of a scowl. This is the version that survives today.

Beware of the Phog

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Evolution of the Clemson Tigers


Clemson University may be more well-known as a football school (in fact, they won the national title most recently in 2016, and their basketball program has yet to appear in a Final Four), but this season has gone well for the Tigers, and expectations are running pretty high these days in South Carolina. Clemson was founded in 1889, and it formed a basketball team a couple of decades later in 1911. Let’s take a look at its basketball program and how the Clemson Tiger logo has changed over the 100-plus seasons the team has participated in basketball.


Clemson History

Clemson’s first basketball coach was Frank Dobson, who spent time as a professional basketball player before coming to coach at the university. Although he only coached for two years, he led the team to its only undefeated season the first year, when the team went 4-0.

There have been quite a few coaches since, and the school reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1980 under coach Bill C. Foster. The team, a six seed, made it to the Elite Eight before ultimately falling out of the tourney to UCLA. Since then, they’ve played in the NCAA tournament several times, but haven’t eked past the Sweet Sixteen since that first journey in March 1980.

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Logo Evolution

Clemson is known as the Tigers, and has been since the school’s first football coach Walter Merritt Riggs brought the game and jersey from his alma mater – Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now known as Auburn University who are, of course, known as the Tigers. The first logos featured the fierce cat, but that did change over time.


An early rendition of Clemson’s logo is a realistic-looking orange tiger’s head and neck, his mouth open in what we can imagine is a snarl.


This logo is a bit more cartoonish. The tiger here looks happy and satisfied as he lounges within a large capital “C.” He’s full-bodied, and his tail hangs leisurely down below the bottom of the letter.


Here, we revert back to a realistic-looking (and growling) tiger head. This tiger is facing the viewer and looks like he’s going to get you. Below, “Clemson” is spelled out in all caps.


This tiger is similar to the other realistic versions that came before it. This tiger is colored orange and purple, likely the official Clemson orange and regalia of the school. “Clemson” is still spelled out in all caps beneath the tiger.


The Tiger Paw makes its first appearance in 1977, and this is the logo that remains today – recognized all over the country as being a part of Clemson and its athletic programs. In the early ’70s, discussions begin to create a new logo to develop something more original and unique. Those behind the new logo contact the Smithsonian Institution for a photo of a paw and the National History Museum in Chicago for a cast of a tiger paw. Both are referenced in the logo’s creation. It sits at a 30-degree angle, which reflects the typical 1 p.m. start for football games as is normal in these days. Also, the scar that appears on the bottom of the paw reflects the cast that is made during the research phase of the logo design – that tiger has a similar scar.

Get Your Tiger Paw

Are you headed to Littlejohn Coliseum to watch your Tigers take on their next opponent? Or have you booked your tickets to a round of the NCAA Tournament and hope to see your boys take it all the way? Well, make sure you head over to Fanatics to get all the authentic Tigers gear your orange-bleedin’ heart desires.


The History of Brutus Buckeye

Ohio State University was founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, and eight years later, the college name changed to its present-day moniker. The athletic teams here are known as the Buckeyes – a term that predates the university itself and has been a term of reference for all Ohio residents.

Let’s take a closer look at Ohio State University’s mascot – Brutus Buckeye – and find out how he’s changed from a paper mache embodiment of a buckeye nut with legs (and not much else) to the dashing Brutus that fans, students, and alumni know and love today.

💥BOOM💥 #GoBucks

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How Brutus Buckeye Came to Be

Brutus Buckeye is an awesome buckeye nut head on a pretty normal human body, but you have to wonder – why the buckeye nut? It turns out, buckeyes are pretty Ohioan, and so it was a natural selection for the university’s sports teams.

The buckeye tree is native to Ohio (especially in the Ohio River Valley), and its dark brown nut features lighter tan patches. These nuts are inedible, but folk tales say that carrying one brings the bearer good luck (and even wards off pain). The buckeye tree is a hardy plant, and before Ohio was granted statehood (in the 18th century), Colonel Ebenezer Sproat became known as “Buckeye” for his great spirit and strong stature. Over time, the use of this term spread to other white settlers and locals, and the presidential election of 1840 cemented the term into national lexicon when William Henry Harrison embraced it during his campaign.

Brutus is an active mascot, appearing at over 500 events each year (both sports and non-sports), and enjoys sweet moves such as head banging, headstands, playing the drums, and fake singing. He was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007 and was the 2015 UCA Mascot National champion.

Ohio State students Ray Bourhis and Sally Huber are credited for the buckeye mascot suggestion in 1965, and his appearance has varied wildly over the years. The one constant, however, is the buckeye nut – dark brown, lighter brown patches, and a face. Let’s take a look at how Brutus has changed over the years.

Brutus Buckeye: From Paper Mache to Sweet Threads

Brutus Buckeye is, overall, a nut from the buckeye tree. Over the years, his getup has changed drastically. The original Brutus, in 1965, was a rounded paper-mache suit – a buckeye nut with some minor features, such as eyes, a mouth, and fluffy white eyebrows.

Unfortunately, the original Brutus – while a hit with fans – was a bomb in the design department because of its weight and size. Instead of paper mache, the next Brutus was made from fiberglass and made its debut at the Ohio State vs. Iowa game.

Soon, more customization was demanded, and in 1968, the adjustable “smile” was born, so if the team was struggling, Brutus could change his smile to a frown.

The next Brutus, in 1975, was decidedly unpopular. Instead of a full-body nut, Brutus now was a small head on a person’s body, and his squinting eye and sneer just didn’t do it for the fans, students, or alumni.

The following year, in 1976, the beloved fiberglass body reappeared, now with big fluffy eyebrows.

In 1977, a new version made its debut. This Brutus was still a full-body nut but was a bit smaller than the cherished fiberglass body. The problem? It was super heavy – 60 pounds heavier than its precursor, which led to its eventual abandonment. A new feature, however, was added and remains today – a ball cap with an “O.”

In the ’80s, the university moved to a smaller head again, but instead of the leering version of 1975, this new head retained the shape of the older, round body and had friendly features. His face was centered on a lighter brown circle, while the rest of his head was a darker brown. Paired with regular athletic uniforms (with the hat remaining in place), this version was well-received by fans.

The new Brutus underwent a uniform change in 1982 when he donned a scarlet and gray striped shirt with his name on the front and “00” on the back. This top, paired with scarlet pants, remains his outfit of choice today.

In 2001, Brutus’ head underwent some touching up as fans noted he looked pretty tired. Today, he looks just as refreshed as he did back then, with big, bright eyes, a button nose, and a wide smile.

For Brutus Fans Only

If you’re planning on heading out to a game at Ohio State University, or trying to represent from your hometown, why not check out Fanatics to get some sweet Buckeyes merchandise?


Evolution of the North Carolina Tar Heels


The University of North Carolina, located in Chapel Hill, is home to the Tar Heels and a basketball program that dates back over 100 years. Since its inception in 1910, the team has appeared in 20 Final Fours and won six national titles – including the most recent championship – and is the No. 3 overall winningest school in the NCAA. They’ve also contributed scads of NBA players, including Michael Jordan. Here’s how this perennial contender got its start and how its logo has changed over time.


Tar Heel History

North Carolina first took the basketball court on January 27, 1910, against Virginia Christian in a win, 42-21, under head coach Nat Cartmell, who coached the team for four years. Cartmell was the school’s track coach before basketball took hold of the school, and when the team was formed, they asked him to take on basketball as well.

We’re not worthy, he’s worthy. Happy Birthday, James! #CarolinaFamily

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Since those early days, there have been many head coaches. The longest tenured one, however, was the great Dean Smith, who took the reins in 1961 and stayed until he departed after the 1997 season. His teams were responsible for 11 of the school’s 20 Final Four appearances and two of the team’s six national titles, and as a coach, racked up 879 wins at UNC. While he was still coach, the university named its new home arena the Dean E. Smith Center. He also coached a player who went on to have one of the most successful NBA careers of all times: Michael Jordan, who also helped the Tar Heels win the 1982 National Championship before winning six rings with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.

Other notable coaches include Frank McGuire, who led the team to its first national title, and current head coach Roy Williams, who took over coaching duties in 2003 and has since won three national championships, including last year’s title clinch.

Logo Evolution

The University of North Carolina’s athletic teams are known as the Tar Heels (and not Tarheels – everyone will tell you that’s wrong). This term dates back to the state’s early history when employees worked to produce tar, and pitch for the naval industry often worked barefoot and likely walked around with actual tar on their heels. Over time, this phrase took on a positive aura and became a notion of state pride.

However, a tarred heel is not the school’s mascot; instead, it’s a ram. While this may seem to be a bit of a stretch, it’s really not. An early football player from 1922 was known as “the battering ram” due to his bruising style of play. Thus, the Tar Heels’ mascot is a ram, which has been reflected in their logo on occasion. Here’s how the UNC logo has changed over time.


In the early days, the logo is simple – an interlocked “NC” in Carolina blue, one of the school’s official colors.


The logo is altered significantly. Now, it appears as a ram’s head, complete with curled, golden horns. Atop its head is a blue cap with the letters “UNC” across the front. This ram’s head means business, and you can tell by the fierce determination across its face.


We see the ram’s head is still a thing, but it’s a little different. He still has a determined mug, but his horns are no longer golden. His cap still sits atop his head, but only sports a “C.” Below the ram’s head is “UNC.”


This rendition includes a full-bodied ram. This guy remains fierce and determined, and sports-clenched fists and a sweater that features an intertwined “NC.” While he has human-like hands, his feet are hooved, and it looks like he’s marching toward victory. His hat again says “UNC.”


This version of the logo reverts to the early, interlocked “NC.” This time, Carolina is spelled across the top, and “Tar Heels” appears along the bottom. In the middle is a ram’s head, but this one is more realistic than the earlier rams. His horns are curled and gray.


Here, we have a version that is very similar to the first. No rams appear, no words, and the only letters are the interlocked “N” and “C.” The bulk of the letters are the lighter Carolina blue, and it’s outlined in a darker blue.


The current logo is very similar to the prior one with the same concept and color scheme, but the letters aren’t quite as thick and bulky.

🏠 for @unc_basketball

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Go Heels

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Evolution of the New Mexico State Aggies


New Mexico State University was founded in 1888, but back then it was known as Las Cruces College – which, incidentally, was several years before the territory was granted statehood in 1912. In 1889, the legislature authorized the construction of an agricultural college in the same area, and it was known as the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. This institution merged with Las Cruces College, and after decades of growth, the school was renamed the New Mexico State University.

The Aggies are headed to the 2018 NCAA Tournament where they hope to snag their first NCAA championship trophy. Let’s take a look through NMSU’s history and check out how their logo has changed over time.


Aggies History

The Aggies’ basketball program got its start in the early part of the 20th century. Overall, the team hasn’t won a national championship (yet) and appeared in one Final Four in 1970 under head coach Lou Henson. Henson led the team for nine seasons, and six of those saw them head into tournament play. They reached the Sweet Sixteen in 1992 under coach Neil McCarthy, who led the team to the tournament five times over his 12-year tenure.

The Aggies are currently marshaled by head coach Chris Jans in his first season coaching the team. This 2018 team has performed really well, with a 28-5 overall record and a 12-2 record in the WAC.

Logo Evolution

New Mexico State’s athletic teams are named the Aggies due to the school’s agricultural beginnings and pride in the area’s actions to help forge a nation’s journey out west. However, there is a different story tied to the school’s mascot, Pistol Pete. As the story goes, Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton was hell-bent on revenge on the people who murdered his father in New Mexico. The university adopted this persona, and Pistol Pete does his job whipping fans into frenzy at game time. It’s no surprise this beloved mascot appears in a few Aggies logos. Let’s check them out.


The Aggies logo from this period is very solid and basic. A stacked black “N” and “M” are outlined in white and appear above the word “State.” The whole logo is over a crimson background.


In 2006, there is an effort to redesign the university’s mascot: A new Pistol Pete is unveiled to the student body. This Pete is sans pistols and instead twirls a lasso. This change is reflected in the school logo. It depicts a fierce cowboy with a hat, mustache, and bandana. He’s got that lasso in action above his head. Below, “Aggies” and “New Mexico State” appear.


Just one year later, the university gives Pistol Pete his pistols back, which is unsurprising due to the controversy of removing them in the first place. Likewise, his gunslinging ways return to the logo as well. This rendition of the logo, which remains NMSU’s logo, depicts Pete brandishing a gun in each hand. He still sports the cowboy hat, mustache, and bandana, and he now wears a red vest, upon where “NM State” is written.


Are you pumped to see your Aggies in the dance this spring? Make sure you’re wearing the right garb by heading to Fanatics.


Trophy Case: Dwyane Wade


Shortly before the 2017-18 All-Star break, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade back to the team that drafted him: the Miami Heat. With this move, the legendary shooting guard’s career seems to have come full circle.


Wade’s outstanding junior year at Marquette earned him First Team All-America honors and consideration for the John R. Wooden Award Trophy. After generating strong interest from NBA teams, Wade declared for the 2003 NBA draft. The Miami Heat selected him with the 5th overall pick in what later became an outstanding draft. This 2003 class of rookies includes NBA stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh. Let’s take a look at what Wade accomplished between his 2003 arrival and 2018 return to Miami.

White Hot Career


In his 2003-04 rookie season, Wade averaged an impressive 16.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. In most years, that statline would have been enough to bring home the Rookie of the Year Award. However, the 2003-04 season was loaded with budding star rookies, and Wade’s 22-year-old season earned him a third-place finish in Rookie of the Year voting. The two rookies that finished ahead of him were future teammate LeBron James (winner of the award) and NBA all-star Carmelo Anthony (runner-up), while future teammate Chris Bosh placed one spot behind Wade in voting. Wade’s trophy case didn’t remain empty, as, even among tough competition, he was named to the all-rookie team.

The following year, which was Wade’s age 23 season, he was named to the All-Star team for the first time. This began a streak of 12 consecutive seasons in which Wade was selected to be an All-Star. Although Wade will likely not receive another selection to the midseason event, he’s in good company as all-time greats like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird also finished their careers with 12 All-Star selections a piece.

A mere two seasons later, Wade secured his first NBA championship and was recognized as the Finals MVP. The Heat closed out the series against the Dallas Mavericks in six games, largely due to Wade’s jaw-dropping 35.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game across the series. His 2006 supporting cast included a 33-year-old Shaquille O’Neal, Antoine Walker, and Jason Williams.

Wade was unable to bring Miami another championship in the following five seasons but, in the meantime, added to his personal accolades. In the summer of 2008, Wade won a gold medal with Team USA in the Summer Olympics, leading the team with 16 points per game. In the following 2008-09 season, Wade led the NBA in scoring by eclipsing 30 points per game for the first and only time in his career.

Possibly due to Dwyane Wade’s recruiting efforts, LeBron James famously took “his talents to South Beach” in the summer of 2010, which forever changed the Heat as a franchise and, in turn, Wade’s legacy. After adding newcomers James and Chris Bosh, the new look Heat rolled through the 2010-11 regular season with a 58-24 record and cruised past the first three rounds of the playoffs to become Eastern Conference champions. However, the so-called “Big 3” faltered against an experienced Mavericks squad and fell short in the championship series.

Miami returned with a vengeance the following two seasons, as they plowed through the playoffs to win both years’ championships. In 2012, they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, and the team went back to back by defeating the San Antonio Spurs in 2013. The Heat’s reign ended in 2014, as a rematch with the Spurs ended in a convincing defeat in five games. After the 2014 season ended, LeBron announced his plan to return to Cleveland, which marked the beginning of the end for the Miami Heat dynasty.


Wade has yet to win another title since defeating the Spurs in 2013, but his trophy case remains pretty crowded. After reflecting on such an illustrious career, it’s clear that Wade will be a future inductee into the Hall of Fame and belongs in the debate over the greatest shooting guards of all time.

Respect Greatness

Wade’s many awards helped him earn a place in Miami Heat history, which will make his jersey a timeless classic for years to come. Pick up your official Dwyane Wade merchandise over at Fanatics.


Evolution of the Duke Blue Devils Logo


Duke University’s college basketball program dates back to the early 1900s, but it’s the recent decades that have lifted it to national prominence and perennial tournament appearances. A part of the reason can be attributed to Duke’s long-standing legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has led his squads to five national titles over his tenure beginning in 1980. The Duke Blue Devils are the No. 4 all-time winningest team in NCAA history, and over their 100+ seasons, they’ve gone through a few logo changes too. Let’s take a look at their storied history and how the Blue Devils became what they are today.


Duke History

Duke University can trace its timeline back to 1838 when it began life as a subscription school and then chartered as a college in 1851. A name change to Trinity College in 1859 took place, and the college was eventually moved to its current locale in Durham in 1892. The name was changed yet again in the ’20s to Duke University, but its basketball program got its start when it was still called Trinity College.

Wilbur Wade “Cap” Card was the initiator at Trinity, having graduated from the college in 1900 and coming back as a physical education director for the school a few years later. The college was approached by the coach of the Wake Forest basketball team for a game, so Card converted the gym and recruited a team. Card coached the team for seven years, and a flurry of other coaches took the reins, but it wasn’t until Coach K got the job in 1980 that the program developed into what is now a modern-day powerhouse that regularly goes to tournaments and wins championships.

Under Coach K, the team has gone to a ton of Final Fours and won five national championships, most recently in 2015. The team has also contributed many players to the NBA, including current players Jabari Parker and Kyrie Irving.

#StayCrazie 🔵😈🙌🐐🛶

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Logo Evolution

Duke University sports teams are known as the Blue Devils, a name that originated from French soldiers during World War I. Trinity College was searching for a unique, catchy name and settled on the Blue Devils in 1923 as it had garnered support in previous years.

The school’s earliest logos reflect this influence, and over the years, it’s changed quite a bit.


The first Blue Devils logo features the head of a dashing, stern devil, complete with horns and a twisty mustache and goatee – the traditional devil look if you will. Duke is spelled out in capital letters along the bottom right of the logo itself.


In 1948, the logo changes significantly. No longer a simple head, this Blue Devil comes complete with a full body, pointy tail, and menacing trident – plus horns, mustache, and goatee. This guy is standing on the word Duke, which is again in all caps and stretches along the bottom of the logo. A capital “D” adorns his chest.


This version of the Blue Devil is pretty buff compared to the prior two incarnations. He is still depicted with a full body, but he’s facing us and has a very wide and muscular upper body. His features are a bit more cartoonish, but still sports horns, a pointy tail, and a trident. Flames surround his feet as he stands atop the word “Duke.”


Here, we return to a disembodied head. This version is more abstract and lacks a body and the wordmark below.


In 1971, the full-bodied Blue Devil returns, this time with his entire body outlined in flames. He sports a long cape, has a “D” belt buckle, and trident. No words here, either.


The depiction of a Blue Devil disappears for the final version that first appeared in 1978 and remains today. It consists of a white capital “D” against the traditional Duke blue background. Very simple, but very strong and compelling.

Hail the Cameron Crazies

The population of Krzyzewskiville continues to be sky high, with Cameron Crazies hoping to gain admission to a Blue Devils game. If you’re hoping to snag a spot at the Cameron Indoor Stadium, don’t forget to check out Fanatics to grab some authentic gear before you root your Blue Devils on.  


The Beanbag Toss Guide


Beanbag toss (also known as cornhole, corn toss, bags, baggo, and tailgate toss, to name a few) is a super popular tailgating staple that also shows up at picnics, backyard cookouts, and mainly anywhere people gather for a good time. It’s portable and easy to play – almost everyone can participate. For the truly dedicated and talented, there are even cornhole championships.

For the rest of us, here’s a look at the game, how it’s played, and where the heck it came from.

The Cornhole 4-1-1

Cornhole Origins

Beanbag toss is a game that has uncertain origins, but theories abound – and they are as colorful as you might imagine. One theory revolves around the Illinois-based Blackhawk tribe, who filled pig bladders with dry beans and would toss them around for fun. Another theory credits a German farmer, Matthias Kueperman, who reportedly saw some kids tossing heavy rocks into a hole. It looked entertaining enough but wasn’t exactly safe, so he sought to make a safer game. A last theory notes a Kentucky farmer came up with the idea in the early 1900s, but some say German immigrants were the ones responsible for bringing the game to the U.S.

Cornhole Equipment


Cornhole equipment can be as casual as a board raised on one end with a hole cut into it (times two), but there are also regulations that you might want to adhere to if you’re making the equipment yourself. After all, you don’t want your cornhole gear to be laughed out of the parking lot.

Official cornhole boards should be constructed from wood that measures 48 inches by 24 inches with a 6-inch diameter hole centered 9 inches from the top of the board. The back edge of the board should rise off the ground by about a foot and, of course, the surface should be free of bumps or bends that could screw up your game.

Official cornhole bags should weigh around 15 ounces and should measure 6 inches by 6 inches. Two cups of dried corn kernels are the standard filling per bag, giving rise to the name of the game itself.

The cornhole field has certain requirements as well. Boards should be spaced 27 feet from end to end and should face one another. A pitcher’s box area extends 3 feet from either side of the board, and players cannot cross the foul line (which runs along and extends to the edge of the board facing your opponent) when tossing the bag.

Cornhole Scoring Rules

There are a variety of scoring rules that accompany the official play. However, if you’re just horsing around with your friends and family, you may choose to relax some of these. Here is probably the simplest way to keep score during a friendly game.

A bag that passes through a hole scores three points. It can be tossed directly through, it can slide on the board before passing through, or it can be knocked in by another bag.

A bag that lands on the board scores one point, as long as it didn’t touch the ground before coming to a rest on the board.

The first team to reach or exceed 21 points wins the game.

Get Your Cornhole Right Here

Fortunately, if you’re not handy with a saw and sewing machine, there are plenty of regulation-size cornhole sets at Fanatics that are emblazoned with your favorite teams and sports.


NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest History


This season will be the 33rd NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest. The first was held in Denver, Colorado, on Jan. 28, 1984. Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns ultimately defeated Julius “Dr. J” Erving of the 76ers in the final round. In the beginning, the contest was held with eight competitors and five judges. Each player had three chances to dunk with only 24 seconds to make their shot. Each dunk was judged on a scale of one to 10. Only the four highest-scoring players moved on to the semifinals and, after three more dunks, the last two highest-scoring players faced off in the finals. After the final three dunks, the player who scored the highest out of a total 150 points was the winner.

This year, four players will get three chances to complete each of their two dunks. The five judges will score each dunk on a scale of six to 10, with the two highest-scoring players moving on to the final round. These two players will again have three chances to complete each of their two dunks and, at the end of the round, the highest-scoring player will be the champion.

In the past 30 years of All-Star Slam Dunk Contest history, fans and players have seen some of the most epic moments in the history of the NBA. In 2011, we saw Blake Griffin jump over the hood of a car to complete his dunk as a choir behind him sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Griffin went on to win the competition. Although this was a feat, it doesn’t compare to 5-foot-7-inch Nate Robinson’s three wins in 2006, 2009, and 2010, making him the winningest All-Star Slam Dunk Contest participant. In 2009, he dunked over 6-foot-11-inch Dwight Howard, who had returned to defend his title from the previous year. Robinson was representing the Knicks with each of those wins, who are now tied with the Hawks for most wins at four each.


Top Dunkers

Last year’s champion, Glenn Robinson III, was the second Pacers champion in the history of the contest. His winning dunk earned him 50 points after he leaped over the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George, Indiana Pacers Kayla Noel, and Pacers mascot Boomer to defeat Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns.


This year’s participants include Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Larry Nance Jr. (Cavs), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks), and Donovan Mitchell (Jazz).

Oladipo is ranked 13th in the NBA in scoring with a career-high 23.9 points per game. He previously made an appearance in the slam dunk contest in 2015 but fell short to Zach Lavine. Oladipo was voted fan-favorite Dunk of the Year for the 2016-17 season and will become the second consecutive champion from the Pacers if he wins this year’s contest.

Nance Jr. is the son of the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest’s original winner, Larry Nance. Representing the Cavaliers, he is posting career highs in scoring with 8.8 points per game.

Smith Jr. is a rookie in his first year with the Mavericks. With 14.8 points per game, he ranks fifth of all the rookies this season. In addition to the Slam Dunk Contest, fans can find Smith Jr. competing for the U.S. Team in Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars during the NBA All-Star weekend beginning Feb. 16, 2018.


Donovan Mitchell is also a rookie who will be joining the competition last minute after Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic was forced to withdraw due to injury. He’s leading all NBA rookies this season in scoring, with 19.7 points per game and will earn the Jazz their second win since 2012 if he comes in first.

Be a Part of the Action

The annual competition takes place each NBA All-Star weekend, with this year’s event to be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.17, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (it’s scheduled to air on TNT). Make sure you’re ready to cheer your favorite player on for the contest and the second half of the season by stopping by Fanatics today.


Philadelphia Eagles Minute-by-Minute Sales Heat Map After Super Bowl LII

The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl LII champions, and the millions of diehard Eagles faithful who celebrated the franchise’s first Super Bowl title wasted no time stocking up on Eagles Super Bowl Champs gear moments after the clock hit zero.

Tom Brady’s failed last-second heave gave the Eagles a 41-33 victory at 10:20 p.m. ET, and Eagles championship merchandise dropped on Fanatics within seconds as Philly players, coaches and fans were sent into euphoria. The entire east coast of the U.S. illuminated with Eagles sales on Fanatics’ minute-by-minute heat map by 10:30 p.m., with legions of Eagles enthusiasts across the nation also getting in on the action throughout midnight ET.

The Eagles’ Super Bowl 52 championship is expected to become the second-largest championship sales market in Fanatics history, behind the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series. Fans of the Dirty Birds can scoop up officially licensed Eagles Super Bowl Champs gear at Fanatics, including Eagles championship t-shirts, hats and jerseys.