Friday, October 19, 2012
Uni Watch gets deeper on the wishbone-C
By Paul Lukas
Sometimes you write about something and that's that. Then there are times when you write about something and it takes on a life of its own, to the point where you need to circle back and do a follow-up piece.
First, a quick recap: As you may recall, the column stated that the earliest known use of the wishbone-C was by the 1898 University of Chicago football team. The column also included a list of assorted high schools and colleges that wear the wishbone today.
OK, let's get to those reader responses. They mostly fell into four categories:
1. "How could you leave out Carroll University in Wisconsin? Everyone knows they invented the wishbone-C, way before the University of Chicago started wearing it. In fact, that's how the Bears started using the wishbone-C -- they got permission from Carroll University!"
Carroll definitely should have been included on the list of teams that wear the wishbone. Thanks to everyone who corrected that oversight.
But did Carroll invent the wishbone logo? No, at least according to the school's archivist, Amelia Klem Osterud. "The earliest that we've been able to document our use of the wishbone-C logo is the 1910s," she said. "Previous to that, the Carroll 'C' logo is more block-style. We've used it for a long time, but not as long as the University of Chicago."
And what about the story of the Bears' licensing or borrowing the wishbone-C from Carroll? Carroll's director of athletic communications, Ricky Mobley, said, "There are rumors floating around about that, but I cannot confirm them."
2. "Here's another school to add your list of wishbone-C teams."
True enough. Last week's column stated that the Reds had worn the wishbone-C continuously since 1909. But as several readers pointed out, Cincy's logo from 1961 through 1966 was not a true wishbone because it lacked the characteristic point on the end. That's not a wishbone-C; it's just a C. Uni culpa.
4. "Here's a little tidbit for you."
Several readers offered additional wishbone information and anecdotes, including the following:
• A few minor league baseball teams have worn the wishbone over the years, including the Columbus Jets (a Pirates affiliate) and the Havana Sugar Kings (a Reds affiliate -- yes, in Cuba!).
• From reader Chad Pritchard: "When Aroldis Chapman was choosing which team to sign with, he was reportedly attracted to the Reds because the C on their caps is much like the one on the Cuban National Team's caps."
• From reader Jim Baker: "According to the book "While the Gettin's Good: Inside the World Football League," when the New York Stars of the WFL moved to Charlotte, they bought a bunch of C's from the Bears' equipment manager to stick over the star on their helmets."
• The Packers may have experimented with a wishbone-G at one time, at least judging by this photo. A similar logo is used by the Goshen Gladiators, a youth football team in Orange County, New York.
5. "Why do so many teams wear this logo?"
Great question -- and one that has stubbornly resisted all efforts to find an answer.