The Time Has Bill Schaefer

Last year, I penned this blog.

One of the things that we've encountered in this massive undertaking that is the GUD is that when we research one thing, we often discover something else completely unrelated. Within the last few days, our own Rob Holecko began the Herculean task of catching us up on many of the updates both we here, and you, the loyal viewers and contributors, have uncovered over the past year.

While researching cold weather gear worn by officials during the 'candy-striper' era of the 1940s, we noticed that the Cleveland Rams wore pants with the dreaded PABs - an acronym for what we have referred to as 'peek-a-boo' belts. This was the topic of a large-scale overhaul back in 2013.

How does all of this relate to our current undertaking, you ask? Well, as documented in the "Butterfly Effect" blog, we began by trying to improve some pretty horribly done socks that were original versions of 'high-whites' for the most part of the 1960s and 1970s. A contributor notified us that his own research found that the 'high-whites' phase continued past our current ending of 1982 (or so) up until around 1987.

At this point, the chore of cleaning up the 1960s and 1970s grew to include adding 'high-whites' up through 1987 for all teams.

Amidst doing that, I began to notice little things that bugged me. For instance, I could not see the primary white outline between the navy star on a Cowboys helmet and the outer navy outline. I knew it should be there, but it wasn't. So I fixed the helmet stars for all of the Cowboys' helmets from 1967-87. As soon as I finished I realized the monster I had created. While 1967-87 looked perfect and exactly the way I had envisioned, now every Cowboys helmet from 1988 on looked like garbage by comparison. The only solution would be to fix them all up until our newest templates - the Nike uniforms and Revolution style helmets - began for 2012. In other words, correcting 20 years of socks had turned into nearly 50 years of revisions for almost every team except the expansion teams. For them, I'd just have to fix their entire histories.

As I continued team-by-team from the end of the high-top cleats era (around the late 1950s), normal updates that both we, here, and you out in Internet-land were finding and posting in our Forum, the truth became clear.

How can I go through and improve what currently exists while at the same time working in all of the normal updates?

The answer: I can't.

Only one option existed. I would have to complete the improvements for every team and hold off on the regular updates until a teams improvements were finished. I could then go back to the improved images and make the changes required of the updates. In other words, these updates that Rob is going to be installing have been changed once, twice, and in some cases 3 times over the past year before a single change had been posted to the site.

Around Thanksgiving of 2014, I finished the improvements and set to work on the updates.

Both Tim and Rob have sat by patiently waiting for me to get to this point. That time has arrived.

Over the past 2 weeks, Rob has gotten us completely caught up on updates to 'old' NFL teams (1920 to the 1950s), the AAFC, the USFL, and game officials.

Now begins the largest single roll-out of 'refreshed' images and updates since the birth of the GUD. Rob will slowly begin these grandiose updates with the Arizona Cardinals for 1961-2012 and continue to add the improvements team-by-team for however long it takes.

Please keep in mind, the weekly match-up pages will receive the updates as well. Be patient with the roll-out process and check in to our Update page regularly to see what has been done to continue our mission here at GUD...

"Just get it right."

Bill Schaefer.


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