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Measuring the Minority: Padre Palette Preferences

July 12th, 2012 by Melvin

Brown or Blue Padres jerseysHi from Twitter!

I’m back, and discussing once again a favorite  subject matter when we Padres fans and bloggers get together, drink beer, and watch baseball: fashion.

Uniforms! We’re still talking about them, and I don’t know when or if we’ll ever stop. Perhaps if the Padres do ever bring back the brown. Or perhaps if the team manages to come up with a set of truly inspired, beautiful, and unique blue uniforms. Neither of those have happened yet, and so here we are on the subject once again.

Padres interim CEO and former non-interim COO Tom Garfinkel once famously referred to fans of brown jerseys as a “vocal minority.” He never explained how that determination was made, though presumably the color scheme fanbase was estimated through a combination of focus groups and anecdotal evidence.

I’m here to announce that thanks to a job in downtown San Diego, I’ll be attempting another method of scientifically studying Padre fan palette preferences: counting. Through the next several months I’ll analyze the fashion choices of every Padres fan I see, returning to the Sac Bunt Lab for some quick calculations, and finally determining if said fan prefers the Brown or the Blue.

Due to my squeamish tolerance for pain and the safety hazards involved with carrying needles everywhere to tattoo the results on my body, I’ll keep track on my cellular phone (pictured, right).

Some readers may be suspicious about any bias interfering with these scientific findings. Therefore, here are my proposed ground rules:

  • Once I see someone wearing Padre gear, it must be recorded. Obvs.
  • If I’m unwilling / able to keep track at any point I will make that decision before seeing a jersey. If I don’t consciously decide I’m not keeping track before seeing the jersey, I must record the result.
  • Any item of clothing bearing an official mark of the San Diego Padres will count. If the primary color of either the item itself (a blue shirt), or the print on that item (a white shirt with brown writing) is blue or brown, it will count toward that color. If the item does not have a dominant blue or brown color scheme, it will not count.
  • Someone wearing two color schemes in one outfit will not count.
  • I will not attempt to keep up at games I attend. Instead I will drink microbrew and Tweet while I should be watching the game. Padres bloggers meetups are also off the record.

Feel free to suggest additional rules, I want to keep this fair.

In all honesty, I do expect the Blue crew to win. The most common Padre garment I’ve seen worn downtown this season, and it’s not even close, is the “San Diego” visitors jersey wordmark shirt given away on opening day. And as far as I know, the Padres have not given away any brown gear this season.

Either way, I’m excited to see some cold hard data on this hotly debated subject. Funny how calling it a “hotly debated subject” isn’t as sarcastic as one might expect.

Sharp eyed readers will no doubt notice the Brown counter on the screenshot of my phone currently reads “2”, while the Blue indicator “0”. This is due in no small part to the Awesome Mohawk With Brown Padres Flags On His Wheelchair Guy I’ve seen around after starting this project. Be sure to say hi if you see him. I’ve never spoken with him, so I don’t know if he’s friendly, but this way you can find out and let me know. Thanks.

Let the great experiment begin!

Posted in controversy | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Measuring the Minority: Padre Palette Preferences”

  1. ScionFriar says:

    I feel like giveaway t-shirts should not receive a full vote as they are free. For example, I prefer the brown or sand and have several corresponding jerseys. However, when I’m getting ready for work or doing my normal Saturday thing, I will go for a t-shirt. Seeing as how I have several (free) blue Padres t-shirts in my drawers thanks to Garf’s marketing, I will throw one of those on.

    In the case of your study, you’re more likely to count me as someone who supports blue, whereas the opposite is true. I may be a unique case, but I’m willing to bet the giveaway shirts aren’t a good barometer of the fans’ preference for uniform color.

    • Melvin says:

      Yeah, it’s tough. The reason I’m including them is I want to be as fair as possible and avoid judgement calls.

      I’ll try to keep a mental note of how often the San Diego giveaway shirt shows up.

  2. Lorenzo says:

    The problem with giveaways can easily be solved by asking if it was a giveaway, and if they really, really would rather have the nifty, chic, classic brown equivalent. If you don’t want to ask everybody, limit it to five people and record the obvious 3/2 ratio of brown to blue. In fact, extend that 3/2 ratio to all the blue you see that day. If the blue you see is Dodger blue, you can assume the person isn’t intellectually capable of making a choice and make the brown choice FOR them. Those little adjustments will speed things up, and still preserve the integrity of the survey.

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