This past Saturday we threw the first official “Bring Back the Brown” tailgate party in partnership with our good friends at 5&A Dime here in sunny SD. Simply put, it was ****ing great. We had a couple kegs of craft hefeweizen donated by Left Coast Brewing Co., we had a BBQ, live DJ, raffle, we raised $425 for youth leagues in San Diego, we released a hat and shirt with 5&A Dime, and then we mobbed to Petco Park to watch the Padre vs Dodger game as a group of 50. Seriously, it was a phenomenal day. The turnout was wicked and the event was covered by NBC San Diego— TWICE (Sorry folks, no Ron Burgundy but we had an even bigger deal: Derek Togerson, Jim Laslavic, & the ace Randy Jones). **both videos can be found below**
The Backstory of the Brown
For those of you who aren’t baseball fans and don’t know much about San Diego: the city, its professional sport clubs, their fans, and particularly the Padres have an identity crisis. Being the stubborn rousers that we are, we’re shining any available spotlights on all their cosmetic surgery over the past twenty years; that of which, could never quite repair broken hearts. Hailing from San Diego, we’re frankly embarrassed for our city when we go to local pubs or walk around Downtown on game day and see more fans from the opposing team than the Padres. The fact that this doesn’t infuriate or embarrass the Padres ownership is beyond our comprehension. The reasons that San Diegans have abandoned the Friars are lengthy, numerous, and even reasonable— but instead of just moaning or living amongst the many Dodger fans in San Diego, we decided to address the grievances with our team and city by not only talking about them, but being about them. That is where the “Bring Back the Brown” campaign comes in.
Starting in 1991 upon the acquisition of the Padres by New York native, Tom Werner, the Padres abandoned their MLB roots as being the only team in baseball to wear brown. Since then, they have instead opted to dress in a safer and infinitely more generic, navy blue. As it stands today, at least 10 other teams in the MLB wear navy blue or some shade of it. Between the firesales of all-star talent, logo changes, owner changes, color changes and ballpark changes, the Padres are consistent in only two things, inconsistency and Tony Gywnn.
It’s said that Werner’s reasons to change uniforms was to return San Diego to the days when the Padres donned blue and white as a minor league team (which coincidentally also looked a lot like the Yankees). Aside from the facts that few know, were alive, or care much about those minor league roots, we suspect that Werner & the consecutive owners just aren’t too fond of the brown colorways. Bluntly stated, some people think the colors are “ugly,” or as Michael Gehlken from NBC puts it: “nauseating,” and relating to “dung.”
Although some of the uniforms between ’69 to ’91 were a little curious, very strong roots were sown with them on. While few care about San Diego’s minor league past, many if not most San Diegans care about the history created in Jack Murphy Stadium (now Qualcomm Stadium) when the likes of Tony Gywnn, Dave Winfield, Steve Garvey, Randy Jones, Benito Santiago, the Alomars and Bip Roberts took the field as professional MLB players. They care about the days when our colors were unique and our own. The days when our Friar made sense by wearing a brown robe. The days we were true to the history of San Diego as being the first Spanish (and European) settlement in California; that of which, was founded by friars. The days we openly embraced living 10 miles away from the most trafficked international border crossing in the world. The days we embraced our unique geographics, demographics, and history as a city regardless of how ‘pretty’ it was to outsiders looking in.
The “Bring Back the Brown” campaign was created to encourage San Diegans to own and steer our present, past and future with or without any type of official leadership. We intend to foster the healing process by addressing grievances, returning to our roots and all the while still maintaining a loyal, passionate support for our home team, the Padres. So heads up haters, we’re just getting started…
For those unfamiliar with the “Bring Back the Brown” campaign, you can check out the website, sign the petition and stay up to speed at bringbackthebrown.com.