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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Obviously, the biggest NFL storyline was Jovan Belcher’s murder/suicide in Kansas City. Interestingly, the Chiefs didn’t wear a team-wide uniform memorial for Belcher yesterday — no patch, no helmet decal.

At first I thought this was simply a matter of logistics and priorities. After all, Belcher’s death took place barely 24 hours before yesterday’s Chiefs/Panthers game, and team officials obviously had more important things to deal with than rushing a decal into production. But I also wondered if it might have to do with not wanting to honor Belcher after he’d murdered his girlfriend. Turns out I was right. (Although that item was posted prior to the game, I didn’t see it until after the game was over.) But at least two Chiefs — Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson — wore makeshift black armbands anyway.

It was a largely uni-uneventful day around the rest of the NFL, but here are a few items worth mentioning:

• The Rams wore their 1980s/’90s throwbacks — but with the accursed Nike neckroll (additional photos here). What the fuck? I suppose you could say they were channeling Eric Dickerson, but still. The imposition of this particular jersey element on a throwback design feels really wrong.

• Speaking of the Rams, did they change the shade of their throwback yellow from cheddar to highlighter? Maybe it’s just the lighting, but it looks different this season.

• Devin Hester was injured and inactive for yesterday’s Bears/Seahawks game. So why did he wear eye black and a Breathe Right strip while sitting on the bench?

• The Ravens wore their black alternates.

Turning to Saturday’s college action, you should start by reading Phil and Terry’s coverage from yesterday. Once you’ve finished with that, here are a coupla additional items of note:

• The 20 yard lines in the SEC title game were painted to match the pants stripes for each team.

• A UGA fan’s sign, visible on College Gameday, had just a slight typo.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Cork Gaines, Derek Hempel, Britton Thomas, John Turney, and Kevin Wright.)

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Name change possibly in store for the Phoenix Coyotes (from John Muir). … The winning Powerball numbers matched the uni numbers of players in the Royals Hall of Fame (from Stephen King). … If the NHL lockout is ever settled, Marc Andre Fleury will have a new mask. … Otis Malibu points out that the Baylor black-to-green colorization wasn’t the first time Sports Illustrated had played fast and loose with photos in recent weeks. “A few weeks back, they had an image of Dr. J. wearing a Nets uniform on their cover. Instead of using one of their many great Nets photos of Erving, they reversed/rotated the famous Neil Leifer 76ers shot and changed the jersey.” … Neil Vendetti notes that all three Packers QBs — Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, and BJ Coleman — wear two-point chinstraps, just like Brett Favre did. An interesting team-specific trope. … What might some famous logos look like 100 years from now? Here’s one observer’s speculations (from Carl Schultz). … Good story on high schools’ relationships with Nike, adidas, and the like (from Tommy Turner). … A freaking gold mine of style guides, including some from colleges, here (major thanks to Yancy Yeater). … Remember how the Padres dressed up San Diego Little Leaguers in Padres uniforms last spring? The White Sox are planning to do the same thing with Little Leaguers in Oak Park, Illinois (from Josh Eisenberg). … This photo of a Jordan-branded plane was posted on the Georgia Tech Athletic Assn. page on Friday with the following caption: “We can only assume Michael Jordan is here to watch the Jackets play for the ACC Championship!” Michael Rich says, “Wonder if it’s in fact his plane or if there is more at work here.” … Want to get lacrosse jerseys on the cheap? Here’s how (from Jeff Brunelle). … Good interview with the Penn State football equipment manager (from Chris Flinn). … Here’s a Portuguese-language site devoted to soccer jerseys (from George Chilvers). ”¦ “I always thought the cover of the 1982 Tigers yearbook was interesting,” says Robert Martin. “Note that Kirk Gibson and Lou Whitaker appear to be wearing solid blue socks. This is about a decade before MLB began moving away from stirrups. I’m certain that Lou and Gibby never wore solid blues during games, at least not until the nineties, if at all.” ”¦ Gavin Orobko has started a blog to document the construction of his DIY table hockey game. ”¦ Tom Brady paid off a bet to Mike Vrabel by wearing an Ohio State jersey during Pats practice the other day (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Oooh, check out this old 1948 Rams helmet with painted-on horns (from Leo Straw, Jr.). ”¦ Paul Baumgart attended the Brewers’ annual clubhouse sale and was intrigued by a table full of official uniform letters and numbers. After spelling out his name, he noticed that there were two different versions of the blue numbers — one with gold trim and one with a more bronze trim. “The guys working the table confirmed that there are two versions of the blue numbers,” he says. “I think one’s for the home white jerseys and one’s for the road grays.” Maybe, but the MLB style guide shows them wearing only one gold tone for all of their numbering. Hmmmm. ”¦. This photo of Bo Jackson being tended to by a Memphis Chicks trainer shows the trainer wearing what apears to be white slacks with baseball pant striping (from Kevin Zdancewicz). ”¦ What’s even better than a color-on-color football game? A color-on-color game in December with Christmas colors. That’s Mater Dei in red vs. Long Beach Poly in green. They played in the Southern Section Pac-5 championship game, which was held at Angel Stadium. Here’s how the ballpark was configured for the game (from Ethan Kassel). ”¦ Here’s a mystery: Brooks Baker was at the Reds Hall of Fame and saw a photo of Barry Larkin with four numbers and a question mark written on his jersey. I’d think it might be a shout-out to injured teammates, except for the question mark, which doesn’t really make sense in that context (or any other context I can imagine). Anyone know more? ”¦ “Pilsener Beer is the primary sponsor for several of the larger soccer clubs in Ecuador, including Barcelona,” writes CJ Hague. “Last week Barcelona clinched the national championship, so for Saturday’s game (the last of the season) they wore a jersey with a tweaked version of the Pilsener logo, with ‘Campeón’ in place of ‘Pilsener.'” ”¦ Here’s more about Rick Reilly polishing and patching Notre Dame’s helmets. ”¦ Amar’e Stoudemire brought his kid to a Knicks practice and gave him an Eddie Gaedel-esque uni number (from Robert Silverman). ”¦ Speaking of Stoudemire, what was he doing to his shorts the other day? Odd look (from Chris Perrenot). ”¦ Portland State hoops player Michael Harthun’s uniform must have gotten lost or damaged on the way to Saturday night’s game at Loyola Marymount, because he wore a T-shirt and the wrong shorts. Portland State was assessed an administrative technical foul for this, giving Loyola two free throws before the opening tip-off. Loyola sank both of those shots but ended up winning by a score of 66-56, so those two points didn’t affect the outcome of the game (big thanks to Charles Pannunzio). … RIP, Nicholas. I had so much respect for you and learned so much from you. Didn’t realize you were in so much pain. Hope you’re at peace now.

Comments (112)

    Few things about Bo Jackson’s trainer: Those pants don’t have belt tunnels…they have loops, and one loop is attached over the side taping. He isn’t wearing a Chicks cap either, and its not a cap of their parent club, the Royals.

    Looks like it, but upon closer inspection it appears there’s a pleat or seam on the front leg. I’m thinking these are custom trainer pants done up like home pants for the Chicks. They wore that style back then.

    They are the home “slacks” for the Chicks at that time. And they are baseball pants, clearly a poly blend. What is the definition of slacks? (Not snarky, just curious)

    Hey! He is an honest guy who even shows you he only charges 0.15 dls for the gas used to drive to the post office.

    While his actions were horrific, I don’t know that I’d be so quick to assign all the blame. I couldn’t possibly be the only one who heard the report and immediately thought of CTE.

    MJ’s plane could have been at CLT because he owns the local NBA team and/or because he has a condo downtown…or because he was one of 346 people wanting to see the Jackets in the ACC CG

    That is a pretty cool tidbit about the FAA registry though

    That GO DWAGS sign is clearly the work of a troll. Note that the “G” is the Green Bay Packers’ and the bulldog is Fresno State’s.

    They were actually GT students who I saw walking from the on-campus dorms to Centennial Olympic Park, which is right down the street. They were wearing bright yellow. Idiots.

    That UGA sign HAD to be intentional (for some reason)… right? Right?

    As a Bama fan, I would pay good money (though not championship game ticket money) to see us and the Domers go color-on-color. If I didn’t swear off Facebook long ago, I might start a group that supports doing that. Is there any specific rule that a BCS game must have one team in white? If there is, it would only be slightly dumber than any rule that allows Northern Illinois to be in the Orange Bowl.

    I love Bama’s whites, but if there was ever a championship game to do color-on-color, it’s this one.

    Tennessee wanted to go color on color in Tuscaloosa in 2009 and Alabama said no. So I don’t know if Alabama would do it even if they could.

    Still don’t know why they refused that. Bama/UT has a tradition (albeit from the 60s) of color-on-color. Maybe Lane Kiffin was a jerk about it.

    The UGA sign was intentional, it was the product of idiot Tech students who decided to wear bright yellow. I say this as a Tech student myself.

    Barry Larkin removed his captain’s patch in 1998 following the trade of close friend Lenny Harris. In place of the captain C, he wrote the uniform numbers of traded/released teammates David Weathers (49), Jeff Shaw (41), Harris (28), and a mystery #34. Mike Frank was the only 34 on the 1998 Reds, but he was a career minor leaguer who was neither traded nor released in 1998. The question mark is meant to be a “who’s next” commentary, perhaps indicating Larkin himself, as he demanded a trade shortly after Harris was dealt.

    That is really interesting. I cannot think of any other instances of a player protesting actions of his club via his uniform. Anyone else?

    34 would have been Dave Burba. He was supposed to be our Opening Day starter in 1998 and was traded right before the start of the season to Cleveland for Sean Casey. Extremely unpopular trade at the time.

    The UGA sign is a joke on a a DWAGS sign that appeared during a game a while back. There were 2 other DWAGS signs shown on Gameday as well.

    Jovan Belcher’s girlfriend was the cousin of Jamaal Charles’ wife. In fact, it was Charles that introduced the two of them. Possible (or likely) that the black arm bands were in memory of her?

    Those black armbands are shoulder restraints like the one Charles Tillman has worn for years:

    Has nothing to do with the shootings and everything to do with preventing their shoulders from popping out of their sockets.

    See, here’s Jamaal Charles before last week: same shoulder restraint.

    Loves me some PBS. Best comic out there since Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes were retired.

    “Best comic out there since Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes were retired.” and benchies came about


    Interesting that the Chicks are wearing their road blues in that picture because I’m virtually certain that is Tim McCarver Stadium (may it rest in peace).

    Do you know how many players are in the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame?


    Do you know what the odds are of hitting powerball if you “Box” 17 different numbers?

    Neither do I, but it’s probably not as big a deal as it sounds like when you say “the Powerball numbers matched the numbers of the Kansas City Royal Hall of Fame.”

    Assuming that all 17 numbers are between 1 and 35, which is the possible range for the Powerball, then the probability of all the winning numbers matching one of the 17 is 0.0000353, which goes down slightly depending on how many of the numbers are over 35 and could not be selected as the Powerball.

    So, this would happen 0.00353% of the time, or approximately once every 28,300 draws on average. Since Powerball is drawn twice weekly, it would take just over 272 years to do that many draws. So it’s more unlikely than one might expect even with 17 numbers to choose from.

    Whoops, I screwed up: The actual probability is 0.0006, or 0.06% of draws and once every 1,666 draws on average. Which means it would happen on average once every 16 years.

    “… Good story on high schools’ relationships with Nike, adidas, and the like (from Tommy Turner). …”

    Yeah, you see the same largesse/dependency phenomenon in Youth Soccer. At least in the northeast US, almost all the elite teams are sporting Adidas, with a consequent sameness of look…

    “… Here’s a Spanish-language site devoted to soccer jerseys (from George Chilvers). …”

    When I clicked on the link, the site was in Portuguese. Click on a little national flag, though, and the same page is rendered in Chinese, Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish. I hope George noticed that the flag one clicks to get English was the Stars-and-Stripes.

    ” … Oooh, check out this old 1948 Rams helmet with painted-on horns (from Leo Straw, Jr.). …”

    What a lid! Very appealing. Interesting how the hand-painted imperfections and asymmetries made the design actually look like the horns of a ram.

    someone also forgot an “n”…

    you must have been typing in a hurry this morn…you left the last letter off my name (strawn) today…


    I noticed that the yellow on the Rams’ throwbacks appeared wrong, too bright. Kind of like the green on the Jets’ jerseys this year; it could be a combination of the fabric and lighting (the Jets’ jerseys look more like Army green in sunlight than under stadium lights), or it could just be that Nike got the colors wrong. Let’s hope both will be fixed next year.

    Why aren’t the Rams wearing these unis all the time? (without the bad yellow and dumb neck roll of course) I mean, seriously, does anyone really think the current ones are better? Go back to the Veince Ferragamo/Jim Everett unis already!

    Not if you’re going to name them after those guys! Let them at least be the Jack/Jim Youngblood uniforms.


    Besides the fact that the old uniforms are a classic, what kind of team changes its uniforms immediately after winning the Super Bowl?

    The Rams were already planning on redesigning their uniforms at the time. NFL rules requires that teams that make a uniform change for the next season to notify the league office by October of the current season. The Greatest Show on Turf was JUST getting started by the time the Rams would’ve had to inform the NFL about a uniform change. Ditto with the Patriots and Giants, who also overhauled their uniforms that year. In any case, considering that the Rams were 4-12 in 1998 and free agency was just starting to affect parity in the NFL, nobody could’ve picked the Rams to win it all in 1999. The uniform change immediately afterwards was a coincidence.

    Well, I wasn’t being entirely serious. I do think they should go back to the classic yellow gold and blue with arm horns, though. Even with the messed-up collar and wrong tone of yellow it still looks better than their current unis.

    I wondered if perhaps it was just the effect of the team upgrading the lighting indoors to make the Ed seem less dreary, but that definitely didn’t look like the shade I remember.

    Also, the Rams helmet graphic seems out of proportion compared to last year’s helmet. This year’s horns graphic seems much wider from side-to-side, the points at which the horns curve from one end to the next. Everything about last year’s Reebok uni looks great. This year, it’s terrible. The lemon yellow is atrocious.

    Did anyone notice how demonic the center-field Ram logo looked during the Rams-Niners game? The eyes looked weird to me. Sorry I don’t have a screenshot. But wondering if anyone else noticed this.

    Not to veer off topic, but was Saturday the first time the Heat wore those whiteout uni’s? I didn’t realize those existed…

    Yeah, I liked the fact they complemented the blackout uniforms they wore last season. I’ll bet those were the impetus for the Xmas Monochrome uniforms coming up.

    Yea, I meant to add that. They wore the blue/gray last week against the Dolphins as well, but lost.

    Good point, but rumors are they will wear the gray alts this year at some point and I would be shocked if they wore them at home with the blue tradition. I predict the greys against the Bills but we’ll see!

    Fleury changed helmet companies (now Bauer) and is using a “P” that never really caught on.

    I thought the Nike neck roll actually looked pretty good on those Rams throwbacks. Goes well with the horns on the sleeves and helmets.

    As far as I’m concerned, the nike neck roll is as bad as the potential NBA uniform ads. What is it other than another nike ad?

    The desecration of the football jersey, brought to you by nike.

    Agreed, but I also think Rob is right: With the sleeve horns, the Rams neckroll actually looked like an intentionally designed part of the uniform. Pretty much the only good-looking version of the neckroll I’ve seen. It’s still evil, of course, but at least in this instance it looked good.

    Whether or not you think the Nike neck roll looked good on those particular uniforms, it is still out of place and incorrect on a throwback uniform. Now it’s merely retro.

    The football field at Angels Stadium was abbreviated? Are there no nice full-size HS football stadiums behind the Orange Curtain?

    They couldn’t fit a full football field there? Didn’t the Rams play there from 1981-1994? Or did they permanent-up some moveable seats? That’s crazy that they compromise playing on a regulation field for a championship game just so they can play somewhere that seats more people (and sell more tickets?) and they couldn’t find any college field that would host them or a full-size high school field somewhere.

    For a game that was allegedly attended by 17+K, there’s a horrible lack of visual evidence online regarding the playing field dimensions.

    From what I CAN tell, I’d be willing to be it WAS a full-sized 100 yard field. While that picture doesn’t make it look like it could have been so, why would there be uprights on the far side of the field?

    Was going to ask the same question. Sure looks like it is shortened. Might be the angle, but sure looks like it jumps from the far 20 into the end zone.

    Well apparently it is a full-size field.. just the angle of the picture makes it look shorter. No mention in the write-up of the game of them using a shorter field and here’s link to video highlights they show them kicking a field goal at that end. It is just close to the dugout, almost like the Northwestern Game at Wrigley Field last year where they couldn’t play to one end because it was too close to outfield wall.–football-championship/article_c12a5b5a-3c66-11e2-88f3-0019bb2963f4.html

    it’s definitely a full sized field. Mater Dei has played multiple games there in the past 5 years or so, twice this year alone. The announced attendance was 12k I think. it’s a fairly tight fit in the first base side endzone, but it is a regulation field. FWIW, the photo of the stadium set up was not from this past weekend, must’ve been at least last year’s, if not older, since this year the endzones had no writing in them.

    Hester was probably wearing the breathe right for $. The stories that I’ve heard on radio or interviews players get extra money just for wearing them. Playing or not.

    I would speculate that Hester probably did some pregame route running or warming up. He probably went through his normal pregame routine, up to the point where he uniformed up.

    Cool stuff, but too many logos with footballs in them. I like the Browns and Vikings ones though, pretty cool. The Seattle one is quite nice, reminds me of The Partridge Family!

    Seven simultaneous pop-unders just given to me by Uni-Watch. What’s this about invasive advertisement douchebaggery?

    While the Baylor photo alteration by Sports Illustrated was a clear manipulation of a photograph (changing it to be something it’s not, then presenting it as an unaltered news photo), I don’t think the Dr. J example falls under the same category as an example of “playing [it] fast and loose.” The Brooklyn cover is a photo illustration, a creation by a photo editor not meant to be viewed as a literal representation of an event or a place. It’s like Andy Warhol painting Campbell’s Soup cans in colors other than red and white. At least that’s my opinion of the use of the Erving photo.

    I think you’re basically correct. Still, it’s a very odd choice to find that photo, flop it, and put a different uniform on it, instead of just finding a legit Dr. J Nets photo to use. And the oddity seems to resonate a bit more in the wake of the Baylor situation.

    I’d say the best post Calvin and Hobbes strip is the all-too-short-lived Cul de Sac, which was cut short due to the creator’s illness.

    Neat link to identity guides. Full geek disclosure: at one point, I was looking at identity guides of some of the major academic institutions looking for typography inspiration for resume. Now, my efforts haven’t been out there on the market so I have no clue whether typography choice would be noticed by prospective employers, as opposed to going with boring old times new roman or whatever.

    I’ve read that if you want to go for a unique serif font on a resume, switch to Garamond. It’s just different enough from Times to stick out, but everyone’s seen it and/or has it on their computer.

    Several things:

    1. I would be OK with Arizona Coyotes. Of course, that would leave the Phoenix Suns–who predate every other team in the desert by at least 20 years–as the only Phoenix area team not using the state’s name.

    2. Nice seeing the Rams throwbacks yesterday, although I thought they discontinued them alongside the gold pants. Personally I would like to see them replace those “1999” throwbacks with the blue-and-white Fearsome Foursome throwbacks.

    3. I don’t blame the Chiefs for not honoring Chris Benoit…I mean, Jovan Belcher. In all seriousness, I haven’t seen any mention of maybe studying Belcher’s brain tissue for CTE in the wake of all this. At this point it does sound cliche, but it doesn’t hurt. Chris Henry was about his age when he died, and he had CTE from a relatively short career, as opposed to Mike Webster ANC Junior Seau. The NFL should take a look into this.

    Heh. I also thought of Benoit in this situation, but didnt want to be the first to mention it.

    Of course, with the WWE’s revisionist history, I’m not sure the guy even exists anymore.

    WWE will make no mention of him at all. Ashamed, since he was actually a pretty good wrestler, because he WRESTLED. It’s been five years and all they’ve eased up on is footage of his wife and minor footage of him being re-added in to archive footage. Benoit’s matches have yet to be re-added. Give it a few more years and the WWE will likely make fun of that whole situation.

    Yeah… I was a big fan of his while he was active. I get not wanting to celebrate his career after what he did, but altering past footage to completely remove him or even his NAME (it would be censored) was a bit ridiculous.

    Not to give either of them an excuse for their horrific crimes, but concussions can do terrible things to the brain.

    To WWE’s credit, at least within the past year they’ve finally stopped mentioning Eddie Guerrero, who died in 2005. It’s one thing to memorialize someone who died. (In Eddie’s case, it was sudden heart failure brought on by years of drug and alcohol abuse, though he had been sober for about 3-4 years at the time of his death.) It’s another when his death kept getting brought up in any storyline involving Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit (before his death), Batista, Chavo Guerrero (his real-life nephew, even though they were only three years apart in age) and his widow Vickie Guerrero. Mysterio and Vickie are still with WWE today.

    Truthfully–and the Chiefs just played the Steelers a few weeks ago–I never even heard of Belcher before the incident. The only linebacker I could name in Kansas City was Andy Studebaker, and only because his ancestors founded Studebaker the car.

    The more we learn about brain injury, the more complicated situations like this can be. Several years ago, we’d all likely paint Belcher as a dirtbag. Now, it gets a little trickier, people know what he did was wrong, but now it’s seen through the prism of head injuries. I don’t know where or how to draw the line between CTE and personal responsibility over decision making, though.

    Pish posh. If you kill someone in cold blood, you’re a dirtbag. Period.

    Then if you choose make a spectacle and kill yourself in front of others–particularly people you admire and respect–you’re dead dirtbag.

    Drag him out. Mop the floor. Move on.

    A bum.

    Long time lurker here – 1st time commentator –
    Beasley Reece, former NY Giant defensive back and current Philly sportscaster, was on a local radio station this morning talking about the Eagles’ woeful defensive backs and their lack of tackling – he attribute partially to the current style of dress in the NFL.

    To quote him – they don’t want to tackle because “they are naked from the waist down” – “they’re wearing leotards and look like they are going to a tap dancing session.”

    He said he wore every pad he could get his hands on because he knew he had to hit people and it hurt!

    Thanks. After all those years of not appreciating him on CBS’ bottom-of-the-week telecasts, it’s nice to see Reece said something interesting.

    I have no idea who Nick Johnson was but couldn’t the author of that blog be a little more sensitive in terms of his death? “…blew his head off with a shotgun…” could have easily been changed to “sadly took his own life” or some such.

    Patrick, here’s a thought: Maybe, just maybe, the guy who wrote that blog item — who knew Nick really well — is a better judge of what’s appropriate in this situation than you are.

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