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All My Swooshie Friends Are Here on Thursday Night

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Got a late-afternoon note yesterday from reader Peter Kuzdal, who wrote, “I am in my office, but I thought I just heard the reporter on NFL Live say something about Nike wanting to make the Thursday-night games feature alternate uniforms in 2016. Did I hear that right?”

That was news to me, and it seemed like something I would’ve heard about if it were true, so I was a bit skeptical. But after a minute or two of searching I found that my ESPN.com colleague Dan Graziano, who’s been covering the fall owners’ meetings, had sent out this tweet the day before.

Well, then.

I got in touch with Dan last night to find out more. I think what I learned from him is best handled in FAQ mode:

How did Dan learn about this Thursday/Nike proposal?

He was talking to an NFL owner at the owners’ meetings — just getting some basic background info — and the owner mentioned the proposal and said it was an item on the agenda for the meetings.

How did the proposal get on the agenda?

It’s not clear who came up with the idea (although it’s not hard to guess) or who put it on the agenda, at least for now. I’m trying to find out more.

Which owner did Dan hear this from?

Sorry, can’t tell you that. But I can tell you this: The owner said he expected the proposal to pass.

So did it?

Dan isn’t sure. He’s trying to find out and will be in touch with me as soon as he knows more.

Would the Thursday-night alternate uniforms be a requirement or an option?

As Dan understood it, they’d be a requirement. It would essentially be a way for the league to package and brand the Thursday-night product.

Would the teams have any say in the designs?

As Dan understood it, Nike would create all of the designs, with input from the teams. It’s not clear how much leeway or veto authority the teams would have.

Could the alternate designs include new throwbacks?

I don’t know yet.

Would teams that already have alternate uniforms be able to wear those on Thursday nights, or will they have to get additional alternate designs?

I don’t know yet, but I suspect the latter.

Does this mean the NFL might be retreating from the rule limiting players to one helmet shell and/or the prohibition on alternate helmet designs?

I don’t know yet.

You and Dan both work for ESPN. Why didn’t he tell you about this as soon as he heard about it?

He said he immediately thought of me when he heard about the proposal (which is nice, given that he and I have never met and had never even communicated until yesterday) but was too caught up in the other aspects of the owners’ meetings to get in touch.

So now what happens?

Wheels are turning, calls are being made, etc. Hope to have more info soon.

So what do you think of all this?

It sounds like an interesting back-door way for Nike to create a slate of new designs, even for traditionalist franchises that would normally want no part of that (Packers, Raiders, etc.). It also sounds like a semi-desperate attempt by the league to add some sizzle to the Thursday-night product, which most folks seem to agree has been rather lackluster. Personally, I almost never watch those games (I usually have better things to do on a Thursday night than sit on the sofa), so in a way I’d almost welcome the idea of Thursday nights becoming a Nike ghetto. Keep all that shit penned up in one place and leave Sundays alone. Works for me.

Wouldn’t it be mean to make the Eagles wear an alternate jersey in 2016 when their green jerseys might finally be ready by then?

Hey, that’s my joke.

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NFL Superhero Project

By Thomas Correia

No guesses were made last week on which superheroes would represent tonight’s match-up between the Colts and Texans. Understandably, it is tough to find a well-known “horse” hero and a popular “bull” hero, and I think you’ll find that the choices I made here are the most “outside the box” combinations I’ve created so far (click to enlarge):

Allow me to explain my thinking. What to do about the Colts? I’ll just flip the horseshoe upside-down, add some cables to it, and then place it on the head of a bald man, and voila — it’s Professor X of the X-Men using his mutant-finding device, Cerebro. Note the circular X-Men logo as a final touch. How’s that for creativity?

Now the Texans: Spider-Man has always been my favorite character, so I had to find a spot for him in this project. Based on the team colors alone, the Texans made the most sense. The “star/bull’s eye” becomes a web-swinging Spidey and the entire bull’s head shape is turned into New York City. The crane is a wink to the climax of the 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man, and the three lines across the white plain are to represent the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges. Overall, this one logo could either be my best or worst of the bunch. I’ll just let you decide.

Next week: Jets vs. Patriots. Should be a really easy guess for both heroes.

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week

By Mike Chamernik

What’s your favorite football helmet, either in the NFL, college, or high school? For me, it’s tough to top the old blue-and-yellow Rams helmet. The Houston Oilers come close, though, as do Bucco Bruce and the funky 1975 Giants helmets.

And on a personal note, I’m looking to get a game-worn Milwaukee Brewers jersey at a decent price. Doesn’t have to be a superstar or even a current player (I’d actually prefer a journeyman from a dozen years ago or something). What are some of the best websites for that? Any other websites that sell cool sports knickknacks?

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Raffle reminder: We’re currently raffling off a bunch of Nolan Ryan-related items. Details here.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker

By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The MLB.com Shop is selling team-themed “Always October” gear. “There’s an interesting uni element to them,” says Jim Santel. “In spelling ‘October’ in each team’s font, we see different franchises’ design elements applied to a word other than a team or city name, which leads to some interesting lettering (a capital ‘O’ and a ‘t’ in the Dodgers script, e.g.).” … A cleaning crew stole thousands of dollars’ worth of Mariners jerseys from Safeco Field. … Ben Affleck chose to wear a Mets cap instead of a Yankees cap in the new film Gone Girl (from Marc Rivlin).

Pro Football News: After exploring the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 1995 uni reveal yesterday, Paul asked if there were any other unveilings featuring athletes from a completely different sport. Greg Aquino noted that during the 2011 NFL Lockout, the Bills used United States military personnel to model their new uni set. … The company that created logos for the Fall Experimental Football League and the A-11 Football League has some Browns redesign concepts (from Ryan Hess). … Giants DBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara helped lay a sick burn on the Eagles (from Patrick O’Neill). … Austin, Texas has its own take on the NFL logo. That’s the city’s area code (from Joey Breeland). … Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has banned his team from postgame jersey-swapping (from Phil). … Here’s a good shot of the Cowboys’ old triple-striped sleeves from the 1966 Playoff Bowl. … FXFL refs have a blacked-out logo on their sleeves. Anyone know what it might be?

College and High School Football News: The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame recently put up an exhibit on the evolution of the football helmet (from Jordan Poland). … Fans can vote on the uniform combination Arizona State will wear against Utah on Nov. 1 (from Marc Altieri). … Temple might wear all black unis with white helmets this weekend (from Phil). … Orange and pink are on tap for Tennessee on Saturday. … McDonald’s enjoys Iowa State’s all-yellow unis (from Jack Coyier). … New alternate chrome helmets for South Dakota (from Phil). … Stanford will go all-black Friday (from Phil). … Auburn’s sleeve stripes are really, really truncated (from Caleb Weaver). … Northwestern State wore some bizarre two-tone unis in the 1930s. Let’s find some more photos of this design (from Phil). ”¦ Fresno State is going red-blue-red this weekend (from Richard Paloma). ”¦ After the death of a player at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama, all the players on the team are wearing his No. 10 on their helmets (from Raymie Humbert).

Hockey News: “Since the NHL mandated player numbers on the front of the helmet, the Bruins have been wearing black numbers outlined in white on both their black and white helmets,” says Bobby Pinkham. “They kept this up for the preseason, but in tonight’s opener they switched to yellow numbers to match the style used on their black sweaters.” … Tiffany & Co., which designed the Kings’ championship rings, also made a bunch of expensive trinkets with the Stanley Cup Champions logo on it (from Matt Shevin). … Here’s a good look at Notre Dame’s new jerseys (from Joe Reimers). … Wisconsin is honoring the late Bob Suter, a former Badger and player on the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic team, with a shoulder patch (from Nate Neumann). … Here’s the history behind every NHL team’s nickname. ”¦ Three guys dressed up as the Hanson Brothers showed up at last night’s Flyers/Bruins game. “They were seated, of course, right behind the penalty box,” notes Ed Gefen.

Soccer News: The fan vote to decide the Diamondbacks’ team name, as Paul also described yesterday, reminded Brice Wallace about the naming of Salt Lake’s MLS team. “I was covering a business event and the team owner did an informal, applause-based survey of the audience for a few names he was considering. Real Salt Lake got, by far, the least applause. Most of the crowd just looked around and giggled because it was so obtuse. But only a few weeks later, that officially became the team name.” … New logo for the Columbus Crew (from Phil).

Pro and College Basketball News: Gah! There are still some horrifying issues with NBA 2K15’s face scanner. … Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert tweeted a pic of a possible new jersey (from Phil). ”¦ New black uniforms for Georgetown.

Grab Bag: New logo for K-Swiss. … David Firestone started a NASCAR paint scheme tracker for the 2015 season. … Fans can vote on the Carlton Blues’ new jumper (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). … “Back in 1981 the Victorian Football League released an LP called ‘Footy Favourites,’ which consisted of the captains of the 12 teams in the league ‘singing’ popular songs,” says Graham Clayton. “The best part of the album was the album cover, which showed all 12 captains wearing their club colours.”

Comments (195)

    RE: Browns redesign concepts

    while i like the B with the stripe through it, i think it’s too similar to the Bengals.. but i do like the CB despite it having a huge Packers vibe to it.

    I kinda see your point about similarity with the Bengals, though 1) That’s sort of inherent with anything two mostly orange teams in Ohio with the initial B can possibly do; and 2) The Browns version is so much better that the Bengals would instantly look like the also-ran.

    My only issue with the concept is that there are “too many notes.” Too much variation in form and style among the secondary logos. Ditch the Cubs-C logos, focus on the block B-in-C with the stripe B as the secondary, and use only the side-view helmet and the concept would be nearly perfect.

    I feel all that Browns work is too bubbly and cartoony. It looks like a forced modernization of a 1950s-inspired identity, which, I guess, is exactly how it’s presented, so A+ on that. I just feel like if the Browns were to get a real logo, it should be something that looks authentically of that era, though if they are updating the uniform next year, I guess that point of view may be irrelevant.

    “Bubbly” is a good description. Definitely has that faux-retro look that’s so en vogue these days. Not good for a traditional football team.

    The blacked out logos probably belong to college conferences, but I’d need to know who the referees were to be sure.

    Favorite helmet: can anything top Notre Dame?

    i am bit partial but a tOSU helmet loaded with a ton of buckeye merit stickers is a thing of beauty

    Not sure it it’s in the twitterstream following the original tweet, but the *best* answer to the question of what logo is taped over:

    “Foot Locker”

    The FXFL officials are current D1 refs aspiring to get to the NFL, so I would guess they are college conference logos.

    The blacked out logo is the CFO logo. It stands for College Football Officiating, LLC (sort of its own organization working within the NCAA, from FCS all the way down to Division III, where I officiate).

    Looks like these officials are just using college shirts for now.

    [I]n a way I’d almost welcome the idea of Thursday nights becoming Nike ghetto. Keep all that shit penned up in one place and leave Sundays alone. Works for me.

    No. Unless the league is really trying to make Thursday night games worse, putting teams into unrecognizable uniforms isn’t the way to go. If goofy alternate uniforms are necessary, keep them penned up on retail racks – don’t screw up the onfield product.

    Don’t really watch the Thursday games now, and if the teams and league use that night as a showcase for alternate uniforms, then would be even less likely to.

    I really hate the idea of mandatory alternates. I think the NFL and Nike need to just let the teams wear what they want. No mandatory anything bullshit. If the Raiders want to only have 2 uniform combos while another team wants to wear a different combo each week, so be it.

    Exactly. It’s tantamount to asking the Yankees to wear softball tops. Just shouldn’t happen.

    Yanks have already started messing with their caps and adding camo… I’m sure we’ll see alts soon enough. None of the Steinbrenner clan has the same passion for the team that The Boss did, dollars to donuts they do everything to “maximize the brand” then sell on at an apex.

    The Eagles burn is amusing, but I might have taken it a step further and had the jersey read 0-2, just to rub it in a little more.

    QOTW: Classic Rams, like Mike, but also the Michigan Wolverines. The USFL’s Hichigan Panthers also had a pretty sick helmet.

    The Eagles burn is amusing, but I might have taken it a step further and had the jersey read 0-2, just to rub it in a little more.

    QOTW: Classic Rams, like Mike, but also the Michigan Wolverines. The USFL’s Hichigan Panthers also had a pretty sick helmet.

    As for the Superhero Project, easiest call ever next week: Hal Jordan vs. Steve Rogers.

    Yep, hard to beat U Michigan which, unfortunately, bestows credit on the Princetons, who were the originators of the design. Princeton is an institution I loathe (strictly for appearances and fidelity to tradition, nothing personal) but it has a wonderful football uni history which, I’m happy to report, they’ve screwed over thoroughly over the last ten years or so.

    Good guess on next week’s Superhero project, Rob.
    YOU NAILED IT!
    Give the man a cigar!

    Hard to pick a favorite helmet for the QOTW. I love the chrome fad that’s going on right now in college, in every color, but I think the regular silver-chrome still looks the best. I’m not a fan of the simultaneous matte fad that’s going on right now, though. But I can also appreciate a good simple helmet like PSU or Alabama.

    As far as NFL, I always really liked the 49ers helmet from a few years ago before they went back to the white stripe and gray facemask and before they made the shade of gold too dark. The red/black stripe with the red facemask looked way better, I think that would be my favorite. http://www.realstuffsports.com/1gugarcia.jpg

    “kelly green Eagles”

    We continue to dream of a day when we can consider this statement as a current description.

    The Notre Dame hockey jerseys are a really disappointing downgrade. The new jerseys look fine in action, but not as good as the old ones. And the real issue is the loss of what was a really unique striping pattern (two sets of gold-blue-gold stripes with a thick stripe in the middle that contrasts the background of that section of the jersey. It was a really cool way to use consistent striping on uniform parts of different colors while still achieving a high contrast. All because of the ridiculous notion, “Of course, Under Armour has to establish their brand, too, and there’s no point in keeping something exactly the same, so there are a few minor changes to the sweater.”

    The former striping was a modification of the original Adidas version, which had two navy stripes inside the gold ones. This lasted for about a season, until someone realized that two stripes inside the gold ones made it look like there were…three small gold stripes, or in other words, additional Adidas logos on the jersey and socks. Which were illegal according to NCAA rules.

    There is something to be said for the UA version; it uses a richer gold color that’s really appealing (check the football team’s pants for a good look), and it adopts the subtle pattern within the gold that all other Notre Dame teams have. Plus the tie-down collars.

    “Plus the tie-down collars.”

    … ugh. Can we please retire this hockey uni trope? They have absolutely no practical function, and I find them ugly.

    Thanks for that info. I think this is what you’re talking about, which seems to line up about right with the early Adidas years. From the look of it, though, the NCAA’s problem must have been with any manufacturer mark on the jersey, not just additional ones. The two-stripe version was an aesthetic upgrade, anyway, and it’s sad to see that look go. There was nothing Adidas-y or Reebok-y about it, so it’s just silly to change it because Under Armour.

    I have no problem with tweaking the shade of gold. And it would be nice if the UA mark wasn’t so effing huge and prominent, but that ship has obviously long since sailed.

    And from the Times Have Changed file, Michigan has been using essentially that same idea but on a much larger scale for a few years now.

    Spider-Man for the Texans makes sense for another reason. The 2012 Scarlet Spider series followed Peter Parker clone Kaine as the Scarlet Spider and took place in Houston. It was a good book!

    That’s an awesome connection that I wasn’t aware of. As much as I do love Spidey, I was one of those guys that was so upset about the Clone Saga that I stopped collecting.

    QOTW: Steelers helmet, hands down. Not just because I’m a Steelers fan, but come on! How unique is it to see a team having a logo on only ONE side? Aside from Michigan State (who doesn’t do it anymore), I haven’t even seen it at the college level.

    Also, I don’t know if this has been reported in the past (I don’t care for soccer), but check out this commercial for Chevrolet and Manchester United.

    There was a TV movie-pilot of The Spirit made in 1987. It has Sam Jones who might be better known as Flash Gordon. (Or Bo Derek’s husband in 10.)

    Not a bad idea but I primarily stuck to well-known characters that originated from Marvel or DC. Very rarely did I go to B level characters or lower . . . No disrepect to The Spirit and his long history.

    I would agree on the Rams helmet – also because it was one of the first actual helmet designs, and it ages well. On the college level, the white University of Texas ‘Longhorn’ helmet is hard to beat.

    I immediately thought of the blue and white for the Rams too, that was a sharp look.

    QOTW: My all-time favorite football helmet is the 1959 Redskins. I’m just generally into representational helmets – Vikings, Rams, Eagles, Iowa Barnstormers – rather than logo helmets and in my book, that 1959-1964 Skins helmet is the most interesting and distinctive of the style.

    Representational helmets – Yes! That was the word I was looking for. Eagles white wings on green came to mind immediately, and of course the Rams. Barnstormers is another great one. Never watch more than 2 minutes of an arena game, but I know exactly where I was the first time I saw the helmet.

    Back to the Eagles: I can see the Swooshketeers pushing hard for a redesign, the whole visual package is stuck in the 90s. Instead of the Oregon wings that seem to be foisted on other teams, I’d love to see a more stylized wing like the USAF’s current logo, or what they’ve used in the past.

    That’s actually not too bad. I don’t see any problem with the current wing style, whether on a midnight green or a kelly green helmet, but I wouldn’t be opposed to that change.

    Neither did real Vikings have horns on their helmets. Point is, it’s a thing on a helmet that’s supposed to look like the thing depicted. As opposed to a logo, which is a symbol that represents the team. The logo on the side of the Titans helmet is supposed to make you see it and think, “That’s the logo of the Titans.” The wings on the side of the Eagles helmet is supposed to make you see it and think, “Those are wings.”

    The hard case for me is the Browns. Since the team uses the lack of a helmet logo as the primary team identity, their helmets become sort of akin to the old Steven Wright joke,

    “I have a map of the United States… Actual size. It says, ‘Scale: 1 mile = 1 mile.’”

    So the Browns helmet can be thought of as an actual-size representation of the concept of a Browns helmet.

    Hmm. That’s an interesting thought on the Eagles, but still doesn’t work for me. There’s a difference between using a literal object as a logo, as the Eagles do, and using the helmet to turn the players into representations of the namesake, as the Rams and Vikings do (even though the Vikings’ version is based on an historically inaccurate pop culture version.)

    With the Eagles, it’s just a logo on the helmet. With the Rams and Vikings, it’s something much more clever.

    My answer to Mike’s QotW would be the ‘Skins’ “feather helmet. I also love the Montreal Alouettes ’70-’73 helmet and the 1975 WFL Charlotte Hornets helmet.

    QOTW: I’ve always loved the helmets we wore in high school in Oak Ridge, TN. So many of the teams we played were either rip-offs or homages to college/pro teams (Florida State, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, to name a few) that I appreciated we had our own unique logo.

    In addition, we would get cat paw pride stickers (we were the Wildcats), similar to what you see on Clemson helmets. Doesn’t look like they’re doing that anymore based on this picture, which is a shame.

    http://i2.wp.com/oakridgefootball.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/oak-ridge-wildcats-tj-allison-campbell-county-joseph-elkins.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024

    Lastly, one great thing about high school helmets that I think gets overlooked is that unlike pro and college teams, high school helmets typically aren’t buffed and re-striped before every game. I still have my helmet from my senior year and it is streaked with blue, purple, red, black, and virtually every other color of teams we played against. It was always fun to see the dings and streaks accumalate over the season. We used to take pride in having a colorful helmet by the time the playoffs rolled around.

    I also want to point out that we did not have Nike unis when I played in 2001-2004, and I hate what they’ve done with the tuncated pants stripes. That is all.

    The new Crew logo is quite nice. Very bold, evocative of the Germanic image the club and its fans have adopted over time (the “Nordecke”). A poster on Creamer’s board cleverly posted “imagine if Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund had a baby.”

    MLS issued a poster titled “This Is Soccer” (or something like that) with its new logo, and the logos of its teams — including the new Crew, NYCFC, and Orlando City, but excluding Chivas USA. Gives more credence to the rumor that the second team in LA will disappear for two seasons to allow its new owners to rebuild and rebrand it from top to bottom.

    I miss the old Henry Rollins and the Village People logo already. Don’t get me wrong; the new logo is a solid bit of design. But I always found the original Crew logo to be charming in its (many and deep) flaws.

    Considering the yellow/black scheme is probably the strongest visual the team had, I’m glad they kept it simple. The whole “arched letters to represent the city of arches” promospeak is just as bad as the K-Swiss blather about using the font on US highway signs to represent the brand’s “drive.”

    I know we’re all in a uni/branding bubble, but does that type of shite stick with civilians?

    Someone has to keep alive the aesthetic heritage of the 1994 USMNT World Cup uniforms. That is what the Revolution’s logo is supposed to remind me of, right?

    Here’s the full promospeak rundown of the meaning of the new Crew logo and how it tells the story of Columbus:

    The outer circle is a reference to I-270 and the way it “circles” the city. The inner circle is as close to the famous “Block O” as MLS could get without getting sued by Ohio State, and it represents Columbus’ love for Buckeye football. Columbus’ love for OSU football is also why the club went with SC instead of FC, as a reminder that the Crew plays soccer, which is played with the feet, and not football, which involves more use of the hands (except for kickers, who frequently wear a shoe meant for soccer on their kicking foot).

    The yellow, or “maize,” color, is featured because it is beloved throughout Columbus and has a long tradition of association with athletic excellence. The use of black in the logo is said to be holdover from the Crew’s original identity, but in fact was retained because most printers don’t count black ink as a “color” when you’re doing flyers and whatnot so that’s pretty much a freebie.

    The shield with “96″ is a reference to 95.5 WZOH-FM, radio flagship home for Crew game broadcasts in English (designer had to round up because shield shape was not wide enough to have three digits and a decimal). The nine yellow and black stripes toward the upper left symbolize the other nine teams that used to be in the original Big Ten alongside Ohio State. The ten “blocks” toward the lower right represent the ten different places in Columbus where you can buy Jeni’s ice cream.

    ###

    Great job, Crew SC football club new logo designers! Now let’s see how it looks at 10% of the size of a Barbasol logo so we can get an idea of how it will look on next season’s uniforms (or, as they’re known in Europe, kits ‘n’ kaboodles).
    .

    I think the new Crew logo is the best reason yet to abolish the phrase “less is more”. Not because it isn’t sometimes applicable, but because its overuse gives license to this sort of creative timidity. Nothing in it is new, it’s all copied from other (read: European) logos. Nothing in it gives me a reason to look twice at it – it’s about as gormless as a logo can get. It’s passable as one of those fan concept designs, those ones that are more about showing off how attentively the creator has been paying attention to the team select screen while playing FIFA than any interest in aesthetics or good design.

    You’ve rather hit the nail on the head. The idea of less is more may be applicable in an instance where a logo is too busy. Here though, we’ve got that bastardized to imply that less depth, less invention and less personality are what were needed as a reaction to the old logo. A photoreal depiction of construction workers is certainly odd, but to suggest that what’s better is to have the exact opposite – overly simplistic forms, a characterless font and safe soccer idioms – demonstrates a purely reactionary mindset. In general though I actually think the balance of elements is fine – damning evidence that it was actually conceived by somebody who knew what they were doing, but was ultimately restricted by such a conservative design brief.

    I really like the new Crew logo. I really like that they use the SC moniker instead of FC. Corporate speak bullshit aside I really like all of the design elements except how switches from checkerboard to diagonal lines. They crammed just one too many elements into an otherwise really good design.

    QotW: Barcelona Dragons from the WLAF (NFLE). Green shell, red face mask, yellow and red logo. Just a weird combination.

    Columbus has added SC to their name. Traditionally this would be a sporting club. I’m curious what other sports and activities Columbus will take part in.

    I’m also still waiting for the Spanish royalty of Salt Lake City to step forward.

    I’m pretty sure he’s criticizing both teams for mimicking their European counterparts rather than using American naming conventions.

    Columbus Crew is… well, it’s ok. Not that great, but whatever. Columbus SC is just dumb. Real Salt Lake? As opposed to Fake Salt Lake? The Salt Lake uh… …Anythings would be better.

    I wish it had been Salt Lake Rovers as that nickname would have reflected the Mormon migration to the region.

    Or “Wanderers”. That would have worked.

    My point was you can’t criticize Columbus because “SC” means something other than “Soccer Club” in Europe and at the same time complain that Salt Lake’s nickname is too European.

    You’re probably right. It’s hard to keep the FC’s and SC’s straight. Until we find that time machine to go back and rename one of the sports, we’re going to be stuck using football and soccer interchangeably in the US.

    Now how about Cardiff City USA to replace Chivas USA?

    In this country, “SC” means “Soccer Club,” not “Sporting Club.”

    Though we do have a “Sporting Club,” it’s Sporting Kansas City, which would be the dumbest, most pretentious name we have were it not for Real Salt Lake.

    Real Salt Lake was stupid in 2005 and it’s stupid now.

    SKC gets bonus points for their owner claiming at redesign that “This, to us, is not European at all.” Even though that was the sole reason for doing it.

    I am just glad to not have another “FC” lazily attached to a team in this country.

    My answer to QOTW…

    My favorite helmet is the Raiders. Clean, functional, distinctive.

    Although I do have a soft spot for the Steve Bartkowski era Falcons.

    QOTW:

    I love the Redskins helmet. Color scheme and layout work for me. I grew up with it so that may be tainting my view on it. I also like their Circle R helmet a lot.

    Others I like:
    Carolina Panthers
    Alabama Crimson Tide
    SD Chargers with numbers on the side
    Air Force Thunderbirds helmet

    To follow up on Greg Aquino ticker item about the Bills uniform unveiling, I run a sports memorabilia store in Buffalo and about a year after the unveiling on of the guys who modeled the jersey brought it in and said he didn’t want it, because he wasn’t a Bills fan. I bought the pants and jersey off him and have them displayed on a mannequin in my basement. Blue jersey with the name Smith on the back of it, white pants.

    I’m not a Bills fan either, but if I was one of the models used in the unvieling, I would have certainly kept the uniform. Plus, the new unis look excellent. That doesn’t hurt.

    “Back in 1981 the Victorian Football League released an LP called ‘Footy Favourites,’ which consisted of the captains of the 12 teams in the league ‘singing’ popular songs,” says Graham Clayton.

    My gods, do I love Australia.

    QotW: the one the Iggles adopted in the mid-seventies and foolishly abandoned in the nineties. Also worthy of note: Florida State and Wazzu.

    Worst would be the early seventies West Viriginia white helmet that included a map of the state.

    QotW | Favorite Helmet:

    As a native of Omaha, an Auburn grad, and a Broncos and Bears fan, I am certainly biased towards:

    Nebraska – http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/229/files/2013/09/5857600.jpg

    I love the simplicity of the sans serif, narrow, scarlet “N” on the basic cream helmet. Whenever they opt for the once-annual alternate uniforms, which have included some pretty bad helmets, it just looks wrong on Nebraska.

    Auburn – http://auburnuniforms.blogspot.com/2013/11/dissecting-auburns-uniforms-football.html

    Like the Huskers, Auburn has a simple look — nothing too fancy, rather a classic blue and orange “AU” logo on a white helmet. From what I’ve read, the current AD will not entertain alternate uniforms, which is fine by me.

    da Bears – http://content.sportslogos.net/news/2013/09/bears_compare.jpg

    The wishbone orange and white “C” on the dark blue helmet is just fantastic to me. The gimmick-free helmet pairs beautifully with their classic uniforms.

    So throw me into the “classic” uniforms crowd. I also like the helmets for Texas, Alabama, Michigan, the Steelers, the Packers, etc. Each of these (and the above) helmets are, to me, “classic” designs. I am also a Broncos fan, but hope they design/go with something as at least a nod to the “classic” look in the future.

    I’m not exactly sure why, but I have never cared for the Bengals striped helmet. I think it’s cool concept maybe(?), but it just never worked for me.

    I know people like to respond to the QotW (and with good reason — it’s a fun feature), but I’m very surprised by how few people are commenting on this Nike/Thursday thing. Did everyone skip the lede and go straight to the QotW???

    The news doesn’t surprise me, especially since TNF has pretty much been a flop. I would like to think a lot of the “traditional” owners would view this as cart-before-the-horse and vote it down, but stranger things have happened.

    And I concurred with him up there.

    Teams should get to decide, not the league nor the manufacturer. In fact, the teams ought to have a little more flexibility; maybe allowing them to file changes to their planned uni schedule by, say, Tuesday at noon prior to the game in question (or Saturday if said game is on a Thursday).

    I’m curious if the NFL’s policy on one helmet per season will cramp Nike’s alternative uni style. When they go fuzzy nutso for college alternative unis, they always have a markedly different helmet.

    Honestly, Thursday night is such a golden cash cow ($275 million for 8 games) that the NFL will probably do anything to make it “special.” The ratings have been good despite the crap games they’ve had so far. Maybe when the novelty wears off, they’ll need something to perk things up.

    A couple of things…first, Paul you mention not sitting on the couch on Thursday night…I am curious how many people actually sit and watch sports on TV. I know there’s a fair share but although I might have the game or race on or whatever, rarely am I sitting there watching the game, usually doing other stuff with the game on.

    Secondly, I like Sunday football because it’s Sunday and I know what to expect is going to be on TV. So when my team plays on Thursday night or Monday night, I barely pay attention because it’s off schedule, especially Thursday nights since it’s newer. And then Sunday is thrown off because my team isn’t playing.

    To me, this just feels like it was inevitable.

    Nike, who is like the ADD kid who can’t leave well enough alone, hounding and hounding the NFL to shake things up.
    Finally, the NFL says “Fine, shut up… you can have Thursday nights.”

    There was simply no way that Nike having the uniform contract that something like this wasn’t going to happen.

    So its happening. And we’ll be worse off for it.

    Lee

    To me, at this point, it’s just Nike being Nike. Not that it justifies it, but Nike ruining a league with dozens of alternate unis is like rain ruining suede with dozens of spots…it’s expected. Leagues know what they’re getting when they sign the contract. As long as the checks clear, tradition be damned.

    To me, I don’t really have many thoughts because it’s a mix of 2016 plus not enough details yet. It’s still unclear if these will be throwback designs or super clown-ish money-grabbing alternates.

    I don’t understand why the owners would vote to approve a rule that limits or removes their ability to veto designs. Paul’s point when Nike took over the uniform contract was that NFL owners are very conservative and protective of their team brands so they would be reluctant to overhaul or even slightly change their uniforms at the behest of Nike. This has proven to be true. Why all of a sudden would this change – and even if they were more willing to allow alternates, again why would they agree to not have a (or much of a) say in the process?

    “I don’t understand why the owners would vote to approve a rule that limits or removes their ability to veto designs.”

    This is why I tend to disbelieve the report. Coupled with the league’s one-helmet policy, the whole thing seems unlikely.

    It’s terrible, short-sighted and stupid, but I stopped watching the NFL because they are a terrible organization. They’ll probably do it, and it will be awful, but I can’t even bring myself to care anymore.

    I am cool with it. I am a Nike P1. Now if we can get rid of white hats all will be right with the world.

    QOTW: Agree with a couple of other posters here, Michigan Wolverines for the victor(y).

    Yahoo’s headline:

    “Buzzing on Yahoo Sports: Eagles to unveil a historic new look on Sunday against the Giants”

    Isn’t “historic new” an oxymoron?

    This is great news. I wish the Eagles would wear this when they play the Dallas Cowboys!!!

    I am a fan of the Nike Thursday idea. It is a way to contain Nike experimentation. Sunday/Monday stay traditional while Thursday tradition is thrown out the window. Rather than losing tradition for the whole season in one bold move, they get to dabble on one-shot Thursdays. Plus, I completely forget there are games on Thursday, I would watch at least a few minutes to see what it looks like.

    I do agree with the baseball arguments, I’d never want to see the Detroit Tigers in an alt, but Green Bay could wear a gold jersey instead of a white/green and keep everything the design the same. They already sell the top, why not wear it once.

    Answering the question about favorite helmets – just a comment: with all the large helmet stripes these days, the regular sized helmet stripes are starting to look weird. (Lions vs Bills: http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/089/237/hi-res-3afb0a92748be92d525a1e6b14852d7a_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75)

    I hope we get to see Thursday night football where one team is in digital camo and the other has pink/black stripes. That would just be perfect for this partnership.

    Re: Thursday alternates:
    given that the NFL has the 1 helmet rule. It seems interesting that a team would only have Sunday night through Thursday night to recondition/paint/ship the helmet compared to the usual 7 days.
    I’m not sure what the turn around is, but that seems like it could be an issue.

    QOTW: Pro: Cleveland, I love orange with brown
    College: Notre dame (I’m a U-Mich guy too) That gold sheen is so unique and looks so right.

    They could easily schedule the Thursday night games after bye weeks, and there’s no reason that some teams couldn’t have alternate jerseys/pants without changing the helmets.

    How do you do that for the early season Thursday games though? There’s no way someone is going to take Week 1 off so they can play on Thursday of Week 2.

    True… but if we assume that the NFL keeps it’s (bullshit) one color helmet shell rule, is that really an issue? Worst case scenario means hiring an extra equipment person or two, and it’s not like the NFL teams can’t afford to do that.

    I was one of the dozens who watched a bit of the FXFL game last night.

    Uni-notable items:
    – as visible in the linked pic, socks varied by player at least for Omaha (four players visible, each with a different sock style and there were others too);
    – gray isn’t usually paired with blue and orange for a good reason;
    – in a four team league, why do two teams wear gray helmets paired with navy uni elements?
    – an Omaha lineman (#79 IIRC) had a jersey that was way too short, so his gray t-shirt broke up the monochrome look.

    Even though the whole teal shark thing is nowhere near original, I really like the Blacktips logo and helmet. But then again marine creature names and logos are kind of a thing for me.

    Interesting that Affleck wears the Mets cap at all…in the book, he’s a Cardinals fan and there’s a scene with him watching a Cardinals game.

    That screen grab of Affleck is from a scene where his character travels to NYC and desperately wants to avoid being recognized. In the context of the plot, then, it made perfect sense for him to wearing the cap of a NY-based team.

    There’s also a lengthy scene in the movie where Affleck’s character wears a Cardinals t-shirt, and I think there may have been another instance or two where his Cardinals allegiance was evident.

    Let other teams wear puce and chartreuse on Thursdays, but if Nike changes one thread of the Packer uniforms, I am personally walking to Oregon to spit on Nike HQ.

    That’s a very promising logo. Gives me high hopes for a quality uniform set that breaks out of the rut MiLB has been stuck in the last decade. That is to say, it’s more 2005 Fresno Grizzlies (RIP) than 2011 Round Rock Express. Not that there’s anything with Round Rock or most of the other very similar recent rebrands, but I’m ready for some variety in basic aesthetic approaches.

    QOTW: Favorite Football Helmets
    1. Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)
    2. Cleveland Browns (NFL)
    3. Houston Gamblers (USFL)
    4. The Hawaiians (WFL)
    5. San Diego Chargers (AFL-1961-67)
    6. Barcelona Dragons (NFL-E)

    Not uni-related but blog-related:

    I don’t know how many regulars here also read Jon Gruber’s Daring Fireball, but he had a couple of thoughts on paying for content, specifically about “sponsored content” links and Andrew Sullivan’s reader-supported model.

    Gruber’s in a place where he can be picky about advertising since his readership is huge for an independent (websites he links to often get “fireballed”, i.e. they get overloaded), but I’m a fan of his model.

    I would loveloveLOVE to punt all our ads and go with paid content. However:

    1) Some people are on tight budgets and simply wouldn’t be able to pay. They’d be out in the cold. I’d feel bad about that.

    2) Other people would be able to pay but would opt not to pay, and would therefore cease being Uni Watch readers. I’m not sure how I’d feel about that. On the one hand, I kinda think, “If you don’t think Uni Watch is worth it to you, then fine — see ya.” But it would also cut down on the size of the Uni Watch community, which would be unfortunate. I don’t really care about the size of the readership in terms of raw numbers, but I wonder if cutting down on the size of the readership would result in a less robust community. Then again, weeding out the “Not gonna pay for it” people, leaving us with nothing but people who care enough to pay, might leave us with a better, more engaged community. Quality vs. quantity.

    I think I’d end up with about the same amount of $$$, because only a relatively small percentage of our current readership would have to pay for content in order to match our current ad revenue. It’s something I think about a lot…

    Good luck with that. Uni Watch without The Jeff disagreeing with everyone is like Smores without marshmallows. Sure, graham crackers & chocolate aren’t bad, but you’ve gotta have that extra something to make it really work.

    Thanks, and I appreciate that UW isn’t a closed community.

    FWIW, Gruber’s model isn’t that far from yours. He picks advertisers he’d vouch for (like you with American Trench) and sells t-shirts instead of membership cards.

    I also appreciate that it is not a paid community. I’ve been coming here since 2006 and it would be tough to continue if it were a pay site.

    Dave, when you say it would be “tough to continue,” do you mean it would be tough on your financial budget, or it would offend your sensibilities in some way?

    Just looking for honest feedback here.

    I’m also appreciate that Uni Watch is not a pay-per-view blog but I do try to financially support Uni Watch, albeit in small amounts, by getting a membership card, stickers, the 15th year anniversary patch, etc. If it came to it however, I would pay an annual fee.

    Joe Sheehan is my favorite baseball writer and analyst, and his site is subscription only, like $30 per year. So even though I basically take everything he says as gospel, I don’t subscribe because that chasm between paying $0 and something is too great for me, for some subconscious reason.

    I’d make an exception for Uni Watch, even if I didn’t write for you, but maybe some UW readers relate with my relationship to Sheehan’s site.

    Don’t know if it’s my absolute favorite but I always loved the 1965-69 Washington NFL team spear and feather helmet.

    Question of the Week – I always loved the Michigan Panthers (USFL) helmet, and had the Jaguars stuck with the original plan, I would have loved theirs, too. Also, the original Seahawks helmet (still one of the best logos in sports), and the Bengals tiger stripes are among my favorites.

    Nike Thursday – ick. I don’t mind the league giving teams the option to wear alternates, but mandating it and we are getting way deep into ‘tail-wagging-the-dog’ territory.

    I’m far from impartial, but I love the Smith Center court too.

    It’s minimalist but there’s enough going on to be memorable. And NC is a good looking state.

    Having had free rein to wander Assembly Hall when my daughter was on a recruiting visit there, I’ve got to say that in-person the court is gorgeous and the feel of the place truly special, I think due to the fact that it’s sunken and the stands surrounding it are so close and unadorned. As corny as it sounds, you can almost feel the past come alive just sitting there. And that’s coming from a lifelong UNC fan whose memory dates back to the pre-Bob McAdoo/Bobby Jones era.

    To this day I still kick myself for losing the digital camera we used to take pictures of ourselves standing at center court on the return flight home.

    If the Raiders bite on the Nike Thursday night thing, they should try the black and gold pre-Davis (1960-1962) era uniforms.

    No! No! No no no no no no no no no no no! If the Raiders do an alternate uniform it’ll either be mono-black or mono-silver. They aren’t going to wear Steelers colors.

    Yes, the Thursday Night football thing made me immediately think of the Raiders and how little I care to see them wear anything other than their current classic uniforms. We don’t need to see them wearing Steelers colors, or any other colors besides Silver & Black.

    Mike’s QotW: I really like the Seahawks helmet. I’m not a fan of the team, but I like the iconography of the Nations of the Pacific Northwest (I know who clunky that sounds). I really dig the transformation masks and totem poles.

    I also dig aspects of other helmets: the Steelers only having the insignia on one side, the simplicity of the older NFL teams’ helmets (Chicago, Green Bay), total minimalism of the Browns.

    I don’t care for the ones that seem “inorganic” to coin a phrase. I’m a Rutgers alum and feel that they’ve never found something that expresses the spirit of the school (and perhaps that speaks more to the school than the marketing of the team).

    As for Giants ’75 helmet – I have it on a cap, but more to show that I’m out of step (maybe a hipster footall fan poseur).

    I’ve always loved Air Force’s helmets (and uniforms overall for that matter). A lot of the alternates they have used are great too, but the original white with blue lightning bolt are just about perfect.

    My favorite football helmet, pro, college, or otherwise is the University of Michigan Wolverines. On a related note, the worst of any helmet is the Cleveland Browns – bad colors and no emblem.

    Nike thursday nights:

    In theory it sounds like fun. Because they’re all divisional games, I’m imagining the possibility of great throwback matchups and seeing classics like Pat Patriot and Air Coryell-era Chargers and the Cowboys’ double-stars and Orange Crush. IT WILL BE LIKE THANKSGIVING EVERY WEEK.

    http://www.meredithgreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/brady.jpg

    But I think we all know that what would actually happen. Nike would design custom one-off uniforms that look like shit with made-up slogans and ridiculous designs, we’ll be subjected to weekly “leaks” and “unveilings”, and it will all be unbearable. It will look like the CFL is leaking.

    http://vipmedia.globalnews.ca/2014/08/bombers-new-jerseys.jpg?w=720&h=540

    IT WILL BE LIKE THANKSGIVING EVERY WEEK.

    That’s a way to get people to watch the Thursday games… put them on at 12:30 and 4:00 pm and get me off of work every Thursday. If Nike can pull that off, then I’ll give them some credit.

    What happened to the A-11 league? I was looking forward to the return of some classic USFL team names with updated looks.

    I’m down for Nike Night Football… if they don’t screw it up.

    1. Keeping Thursdays as the pits of Nike experiments is better than putting it on Sundays.
    2. If the divisional matchups like Chiefs-Raiders get some slightly re-boosted throwbacks of some sort, that could be just fine.
    3. Even if Nike goes for more obviously Nike looks, it’s just 1/16th of the season that the team is trapped in them. And I would assume that at least a couple of the designs will be somewhat fun or interesting, so it wouldn’t be a total loss there.

    I’m not necessarily rooting for it, but if it holds off the Nike storm instead of accelerating it, I won’t gripe too much.

    I sure as hell ain’t gonna worry about Thursday night football now that it’s hockey season.

    The NHL was the first organization I saw, when rebranding, change the direction of the diagonal stripes and use the whole idea of moving to a positive future, which K-Swiss has now done. I believe I saw something similar in MLS’ press release surrounding their new logo. It must have been depressing to work for K-Swiss in the past and instinctively know the company was in trouble simply because of the diagonal stripes in the logo, and I’m glad they fixed it…

    The current COLTS helmet with the gray facemask is still the best helmet in all of football. Simple, clean, classic.

    QOTW: I think my handful of favourites from the NFL have already been mentioned, so I’ll pick one from a variety of other leagues (even if mentioned already)

    USFL: Washington Federals
    WFL: Charlotte Hornets
    CFL: Hamilton Tiger-Cats (gold one from the 1970s) later black one might be just as good but gold goes better with the jerseys

    Favorite college helmet: I have always had a soft spot for the Dartmouth Big Green. Classic and original.

    Retired NFL helmet: While I hate the team, I love the Denver Broncos orange lids with the white bronco.

    Active NFL helmet: Pittsburg. They are so cool they only need a logo on one side.

    Can’t pick just one helmet, so…
    (in no particular order):

    Browns
    80s Jets
    Calgary Stampeders
    Every USFL helmet except the Gunslingers (loved the colors, not the logo)
    San Antonio Riders (WLAF)
    New England Steamrollers (Arena)
    Alabama

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