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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Should anyone doubt the power of Uni Watch, consider this: On Wednesday I had an ESPN column on mono-color uniforms in the NFL. Four days later, the Bills went mono-royal blue (first time ever) and the Browns went mono-turd (first time this season, third time ever). Coincidence? I think not! Can’t say I’m fond of either look. If you want to see more, here are additional photos from the Bills and Browns games.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins entered the field wearing a T-shirt that had “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” on the front and “The Real Battle of Ohio” on the back. Rice is the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was recently shot by a police officer who mistook the child’s air gun for a real gun; Crawford is the Ohio man who was killed by police at a Walmart outlet while holding a BB gun back in August (and whose girlfriend was then treated rather badly by the police). Both were black. After the game, the president of the Cleveland police union called the T-shirt “pathetic” and demanded an apology from the Browns — an approach that didn’t work too well when the St. Louis police union demanded an apology from the Rams after several players did the “Hand up, don’t shoot” gesture two weeks ago. (According to one report, “at least one other” Browns besides Hawkins also wore the shirt, but I haven’t been able to confirm that or determine who the other player was.)

• Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes had a bit of trouble with his Ralph Wilson memorial patch.

• Chiefs players wore bracelets in support of sidelined teammate Eric Berry.

• Here’s something you rarely see anymore: Ravens wideout Steve Smith had pockets sewn into his jersey, instead of wearing one of those strap-on muffs.

• I don’t know what Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was doing before his team’s game against the 49ers, but it sure looked weird.

• Speaking of the Seahawks, their end zones are once again painted blue. They had been green.

• As if 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh hadn’t already punched his ticket out of San Francisco, he went the extra mile yesterday by wearing his mock turtleneck backwards.

• In Tennessee, the Titans wore white at home and the Jets wore mono-green.

• Speaking of the Titans, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey incited a brawl and ended up with a torn TV number and a loose captaincy patch.

• Famous guy-who’s-wealthier-than-you Warren Buffet was on the field and wearing prior to the Vikings/Lions game and looked unusually dorky.

• We’ve mentioned before that the Packers sew little name/number tags onto their sideline caps. Here’s the one on Aaron Rodgers’s hat from yesterday.

• The Buccaneers wore their orange socks for just the second time this season.

• No photo, but at one point in the Vikes/Lions game, Detroit’s Golden Tate III and Minnesota’s Ben Tate III were both on the field, meaning that there were two “Tate III” RNOBs on the field simultaneously.

• Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant had gray socks, or maybe gray tape. Here’s another view.

• Eagles running back LeSean McCoy wore very high whites. Ditto for teammate Cary Williams.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Andy Bartsch, Jeremy Baxter, Kyle Hanks, Brady Henderson, Raymie Humbert, Kevin Lewter, Mark McGowan, Chris Schwartz, and of course Phil.)

• • • • •

Just twin, baby: The two gents with the unusual nameplates are Kevin and Kelly Klima — twin sons of former NHLer Petr Klima. They play for the OHL’s London (Ontario) Knights, whose equipment manager has given them a very odd FNOB format. To give you a better look, here’s a close-up of Kelly’s jersey.

Weird, right? Don’t think I’ve never seen the first name set in tiny caps like that. Major thanks to Andy Rawlings for bringing this one to my attention.

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Culinary Corner: One of our holiday traditions here at Uni Watch is the annual appearance of my recipe for homemade Irish cream. In other words, homemade Bailey’s. In other words, melted ice cream that gets you drunk. It’s super-easy to make, it’ll make you the hero of whatever party you bring it to, and lots of you have told me how much you like it. Here’s how to do it:

Start with some decent Irish whiskey ”” Bushmills, Jameson, Tullamore Dew, something like that (but not super-high-end stuff, because the nuances will be lost in this preparation). Pour a pint of the whiskey into a large-ish container and mix it with a can of sweetened condensed milk, a pint of heavy whipping cream, a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a quarter-teaspoon of almond extract, and a teaspoon of instant espresso dissolved in two tablespoons of hot water.

Mix well (if the container has a tight lid, you can just shake vigorously), refrigerate, serve over ice, and get ready to become the most popular person in the room. No need to thank me afterward, but you’ll want to do so anyway — trust me.

•  •  •  •  •

Baseball News: We’ve all seen eye black, but what about eye white? That’s Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen, circa 1970 (From Tristan Ridgeway). ”¦ Sy Berger, the guy who turned Topps into a baseball card juggernaut, has passed away (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Steve Johnston and his family were at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago on Saturday and spotted this magnificent satin baseball jersey from an old Swedish lodge team on display. “My son said, ‘Dad we’ve got to take photos and send them into Uni Watch,'” says Steve. Glad to see you’re instilling the boy with a good sense of priorities, Steve.

NFL News: Good article on the artist who created Pat Patriot (from John Pritchard). … Latest rumor regarding the Eagles comes from Brian Smith, who writes: “My wife was Christmas shopping for a jersey at a local sporting goods store and was told by the salesperson that the Eagles are done wearing the black jerseys. Last week was the final time, he said, and he advised against buying one. He said the team is switching to alternate kelly greens next year with the plan being to eventually go back to kelly green as the primary jerseys.” ”¦ WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler, who’s from Cleveland, had Browns-themed trunks for last night’s TLC pay-per-view in Cleveland (from Jared Patz). ”¦ “On an NFL Network documentary, Roger Staubach said he wasn’t sure what to do with his Heisman Trophy, so several times he would find his daughter riding it like a hobby horse,” says Douglas Ford.

College and High School Football News: Here’s a cool little chart of Arizona State’s 2014 uni combos (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Joanna Zwiep bought this helmet at an Ohio thrift shop but doesn’t know what team it’s from. Anyone recognize the logo? ”¦ Here’s a great shot of the exterior-padded helmets that Ohio State wore in 1964 (from Larry Bodnovich).

Hockey News: The Worcester Sharks wore Worcester IceCats throwbacks on Saturday night. … The Reading Royals wore ugly Xmas sweater jerseys on Saturday (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Sacred Heart goaltender Sammy Bernard wore a mask featuring the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham at Dartmouth on Sunday afternoon. “Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, graduated from Dartmouth in 1925,” explains Tris Wykes. ”¦ Jeff Ash was at the Uihlein Ice Arena, the hockey rink at the University School of Milwaukee, on Saturday. “It’s a rather tony prep school,” he explains. “Before 1964, it was known as Milwaukee Country Day School. Its hockey teams date to the 1930s, and they played outside for some time.” They had a bunch of old photos and uniforms on display, and Jeff took these excellent photos. I really like the stylized “C” logos in the first two photos and, of course, the green/gold color shots.

NBA News: This is pretty awesome: Former NBA guard Will Bynum is playing in China and his team didn’t have a jersey ready for him, so they made a makeshift jersey for him (thanks, Mike). ”¦ Now that Kobe Bryant has passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, Nike has released this limited-edition sneaker. “With black, purple, green, and Saints’ gold, these shoes might be really popular in New Orleans,” says Mike Engle. ”¦ Here are the video game versions of the NBA All-Star Game uniforms — East and West (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: Oakland wore absolutely ridiculous black-on-black uniforms yesterday. Naturally, the one contrasting element was the Jumpman logo because as you know, it’s all about Nike. Douchebags (from Drew Mastin). ”¦ The Richmond Spiders have a live tarantula mascot. Key quote, from player Deion Taylor: “As long as it’s in its little cage, I’m fine with it. If they let it out, then we have a problem.”

Grab Bag: State legislators in Montana have a new dress code that some view as sexist. ”¦ A lacrosse helmet that had been decertified by a safety rating group will be recertified now that the manufacturer has agreed to make a fix. ”¦ The cycling helmet maker UVEX Sports has issued a recall of one of its helmet models due to a chinstrap defect. ”¦ There’s a new cycling team made up of members of the French army, so they have camouflage kits (from Bernie Langer). ”¦ Aussie Rules footy club Richmond Tigers’ 2015 clash strip has leaked. “They’ve been finding a way around having a true clash jumper for years by simply adding yellow to the side panels,” says Leo Strawn Jr. “I’m happy to see this.” ”¦ I’m still calling it National Indoor Arena (from Callum Johnston). ”¦ There’s a new design initiative to create better-looking license plates (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Good piece on how a designer creates a logo. … Tennis player Andy Murray has caused a stir by posing for a photo in Under Arumour attire (from Murray Conalin).

Comments (77)

    Yeah, those are bad enough on their own, but worse with the mono uniforms. If you’re gonna wear the gray mask to be “old school” or whatever, then you shouldn’t be also following modern uniform trends.

    I agree.
    I originally applauded the Arizona NFL team for sticking with their gray facemasks, but after further consideration I wish they had ditched them when they overhauled their look.

    “I don’t know what Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was doing before his team’s game against the 49ers, but it sure looked weird.”

    It is an elevation mask: link.

    Thanks guys! I’m somewhat familiar with the school, but I didn’t remember ever seeing their logo before.

    Larry Kelly worked at the prep school my father attended. he kept his trophy on a piano. the first time my father saw it he thought “what a stupid pose.”

    Very odd co-inka-dink. Uni-Watch of link has a pic of Harbaugh with the backward shirt at the top and furth on a link to a (mostly) tiny-letter FNOB of former Bronco Dave Widell.

    Regarding state license plate redesigns; here’s a link to the artists website that shows all 50 states. The article only shows a handful with the interview.


    I feel like this guy is rather missing the point with this project. While there are some nice ones in there, it’s still the same shameless pastiche. Pastiche isn’t any less unbearable if it is well designed. I say well designed, I of course mean the current standard of what is accepted as good design – insidious minimalism and cutesy, nostalgic stylization to name the two most prevalent modern design tropes in that set.

    I’ve followed along with this from the beginning (I actually tried to get in on it since I love plate design, but all states were already taken when I got a response), and I feel the same. If I didn’t know that each was designed by a different person, I would have thought it was the work of one person (or small group of people). Most of them have the same look/feel/execution, and it kind of shows where the “popular” design people get their inspiration: each other…and trends that each other are following. It is just a cycle of people following the lead of other people, and it is due in large part to Dribbble, as the people selected and invited to be included are basically just the designers that get the most “likes” on the work they share on Dribbble. Nothing wrong with that site, I’ve seen some great work on there, but it all starts to look the same day in and day out.

    The PA one will never fly. The last time the state had the “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania” slogan link there was a big uproar that the plate violated the 1st Amendment over the separation of church and state. (“Friend” being a shortened name for the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers, who founded PA.) As soon as Bob Casey Sr. took office as governor, he immediately link, which was the state’s nickname as the Keystone State. Thankfully, he kept the yellow-on-blue from the “Friend” plates and not reverted the colors back to the link We’ve used link with link so we probably are due for a redesign, although its better than when we had our last major overhaul in 1999 and we still had plates from the aforementioned blue-on-yellow era (in addition to the “Friend” plates), some of which were 23 years old when they were finally replaced.

    Regardless of aesthetics, I always prefer when states use a more organic popular nickname or official motto rather than an obvious marketing slogan, on their plates.

    Good: “Keystone State” “10,000 Lakes” “The Last Frontier” “Aloha State” “The First State” “Ocean State” “Constitution State” “Lone Star State” “Land of Lincoln”

    Bad: “You’ve Got a Friend In” “Virginia Is For Lovers” “The Spirit of America” “Discover the Spirit” “Great Faces, Great Places” “Unbridled Spirit” “” “” “Famous Potatoes” “Life Elevated”

    Massachusetts: the spirit of America. I remember when they ran tourism ads with the a jingle with that line. Look up Family Guy spirit of america and they did a version of it. That said, my homestate has very uninteresting plates. kansas, on the other hand, has spectacular plates now

    I’m pretty sure this is only the second time the Browns have gone mono brown (and 2 too many). The other time was the Thursday night game last season.

    I looked through the link for that helmet and didn’t see it as a high school on the list. I definitely see a “C” in the mouth of the cat? Any idea what city/area it was from?

    I’m pretty sure this is only the second time the Browns have gone mono brown (and 2 too many). The other time was the Thursday night game last season.


    Twice last season. First time was Week 5 vs. the Bills:

    Then Week 12 vs. the Steelers:

    Yup. Sorry, I should have known better than to question you…. By that point last season I think I was in amnesia mode.

    How about this one… link

    For the scoreboard “helmet shuffle” it sure looks to me like blatantly white facemasks.

    The Browns needed orange socks and the Bills need red hats and socks and no stripe down the britches. Then it would have been beautiful.

    Did anybody comment that those Browns-themed wrestling shorts have a Johnny Football elf doing that money fingers gesture?

    There was a bit of uni watching during the Arsenal thrashing of Newcastle on Saturday. During official BPL Garbage Time Arsenal brought on a younger player, Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

    The announcers said that the kit man had admitted that there just wasn’t room for his complete last name, so for today he was just going to be “Niles.” This was at least consistent, as he had appeared with that name during the Champions League match earlier in the week.

    Seems that Puma should invest in a narrow font for the Gunners, although with the official font required for the BPL, it would have to be a Champions League-only font.

    The best part about Maitland-Niles introduction was that he came on for Alexander Mark David Oxlade-Chamberlain link.

    BTW, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s NOB is “CHAMBERLAIN”.

    RE: Logo designer piece…..

    I have GOT to get me some of those crosshatch Field Notes books!!!

    “… Steve Johnston and his family were at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago on Saturday and spotted this magnificent satin baseball jersey from an old Swedish lodge team on display…”

    I’m just nuts about that Swedish yellow-and-blue. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in central Kansas, home of the Bethany Swedes link
    who’ve maintained a fine rivalry with the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes up in Salina. Anyway, it was fun to see that yellow-and-blue satin thing. Maybe softball, not baseball, I’d guess.

    Anyway. Maybe Steve or a Scando-American reading this can enlighten about the identity of the lodge involved. The jersey says I.O.V. 13 (or 15). So what does IOV stand for? Institutes of Vikings?

    And a moment of googling to check my childhood memory – which would have been, like, smart to do before posting my reply above! – turns up some photos of the Harald IOV Lodge, #13, in Tinley Park IL:


    Imagine a team outfitted in those unis posing in front of that longship mural! Man. Surely, that photograph exists somewhere.

    I’m not Steve or Swedish or particularly tall, but IOV is the Independent Order of Vikings.

    And I agree about the yellow/blue combo – I like Ikea, the link, Philadelphia Eagles throwbacks (even if I prefer the blue a little darker) and link. I don’t dig the LA Rams, though.

    If you look at photos from yesterday’s Ravens game, many of the players wore jerseys with a built-in front pocket, not just Smith Sr. I’m wondering if this is going to be a new Nike design feature for cold weather games. It looks pretty well done… Better, I think, than what the team’s equipment staff could produce.

    Seahawks painted the end zone blue because the soccer season is over and they now don’t have to convert the field for a while for the worthless…er…beautiful game.

    I see what you did there.


    Can’t decide if it’s Crusty Old Sportswriter or 1970s Guy or ‘Murican you’re channeling though.

    “Speaking of the Seahawks, their end zones are once again painted blue. They had been green”

    Probably because the Sounders (soccer) season is over.

    The reason why the seahawks painted their endzones blue was because the sounders play at CenturyLink Field, and since they just finished their season, the seahawks could design their endzones a different color. It is very similar with what the dolphins did, because when the U of miami’s football season ended, the dolphins painted their endzones blue. It used to be a straight MIAMI.


    Love the Bucs’ orange sock tops. Just an homage. Orange is a part of the heritage (such as it is) and existed on the 1997-2013 unis only as a number trim.

    I have to agree, it wasn’t a bad look. Even Phil posted on Twitter that it is a decent look. (I guess him and Paul do disagree on something.) It was nice to see the all-brown look as well, as a Steelers fan the all-brown look on Cleveland isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. I actually know plenty of Browns fans who like the look. We’ll see more of it whenever the Browns redesign their uniforms next year.

    I didn’t say it was a “decent” look, although I did say I kinda liked it (after expecting to hate it).

    Three things led me not to hate it: 1) it’s not ALL blue (they have a white hat); 2) pants striping breaks it up nicely; 3) sock striping.

    While I’m not a fan on color-mono in the NFL, those three things are definitely a help. Still would have preferred white pants (esp. with a white helmet), but I have to admit the look wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared.

    The pants stripe helps a great deal. Probably the main reason why the Browns & Saints are the worst-looking (in my humble opinion, of course) in the league when they go mono. I don’t much care for the Ravens’ solid black pants, either.

    Part of the appeal was how it increased the contrast further from the Packers than what the Bills customarily wear. That is to say, both the Bills and Packers have white pieces of apparel, and Buffalo subtracted one.

    The helmet from the Ohio thrift shop is from NAIA school St. Francis of Indiana located in Fort Wayne. I played at Geneva College when Geneva was still in the NAIA and USF was in our conference.

    I have been meaning to point out something in the uni-verse I always found interesting and I am not sure if it has been already brought up. Regarding the mono color football uniforms it seems the general consensus is football uniforms look better when there is a contrast between the jersey and the pants. The opposite appears to be the apply for baseball. Colored BP jerseys with white or gray pants equals thumbs down but mono jersey/pants is considered the classic look.
    Any deeper reasoning on this or is it just a sport specific atheistic?
    -Jimmy Lonetti

    Just different histories/heritages for the different sports, just like home teams tend to wear white in basketball but wear color in football.

    I’m pretty sure it’s all about what you’re used to and what we see as optimal uniforms are often historical accidents.

    If all our collective memories of uniforms were wiped away and we had to come up with all-new uniforms for every sport, I think we’ll end up coming up very different looks (and baseball would probably incorporate t-shirts and shorts).

    Anyway, I’ve come around to the mono-looks to some extent. Some uniforms look better as mono because they’re designed for mono (i.e. Seahawks). The Chiefs have the socks to make the mono-red work, and the Rams’ white pants are a terrible match for the blue top with gold numbers.

    I’ve always been against the grain on this one. I love solid color MLB tops with white pants. The Royals powder blue with white pants is not uni-watch approved, but I think it’s a great look.

    Might still have something to do with my upbringing though since one of the first teams I ever took a liking too was the 80’s Cubs with the solid blue road top.


    Re: the Klima twins —

    Weird, right? Don’t think I’ve never seen the first name set in tiny caps like that.

    Sure you have: link. OK, not quite like that (on the same line), but they are tiny caps.

    When I saw that picture of the Klima brothers the first thing that came to my mind was Rich and Ron Sutter with the Blues in the late 80s-early 90s. But my memory was wrong. They spelled out their whole names in full-size letters. link

    I know we have all heard the rumbling of the Eagles bringing back the Kelly Green in some form, I saw something in last night’s SNF telecast that caught my eye. I don’t have a screen shot, but at one of the breakaways they did with McCoy, The Eagles background and LeSean’s jersey looked a lot more Kelly than Midnight.

    I’m sure as an Eagles fan longing for a return to Kelly Green I’m reading too much into it, but I found it interesting.

    Johnny Okray tweeted that at me, and here’s my reply (you can see the *kelly* in the screenshot).

    Clearly it’s last year’s jersey style (note the shoulder pattern and the collar).

    As much as many (all?) of us wish that were going to be a future jersey, I think it was just a ‘shop. Either that or the colors were badly off (someone else commented that to me). But the gloves look teal, so I’m not sure that’s the case. I’ll stick with a ‘shop.

    Same here, I always thought it was a ‘Shop, I just find the use of Kelly Green to be interesting. Especially given the rumours we are hearing.

    I just thought of something. From what I have heard, the reason for the switch to Midnight Green was that Lurie’s wife (no ex-wife, from what I recall) hated the colour Kelly Green. I know as of recently she has still had a presence in the Front Office. Could the rumours of a return to Kelly Green single a reduced role or even an exit for her?

    That Irish cream has been my Christmastime popularity enhancer for a few years now…I whip up a few batches for gift-giving purposes (for my neighbors, mostly)and it’s received nothing but rave reviews.
    Very much appreciated, Paul!

    The Brothers Kilma kinda makes sense because to distinguish them they would have to go at least 3 letters since they are Kevin and Kelly. So they could do Kev. Kilma and Kel Kilma. I would assume they thought, “what are 2 more letters each?” Granted there could be a number of issues that come into it but either way it is pretty interesting and very rare.

    Paul, I read your ESPN article about going mono. You said Pittsburg can’t because they wear yellow pants all the time. Well, if they really wanted to, they could pull out the white pants they wore with the yellow helmets.
    Or they could even go yellow helmet, yellow bumble bee jersey, and yellow pants. Maybe not a good look, but possible.

    1) As clearly stated in that column, I don’t consider white-over-white to be going mono. Separate animal.

    2) Gold pants with bumblebee jersey is not mono.

    I saw the Facebook post of link about how the Pads should go back to brown. As much as I associate the brown and mustard yellow with the Padres of my childhood, the blue is a nod to the PCL Padres, right? link Of course, I wanted to team in Denver to be the Bears or Zephyrs and the Marlins to use an IL color combo, both as recognition of the AAA teams that made an MLB franchise possible in those cities, too. I guess it is just me.

    “The Eagles will wear Kelly green alternates next year” rumors seem to be making their rounds on the internet, but with the nfl’s one helmet policy won’t the Kelly green jersey clash terribly with the midnight green helmet? Unless the Eagles are changing helmets I don’t really see this happening.

    Can’t believe I just thought of this, but should the Browns mono-scheme actually be called the “Uniturd” look?

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