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Friday Morning Uni Watch

The NFL season kicked off last night, as the Steelers and Patriots faced off in Foxboro. I missed the first quarter or so because I was attending the reception for the Todd Radom-curated sports design show in Manhattan (great time, big thanks to everyone who said hello, bigger thanks to all the people I was introduced to who had nice things to say about Uni Watch), and then I toggled between the NFL game and the Mets once I got home.

Here are some notes from the Pats/Steelers game:

• As had been expected (but not officially announced until shortly before the game), the Pats wore a championship patch (click to enlarge):

This is the third time that the Pats have followed up a Super Bowl win by wearing a championship patch in the following season’s opening game. They previously did so in 2004 and 2005. (They did not wear a patch, however, in 2002, following up on their first championship in Super Bowl XXVI.) Only one other team has worn a season-opening championship patch: the 2010 Saints.

• If you look at again at that last photo, you can see that the Pats have a new nose bumper logo. Here’s a closer look (click to enlarge):

They had used Flying Elvis last season and in this year’s preseason. The folks at 3D Bumpers say the Pats will be changing it up throughout the season.

• Not sure how Pats wideout Julian Edelman ended up with this big red splotch on his helmet, but it was pretty hard to miss:

• One of the Elvis decals on Pats tight end Michael Williams’s helmet was peeling off:

• If Tom Brady’s suspension hadn’t been overturned, the Pats were going to hang this banner for him:

Interesting that the number font matches their wordmark instead of their jersey numbers. A harbinger of things to come, perhaps?

• Remember how running back DeAngelo Williams dyed his hair pink last year when he was with the Panthers, as a tribute to his mother, who died from breast cancer? He’s with the Steelers now and has kept the pink dreads, which really clash with Pittsburgh’s black/gold color scheme:

•  Following the game, Pats coach Bill Belichick broke out a new look for his postgrame presser:

(My thanks to @nwandler, @markheggen, and Phil for their contributions.)

•  •  •  •  •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest design is now available for purchase from now through next Monday. As we discussed last week, it’s the powder blue design, which looks really good now that we’ve added the gold outlining (click to enlarge):

An important note: If you go to the ordering page, you’ll see that we’re offering three different T-shirt brands, each of which has its own shade of powder blue. American Apparel is the lightest shade and Teespring Premium is the darkest, with Gildan in between. Here’s a photo of the AmApp and Teespring fabrics (click to enlarge):

So compare the color shades, and also use the sizing chart for each brand, to choose the shirt that’s best for you.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Today is Sept. 11, which as you know is a national holiday. No, wait, it’s a day when something really patriotic happened. No, wait, it’s a day when we can exploit and fetishize a tragedy in order to sell stuff — right. So MLB teams will be wearing these caps for tonight’s games. ”¦ Was Big Papi going without an undershirt the other day? Sure looks like it. ”¦ I don’t fully understand what’s going on here, but maybe one of you can explain it more fully (from @valleyshook). ”¦ Looks like the Diamondbacks will be wearing gold BP jerseys for Saturday’s game (from Robert Hayes).

NFL News: Whoa, check out the Packers wearing mono-gold in 1930! ”¦ For the third consecutive season, the Chargers will wear solid-white for their home opener. ”¦ Buried within this page is the news that JetBlue passengers wearing Patriots jerseys on game days will be offered early boarding when flying out of JetBlue’s nine New England cities (Boston, Burlington, Hartford, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Portland, Providence, and Worcester). ”¦ Yesterday’s Ticker included a note about the Browns’ coaches having trouble reading the orange numerals on the team’s brown jerseys. “That shouldn’t be a surprise,” says Frank Mercogliano. “According to this article on the team’s own website, ‘Brown jerseys with orange numbers are worn for the [1984] preseason before being scrapped because the numbers proved to be too difficult for spotters to recognize during the game.’ I remember this issue from back then, by the way — I was 14 at the time.” Be that as it may, the Browns are nonetheless wearing that jersey for Week 1. ”¦ Meanwhile, Cleveland legend Jim Brown appeared last night on Stephen Colbert’s show and wore last year’s Browns jersey. Draw your own conclusions. ”¦ The Cowboys will wear their blue jerseys four times this season — but not on Thanksgiving. ”¦ Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has signed a deal with Adidas (from Jerry Nitzh). ”¦ You’ve probably heard about how NFL teams received tax dollars to hold military tributes. Now there’s a petition to get them to stop (from Kurt Esposito). ”¦ Custom cleats for Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu (from Eric Wright). ”¦ Up until now, the fewest points a team could score in a game (well, aside from zero) was two. But thanks to one of this season’s rule changes, it’s now possible for a team to finish a game with one point!

College and High School Football News: Louisiana Tech couldn’t wait until Sept. 11 — they pandered with stars/stripes helmets for last night’s game. ”¦ SMU is doing likewise tomorrow. ”¦ And Utah’s version of pandering manages to style “9 11” in two different ways — once with a slash and once with a period. Never forget to be consistent, guys. ”¦ Meanwhile, some high school I’d rather not name managed to pack nearly every conceivable bad uniform trope into this embarrassing Sept. 11 costume (from Everett Corder). ”¦ Getting back to Louisiana Tech, they had some inconsistent NOB lettering last night (from Ted Chastain). ”¦ I often say (usually while being interviewed), “A lot of college football uniforms these days are designed to appeal to 17-year-olds, and 17-year-olds like shiny objects.” Now The New York Times Magazine has posted an entire essay on the concept of shiny objects. ”¦ Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh touched upon many topics in a radio interview, including merit decals: “I’ve always felt you should try to get the best grades, win the most awards and excel at sports. It’s an award, so try to win the most awards.” ”¦ The Nicholls State team portrait has the players arranged in uni-numerical order (from Chris Mycoskie). ”¦ Pretty cool argyle border on UNC’s field (from James Gilbert). ”¦ USF is adding an Elkino Watson memorial decal (from Kristofer Strong). ”¦ Awesome rainbow throwbacks on tap this weekend for Hawaii. ”¦ Good food for thought from Matthew Scoles, who writes: “I watched Monday’s Ohio State/Virginia Tech game with a buddy of mine. ESPN showed a close-up of the decal worn by both teams for the two journalists who were killed in Virginia a few weeks ago, and my buddy, who is a very casual sports fan, said he thought it was pretty gross to turn a memorial into a branding opportunity, because the bulk of the decal was the number 7 — the channel for the affiliate where the victims worked. From the field the most (and only) visible aspect of the decal was the 7. Obviously, these decals are a nice gesture but my buddy really made me think about the efficacy of this particular decal, as opposed to the Giants’ Frank Gifford decal.” I hadn’t thought about that, but it does seem a little odd that the 7 is larger than the initials or the ribbons — or, really, that the 7 is there at all. ”¦ UNLV’s new black uniform will debut tomorrow (from @ryblat13). ”¦ Iowa will wear “9” on one side of the helmet this weekend to honor former player Tyler Sash, who passed away this week (from Jack Coyier).

College Hoops News: This will be Adidas’s final season as Michigan’s basketball uniform supplier, and it would be fair to say that they’re going out with a bang. Like, are they wearing grass skirts or what? The worst part is that this is probably some godawful template that lots of other Adidas-outfitted schools will be wearing.

Grab Bag: New alternate hockey uniform for the Providence Bruins (from Tim Medeiros). … New Sheriff’s uniforms for Chesterfield County, Virginia. ”¦ Abilene Christian has inked a new five-year deal with Nike (from Chris Mycoskie). ”¦ Nike might be releasing self-tying Back to the Future sneakers next month (from Kurt Esposito).

Comments (79)

    I can’t find a photo right away, but D’Angelo Williams’ jersey had a lot of red paint on it, presumably from the same source as Edelman’s helmet.

    I thought DeAngelo Williams’ jersey was turning pink from his dreads. (I didn’t watch the whole game. Just bits and pieces.)

    It was pink from his hair, and it was all over the tops of his shoulder pads, esp late in the game when the rain increased.

    “Browns management who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana -Michael Scott

    David Ortiz has been wearing a low cut (sexy!) undershirt during the past few warm weeks. You can barely see the sleeves in the picture you used.

    I am sure this has been mentioned before, but the gold “50” on the 50-yard line looks weird with the line still being white between the numbers.

    I didn’t like that at all last night.

    The Nationals have a standing date on the MLB calendar to play at home on the 4th of July. I’m a little surprised that MLB hasn’t matched up the Nats and Mets (or Yankees on the years that they’re on the schedule) for Sep 11 permanently. Mets were just in town (of course), so they did a little 9/11 remembrance before the game on Wednesday.

    Mets were just in town (of course), so they did a little 9/11 remembrance before the game on Wednesday.

    Is that why the Nats wore their stars/stripes jerseys for that game?

    Yes. It was to recognize Police and Firemen.

    However, you’ll be happy to know that the Nationals also made the blue jersey a Friday night thing. There aren’t many Fridays left in this season. I don’t know if that will extend to next year.

    It might have just been coincidence that the Mets were playing that game. But, just like the team has a date for each military branch, Wednesday night was for Fire and Police.

    Oh that awful blue top was planned?

    I figured it was just because the Mets have beaten the Nats in every other jersey but that one they were trying to get some good mojo.

    Didn’t work, obviously.

    Edelman helmet blotch…..

    There is a play (at the :48 mark of this video) where Edelman is tackled hard on the Pats logo. This seems to be where the red blotch came from. I noticed it last night.

    (fortunately someone already made an Edelman highlight video on YouTube!)


    I like Belichick’s post-game look. Wonder if there will be a memo to him from the league about not wearing team branded apparel with outfitter’s logos prominently displayed. Which in turn makes me wonder if Belichick KNOWS there will be a memo (and/or a fine) and was using this as an opportunity to “send a message”.

    Is it much different than wearing a suit? I don’t think personnel would be fined for that; why should he be fined for this?

    I think you underestimate how pervasive the NFL dress code for coaches is. What was the last time an NFL coach wore a suit to a post-game presser? Even when Mike Nolan (then of the 49ers) and Jack DelRio (then of Jacksonville) wanted to wear suits on the sideline, instead of “coach’s apparel” they had to get special permission, could only do it once or twice in the season AND the outfit was designed and provided by Reebok.

    I don’t underestimate the NFL Dress Code. My mind goes back to players such as Eli Manning and Tom Brady doing post-game pressers in either suits or whatever street clothes they wore to the game.

    No photo (too lazy to get a screenshot last night), but one of the Steelers D-Line players was having some front helmet number issues/wrinkling/peeling in the second half. I think I saw it when the Pats were near the goal line.

    The Cowboys will wear their blue jerseys four times this season – but not on Thanksgiving.

    Is that a season record for the current blue jersey?

    You can see the bottom of Kevin Martir’s jersey cut out, which was used to make his nameplate, which they spelled as MATIR.

    I am going to guess Paul saw that. I’m thinking he was asking why they would do that or felt they needed to do that since it isn’t a regular practice. There is probably a backstory for it.

    The Browns made an attempt at orange numbers in ’84 and they never made it out of preseason because they could not be read from the press box. Nike switched to a darker orange and thought this would work?

    Apparently I’m the only person on the planet who has no problems with the Browns orange numbers. Heck, they provide more contrast, than, say, the Chicago Bulls black on red, and no one seems to have a problem with that jersey. Sure, white would be easier to read, but I just can not believe that bright orange is that damn hard for people to see.

    The Bulls have white outline around the entire black number. This makes it easier to see than the Browns with that half-hearted white drop shadow on the orange numbers.

    If the Browns did a white outline, that would help identifying, though it would still look like crap.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but basketball isn’t such a big deal because A) fans are much much closer to the action B) TV cameras are also closer and C) because the players are wearing basically colored underwear and no helmets, and with fewer players, its just easier to know who is who.

    Maybe now that we have hi-def TVs, at least watching games from home won’t be as problematic.
    But from any sort of distance, I have a feeling its gonna be tough to make out the numbers.


    “Colored underwear”! Excellent shorthand for basketball uniforms. Can’t believe I haven’t heard (or thought of) that before. Love it!

    Between the new Michigan basketball shorts and the football uniforms they produce, one might think that Adidas is secretly being sponsored by Goodyear Tires.

    In one of the pictures in the link it definitely looks like one of the players is specifically wearing his jersey untucked to cover the skid marks on his shorts. It’s #23 and he’s taking a selfie with another player presumably for personal use and presumably he didn’t want to remember the ridiculous shorts he was wearing. Another win for Adidas but hey if it brings back the untucked jersey maybe it’s a good thing.

    Bulls/Browns comparison is a bit apples and oranges I feel. For one thing orange numerals on a brown field are NOT the same as black numerals on a red field. We’ve all seen the optical illusions that result from the same colors being flipped. An apt comparison would be brown numerals on an orange jersey. IN addition, basketball has a 12 person roster…3-4 of whom never play anyway. People have visible faces, different heights, different skin tones and different haircuts. And unless I’m mistaken the official scorer sits WAY closer to the action anyway.

    Oh yeah, and they check into the game and are announced. No chance to really confuse who is who.

    I had the same thought on the Brady banner/number typeface last night (I posted late during the game, so a tree fell in an empty forest and no one heard!) Glad I wasn’t the only one thinking that!


    I had this trash can when I was a kid in the early 1970s. The copyright is 1968.


    However, the Phillies did not introduce this wordmark logo until the mid 1970s


    Can someone please explain this discrepancy?

    I wish I knew specifics… but that sort of thing seems to be fairly common, even into the 90’s. I have a deck of playing cards for the Oakland Raiders… the cards themselves have a copyright date of 1994 printed on them, but the actual box has both 1994 (for the card company) and 1996 (NFL Properties) dates. It has to have something to do with the basic design of the item being copyrighted separately from the team logo, I assume. So, they started making MLB trashcans in 1968, but then kept updating them as new logos came into being. Something like that.

    The anti military and anti patriotism on this site is very disturbing. Remembering those who died and the sacrifices of our military is not wrong. Many have laid down there lives so that you have the right to worry about nose bumpers, decals and polyester shirts. I am thankful for that and you should be too.

    So have a moment of silence (and not get funds to do so)… and don’t produce or post stars & stripes “special” jerseys/hats in your on-line shop!

    I am neither “anti military” (a bad misinterpretation on your part) nor “anti patriotism” (a nasty insult, for I happen to be extremely patriotic). We’ve gone through that debate many, many times and I won’t bother to re-hash it here. If you think selling flag-emblazoned caps is a good way to commemorate Sept. 11, you’re welcome to think that. I happen to disagree.

    Speaking of Sept. 11, a few thoughts:

    My house is about three miles from Ground Zero. After the towers collapsed, the smoke plume wafted right over my neighborhood and little scraps of debris fell in my backyard. I gathered up those scraps and still have them. I’ll look at them later today, as I do every year on this date.

    I was fortunate enough not to know anyone who died that day. But I have friends who weren’t so lucky.

    There was a big call for blood donors (which turned out to be unnecessary because there were no survivors, but nobody realized that at the time). I’d never given blood before, but it seemed like a Good Thing to Do, so I went and donated.

    Afterward, I decided that it shouldn’t take a national tragedy to get me to donate blood, so I started making it a regular thing and have continued to donate every two months (that’s how often they let you do it) over the ensuing 14 years. Each time I do it, I remember Sept. 11 and think that if my blood has helped even one person over the years, then at least a little bit of good came out of that horrible day.

    Stan, best wishes for however you choose to mark this day. I won’t impugn your patriotism, and I’d appreciate it if you’d return the favor. Thanks.

    Paul’s call for tasteful and minimal displays is not from a lack of patriotism, if anything it is a mark of his patriotism. What I get from it is a call for respectful displays of gratitude to America’s and Canada’s fighting men and women, and for the nations as a whole. I agree with him. An arm patch marking fallen veterans is so much more dignified than decking out an athlete in a goofy camouflage costume. It is a mark of respect the other is a respect for marketing. You keep up the good fight Paul, a lot of us are with you.

    Digger John

    I don’t know why I never noticed this before, but on the Virginia Tech decal to remember the journalists who were killed, the state outline includes the Virginia part of the Delmarva peninsula, which could easily be overlooked.

    The state decal has been the helmets for a while. It’s not part of the tribute. But, yes it includes the peninsula, which is a cool thing.

    I do apologize if I offended you. I simply meant to say I don’t think putting a flag on a cap or jersey is wrong and I still suggest you show more respect for our military and first responders.

    You didn’t “offend” me (that would be something based on my perception, my sense of being offended). You INSULTED me, by saying I’m “anti patriotism” (fighting words by anyone’s definition). There’s a difference. The former has to do with me; the latter has to do with you.

    I show plenty of respect for the military in all sorts of aspects of my life (not that there’s any reason for you to know that, because your knowledge of me as a person is approximately zero, which is something you should perhaps think about when making judgments about me). I think we may have very different notions of what the word “respect” means, and also very different notions of the proper balance of certain aspects of a well-rounded society. And that’s all fine.

    But don’t impugn my patriotism.

    “…show more respect for our military and first responders.”


    Sorry to hop in here, but this point..AGAIN AND AGAIN…keeps being made 1) as though these two distinct groups are one in the same and 2) that somehow the military should be honored on 9/11.

    Please do NOT conflate the two groups. First responders all (and they should be revered and honored for their service on 9/11 and in the immediate aftermath) rushed in when the Towers collapsed.

    If anything, the military was lacking on 9/11, allowing those planes to strike the WTC and Pentagon.

    9/11 is NOT about honoring the military, nor should it be, just as Pearl Harbor remembrances are not about the military, nor should they be (does anyone even remember Pearl Harbor anymore???).

    Unlike Paul, I lost a couple neighbors and my cousin’s husband on 9/11. But everyone (at least in the NYC vicinity) knew someone or had a friend or family member directly affected. Those of us who choose not to glorify the military on 9/11 should NEVER have our patriotism questioned.

    There are ample opportunities to salute the United States of America and our military. 9/11 should NOT be one of those days. It should be a day of solemn, somber remembrance for those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

    I was going to mention this but felt it was off-topic, but this seems like a good spot. I saw a commercial for USAA yesterday and it was something to the effect of the national anthem at sporting events is meant to thank and honor the military for “protecting our way of life”. I was just struck by the ridiculousness of this, and the continued conflation of patriotism and militarism.

    Here’s a link

    I noticed it, too. While the tradition started in earnest during World War I, it’s continued use, during peacetime and wartime, suggested to me that the motivation is ordinary patriotism, an element of civic virtue.


    I’ve posted this before (it’s from something I wrote more than a decade ago), but it’s worth doing again:

    The tradition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” being played prior to every [baseball] game may seem eternal, but keep in mind that the tune wasn’t even officially adopted as the national anthem until the 1930s. According to James Charlton’s The Baseball Chronology, the first instance of the song being played at a ballgame was on May 15, 1862, during the Civil War at Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Over 50 years later, during World War I, a military band played the tune during the seventh-inning stretch of a 1918 World Series game. “From then on,” reports the Chronology, “the song [was] played at every World Series game, every season opener, and whenever a band [was] present to play it.”

    Playing the anthem didn’t become more the rule than the exception until World War II, when public-address systems–which were installed at stadiums in part for civil defense reasons during the war–became sufficiently widespread to enable recorded versions to be played. Even then, there were some holdouts–as late as the mid 1960s, the Cubs played the anthem only on holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, because team owner P.K. Wrigley felt that playing the song at each game effectively trivialized it. And Royals owner Ewing Kauffman cited a similar rationale in 1972, when he ordered that the anthem be played only “on Sundays and special occasions,” because it “was not receiving the respect it deserved.” Public reaction, however, was highly negative, and Kauffman quickly relented.

    Mission creep, basically.

    Paul and Phil, well said. This is another example of an event that might better be acknowledged in the sporting/uni world by the wearing of a black stripe or arm-band, rather than a flag or camo pattern. First and foremost, this is a date where we should be remembering those lost and the efforts of our first responders. I’ve never seen it as an appropriate day for flag waiving or particularly for patriotism.

    By the way Paul, thank you for sharing your experience in particular (when you didn’t have to). Had me in tears.

    Not unlike Memorial Day, which has a similar underlying meaning and has been misinterpreted and perverted in very similar ways (at least in the sports world).

    As a vet I have felt that Phil and Paul have been nothing but respectful towards the military. From my perspective, and since I am still a member of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, from the perspective of folks on active duty most of us feel the “Salute to the Military” events have gotten way out of hand.

    Serving in the Coast Guard (and yes we are a military branch just google 14 U.S. Code § 1) folks I knew in NYC at the time were also first responders. If it could float the CG was getting it to ferry folks home.

    Even across the country I knew two NY firefighters who were Coast Guard reserves who were killed. My tribute to them is my “I wear it one day a year” sweatshirt. Its blue and has the FDNY symbol crest on it. I feel that is simple, understated and a way to honor them.

    No mention yet of Tom Brady’s ruby red slippers?


    I know … Brady wasn’t the only one wearing red shoes, but the amount of red, and the “shape” of the visible red parts kept me thinking of Dorothy’s footwear all game long.

    You are wrong, while 9/11 is not a Federal Holiday, it is in fact a National Day of Service and Remembrance (Patriot Day). I see nothing wrong with the MLB making those caps available for those who wish to purchase. All proceeds from the sales of those hats are donated to 9/11 Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, and the Flight 93 Memorial. I think your anger is misdirected.

    And I think your use of “anger” is a poorly veiled way of trying escalate the discussion. But I fully acknowledge that I’m just speculating on that point.

    But isnt it a bit nitpicky? First off it IS a National Holiday, so even if you think it’s bs…fine. Still a holiday and one I choose to recognize. But is it so wrong to honor the military as well? Or any others who do this country good on this day as well? How about you just let people honor who they want to honor and not act cranky.

    How about you just let people honor who they want to honor and not act cranky.

    Sure, that’s a reasonable position.

    But so is this: When a certain industry happens to glorify the military over and over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society, some of us think that’s unhealthy, both for the industry in question and for our larger society — not because we’re “anti-military,” but because we think a well-rounded society needs balance, and that it’s always dangerous to conflate militarism with patriotism (among other reasons). So we express that opinion.

    You may disagree, and that’s fine. But saying that a legitimate cultural critique is being “cranky” is just lazy name-calling. One could just as easily say, “How about you let me write what I want and not be cranky when it happens not to align with your worldview.” See? It works both ways.

    The Blue Jays will be wearing caps with both the Canadian and American flags on it. What’s interesting the the US flag on all team caps is now a waving design, with the gold outline that is sometimes used. Not sure if the gold outline has special significance?

    Interestingly, the Canadian flag also has a gold outline, which I have never seen before, and is probably just for symmetry with the US flag on the other side of the cap.

    Anyone know what the flags decal on the back of the La Tech helmets is for? I saw what looked like a similar decal on North Dakota State’s helmets last weekend (not sure if the flags were the exact same).

    Kevin, the crossed flags on the back of Tech’s helmets are the Louisiana flag and the USA flag. They have those all season long

    Your anti-military, anti-american ramblings on your blog are a disgrace. The site is better when Phil is in charge.

    As for the Nichols State mention, I think lining up by number is the standard for football team photos.

    The Miami Hurricanes looked lathargic last night against FAU and almost made the game unwatchable. What actually made the game unwatchable was the fact that MIAMI WAS WEARING WHITE AND BLUE SOCKS!!!! WTH?!?!?! So confused, Miami is supposed to be Adidas’ new Oregon, but they can’t even get sock colors right?

    I’m a day late, but I think it’s important to add that calling someone “unpatriotic” or “anti-patriotic” does not count as “fighting words” for everyone.

    I abhor patriotism; doubly so being a native of a country whose impact on the rest of the world is so negative. Being unpatriotic is a core part of my values.

Comments are closed.