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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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By Phil Hecken

Week 2 of the NFL season was a pretty quiet one, uni-wise, with no teams wearing alternates or throwbacks, and not a lot of awful combinations for the usual suspects. In fact, one of the most uni-notable aspects of Sunday’s games was the Eagles wearing white at home, thereby *forcing* the Cowboys to wear their blue tops. While it’s always somewhat odd (less so now than a few years ago) to see the ‘boys in blue, I’m always struck by how good those blue jerseys (and corresponding gray pants) are in comparison to the regular white tops and bluish-silver pants the Cowboys wear for most of their games.

Not only do the blue jerseys look good (very good, in fact), as most of you know, the Cowboys wear a different set of pants with the blue tops — pants that actually almost match the helmet in shading and striping. The white jerseys, as we’ve documented, also suffer from nikelace bleed — but the blue jerseys don’t have that problem. In fact, the blue jerseys don’t have the nikelace at all. I know all about the “curse” of the blue jerseys, and the fact that way back when, Cowboys GM Tex Schramm wanted the Cowboys to wear white at home (so fans would be treated to different colored jerseys on their opponents) each week. But damn, they really should think about wearing the blue tops at home for at least a few games.

But it’s just one of those Cowboy uni-quirks. In fact, John Horton asked about the Dymo tape on the back of the ‘boys helmets yesterday (another of their quirks). I was reminded of one of my favorite ESPN/Uni Watch columns Paul ever wrote, way back in 2007, which dealt with a ton of uni-eccentricities the Dallas team has had over the years. That is highly recommended reading if you’re not familiar with it.

Now then, in other developments yesterday:

• The Steelers’ DeAngelo Williams is still sporting pink in his hair. It’s a practice he began last year with the Carolina Panthers, in support of his late mother, who died of breast cancer.

• The Seattle Seahawks go white/white on the road a couple times a year, but it’s a good look they broke out against the Pack last night.

• The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers recently switched from Nike shoes to adidas — but he totally low-keyed it with basic black cleats yesterday night. Looked great.

• The New Orleans Saints wore white jerseys at home (in the Superdome, so it’s not a *heat* issue — something they seem to do at the beginning of the season the past couple years), but paired the white tops with the black, stripeless pants and black socks, giving them the dreaded leotard look. They played the Tampa Bay Bucs (who went red/pewter) — and it was easily the worst-looking game on yesterday’s docket.

• Here’s a good look at the Ravens’ 20 Seasons patch on the white jersey. Here’s what the patch looks like up close.

• Speaking of anniversary patches, here’s a nice look at the Dolphins 50 seasons patch on the aqua jersey (the Dolphins patches are color coded for jersey color).

• The answer is probably self-evident, but what’s the orange “strap” flying around from Jarvis Landry’s helmet?

• Worried Browns fans can rest easy — your team wore its best combo yesterday — white/white/brown. It’s still a shitty uniform, especially with the HUGE “BROWNS” down the leg and stump of a stripe. It’s interesting (and I think THE Jeff may have picked up on this in the comments), the “BROWNS” is always the same length, but guys who wear shorter length pants seem to also have a shorter stripe, which makes the pants look even more high-schoolish. Still, white/white/brown is not a bad combo.

The Browns Barkevious Mingo was wearing gloves featuring last years helmet (h/t JM Ledgewood). Also, notice how Cleveland has contrasting color stitchng. Who thought that was a good idea?

• Reader Drew McClintock saw an interview yesterday morning while watching the Chargers vs. Bengals game, and noticed a guy still wearing Reebok hat on the sideline.

• The Chargers’ Keenan Allen has an interesting mouth guard (h/t Eric Malinoski).

• A Bengals fan yesterday reminded us that Ickey Woods wore #30, but he was #44 on the deli line (h/t JP Trowbridge).

• Even thought the Eagles wore white, their end-zones were black (h/t Dirt McGirt).

• Both Pat Rooney and Nicole Haase noticed the “S” in the Bears wordmark was askew yesterday.

• Check out the Kam Chancellor holdout-themed jersey at Lambeau Field last night (h/t Andrew Darkow).

And that’s about it for today — if I missed anything you should have tweeted or e-mailed me, post it in the comments below. Thanks to the readers/tweeters who contributed today.

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Too Good For the Ticker

Too Good…

for the Ticker

Paul received an e-mail from Richard Craig, who happened upon an traveling exhibit near Levi’s Stadium (which is hosting Supe 50) and who took photos of several of the exhibits. It’s too long for the ticker (and too good to chop down), so I’ll repost it here. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Here’s Richard:

. . .


First, thanks again for everything you do — I love Uni Watch and Permanent Record and all your projects, and really ought to tell you that more often.

I live just a few miles from Levi’s Stadium and the pre-Super Bowl hype is already in full swing around here. Yesterday I saw a little piece of it that might interest you. The Niners have a mobile exhibit called “The 50 Tour” that’s visiting assorted locations and events around here, and was at the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival over the weekend. Among other things, they show off all eight of the Super Bowl trophies from the Niners and Raiders:


More appropriate to Uni Watch, however, is an exhibit called “Evolutions in Equipment,” which allows fans to hold and examine football equipment from different eras:


Two guys from the 49ers Museum were there to talk about all this and were amiable and informative, though they overhyped the Niners’ “moisture-wicking and waterproof” (butt-ugly) new jerseys:


Of more interest, though was the clear helmet in the middle of the table:


This is a transparent version of the helmet you may have read about with sensors that measure head trauma, used by some college teams:


I find it interesting that the exhibit is touting this technology even though the NFL isn’t using it yet and some in the league have questioned whether it’s reliable. FWIW, the guy there was straightforward and honest about it, just saying this is something the league has looked at and may use in the future.

Maybe you’ve covered this already, but I thought I should pass it along. If for whatever reason you’re interested in talking to the main guy who was explaining all this to fans, here’s his contact info:

Matt Hovik –

Feel free to use all or none of this. Thanks again for all your hard work.


Thanks, Richard! Great stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: I guess I’ll go with “Baseball News” on this one: Chiefs S Eric Berry was honored at his alma mater, Tennessee, and he wore a Brooks Robinson throwback jersey for the occasion (from Douglas Ford). … Paul, who’s on vacation, found this print featuring some nice uniforms at an antique shop in Vermont. … Brewers 3B Hernan Perez wore striped socks yesterday (from Blake Geschke). … Tim Caisse is trying to find out when this Pony League uniform was originally worn. He received the uni when he was a kid. “I believe my uniform falls in between the early 1950s (black tags with bronze lettering used in the 40s and early 50s) and early 1960s (cleaner white and blue tags with red lettering),” he says. “Most recently, I came across a similar style adult uniform with the same style of tag that claimed to be from the 40s, however; I can’t confirm that based on the one example. The tag reads as follows: ‘Empire Sporting Gds.; Union Made; MFG., N.Y.C.’ ’36; 100% Cotton; Sanforized.’ Since Empire seems to have disappeared without much of a digital trace, manufacturing information has been difficult to come by. I was hoping someone might be able to reference this uniform against others to establish a more accurate date.” Anyone know more? … Royals P Yordano Ventura’s teammates put a wad of bubble gum on his head.

College Football News: The numbers on UCLA’s Adidas jerseys can get distorted and scrunched up (from Joey Breeland). … One UConn player had an odd alteration to his helmet decal this weekend. … Arizona will wear red chrome helmets against UCLA (more here (from Andres E.).

Hockey News: New mask for Flyers G Steve Mason (from @thompucks). … The Red Wings have block NOB letters for the preseason, which isn’t new. What’s notable is the gray Reebok box above it (from Mike Bendert). … Gilles Meloche, who played goalie for the Seals and Barons, had an excellent mask.

NBA News: The banner on top of shows the WNBA logo in red, white and blue. The league’s logo is actually orange, and it was red, white and blue before 2012, with a different silhouette (from Daniel Carroll). … Someone created some nice past-meets-present jerseys for a dozen or so teams (from Phil). … Sixers center Jahlil Okafor was a guest at Sunday’s Eagles game and in a twist, they presented him with a custom Eagles basketball jersey (from Michael Preston).

Grab Bag: In soccer, Hearts unveiled a kit that features all 8,000 names of supporters who saved the club from folding (from Mark Coale). … Here’s a nifty collection of vintage menus from Seattle.

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That’s it for today. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Back with one more tomorrow, then Paul returns on Wednesday; thanks to all who submitted for the ticker or MMUW, Richard for sharing photos of the exhibit, and Mike for the Ticker. Catch you tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Orange-white-white is probably the Browns’ best look.”

–Skye McLeod

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Comments (61)

    Those are just practice jerseys that the Wings are wearing. The grey box is a normal part of the template league-wide.

    I just realized something. When Adidas does take over the NHL uni deal, while I doubt we’ll be seeing the “three stripes” treatment on the game unis, it would not surprise me at all if we see the stripes going down the sleeves on the practice jerseys.

    The Iggles might have gone with a black endzone because it was Temple cherry a few weeks back.

    Dallas really needs to bring back the 1980s bad luck blues. it’s hard to believe the current ones have been around longer.

    The Iggles might have gone with a black endzone because it was Temple cherry a few weeks back.

    Dallas really needs to bring back the 1980s bad luck blues. it’s hard to believe the current ones have been around longer.

    WRONGO! The Temple endzone was “old school” red diamonds spelling out TEMPLE on a green/grass background. Totally 40’s/50’s look which I am surprised Paul never commented on.

    I agree, my favorite uniforms as a kid were the blue Dallas Cowboys of the 1970’s. I know they lost Super Bowl 5, but those uniforms still look great when you see them in the Super Bowl highlights, I wish Dallas would wear them at home as a throwback uniform.
    They weren’t really bad luck, they would wear them on the road in the 70’s against the Cardinals, this was the Jim Hart to Mel Gray Cardinals who were very good back then and were very tough to beat on the road. If the Cowboys had worn their white jerseys instead back then the results would have been the same.
    My father always told me it’s not the jersey but the man in the jersey! but this was coming from a guy who couldn’t play unless he wore number 9!

    RE: Red Wings jerseys

    The gray panel around the Reebox isn’t a new feature, it’s part of the practice jersey. Reebok has issued this style of practice jersey for a few years now.

    I disagree with Phil on the color of the “standard” Cowboys pants. It seems more a GREEN-silver than a blue silver shade.

    Remember what the Cowboys wore for most of 1994, and then the inverted blue version they wore a few times afterwards? That’s what they should look like. One shade of blue, everything freakin matched, and they still looked distinctly “Cowboys”.

    Concur on the 90s Double Star jerseys. Whether you thought the stars looked good or cartoonish, the look was much more uniform, and it was as big and bold as Texas itself. And if any team should be big and bold, it’s the Cowboys.

    Speaking of the Double-Stars… I wonder if anybody at Jerryworld has even considered asking Nike about bringing them back. They did previously wear the blue ones for Thanksgiving games from 2001-2003 before switching to the 1960s throwbacks from 2004-2012.

    being a 49er fan of a certain generation, i grew up having a fairly unfounded rivalry with the cowboys (both teams were elite dynasties at the time, so we had to hate each other, i suppose) but even i admit that the ‘boys are often the best looking team on the field. These blues (in this silver/blue/silver combo) are possibly the best non-alternate/non-throwback jerseys on the field right now.

    this isn’t brain surgery. look at these: they alternated colors from top to bottom (aside from helmet/jersey there should rarely be two vertically-adjacent color-matched uni elements in a football uni combo). the sleeve stripe structure compliments the pants stripes which match the helmet stripes (simple complimentary composition with trim pieces. design 101). NO NIKELACE. the number font is big, bold, and BASIC. the sleeve trim is such that it is not made to look awkward and misfit even with the modern practice of ultra-tight jersey tailoring.

    that’s not to say that a little creativity doesn’t work. there are plenty of elements in college, and even the uglier NFL designs that could become classic if they were just used well in conjunction with the other uni elements. the browns contrast stitching, for example. if that was the only unusual thing about their jerseys, it would be a unique and really cool look for them, but instead they have those weird stripes that infringe on the collar bone way too far, the drop shadow numbers, the pants stripes that don’t match any other stripes, the word mark on the legs, the so-last-season obsession with promoting orange to primary color status. the seahawks sleeve things actually look pretty good, but i could go on all day about the things on those jerseys that don’t work, and why in the name of all that is holy they decided to use every single one of those things at the same time. seattle would look markedly better if they simply used the alternating color rule more often. blue tops, light pants, and vice versa. the color fade on the jags helmet? not a completely misguided idea, but hello, virginia tech, way to take a similar concept and hit the nail right on the head, while JAX missed the nail, and the hammer slipped and flew across the room and apparently hit the tampa bay designer on the head while he was sketching.

    in general the helmet is a missed design opportunity, or a misguided one. look at san diego state’s mayan calendar print helmets. those are fantastic because of clean execution. and those same ideas that make a complicated design like that work, are the same ones that make the cowboys’ simple uni work: color, composition, and a thorough consideration of how the whole thing looks assembled together. in contrast, the seahawks have a dozen ideas that are fine when looked at separately and in a vacuum, but then they put them all together and its just a complicated mess.

    I may be in the minority, but Jameis Winston really wears the Bucs uniform well. I mean it looks good on him.

    If they just had a number font that wasn’t so extreme, I might be able to accept the other changes to the uniform a little bit. But those numbers look horrible, and it’s just really hard to get past that.

    And since I’m not a fan of the unis, and I’m not a fan of Winston either… well, I see the sentence, “I mean it looks good on him,” and I can’t help but read that in the voice of Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik, complete with eye roll afterward.

    Off topic, and it’s probably been asked and answered here already, but is there a reason Majestic uses their old logo on MLB game jerseys? They seem to have the new logo on everything else.

    Thank you for today’s lede! It highlights the absurdity of Paul’s most flabbergasting stances – his embracing of the Cowboy’s uniform eccentricities – their standard set is a bad uniform. Plain and simple.

    One thing I’ve noted about Paul’s football uniform tastes is that he tends to approve of uniform quirks that have been around for a long time that he would probably not like if they were more recent.

    For example, the Cowboys uniforms, which have been mostly the same since the 60’s are “classic” and yet the Panthers, which have been the same since 1995 mostly, are “dated”.

    Looked on Both Sunday and Monday’s posts and this wasn’t mentioned…

    The University at Buffalo debuted white helmets Saturday. First time they’ve worn white helmets since 2000. They’re up to 3 different helmets including their normal blue and BFBS.


    Bumper during yesterdays AWESOME Cowboys win over Eagles on Fox showed two Philadelphia high school teams playing. One had an Eagles helmet the other team had the old-school Patriots helmet. I thought the NFL and NFLPA cracked down on unauthorized use of NFL trademarks (logos) by high school teams. Your thoughts, Paul?

    Not Paul, but my understanding is that the NFL generally does not have a problem with high school teams wearing NFL logos on their helmets as long as they do not use those logos to make money (on t-shirt sales, etc.)

    Regarding the Xenith football helmet – a few NFL players do wear them, but not that many.

    The best ranking a Xenith helmet gets in that Virginia Tech ranking for 2015 is 9th – behind 3 Schutt helmets, 2 Riddell helmets, 2 Rawlings helmets, and one of the Simpson-Ganassi helmets. Of course Rawlings is getting out of the helmet business again after this season.

    Also, not sure if the Xenith helmets are equipped with trauma sensors (I thought that was Riddell’s system). The Xenith helmet has round, air filled rubber discs that collapse as they absorb the impact.

    That “guy” in the Reebok Bengals hat is former Bengal quarterback Ken Anderson – who, in this commenter’s opinion, belongs in the Hall of Fame

    ” Worried Browns fans can rest easy – your team wore its best combo yesterday – white/white/brown. It’s still a shitty uniform, especially with the HUGE “BROWNS” down the leg and stump of a stripe.”

    Nobody in Cleveland is worried. We don’t hate it like this site does. Btw, have you not noticed the intricacies of it yet? Stripe/Wordmark on pants, different socks, different colored stitching? Why are you acting like this is still surprising you, a site that covers unis daily.

    I look forward to next Monday’s installment of “hey we really hate this uniform, have we told ya yet?”

    Enthusiastic seconding of this.

    I sense a lot of people amongst Browns fans did not much care for the Brown/Orange/Orange look last week. But that might have been “need to bitch about something” bias at work.

    Anyway, almost all of my family and friends like the uniforms in general. I don’t really know a lot of people who don’t.

    And by the way, what in the hell is wrong with being different than every other NFL club? I kind of embrace the wordmark and contrasting stitching and all the other stuff. If we can’t (ever) have a decent team we can at least do SOMETHING to distinguish ourselves!

    Because that uniform, especially its “intricacies,” is a preposterous embarrassment to a team that has one of the best uniform traditions in all of football.

    BUT, if they dropped the wordmark on the pants / extended the stripe all the way and wore appropriately colored socks, the uniform would be a nice update of a classic look. The only major problem with it was it went one gimmick to many.

    I can agree with that assessment. I just find it hilarious that throughout this “golden age” of websites ranking various uniforms, the Browns usually don’t rank near the top, but get a new uniform and EVERYONE agrees the old one was a “classic uni” and “one of the best” in the league.

    Suuuuuuuure. Here’s the real story…Uni-Watch will disagree and say nobody links performance on field to whether or not the uni looks good, etc, but that’s a bunch of horseshit. Anyone who says the Packers uni is awesome independent of their rich winning history is lying. From the mid 70’s thru the 80’s they sucked, and lo and behold Ron Wolf et al wanted to change those unis in the early Favre era. But now they’re a winning outfit, and people take turns slobbing all over the hideous color combination.

    If the Browns have had same run of success in the past 25 years the uni would be left alone, and every ranking would reflect the “best uniform tradition in all of football” of the Browns and rank them at the top.

    But that’s not the case, and now that the uni has been changed people are saying the former uni was one of the best

    (full disclosure, I agree, I love the old uni and fully believe if the team was more successful, the change would not have happened…having said that I do like the updates, dislike the the Browns down the leg, but I don’t think it’s the worst uni ever worn in a football game, per the great Phil Hecken)

    They’d also need to drop the contrast stitching, switch the brown jersey numbers to white, and reduce the size of the chest mark.

    That’s a lot of things to change. It was 5 gimmicks too many.

    The team performance doesn’t effect anything. Take the Football Cardinals. They’ve gone to a Super Bowl and had multiple playoff runs wearing their current set. Which is still awful compared with what they wore when they weren’t winning.

    Yo Rich,

    If you’re going to call me out, at least get your facts straight.

    I never said it was the “worst” — I said the Brown/Orange/Orange combo (not the entire set) was ONE of the worst. That’s a big difference, but clearly not something you care to distinguish.

    I’ve yet to find anyone (at least over the age of 20 or so) who actually likes the “BROWNS” down the leg (no matter what the color of the pants); I even said, if you had followed the comments last week, that by itself (without the nub of a stripe) it wouldn’t be as bad, but putting BROWNS with a pants stripe is all kinds of stupid. I don’t even think high schools do this.

    But my problem isn’t with the 18 possible combinations — just the one bad one last weekend. Yesterday’s was OK (as was the matchup), and it was certainly better than Tampa Bay/NO’s matchup.

    If the Browns had worn brown socks with the orange pants, it would have looked better than it did. As it stood, however, it was one of the worst uni sets ever to grace a football field.

    And this has nothing to do with you, or the good people of Cleveland or the Browns…I’d say the same thing if the Giants ever came out in something like that.

    This is not personal — please don’t make it or take it that way.

    Cowboys now wear the blue at home for the Thanksgiving game because of the 1 helmet rule… I’ve never been a fan of their home whites because of multiple shades of blue that don’t match. Not a fan of the added “star” on the blue jersey either, but it’s so much better than the white ones it’s not much to be upset about.

    I wonder how the Cowboys would look if they applied that “alternate” template to their main white uniform. Use navy blue numbers and the silver pants. I bet it would look quite good even if it maybe wouldn’t really seem like the Cowboys.

    you are an insainiac. in white tops and blilver pantaloons the cowboys look like the cowboys, i love that they wear 50 shades of blue. in ocd matched lids and ‘loons they look like generic football team X, or the pats sans red.
    xoxo, keep the blilver britches,

    I see people describe them as “bluish-silver”, and I see others describe them as “greenish-silver”. I think that inconsistency is one of the reasons people find the Cowboys’ white-jersey pants so infuriating – we can’t even properly categorize the hue of the silver!

    As a real Cowboy fan, I like the home uniform. All the different blues are our thing. I would think that in a league of unis like Jacksonville,Tampa,Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Baltimore’s black pants, all the non fans would worry about that first.

    Sometimes on Madden I change the pants and it looks right until you realize it doesnt. The last version of Madden I bought actually has navy numbers. It seems proper,but it isn’t.

    i think the bronws pants stripes only look different lengths because players tuck their jerseys differently

    Donte Whitner is 5’10”; Karlos Dansby is 6’3″. The only way Whitner’s stripes are as long as Dansby’s is if Whitner’s pants have an unusually high waistline; and considering it looks like we can make out the top of the orange stripe under his jersey in that shot, I’m guessing Whitner isn’t hiking up his pants.

    Someone created some nice past-meets-present jerseys for a dozen or so teams

    Except for the Cavs (stick to wine & gold or orange & blue…don’t mix – hear that Dan Gilbert?) and the Rockets (even in the glorious ketchup & mustard I don’t want to see that design again), those are some good concepts. The Timberwolves really need to adopt their mashup now.

    I know the reason why the cowboys have greenish pants.. But now that everyone has HDTV .. Why do they insist on wearing that color?.. Do they have a another reason why they like that color?

    I agree about Cowboys dark uniforms — I really like them, in part because they use navy and the pants aren’t green.

    For the last two years, they have followed a new tradition of wearing them at home on Thanksgiving, since they can’t wear the throwback helmets anymore. I like that MUCH better than the throwbacks – just can’t get used to the white helmets.

    Wow, those sleeve numbers look ginormous. I know last season’s Stadium jerseys had the large numbers, but…

    The elevation number on the collar is a little stupid, but it’s a fairly clean look. I like it better than their new third jersey, and it’s definitely more appealing to me than their current regular uniforms.

    I may be in the minority, but Jameis Winston really wears the Bucs uniform well. I mean it looks good on him.
    I think there is something here. The Falcons redesign looked pretty decent on Mike Vick but it looks like hell on non-skill players. Another example, the Vikings stupid font was pretty clearly engineered to make Adrian Peterson’s #28 look good, and it’s all a steep downhill from there.

    Sorry if this has been mentioned, but the biggest issue with the Cowboys current blue jerseys is that they are a totally different design from the home ones, while usually you want your colored jerseys to be mirrors of the white ones (and vice versa).

    In addition to the blues being different, the sleeve stripes are different, there is a logo on the colored jerseys, and the number font is different (floating white outline)…

    The Cowboy blues from the 70’s were “mirrors” and looked better really.

    Why do you say the Cowboys blue jersey is less odd than a few years ago? If anything, it’s more rare since the redskins now usually wear dark at home.

    Also, count me as one that likes the white at home and the green-silver pants. The white outlined numbers on the blue top looks bad. Besides, the Cowboys are America’s team — and good guys (and good Cowboys) wear white.

    1. It’s less odd now because many more teams wear white at home, and the ‘boys invariably get caught up in a few of those games (I don’t have the stats, but it used to be, maybe, once a season; now it seems like 3-4 times a season).

    2. With the Thanksgiving game and the one-helmet rule, that’s one extra blue wearing a year.

    3. Cowboys = “America’s Team” is the equivalent of St. Louis Cardinas fans = “Best Fans in Baseball”

    Cowboys = “America’s Team” is the equivalent of St. Louis Cardinas fans = “Best Fans in Baseball”

    I didn’t think I could love you and this site more than I already did.

    One interesting thing about the “BROWNS” on the pants is that it makes it more difficult to turn the pants into biker shorts. (Who are the ROWNS?!)

Comments are closed.