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In Which I Land on the DL (again)

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As some of you may recall, three years ago I broke my wrist and forearm in a cycling accident with another biker. This past Sunday morning, while biking in almost the exact same spot, I had another accident, this time involving a pedestrian who didn’t look before entering the crosswalk. I thought my left elbow was badly sprained and was determined not to let that ruin my Sunday plans, so I went to my friend Jon’s pig roast and my friend Freddie’s 78prm record hop, and then watched the Mets beat the Cubs. But after fruitlessly trying to sleep, it was obvious that my arm was not getting better — on the contrary, it seemed to be getting worse — so at 2am-ish I toddled over to the ER, where X-rays revealed the radial fracture shown above.

So now I’m in a cast. The ER docs said I’d have to wear it for six weeks, but then I saw an orthopedist yesterday afternoon, and he said I’d only need the cast for two weeks — a huge relief. Hell, after what I went through last time (surgery, rehab, etc.), I can do two weeks in a cast while standing on my head!

Still, this time it’s my left arm that’s affected, not my right, which is going to be a challenge because I’m left-handed. Eating a bowl of Cheerios with the “wrong” hand might seem easy enough, but I was comically inept at it yesterday morning. And I suspect shaving is going to be quite the adventure. But hey, again, it’s only two weeks.

After the cast comes off, I’m not supposed to put weight or pressure on the arm for another three to four weeks, which means I won’t be able to participate in my November/December curling league. That’s the single biggest drag about the injury — that I’m letting down my team, which is skipped by Phil. Sorry, guys.

There are two uni-related aspects to this story:

1. I normally bike every day in Prospect Park, but I couldn’t do that on Sunday. Why? Because the biking/jogging loop had been overtaken by thousands of pink-clad people taking part in a breast cancer walk. With the park inaccessible, many people — too many of us, really — resorted to cycling in the bike lanes adjacent to the park. It got too crowded, and that’s part of what led to my accident. It would be churlish to suggest that Pinktober broke my arm, but it definitely played a role.

2. Last time around I got a green cast. I asked for the same thing this time, but the orthopedist said he didn’t have green. He did have, however, green camouflage. Also red camouflage. Also pink. Sigh. I settled for white.

Anyway: I can still type, but it’s a bit awkward, at least for now. So please forgive me if I don’t respond to an email or use every Ticker submission over the next coupla weeks — I’m being a bit more selective, at least until typing gets easier (although that’s not an issue with today’s Ticker, because Mike compiled it). Thanks for your patience.

Meanwhile, let’s hope I don’t have another accident three years from now. I’m running out of arms here.

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A question worth pondering: Reader Kyle Seely checked in yesterday with what he described as a “stream of consciousness NFL question,” as follows:

As I was watching games this weekend, watching my beloved-yet-terrible Browns and their drop-shadow numbers clashing with their no-outline nameplates, and their confusing and upsetting longer-on-the-front shoulder stripes, then flipping to the Bills/Bengals game and contemplating why the Bills would wreck a classic look by going mono-blue, and the Bengals everything, then wondering what the Dolphins were doing with players wearing aqua socks and white socks with no rhyme or reason while facing the mono-navy Titans, then seeing the Seahawks running around in their perpetual storm-cloud mono uniforms, and of course the Jaguars and the Buccaneers wearing whatever inconsistent collection of scrap colors, fonts, and styles they slap together any given week, and finally capped off on Monday by whatever the hell it is the Eagles are wearing (do those black pants have any design connection to any other element of their uniforms, past or present?), I have to ponder a question that’s been weighing on me these past few weeks, that I feel we’ve been building toward for several years:

Is this the worst era era in NFL uniform history?

It’s a fair question (especially if you throw in all the pink nonsense that now ruins so many of the October games, plus the loss of so many excellent throwbacks due to the one-helmet rule). The NFL hasn’t had a period where it lost its mind design-wise, like MLB in the ’70s or the NBA in the ’90s, but I think it’s fair to say that there’s been a slow erosion of the league’s core aesthetic values.

So what say ye — is this indeed a low point in NFL uniform history? Discuss.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Not sure if I ever mentioned this or not, but here we go: Growing up in late-’60s/early-’70s Louisville, I started out as a Vikings and Chiefs fan. I guess I just wasn’t aware of the closest pro team, as the Bengals had just come joined the league. Anyway, I must have watched Super Bowl IV and decided those were my teams. My first hoodie and pair of Sears PJs — Vikings. My first NFL pennant — Chiefs. And I particularly liked the Vikes’ helmets, even though it wasn’t until many years later that I realized it was a viking helmet horn, as seen on this helmet plaque auction. Ah, memories. Of course, the next year I moved to Dallas, and all that Chiefs/Vikes stuff went into storage.

Now for the rest of this week’s finds:

• Speaking of Dallas, look at the LeRoy Neiman artwork on this Time magazine cover of the Cowboys/Dolphins match-up in Super Bowl VI. I remember this game clearly, watching it in our living room. When they sacked Griese for that huge loss (29 yards, still a SB record) it was game over, baby. [I remember that game, too. First Supe I ever watched. When the Dolphins finally scored a field goal, the broadcast showed fans waving white handkerchiefs, and the announcer said, “That’s what Miami fans do when the team scores — they wave anything white.” Or at least that’s what I remember. Was that really true back then? ”” PL]

• Always liked Chalk Line designs — conservative looks as opposed to their peers at the time like Apex and Zubaz. This Falcons jacket kinda has a DeLong vibe to it with all the striped trim.

• This 1970s Broncos jacket also has a similar look, from Stahl-Urban. Note the helmet facing left rather than the usual right.

• Here’s a 1970 Dolphins uni set from Sears, still in the box.

• Crikey! From reader Will Scheibler, something PL will take note of: a 1971-1972 Australian Kangaroos roller derby jersey. [I do indeed like this one. Good call, Brinke! ”” PL]

• Bold design and colors on this 1970s New York Football Giants thermal mug.

• Never seen one of these before: a 1970s “Paint A Pro” figure. As the name suggests, you paint this Seattle Mariner yourself; they provide the decals. Here’s an Astros one. But are you really gonna paint the Tequila Sunrise?

• With the Royals in the ALCS, here’s a late-1970s KC Royals jacket.

• Sticking with the ALCS theme, Blue Jays fans can celebrate by downing some bubbly with this 1970s Blue Jays mug from Glasbake.

• Moving over to the NLCS, this 1970s bumper sticker from Union 76 says it plain and simple: “Go Cubs.”

• And is it just me, or does this 7-11 Yogi Berra Mets cup remind you of this scary bad guy from Star Wars?

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: First, MLB sells “authentic” fitted caps for infants. Second, if you look closely, you’ll see that the caps do not have squatchees (thanks, Adam Steinberg). … Todd Shepard and his wife went out to paint some pottery, so he created his own Red Sox stirrup mug.

Pro Football News: The front page of the Steelers’ official team shop shows a fan wearing an incorrect logo. … Since we’re talking the Steel City, Matt Ryburn saw this Pittsburgh logo mashup in Charlotte. … On yesterday’s Dan Patrick Show, Dan said he got a Jerome Bettis Rams jersey. Matt Williams says he doesn’t remember the Rams’ home NOB being in gold, only in white. “Did the Bus hit them with a knockoff?” he asks. … Art Savokinas says Pittston (Pa.) Area High School recently received a 50th NFL Anniversary ball. It was in honor of Jimmy Cefalo, a Dolphins WR (and multimedia personality) who attended the school. … Looks like the maker of these Bears nesting dolls doesn’t quite know the team’s QB hierarchy. … If NFL teams played soccer, this is what they would possibly wear (from Phil). … The Spokane Shock are moving from the Arena League to the Indoor Football League in 2016, and the AFL is preventing them from keeping their team name. So the club is holding a “name the team” contest and is taking entries through Friday (from Kyle Almekinder). ”¦ Subway is running a commercial in which a guy is shown in various non-football situations while wearing a helmet with single-bar facemask (from Chris Flinn).

College & High School Football News: Illinois will wear grey uniforms this weekend. The Illini wore them once last year, too. … Maryland will wear throwbacks this weekend against Penn State. The uniforms are modeled after the 1961 set (from Phil). … Google’s scoreboard shows the incorrect Utah State logo. The Aggies have used this logo since 2012 (from Brad Iverson-Long). … Ohio State, Hawaii ,and Tennessee top the list of the most memorable (for good and bad, apparently) uniforms in college football this season (from Phil). … Virginia’s Highland Springs High School has a slightly different nickname on the road than at home. … An Ohio T-shirt company poked fun of Michigan fans in the wake of the Michigan-Michigan State game from this weekend (from @wcjirish).

Soccer News: Two MLS notes from Jose Palacios. Chromecast uses an outdated MLS logo, and the Red Bulls’ Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips have both first initials and double last names on their NOBs, and they wear Nos. 98 and 99, respectively.

NBA News: The Jazz unveiled their new Stance socks. … Kobe Bryant’s line of Nike shoes has evolved over the last decade. That page includes a good infographic (from Paul Lee). … It turns out that the Clippers’ new logo set is good for something after all: You can use it to make a fun Halloween logo.

College Hoops News: In case we haven’t seen them, new uniforms for Washington (from Matt Wade). … I have a question. We see a ton of college programs change their uniforms and logos, but they almost always keep the same colors (maybe they add black or gray or something). But, when’s the last time a major program changed its color scheme completely?

Grab Bag: The business casual dress code has harmed the suit industry and fueled the corporate polo shirt sector (from Laurence Holland). … New logo for Dropbox (from Brinke). … Students at the U. of Mississippi will vote today on whether to remove the Confederate flag from campus. … In a vaguely related item, NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will race in a Mississippi-styled helmet (from Danny Bevis). ”¦ Good infographic on time vs. motion in various sports.

Comments (162)

    Total drag, but they say using your non-dominant hand for everyday tasks helps stave off Alzheimer’s!

    Eating a bowl of Cheerios with the “wrong” hand might seem easy enough

    You’ve been doing it all your life, Paul. Now you get a chance to eat like the rest of us. ;)

    You left out frosted, multi-grain, apple-cinnamon, dulce de leche, and more. The Cheerios product line has really gotten out of hand.

    But I just stick with the regular.

    Sure, blame it on the pedestrian. You bicyclists just don’t follow the rules. I’ve nearly picked off a few of you. Almost…

    A lot of pedestrians are worthy of blame just like a lot of bicyclists and drivers. Around here, it used to be the university and high school kids who would cross without looking. Now it’s everywhere.

    They put in all these new pedestrian crossings, but that doesn’t mean you don’t look. Always. Look. Both. Ways. The driver may not see you (especially at sunup or sundown…or if they’re being stupid and texting while driving), or they may see you and assume you’ll stop. Even if you have the right of way, look.

    “Around here…”


    Where’s “around here” Jakob? Sounds like you live in flyover country. Pull that in NYC (“cross without looking”), and you’re going to get hit.

    Rust Belt.

    We still have a soft spot for not hitting people, but it’s being sorely tested.

    Here in Gotham, most cyclists are messengers/deliverymen who show contempt for cars and pedestrians. Very hazardous. Casual cyclists seem to be better-mannered.

    Here in Gotham, most cyclists are messengers/deliverymen who show contempt for cars and pedestrians.

    As a daily cyclist myself (well, not for the next month), I can assure you that it’s been ages since that was true. For starters, the internet has taken a huge bite out of the messenger business. Also, the huge expansion of bike lanes under Bloomberg has led to a massive rise in “civilian” cyclists.

    As for who has contempt for whom, I’ll let someone else argue that. But the idea that “most cyclists” in NYC are deliverymen and messengers is badly outdated.

    Yeah, there’s been an absolute explosion in cyclists in the past five years. But in my personal experience (commuting eight miles each way five days each week), it sure seems that delivery cyclists are the ones most likely to push the rules. Not surprising, perhaps, since most are poorly-paid and depend on the tips they get, which themselves are dependent on how quickly the cyclists can move.

    After getting popped for $190 for riding through a red light (without any oncoming traffic), I myself am inclined to stop and wait these days.

    “The rules” were designed for the exclusive benefit and convenience of automobile drivers.

    That’s why I favor the Dutch approach to right-of-way: Bicyclists nearly always have the right of way, over both cars and pedestrians. Unless a crash happens on a sidewalk, the pedestrian is presumptively at fault. Partly for this reason, all individuals must carry personal liability insurance, just as all motorists must in most American states. Step into the street and get hit by a bike, and your insurance will be on the hook for any damage or injury.

    Also, at least in Amsterdam, Dutch police actively patrol and enforce bike rules, including safety equipment requirements and moving violations.

    If you’d asked me in advance, I’d have said that sounds like a terrible system, several layers of stupid piled on top of one another, but in practice it works. Pedestrians and drivers are more responsible, and bike traffic flows nicely despite the thick bike traffic.

    But in Amsterdam, whenever the cops would do a big enforcement sweep for equipment in my neighborhood, which was a couple of times a year, instead of just issuing tickets America-style, they actually handed out free equipment and installed it on people’s bikes for them if they had missing/broken lights and whatnot.

    My favorite feature of the infant New Era hats, for the sweaty infants: Interior includes branded taping as well as a moisture absorbing black sweatband.

    “The NFL hasn’t had a period where it lots its mind”
    “as the Bengals had just come joined the league.”
    There’s no link in the Clippers item.

    Maryland was red/white for most of the 90’s/early 2000’s. They reintroduced black/gold around 2009 I think.

    It used to be red/white athletics, black/gold other purposes I think………..

    There was some thought that red and white (The Terps) was Maryland’s College Park campus, while black and gold (The Retrievers) would be reserved for Maryland’s Baltimore County campus. But I’ve seen an old Maryland-College Park baseball uniform hung in Cole Field House, and it is black and gold.

    Re: College program changing colors scheme.

    The only one I can think of, and this is even a stretch, is when Pitt changed from royal and yellow to navy and gold in the mid-90’s.

    Colorado changed from baby blue and gold (basically UCLA colors) to black and gold in the 1980’s.

    Blue hadn’t been part of the scheme until around 1979. Just a temporary act of insanity.

    Nope. My brother attended CU starting in fall 1982 and they were most assuredly baby blue at that point.

    This article references 1981-1984 for the powder/sky blue Buffs.


    BYU went from royal blue/white to dark blue/old gold around that time. The first manifestation were those horrifying bib-fronted football uniforms.

    BYU’s accent color was actually tan rather than old gold.


    It was an innovative choice, if not particularly popular in Provo.

    I think this kind of counts, Coastal Carolina changed their colours to Teal-Black-Gold when they became an independent university. They were previously a regional campus of the University of South Carolina and wore the appropriate colours.

    On the topic of college color changes: Pitt’s migration from royal/yellow to navy/vegas gold comes to mind. However, that was just changing the hue of colors.

    I can only think of UL Monroe that changed their color scheme recently. They changed their nickname to WarHawks from Indians. Went from Cardinal and yellow gold to Maroon and Vegas(or athletic) gold. Is that a big enough change?

    Interesting! So we got UL Monroe and Pitt, and even they only made pretty minor color tweaks.

    A (very) quick and (non)exhaustive Google search turned up the following tidbits:

    University of Northern Colorado (Purple and Gold to Blue and Gold): link

    Azusa Pacific University (Orange and Black to Brick and Black): link (This page culls its information from an unofficial athletics university page showing the colors as Brick and Black. I am inferring from the description and associated picture that the previous colors were orange and black.)

    Because of liability concerns, the NFL decided a few years ago that teams can only use one set of helmets. Teams will, on occasion, repaint them to look like the era they’re throwing back to, but they no longer have a set of throwback helmets.

    Yet colleges don’t follow the rule. If the NFL is the industry leader, and the leader says one helmet only because of liability concerns, colleges are opening themselves up to liability with multiple helmets.

    The NFL says it’s a safety pre-caution, but I wonder if they are just laying down rules to give the appearance that they’re concerned.
    Their reasoning is that a broken in helmet fits better and is safer than a brand new helmet.

    I’m not sure I agree with that reasoning. I could just as easily make the argument that a single helmet worn constantly would be susceptible to have foam and cushion become worn and deformed over the course of a season giving them less impact resistance. Therefore switching out a few helmets seems safer, but I don’t know much about how helmets are conditioned over the course of the season, so who am I to comment?

    Correction: There’s no repainting going on. The only throwbacks currently in use are those that allow for the same set of helmets to be used with different logo decals and/or striping (or NO logo decals and/or striping). Facemasks can also be switched out.

    Until I read your reply, Paul, I was going to ask who had painted then repainted their helmets to do throwbacks, as I wasn’t aware of anyone having done this since the one-helmet rule went in place. However, my question now is, does the rule explicitly prohibit changing colors of the existing shells (ie, painting), or is this just something no one has done due to the effort and expense?

    I have a different take on the one-helmet rule. I think the NFL coddles the quarterbacks (who make more money than anyone else), and they have likely submitted concerns about teams switching helmet colors to throw off preparations for the next week’s games. Very often, quarterbacks throw to helmets, not just to receivers, and they are looking for opposing helmets as well as the rest of the player.

    There was one situation back in the 70s when Joe Ferguson requested that the Bills change to red helmets because everyone else in the AFC East (Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, Colts) had white hats.

    I’m willing to wager that a major reason why the colleges change uniforms every week is to confuse the opposing quarterbacks.

    There was one situation back in the 70s when Joe Ferguson requested that the Bills change to red helmets because everyone else in the AFC East (Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, Colts) had white hats.

    Close. That happened in 1984, by which time the Jets had green hats, but the rest is correct. :)

    Paul, speedy recovery! Hope it heals well for you.

    As for the question about this current uniform era, I think it is awful for football now but I think some of the 70s era baseball uniforms were just as bad. Uniforms in football today are more like costumes than uniforms. Really gotten to the point of the ridiculous with BFBS, GFGS, and the ‘themed’ uniforms like Oregon wore recently. I realize the idea is to add an air of excitement for the fans and be fun for the players but nothing excites fans or players like winning even if the uniform worn is a traditional old one, ask Alabama for instance. We are in the Uni Costume era thanks to Nike and adidas and now Under Armour trying to outdo one another to sell more merchandise to the masses. Just hollah, it’s all about the dollah!

    Yes, it’s getting bad, but the college game is much worse, and really appalling (save for Alabama and a few others — can’t say Ohio State anymore).

    Also, in baseball, it’s gotten worse with the sockless, baggy look dominating, and the multiple throwbacks and alternates and caps.

    The question on the table is not whether the current NFL is worse than other eras of other leagues/sports. The question is whether this is the worst period ever for the NFL. Let’s please confine it to that. Thanks.

    I would say these readers are bringing up other sports because of the context. When most of us look at baseball uniforms from the 70s, we shudder and grimace a little bit. When we look at NFL uniforms from the 80s and 90s, we generally nod and say “That’s about right.” To me, that shows that we think baseball uniforms have better design now, but football uniforms are going the other direction.

    And I definitely agree with that. The enormous shoulderpads of yesteryear do look a bit dated, but the uniforms themselves are so much better than the costumes of today. I can’t see this as being anything other than a low point for the NFL. Twenty years from now, we should be looking back on this time period and shaking our heads in disbelief. Of course, that assumes things don’t continue to get worse. Who knows, players might have laser holograms or Budweiser helmets by then. 2015 might be “the good old days.”

    I think it is awful for football now but I think some of the 70s era baseball uniforms were just as bad.

    The question on the table is not whether the current NFL is worse than other eras of other sports. The question is whether this is the worst period for the NFL. Let’s please confine it to that. Thanks.

    Yeah, NFL uniforms are really in the toilet, but it won’t really be possible to tell until they begin to improve. If all they do is get worse, we’ll be crying for them to look as good as they do now.

    The Dolphins fans, at the urging of play-by-play announcer Rick Weaver, had started waving white hankies at the AFC Championship Fane against the Colts…

    man I hate when people use “biked” as a verb…anyway hope you have a speedy recovery. Do you ride with brakes?

    I think a big problem with todays NFL uniforms are the different color combinations that can be used between pants, alt sets and what not.

    Only idiots don’t have brakes.

    In this case, I had to brake so hard, and so suddenly, that I flew over the handlebars. That’s how I got injured.

    Using “bike” as a verb, incidentally, while informal, is completely acceptable usage:

    True, however, it’s akin to saying something like “I autoed to work.” or “I planed to LA.” Granted, those are not common, but to some people, it sounds just as strange to say “I biked to the coffee shop.”

    Much of your work involves details, semantics and various types of nomenclature, so I’m sure you see the value in saying “I drove (my car) to work, I flew (on an aircraft) to LA and I rode (my bicycle) to the coffee shop.”

    On a more serious note, sorry to hear about your accident. How is this type of situation handled in New York? I know that most road laws state that a pedestrian always has the right of way and cars and bicycles are supposed to yield to them, but could you theoretically have been in any sort of trouble if the pedestrian was injured?

    Did you squeeze both brakes, or just your front brakes?

    It’s true that riding without brakes is stupid, but it does encourage you to look ten steps ahead and be hyper aware of what’s happening around you, so it’s not completely without benefit.

    My friend had a fixed-gear bike, which didn’t have brakes (you stopped by pedaling backwards). Is that common amongst city cyclists?

    You stop a no-brakes fixed gear bike by slowing your pedaling down. Pedaling backwards on a fixed gear makes the rear wheel go backward.

    It’s coaster brakes that you pedal backwards (slightly) to brake. This is what most kids bikes have.

    I wouldn’t call all riders without brakes idiots, but for me yes I’ve always had them. I thought maybe you were possibly on a fixed gear bike, but honestly I didn’t think that would be your style.

    I know using “bike” as a verb is acceptable but as andyharry points out it sounds very strange to me/others. Having rode and raced BMX for close to 20 years, never did any of my fellow riders/racers or myself use it as a verb. We never “biked the track” we rode the track, we never “biked at the trails” we rode at the trails, we never “biked” street we rode street, we never went “biking” we went riding. We called ourselves riders not bikers.

    I’m definitely not a fixie type. Frankly, I don’t understand the appeal.

    I think our feelings about bike-related nomenclature probably has a lot to do with the fact that you were/are a racer, and I’m not. Interesting perspective on that, though — thanks!

    Bicyclists are riders. Motorcyclists are bikers. Shouldn’t that be the opposite?

    Interesting. I know that it is considered bad form in the circles I run in to say something such as; “I golfed today” or “I went golfing today.” Golf must be “played” as in, “I played golf today or I’m playing golf today.”

    Any Eagles uniform that does not utilize Kelly Green, Silver and White is not a true Eagles uniform. That being said, their new “Black Out” set does have elements of their current colors. May be tough to see but the pants stripe has midnight green. Now that they are 2-0 wearing them, wouldn’t surprise me if they use it more often.

    “…wouldn’t surprise me if they use it more often.”


    Per the NFL, they can only wear the alternate twice during the regular season. So by “more often” you mean a second time this season.

    That rule applies only to the jerseys — they can wear the alternate *pants* as often as the like. Not that I’m trying to give them any ideas.

    Yes, yes. I was going to add that they can wear the pants as often as they’d like, but I was assuming Hank was talking about the black uniform in toto.

    Should have been more specific with regard to the alternate top.

    Darned if I can tell, but they must have stuck their anthracite color in there. My colorblindness makes it run together with the midnight green.

    On yesterday’s Dan Patrick Show, Dan said he got a Jerome Bettis Rams jersey. Matt Williams says he doesn’t remember the Rams’ home NOB being in gold, only in white. “Did the Bus hit them with a knockoff?” he asks.

    First sign that’s a knockoff is the NOB font. Pretty sure the Rams never used that font on the old blue-and-yellow jerseys. And the Rams were white NOB at home on those uniforms. Also, those horns look really bad. Screams knockoff from 1,000 miles away.

    The nameplate lettering is the wrong style and color. The numbers are also the wrong style, and I can’t tell from the blurry image the material and application technique, but an authentic from that era would have shiny, heat-sealed vinyl numbers, NOT sewn twill numbers.

    Don’t get me started on pedestrians. LOOK BOTH WAYS before you cross a street!

    All the new specially marked pedestrian crosswalks have had the same effect as an SUV for a driver or a new helmet for a football player…they give people a false sense of security. Not saying get rid of them. Just saying they’re not an excuse to assume you’re safe. You still have to think and you still have to look, because the driver may not be doing either.

    Get well soon, Paul.

    Is ANYBODY on the record as liking the UCLA design? Seems Adidas has given up aesthetics in favor of LOOK AT ME!

    The yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk without a light or stop sign is a stupid law- laws of physics should be the overriding laws. Regardless or what the laws of man say- Newton’s First and Second laws will decide the outcome of life and death in this case.

    This is why I tell me kids NEVER cross the street if a car is coming- even at a stop sign or light. Make sure the car or bike stops.

    As for the squatchees on infant caps- you don’t want something hard on the hat that can press into and infant’s soft and developing skull. Safety issue! BUT who the hell is going to pay a fortune for a cap that a kid can wear for maybe two months tops?

    BUT who the hell is going to pay a fortune for a cap that a kid can wear for maybe two months tops?

    Somebody with more money than sense.

    I think the term that needs to be used for the NFL is “change for change sake”. It has been a disaster the last decade or so changing uniforms to make them more shiny or putting stripes in weird places for the hell of it.

    Bucs- ruined a great look
    Jags- Decent look to horrible
    Dolphins- Timeless look to clownshow
    Falcons- why so many stripes on the sleeves?
    Cardinals- great look but now too busy

    A lot of terrible looking uniforms and re-designs. Most teams looked better in the 80’s.

    I agree. I think if you look at uniforms in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and yes, 90s, they look much better. I think NFL uniforms in the 2000s even looked significantly better. The NFL has reached a nadir, and it’s highlighted by the unwatchable Pinktober.

    I just completely agree with Kyle Seely. We truly are in the worst uniform era in NFL history. The game just looks so bad, it’s depressing.

    Yes. It’s clearly the worst time for uniforms in NFL history to date. Two of the drivers are Mr. Lukas’ frequent themes: the retail market for jerseys driving changes that might sell and the trend of making players look like superheroes rather than athletes. I suggest that the eradication of sleeves from NFL jerseys also contributes since new decorations can’t live on absent sleeves.

    I dread the next generation Bronco uniforms.

    I don’t think there can be any question whatsoever as to this being the worst era.

    I am not even a raging traditionalist who wants everything to be an Eisenhower/Kennedy era aesthetic either. I’m all for a well-done “modern” look. (i.e. Minnesota these past few years.)

    There are just SOOOOOOOO many NFL sets now that are utterly incoherent on so many levels. It really is almost distracting how bad so many are.

    I’d argue that the ’70’s MLB uniform designs or the ’90’s NBA and NHL uniform designs represents a high water mark for innovation and the understanding that sports IS entertainment…. fans PAY to watch competition and to be engaged. If team uni were this boring there would be no Uniwatch. Be thankful that Leagues are bigger out of the box thinkers than this?


    If team uni were this boring there would be no Uniwatch. Be thankful that Leagues are bigger out of the box thinkers….

    I hear this a lot — some variation on “If nobody changed uniforms, you’d have nothing to write about.”


    1) Yes I would. There’s plenty of uni-related news that has nothing to do with teams changing their designs.

    2) Even if I somehow had nothing to write about, so what? Are you really suggesting that the uni-verse should pump out crap just to support my livelihood? Absurd argument on its face.

    wrong handed typo alert: says “The NFL hasn’t had a period where it lots its mind…” Pretty sure that is lost.

    By the way, while watching the baseball playoffs, I have to ask – is this the best period of MLB uniforms? I couldn’t think of one that I thought was atrocious. BFBS seems to have disappeared and teams are going back to the best of their past. Uniform wise, the worst one in the playoffs still is the blue Mets top – and that isn’t really all that terrible.

    And to answer the specific question on if this is the worst of the NFL – I would say yes. Although, I hate the 80’s with their halter top uniforms.

    Maybe on balance … but I can’t get over the TITANIC steps backward that the Braves and Senators had taken, uni-wise. My vote’s for ’67.

    If the Astros had orange caps in 1969 it’d be hard to argue with you. I’d still do it, but you’d have a better leg on which to stand. At least the Padres came along to end the 15-year void of no brown in the majors.


    Couldn’t agree more. Actually, the period 1964-1972 were excellent for baseball uniforms. But, I’m in the 50+ age group. It’s a generational thing. The current generation require constant change and the manufacturers are happy to oblige. This has spread to all major U.S. sports leagues and the world’s soccer leagues. I’m afraid the genie is out of the bottle and the horrors of the current Cleveland Browns’ uniforms (can you imagine what those decision makers were smoking when they agreed to those monstrosities) and Ohio State Buckeyes’ mono-black are just the tip of the iceberg. A pox on Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc.

    Early 1990s, as teams returned to belts and buttoned jerseys, was a high point for baseball attire. Too many dark colored softball jerseys in use today.

    The current era is up there in terms of design … but the prevalence of pajama pants sinks it near to the bottom. No matter how well-conceived the threads are, a philistine player can and will customize it into an eyesore. And the teams and their management, unanimously, don’t give a damn.

    I only follow NHL/MLB so I can’t comment on the NFL question but since this seems to be the baseball thread.. I’ll say 1990s/2000s was baseball’s worst era..And 2000s-current for NHL. Baseball teams ditched colorful and interesting unis (ahem, Astros, Angels, Brewers, Padres…to name just a few.. and then yes the BFBS Mets, Reds, etc..) for plain and boring. NHL with the Bettman stripes, NHL shields mucking up the collars, and scooped hems – all ruining the classic look of hockey jerseys.

    The thing is, one can EXPLAIN the 1970s MLB unis and the ’90s NBA unis–I don’t like them, but I understand the contemporary market they were designed to appeal to, and I understand how those unis would have appealed to certain fans of the day. I can get inside the head of the designers and their audience.

    But–and maybe this means I don’t get out much–I don’t know ANYONE who thinks the current NFL unis constitute a good look. I can’t envision why the mono-look is happening or whom anyone thinks it’s targeting–it merely gives the impression that with solid-colored tops & bottoms, stuff like this will occasionally happen, and the combos are assigned by a RNG. From here, it looks like a merely accidental or perverse choice, in the service of the chooser knows not what. So it’s not merely the worst era of NFL-uniform design, it’s the most baffling: in fact, “design” seems like precisely the wrong word.

    Any insider hypotheses?

    That’s a really good observation. Unlike other leagues in previous eras, there doesn’t appear to any rhyme or reason behind what the NFL is doing. That makes it all the more maddening.

    You’re right to call out the word “design.” I see very little evidence of actual design going on with Nike-era NFL uniforms. And fair enough; Nike does not do design. Nike does brand-promotional merchandising (that is, Nike exploits its clients to promote and merchandise the Nike brand), and Nike does art. Art is not design. Anyway, Nike’s anti-design approach will have surprised no one at the NFL, so the crapitude of the Nike-era NFL is not Nike’s fault but the deliberate choice of the NFL.

    Thankfully, despite also having league-wide outfitting contracts, the other major leagues seem to remain much more decentralized in terms of actual uniform/logo processes, so I see actual design being attempted in MLB, the NHL, and even the NBA.

    Notice the picture used while talking specifically about the NFL in the infographic at the end of the ticker. They used a pic of SC University not a NFL team. Hope the rest of their research was better.

    Poor execution of the graphic aside, I hate when people try to claim the NFL only has 11 minutes of action in 3 hours. Just because the ball isn’t actively in play, it doesn’t mean there isn’t still something going on. If you think the all of the pre-snap signal calling and formation shifts isn’t part of the “action”, then you don’t understand the sport.

    /there are still too many commercials though

    I think it’s a great time for NFL uniforms. Teams are trying to be creative and different. Sure, some things like the Jags helmets or Browns pants don’t work, but the league as a whole is much more diverse in style now than it ever used to be. I see that as a good thing. Look at 1980, for example. Every team but the Bears has essentially the same number font. The Packers, Browns, Dolphins, and Saints all used the same sleeve striping pattern. The same can be said for the Lions, Vikings, and Steelers, or the Jets, Bills, and Cowboys. The Chargers lightning bolts and the Rams shoulder horns were probably the most unique uniform elements in the entire league. Compare that to today where you’ve got multiple teams with custom numbers and unique elements like the Falcons sleeves or Cardinals piping or Broncos pant swooshes… and at the same time you still have the classic Raiders/Chiefs/Packers style uniforms as well.

    Different isn’t necessarily bad, but a lot of the past uniforms had design elements that were built with a purpose. Perfect example: the illegible TV numbers on the black 49ers unis, or on the new Browns unis never would have been approved in an era where things were designed with a purpose. The unique fonts used around the league are generally horrendous. I’d much rather see the Vikings or the Bucs with Varsity blocks.

    It’s funny, but I have exactly the opposite impression. Thanks to the uniformity of Nike’s jersey template, things like “sleeve” stripes now feel like minor details, mere decorative filigree, while things like the Nikelace and the shape of the shoulders/sleeves stand out to me and make teams look more alike, not less. And while it’s true that teams used to use basically the same numbers and stripe patterns, team colors were bold, consistent, and distinctive. Now, color is a much less reliable indicator of team identity, numbers are harder to read, and supposedly “distinctive” stripes and other elements are smaller and less visually impactful.

    It’s like we’ve gone from a league in which everyone wears a polo shirt in a different color to one in which everyone wears a tie-dye shirt.

    I, for one, am totally in favor of the NFL looking to the Grateful Dead for uni inspiration :-)

    Thanks to college football, the NFL doesn’t feel as bad as it really is. But yeah, on its own terms, this is definitely the NFL’s all-time low era for uni aesthetics. I can’t even imagine how one would argue against that proposition.

    Since Paul introduced the comparison, I’ll go ahead and compare the NFL of the 2010s to 1970s MLB: There was a lot of attempted innovation in MLB uni designs in that era, both aesthetic and material. Some of the innovations failed, either in utilitarian terms or aesthetically or both. But many succeeded! The era produced a lot of mediocre uniforms, only a few actual bad uniforms, and several all-time great uniforms (Phillies, Expos, Astros). In the contemporary NFL, nearly all of the innovations are failures. Materials don’t work properly and nearly every aesthetic change produces outlandish ugliness. Is there a single uniform instituted in the Nike era that could plausibly be regarded as an all-time great football uniform? More damningly, where are the mediocre Nike-era uniforms? Maybe the Dolphins? Aside from Miami, just about every Nike-era uniform redesign has introduced all-time team-ugliest uniforms.

    “Aside from Miami, just about every Nike-era uniform redesign has introduced all-time team-ugliest uniforms.”


    I’d argue that the Seahawks uni now is better than the one it replaced (because what it replaced was SOOOO bad), but their propensity to keep going blue over blue with blue socks really sucks. Pair that with the wolf gray pants they have and it’s not wholly awful, and is actually pretty decent, for a modern uni.

    I’d also argue that the new Vikings unis, as bad as that stupid “sail” number font is, are still better than what they replaced, which were just gaddawful.

    But everything else, from Jax to TB to the Browns? Huge, huge downgrades.

    Pair that with the wolf gray pants…

    There are no wolf gray pants. There are just gray pants (or, if you prefer, grey pants).

    That is all.

    See, the way Nike “designs” uniforms, I don’t think it’s fair to separate the number font from the rest of the package. The number font has become the dominant team-distinctive element of the jersey. And while the rest of the Vikings’ uniform has gone from the bottom of mediocre to the middle of mediocre – at best a D-plus to a middle C – the number font is an integral part of the uniform. In my book, that makes the whole thing, taken as a whole as it should be, a downgrade.

    Even the few not-entirely-terrible new unis of the Nike era are by and large significant downgrades. Take Miami: I actually like the current Dolphins uni. I don’t think it’s great or anything, but it’s a perfectly decent football uniform. An easy B-minus uni. But it replaced a fantastic uniform, so even when the Nike-era NFL manages not to make a terrible uniform, they still manage to make the team and the league look worse overall.

    Seattle is a good counterexample, but to me that was more of a purely lateral move. The old uniform was pretty bad, and the new uniform is also pretty bad, but the new one at least has the virtue of being interestingly bad. Which is also true of the current Buccaneers uniforms, and even the Browns.

    If you showed me a slideshow and had me identify who the number font is associated with – I would bet maybe 3 or 4 (and those would not be stupid new fonts). So no, the team is not identified by a font…

    The team may not be successfully identified by its number font – clearly for Susan it’s not – but that speaks to the success of Nike-era uni design, not the functional intent of the designer. The custom number fonts are supposed to be recognizable from team to team – the press releases that accompany new unis usually make that intended purpose explicit.

    I couldn’t identify most teams by number font, either. But then again, back in the day, I couldn’t necessarily have named every team on the basis of its sleeve stripes alone. That doesn’t mean that sleeve stripes were not intended to distinguish teams from each other.

    Disagree re: the Seahawks. I always liked the previous uniform, but lamented the insistence on blue-over-blue. Every other combo (link, link, and especially the super-rare link) looked great, IMHO.

    Can anyone come up with a time in NFL history when the look was even comparably as bad to this decade? I’m thinking of every decade, and all of them are much better than this one. Obviously the 90s and 2000s brought some failed experiments (and the 2000s was kind of the beginning of this current era of unis), but really, it has to be worse now than ever.

    The Dolphins “Miami” tramp-stamp is still my all-time least favorite feature any any uniform. Ever!

    I believe the NFL is in it’s worst era of NFL history to date, but what concerns me is that I don’t see any end in sight.
    When reebok started pumping out those weird piping templates to the various pro leagues, there ended up being a sort of backlash where fans wanted throw backs, and things really calmed down and have settled into a relatively decent place.

    Outside of uniwatch, I don’t see much sign of a push back. I fear most teams will progress to full Oregon status. Kids will look back at past eras as a weird boring footnote.

    NFL looks horrible now. Every time a change is announced I cringe.No one ever inmproves their look. The last improvement was the Bills…..but then they give them blue pants and some idiot pairs them with the blue jersey. One helmet rule? Teams should have a one pants rule too. That would help. Also all teams except Chicago should have block number font. It’s a league for men after all.

    The last improvement was the Bills…..

    Disagree. The Vikings’ 2013 makeover was an improvement. I’m not saying it’s all that great, but it’s better than what they had before.

    “It’s a league for men after all.”


    Um…ok. Yes, it is, but not sure what you’re implying with this statement.

    Echoing Phil here. What exactly — EXACTLY — does “a league for men” mean? And once we’ve clarified that, what exactly — EXACTLY — does that have to do with block numerals?

    Well, duh, block numbers are manly. Because they paint block numerals on the sides of battleships, and there’s nothing in the world more phallic than the link. Also, block numerals are simple and straightforward, not fancy, because link don’t link all link.

    This is definitely the worst era for NFL uniforms. The best looking uniforms are the ones that stay consistent. Basically, the classics are classic for a reason. Green Bay, Chicago, Pittsburg, Indianapolis, Oakland, Dallas, Washington, & K.C. are all gorgeous in their own simple way, while newer uniforms are a mess.
    PL-From one cyclist to another, I sympathize with you and hope for a speedy recovery.

    RE: the NFL looking horrible. The cut of the jerseys pretty much ensures that teams that look good today look worse than they did 20 years ago (i.e. 49ers, Steelers, Browns before their redesign). I’m a big proponent of moving sleeve stripes down to compression shirts.

    RE: NCAA color combination changes. I don’t know if they count as major, necessarily, but Montana switched from gold (or yellow) & copper to maroon and silver sometime in the early 90s. It’s a pretty drastic change, viewable link and link. I love the old color combination.

    The fugly state of NFL uniforms is so irritating, my enjoyment of watching the games is being affected.

    Seahawks with their royal and kelly, Eagles with their kelly, the Houston Oilers (one of the most underrated uniforms in sports history) instead of the Titans/Texans, the creamsicle Bucs, the original Jags uniform, the Steelers block numbers, the Ravens original logo and uniforms, Jets green helmet, the Patriots flying Elvis shoulders (ok maybe not that one), the previous Falcons set with the black helmet and silver/gray pants, the Jim Kelly Bills, the previous 49ers set with red facemask (and the white-pants throwbacks from just before that), the Bengals previous set, the Barry Sanders Lions, the Chris Carter Vikings…

    The 90s were where it was at for the overall look of the NFL. Even the crazy Starter jackets and hats the coaches wore on the sidelines I look back on with nostalgia, although most of the sideline gear Nike has put out for coaches has been pretty decent too.

    The only 2 teams I can think of where their current sets are definite improvements from their 90s sets are the Patriots and the Chargers.

    You’re worried about eating Cheerios with the wrong hand??? I’d be more worried about using the wrong hand when the Cheerios decide to make their exit…

    NCAA schools changing colors? I think the University of Dayton (the Flyers) were originally red and sky blue, but the basketball team switched the sky to navy in order to look better on television.

    They switched for the same reason BYU & Pitt went from royal blue to dark blue…becau$e Nike $aid $o.

    Red and sky blue looked fantastic on TV.

    They transitioned over time. Just two years ago they were red & royal blue. And they were Nike then. Right after their Elite Eight run, they were assimilated to the Dark (blue) Side.

    Apparently the $woosh doesn’t mind sky blue…they just can’t stand royal blue.

    Never knew until now that there are eleven (?) official colors for the University of Dayton:

    UD’s official blue is still “Marian Blue” but they have had a darker blue in their uniforms as of late.

    My first year watching baseball and football was in 1972, and there were lots of Dolphins games on TV that year as they played for the perfect record. I distinctly recall the fans waving white hankies when the Dolphins scored. Made for good TV as cameras panned across the crowds. Whether they did this in ’71 or not, I don’t know, but it apparently was entrenched as a tradition by at least ’72. It has made all of the variations that have followed — including the Terrible Towel and other hankie-waving — seem like rip-offs.

    I am ambivalent about Nike as the NFL’s uniform supplier. They’ve done some things I like, and some things I don’t like. Let’s consider:


    1) The cut, fit, and durability of Nike’s jerseys seems excellent. From a quality of materials standpoint, they seem to be an upgrade over Reebok, which was churning out some cheaply-made crap there toward the end.

    2) The uniform colors are vibrant (if not always accurate or consistent).

    3) Lots of innovative ideas in concept for custom number fonts. Unlike many people here, I like the idea of custom number fonts – in theory.

    The Con:

    1) Custom number fonts – in practice. The Vikings’ horned numbers were so close to being awesome, but Nike ruined it by taking it too far. And the Bucs’ font is just horrendous.

    2) Jersey collars. They’re too wide, which is especially noticeable on contrasting-color collars like the Eagles, Broncos, and Texans. And the Nikelace serves no other purpose to be annoying.

    3) Mismatched color panels on jerseys. The Jets are the most egregious example.

    4) Matte finishes on pants that should be metallic. The 49ers and Saints look like they’r wearing khaki instead of gold. And you’d think the Raiders were the Grey and Black instead of the Silver and Black based on how Nike outfits them. Also the way the thin pants material turns see-through when players sweat through it is downright embarrassing.

    Hmmm… on balance, this just might be the worst uniform era the NFL has seen in my lifetime.

    The cut, fit, and durability of Nike’s jerseys seems excellent. From a quality of materials standpoint, they seem to be an upgrade over Reebok, which was churning out some cheaply-made crap there toward the end.

    Just curious: On what basis do you make this assertion? What exactly about Reebok’s uniforms qualified as “cheaply made crap”? If you’re talking about retail merch, let’s keep in mind that retail merch is, you know, retail merch. It has little to do with what’s worn on the field (“authentic” descriptors notwithstanding).

    As for the quality of Nike’s materials, there’s this:

    And this:

    Shall I go on?

    For all I know, maybe Nike’s on-field apparel really is better than Reebok’s was, just as you claim. But I’m not privy to anything that would support that conclusion. If you are, I’m all ears.

    “On what basis do you make this assertion? What exactly about Reebok’s uniforms qualified as ‘cheaply made crap’? If you’re talking about retail merch, let’s keep in mind that retail merch is, you know, retail merch. It has little to do with what’s worn on the field (“authentic” descriptors notwithstanding).”

    My statement was based on personal observations of the on-field stuff rather than merch. Those observations come from watching games on an HDTV and occasionally being at games and seeing the players in uniform at pretty close range. Does that make me an authority? No, but I like to think that I tend to pick up on the little details.

    Speaking anecdotally, I remember a lot more jersey tears during the Reebok era than under Nike. I tried to see if I could find some visual support online. As luck would have it, my search terms didn’t yield much more than this example:


    While that feels indicative of what I remember, I would have liked a few more examples to bolster my recollection. As such, I’ll walk back my “cheaply made crap” comment and just say that I like the fit and fabric finish better on the Nike jerseys as compared to Reebok.

    “As for the quality of Nike’s materials, there’s this:”

    If you’ll reread my previous post, you’ll notice that my comments about quality were limited to the jerseys. As we both point out, Nike’s pants are a bit of a disaster, so we agree on that.

    Gotcha. Thanks for responding.

    Personally, I suspect there isn’t that great a difference between the two outfitters. They’re both professional operations, and they both work closely with equipment managers and players. But I’ll add this: Nike can’t get the Jets’ colors right, and they failed a vendor’s most basic responsibility last year by being unable to provide green jerseys to the Eagles for most of the season.

    The uniform colors are vibrant (if not always accurate or consistent).

    I don’t think that’s the case at all. Nike’s insistence on matte shades mean metallic colors link. That’s pretty much link. Not to mention what they’ve done to the Jets’ green, which has moved from link to link.

    In my opinion, the matte finish of Nike’s jerseys makes the colors pop compared to the satin sheen of Reebok’s jerseys. I always felt like the glare coming off of the Reebok jerseys gave them a slightly washed-out look.

    And I should have done a better point of making it clear that my comments about vibrant colors was meant to apply solely to the jerseys. I agree with you about the pants and made more or less the same point as you in my previous post.

    As for the Jets’ jersey, you’re right. I already knew I hated the mismatched shades of green, but the olive drab that Nike uses for the majority of the jersey is a step backward compared to Reebok’s rendition. I may prefer the matte finish on many of the other jerseys, but there’s no defending what the Jets wear.

    So sorry to hear about another bike accident for you Paul. Hoping you recover and feel better quickly.

    It is, without a doubt (at least to my eyes) the absolute worst era for NFL uniforms. I’ve never been a fan of the tighter fitting jerseys. I always say that Jack Lambert probably isn’t sitting on his couch thinking “if we’d only had tighter jerseys, we’d have won four MORE Super Bowls. GAH!!”

    I asked a friend of mine if any uniforms from 2005 to now would be classics in years to come. The quick answer of “no” only confirmed the way I’ve felt for some time now.

    For me, the sweet spot was the 15 year period between 1975 – 1990. We had Sand-Knit, Wilson, Russell and Champion all at the top of their game. We had all mesh jerseys, sewn-on numbers, screened-on numbers and even throwback material with Cleveland and Pittsburgh still wearing cotton/nylon-durene. Save for the tearaway experiment, the jerseys from this era were (for the most part) beautiful, well crafted and classic.

    I can’t say the same for what we’re seeing now.

    Feel better soon Paul!

    I agree with Phil that 1969 was probably the best year ever for MLB uniforms.

    This is definitely the worst era for NFL uniforms.

    The Bucs, Jaguars, Bengals, Falcons wear clown suits. The Cardinals fall just short of clown suit status.
    The Seahawks monochrome look is played.
    The Steelers, Chargers, Dolphins. Lions, and Vikings use strange fonts for no good reason.
    The Ravens and Saints black stripeless pants look horrible.
    The 49ers black jerseys are just terrible.
    The Browns took an all time classic look and created something that looks like it was colored by a second grader. If they “needed” a redesign, then so do the Colts, Bears and Giants. I sure hope that doesn’t happen, though.
    I miss the Cowboys serif font numbers.

    The only ‘improvement ‘ in recent years was the Jets going back to their classic look, and that was 17 years ago. Just about everything since has been a step downhill.

    The early 70’s were definitely the best time period for NFL uniforms.

    The Giants went back to their classic look in 2000, 2 years after the Jets did, but it was a minor upgrade. The Patriots also upgraded in 2000. The Bills’ current uniform, adopted in 2011, is a significant upgrade over what they wore previously. The Vikings’ current set (2013) is a minor upgrade over its immediate predecessor, numerals notwithstanding. Everything else since 1998 has been a downgrade.

    Sorry to hear about your accident over the weekend. Here’s hoping you’ll get better soon, and be able to handle your business in the meantime. Take care.

    Yes, worse period for NFL uni’s. The downward spiral started several years ago when jerseys lost their sleeves. All those classic stripes became horribly truncated (Colts, Steelers, Niners!). What makes it the worst now are all these “unique” number fonts teams insist on going with (The Bucs sealed that fate).

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