Yesterday’s Ticker included a link to slideshow showing the Raiders playing in various home stadiums other than the Oakland Coliseum. We’re going to follow up on that today, because eagle-eyed reader Tim Dunn spotted something interesting lurking within one of those photos. As it turns out, the photo he singled out may contain something potentially historic — but it’s not the part of the photo that got his attention.
The photo in question can be seen above. Let’s take a closer look at the section of the image that Tim found so interesting (click to enlarge):
As you can see, two Raiders players — wide receiver Charlie Hardy (No. 82) and defensive back John Harris (No. 29) — had FNOBs. Good spot by Tim!
Having two FNOBs in the same photo seems pretty unusual, right? But not so fast: It’s actually the other Raider with his back to the camera — defensive lineman Bob Voight (No. 78) — who’s of historic interesting in this shot.
Here’s the deal: As shown on the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database (and confirmed in some discussions I had yesterday with the GUD honchos), when the Raiders came into existence in 1960, they initially went NNOB for the first five weeks of the season and then went FNOB — first and last names — for Week 6. They stuck with the FNOB format for the rest of 1960 and throughout 1961 (except for the ’61 preseason, when many players went NNOB and didn’t get their nameplates until they made the final roster cut). They didn’t go with what we now think of as a standard surname-only NOB until 1962.
So while the sight of two FNOBs in the same photo might seem unusual, it’s actually Bob Voight — the guy with the conventional NOB — who’s actually the outlier in that photo. “It’s the first instance I have seen of a Raiders player with only his last name on his back for either 1960 or 1961,” says GUD researcher Tim Brulia.
So was this a one-time, one-player anomaly, or were there several Raiders with conventional NOBs in 1961? “When encountering anomalies such as this, we have used the ‘Rule of Three,'” says GUD researcher Bill Schaefer. “Basically, if three or more occurrences of something are found in a single game, then there is something to it.” Otherwise, it’s just a fluke. For now, Bob Voight’s NOB is in the latter category — but hey, there are always more old photos out there to learn from.
Friday Flashback: My Friday Flashback on ESPN today is about the Hartford Whalers’ awesome logo and uniforms. Aside from the basic “That’s such a cool logo!” gushing, the piece also features an exclusive interview with the logo’s designer, Peter Good — a Hartford native who’d never done a sports-related design before tackling the Whalers assignment and has never done one since — that you won’t want to miss. Check it out here.
Orphaned jersey now has a good home: On Tuesday I gave some space to reader Dave Truman, a heartbroken Rams fan who wanted to give away his Jackie Slater jersey. Here’s an update from Dave:
We have a winner! I received about 30 requests for the jersey and probably could have chosen randomly from most of those and been confident that the jersey would go to someone who would appreciate it, but three writers elevated themselves above the rest: Bruce Mao, Tim Baker, and — the winner — Richard Betancourt of Selma, California, who made an impassioned and moving plea for the jersey on behalf of his father, Jay. Here’s an excerpt from his letter:
“I’ve literally been looking for that exact jersey for years. Jackie Slater is far and away my dad’s favorite Ram of all time. This jersey would be for him. He and I are very close, and as soon as I was old enough to understand what football was, I asked him which team was his favorite and so I became a Rams fan. He never spent on things like jerseys for himself, but once the team left and changed uniforms, he regretted not ever getting one. I just know he’d absolutely love to be able to wear this jersey to see our Rams play back ‘home’ in L.A. I’ve found old Rams items on eBay that I’ve gotten him, but the Jackie Slater authentic jersey is my white whale.”
Great stuff. Congrats to Richard and his father, and kudos to Dave for doing this very good deed. Nice story all around, and a good way to make lemonade out of a tough situation.
Sneakers for sale: I have a brand-new pair of New Balance Evan Longoria 530 sneakers, size 9. Lots of additional photos here, and there’s a video review (which is mostly ridiculous but provides good views of the footwear) here. They retail for well over $100, but I’ll let a Uni Watch reader have them for $50 plus shipping. If you’re interested, give me a shout. Thanks. The sneakers have now been claimed. Thanks.
PermaRec update: Our latest intriguing letter from the Hoge Brush Company files comes from a company based in Cuba! Get the full story over on Permanent Record.
Reminder No. 1: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Rams. Full details here.
Reminder No. 2: In case you missed it last week, all of the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s 2015 designs are available from now through the middle of next week at our Second Chance Shop. Further details here.
Gromm•It update: Behold the grommetini! Additional photos available over on Gromm•It.
Baseball News: New 70th-anniversary logo for the Visalia Rawhide, a Single-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks. … Neosho County Community College sure has a whole lot of uniform combinations (from Tanner Liby). … Lots of uni combos also in the works for Louisville (from Joseph Matlock). … Tequila sunrise jerseys for USF.
NFL News: “This Gillette ad drives me crazy,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Why is John Urschel’s jersey untucked? Also, the pants are missing the Ravens logo on the sides.” … The Council of Fashion Designers of America is celebrating Supe50 by creating 50 “bespoke footballs” (from Tommy Turner). … Rare sight: The Saints in their gold alternate jerseys, worn for one game in 2002. Additional pics here.
College and High School Football News: Here’s something you don’t often see: white vs. white. That’s a pair of junior high teams from Michigan (from Rod Dunn).
Hockey News: Very meta: Don Cherry wearing the Toledo Walleye’s Don Cherry tribute jersey. … Phil’s alma mater, Hamilton College, is going pink in the rink. … Here are the throwback pads that Canucks G Ryan Miller will be wearing on Feb. 13 (from Daniel Donnell). … Here’s another look at what is probably that new Maple Leafs logo, this time as worn on Leafs coach Mike Babcock’s hat (from Mike Guterman). … Then again, maybe that isn’t the logo after all (from Ian R.). … So now that John Scott’s going to be allowed to play in the All-Star Game, which uni will he wear? (From Jeff Bryniarski.)
NBA News: Here are the socks for the NBA All-Star Game. A press release says the multi-colored stripes at the top “pays homage to the same stripe on the uniform.” This initially seemed confusing, because that stripe pattern doesn’t appear on the uni photos that were issued earlier, but Conrad Burry spotted the stripes on the inner collar. … Here’s another article suggesting that the era of baggy shorts may be over (from David Goodfriend and Tommy Turner). … The Suns are hosting a ’90s Night so they have a throwback website (thanks, Mike). … Hundreds of game-worn NBA and NHL jerseys have been stolen from the offices of MeiGray, one of the major memorabilia houses. I met MeiGray prexy Barry Meisel and visited his offices in 2009, when he had the concession for all the pieces of Shea Stadium, and we’ve occasionally communicated since then. Nice guy — sorry to hear he got burgled.
College and High School Hoops News: Over the past two days everyone’s been getting worked into a lather over this neon Michigan State jersey, but I haven’t yet seen any indication that it’s going to be worn on the court. Just an ugly retail item, at least for now. … Neon green is now the color of honoring cancer survivors, at least at Purdue (from Josh Claywell). … Nevada and UNLV will be going color vs. color for two upcoming games (from Lmoneyfresh). … Eastern York High in Pennsylvania has Indiana-style striped warm-up pants, but in a different color scheme. … “While looking through a San Diego Salvation Army store I came across these vintage USS Midway basketball trunks,” says Mark Swisshelm. “They were in such good condition that it made me think that perhaps the complete uniform had been donated but had been separated by store employees. I searched the rest of the racks to no avail. Anyway, I like the Midway patch on the leg.”
Grab Bag: U.S. Olympic sprinter Nick Symmonds has filed a lawsuit against USA Track and Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee, contending that his company’s logo should be able to appear on his uniform. … New logo for Max Life Insurance. … The UC Irvine men’s volleyball team has added a memorial band for Tim Vorenkamp, a high school player who had committed to play for Irvine but died from cancer before he got the chance. The team’s jerseys don’t have sleeves, so the players are wering the black band on their biceps. Further info here (from Jeremy Brahm). … This is pretty awesome: a thousand years’ worth of English soldiers’ uniforms, from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to deployments in Helmland Province in 2014. Same story with fewer photos but more detailed text here (big thanks to R. Scott Rogers). … Adidas is becoming increasingly popular in China. Why? Because people like to wear it to weddings (from Tommy Turner).