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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Nice-looking game yesterday in Miami, as the Dolphins wore their throwbacks against the 49ers. Man, what I would give to see more NFL teams going with striped socks like these! Lots of additional photos here.

In other notes from around the league yesterday:

•  The Ravens went mono-black, and also had black end zones. (As an aside, I think the Bengals’ uni combo in that game — white over black — is their most appealing look. Granted, that isn’t saying much, but still.)

•  The Texans went mono-navy. (Also, if you look again at that photo, it looks like there was a sideline reporter at that game wearing a Boston Bruins jersey!)

•  The Falcons played the Cardinals, creating a battle of the awful pants striping designs.

•  Similarly, the Saints and Rams had a battle of the neck-roll collars.

•  The Titans added a “W.E.S.” memorial decal for the victims of the recent Woodmere Elementary School bus crash in Chattanooga. Here’s how it looked during the game.

•  The Seahawks wore white over grey. “First time they’ve done that this season,” says reader Tim Dunn. “Maybe they should permanently retire that look: Their record in it is now 1-5.”

•  Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams had an odd-looking situation on his left knee. I’m not sure if his pants were just riding up or what, but take a look:

•  Even by Bill Belichick’s usual standards, his hat yesterday looked seriously ratty.

•  I couldn’t find a photo, but Twitter user @twitrlesshane says Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s name was misspelled as “Juszcyk” on his NOB. Anyone..?

•  No teams wore white at home yesterday.

•  Here’s a list of players who protested during the national anthem.

•  Players participating in postgame jersey swaps included Jameis Winston (Bucs) and Russell Wilson (Seahawks); Adam Jones (Bengals) and Lardarius Webb (Ravens); T.J. Yeldon (Jags) and Marcell Dareus (Bills); Emmanuel Ogbah (Browns) and Romeo Okwara (Giants); Joe Haden (Browns) and Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants); Rashard Higgins (Browns) and Weston Richburg (Giants); Randall Telfer (Browns) and Devon Kennard (Giants); Alvin Bailey (Browns) and Robert Thomas (Giants); Corey Liuget (Chargers) and Whitney Mercilus (Texans); and Joe Barksdale (Chargers) and Duane Brown (Texans).

An interesting quirk, at least to me: With one exception — Weston Richberg — all of this week’s jersey-swappers were black. That continues a trend of jersey exchanges being much more popular among black players. Granted, 70% of the league’s players are black, so you’d expect any player trend to involve a predominance of black players. But the numbers here are overwhelming: I looked at all of this season’s jersey-swap photos from three different wire services (Getty, AP, and USA Today) and found only five white participants other than Richberg: Zach Ertz (Eagles), Travis Kelce (Chiefs), Hunter Henry (Chargers), Nick O’Leary (Bills), and Cassius Marsh (Seahawks). Of course, there are lots of things that black people are more likely to do than white people, and vice-versa. I wouldn’t have expected jersey-swapping to be one of them, but it apparently is. If anyone has any insights as to why that is, I’m all ears.

One final note: This was the final weekend of G.I. Joevember, so no more camouflage accessories for the rest of the season. Next Sunday, however, is when players will be permitted to wear custom-designed cleats promoting various charitable causes. I’ll have additional coverage of that coming up this week on ESPN.

(My thanks to Andrew Cosentino and @Sean_buffalo for their contributions to this section.)

•  •  •  •  •

Holiday advertisers shout-out: As you may have noticed, we have several new advertisers for the holiday season. All of them are longtime friends of Uni Watch and deserve the extra attention I’m about to give them:

•  Uni Watch readers have been commissioning illustrator Rob Ullman to create pinup-style jersey-centric portraits of their partners — or themselves — for nearly a decade now. Want him to create a portrait like the one shown at right? Full details here.

•  Jeff Suntala’s wonderful posters of baseball stadiums, which he produces under the name “There Used to Be a Ballpark,” have been Uni Watch favorites for years. You can check out his full product line here, plus he’s recently added something that these two prints showing all current National League and American League ballparks. Great stuff.

•  Our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are currently running one of their excellent seasonal auctions. I’ll take a closer look at some of the most notable auction items in an upcoming “Auction Action” post (possibly as soon as tomorrow), but you can get a head start by checking out the catalog here.

•  Attorney Anthony Verna has been advertising on the site for a few months now, but it bears repeating: If you have an intellectual property issue regarding trademark, copyright, or anything along those lines, Anthony is the man to see. I’ve consulted with him many times over years — sometimes regarding a uni-related topic I was writing about, and sometimes about my own legal affairs — and can personally testify to his expertise. You can find him here.

•  While we’re at it: If you want to buy a membership card for someone but don’t know which design the lucky recipient would want, we can help you out with that.

•  Also: If you’re theoretically intrigued, just hypothetically speaking, in any of these designs, we can discuss.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Check out this 1973 Graig Nettles card. He was traded from Cleveland to New York after the ’72 season, and Topps decided to just airbrush a Yankees logo over his Indians jersey from the year before. No pinstripes! (from BSmile).

Pro and College Football News: Good story on the history of the Duluth Eskimos ”” one of the first NFL teams to use a logo (from Sam Bevins). … Looking ahead to next week, Penn State will be the designated home team in the B1G Championship, meaning they’ll likely wear blue (from Johnny O.). … From Saturday: Louisiana-Lafayette went with an all-black look against Arkansas State (from Tom M.). … Saturday was not a good day for Virginia. After losing 52-10 to rival Virginia Tech, their equipment truck had some trouble getting home (from Damian Salas). … Here’s every uni combination Oregon has worn over the last five years in one handy chart. … In that same vein, James Gilbert has a comprehensive record for every color combo North Carolina has worn since 2012. … Looks like the spotters had some problems during the Grey Cup last night (from Jon Horton). … Speaking of the Grey Cup, so many issues with this score graphic.

Hockey News: The Florida Panthers may have changed their logo this year, but they’re still wearing the old leaping panther on their helmets. What’s even weirder is that the helmets include the team’s new alternate logo (from Jared Rosen). … No photo, but Max Wagner says that the Blackhawks dressed three alternate captains this weekend, and all three took the ice at the same time during a power play. … Speaking of the Blackhawks, they played an ugly white/gray matchup with the Kings this weekend. … Add Maine hockey to the small list of teams whose uniforms are made by New Balance (from Charles). … Tim Merkley has an awesome NHL-themed Christmas tree.

College Hoops News: They say you should play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. But what about when the name on the back is unreadable, like with Nebraska’s white-on-white NOBs? They’re so hard to see that Keith Kost mistook them for lettering on an undershirt showing through to the jersey.

Soccer News: Those eco-friendly Real Madrid jerseys, made from recycled ocean waste, debuted the other day. Although the design included advertising and a shield, those graphics were hard to see during the game, which was played in the rain (from Santiago Rábade).

Grab Bag: A Gaelic football team in Ireland was all set to debut its new jersey design the other day. But due to an unexpected color clash, the jersey ended up being worn by the team’s opponent (from Denis Hurley).

Comments (66)

    The eco-friendly Real Madrid shirts did feature sponsor logos and the team crest but they were printed in the same colour as the jeresy. You can make them out in the pic in the link.

    Those Real Madrid shirts did have an advertiser and shield, but the rain during the game made them difficult to view.

    Here’s a photo of the shirt during their unveiling: link

    And more photos of them during the match: link

    I seem to recall that when the panthers unveiled the new logos and jerseys, they updated the leaping panther logo for use on the helmets.

    Yes – although a leaping cat is no longer the primary, the old primary was refreshed as a secondary logo: link

    What a downgrade… the new version looks kinda like an 8-bit videogame version of the old one. All they needed to do was some minor recoloring, rather than redrawing the whole thing with less detail.

    The rationale was that the old version was a beast to embroider, not easily scaleable. Within that context, I think they did a decent job. If you weren’t looking at new & old side by side, you’d probably be hard-pressed to notice it had changed at all… which probably explains how this snuck into the ticker as news! I do miss the old whiskers though ;

    I still don’t understand this reasoning. From an objective design point of view, the new one is better in almost every way. Less noise, less clutter, smoother and more evocative of the actual animal, easier to render in different media at different sizes, etc.

    Every home team in the NFL this week wore dark colors (including Eagles in black tonight), which is odd when you consider Dallas and Miami played at home. Wonder when that last happened?

    Of course, now that I bring that up, it probably happpened two or three weeks ago.

    What exactly is the objection? I’m simply noting a trend. I’m not saying there’s anything good or bad about the trend; I just think it’s interesting.

    There are lots of things that black people are more likely to do than white people, and vice-versa. I wouldn’t have guessed that jersey-swapping would be one of those things, but it apparently is. I find that interesting. The end.

    Is it possible that certain positions have a higher percentage of black players, and those positions are also more likely to swap? What looks like a race thing could be a position thing. Just speculating, I don’t have any idea.

    I thought about that. Although I haven’t crunched the numbers, I think a disproportionate percentage of jersey-swappers are wide receivers and defensive backs, and almost all of those players are African Americans. But there are also some linemen, linebackers, etc. swapping jerseys — positions that have some white players. But those white players are not swapping jerseys.

    Of the white jersey-swappers I listed, most are tight ends.

    I think your onto it Paul. The jersey swap seems more position related than race related at this point. Interesting but I wonder how teams feel about this. Some teams resell their game used jerseys at their team store. Would they actually charge a player for their jersey? It also raises the question as to how long it will take before some of these jerseys end up on the secondary memoribilia market. It’s likely only a matter of time until a player gives away a jersey to family or a friend who decides to profit from the item. A gamer from a “name” player could potentially be worth several thousand dollars.Time will tell.

    I think your onto it Paul. The jersey swap seems more position related than race related at this point.

    But as I just stated, there are plenty of offensive and defensive linemen participating — positions that include plenty of white players — yet almost all of the jersey-swapping linemen are black.

    Would they actually charge a player for their jersey?

    Yes, players have to pay for a replacement jersey. Obviously, it’s pocket change to them.

    I cannot remember where I read it (could have been here), but I think jersey swapping partners are often former high school teammates. If that is true, then I can picture a racial correlation without race serving as causation.

    “There are lots of things that black people are more likely to do than white people, and vice-versa.” What is that even supposed to mean?

    I second Preston here. And if you’re going to note a trend, at least maybe try not to speculate on why Black people do what they do…

    What is that even supposed to mean?

    It means that certain certain sub-groupings of people often have certain cultural and behavioral tendencies. There’s a whole academic discipline devoted to this. It’s called sociology.

    There’s nothing wrong with identifying and discussing race-based cultural tendencies. When we reduced people to stereotypes based on those tendencies, *that’s* wrong. But I’m not doing that. I’m simply identifying a tendency and wondering what might have led to it.

    Do we have to bring race and politics into everything?

    How exactly has anyone brought politics into this? Nobody has said a single word about any political aspect of jersey-swapping. What precisely is your objection?

    As for race: If white players and black players and Hispanic players all wore their uniforms in noticeably distinct ways, that would be a totally legit topic to discuss, right? Actually, we *have* discussed uniforms in those terms: Dominican baseball players tend to favor the baggy-pajama look. I’ve written about that on ESPN, as a matter of fact.

    In this case, we have a uni-related topic — jersey-swapping — and an apparent disparity in how black players and white players participate in it. Maybe you don’t find that notable or interesting, but I do.

    Nobody has cast any aspersions, nobody has said or implied that one type of jersey-swapping behavior is better than another. It’s a perfectly valid topic of discussion. If it doesn’t interest you, that’s fine — you can skip ahead to the next thing.

    I’m Team Paul on this issue. Simply noting that something tends to appeal to one group over another doesn’t make it a racial or political discussion.

    Re: Maine’s New Balance hockey jerseys – New Balance actually owns equipment manufacturer Warrior, so they’re quite invested in hockey. You’ll notice in the pic that the player is using all Warrior gear. It’s a similar situation to CCM and their parent company Adidas, where a number of college teams wear Adidas jerseys while using CCM equipment.

    Anyone else raise an eye brow, when seeing the Dolphins wear their throw back for the second time, in what I guess is less than a month, could there be a ground swell of public opinion to go back to it full-time, we can only hope.

    When I see those beautiful Dolphins throwbacks it makes me wonder why they ever changed. A great classic look.

    Meh. I think there’s a few teams who improved from the 60’s… even if they later changed for the worse… Chargers, Oilers, Bills, Falcons, Jets…

    For what it’s worth, the decision of when the throwbacks were to be worn was made before the season started. Also note the CEO Tom Garfinkel is a big fan of the throwback. Still, they cannot change till 2018 at the earliest, as their current uni must be worn for five seasons…

    There’s a college hoops section in today’s Ticker.

    No NBA section because there was no NBA news that came across our radar yesterday.

    On the topic of hypothetical t-shirt designs… I feel like someone should make a “Cheese And CRACKERS” design modeled after a certain Wisconsin-based football team’s wordmark and logo. Just sayin’.

    I really like the way pretty much all NFL throwbacks look with the modern Nike treatment. There is something about Nike’s usage of colors and how clean and sharp their uniform designs are mixed with the modern touches like flywire that make the throwbacks look clean and modern without having to be garish and ugly like Jags, Bucs, New Dolphins, etc. The only redesigns Nike has done that look good are the Vikings and Seahawks and some of the color rush jerseys/concepts. Seems like old uniform designs on Nike’s modern templates is the way to go.

    Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Abdul Kanneh’s impressive dreadlocks were the reason the spotters had trouble during the Grey Cup last night (he’s #14 – for those of you who were keeping score).

    Yep. The photo in the ticker makes it look like he doesn’t have rear numbers, here’s a photo in his white uniform


    Paul, I have a photo of Kyle Juszczyk’s jersey misspelled as “Juszcyk” on his NOB at yesterday’s game. I will email directly to you.

    Interesting observation on the jersey swapping. I also noticed that when white guys are involved, nearly every time they were either high school or college teammates (or in Travis Kelce and Ted Ginn’s case, both from Cleveland). The Cassius Marks and Ethan Westbrooks picture is the only interracial example you posted where there is not an obvious connection between the two players. I wonder if that’s the case as well for the bulk of the jersey swaps, but I haven’t taken time to look at it.

    Coincidentally, here’s another white player not listed above, doing a jersey swap with an old college teammate: link

    On Saturday the Laval Rouge et Or beat the Calgary Dinos for the Vanier Cup

    On Sunday the Ottawa Rouge et Noir beat the Calgary Stampeders for the Grey Cup

    Make of that what you will.

    As a U. of Regina Rams and Green Riders fan, the sound of it gives me a small dose of satisfaction :).

    Unbelievable Grey Cup to end the Canadian football season!

    Looking forward to next season’s start already, mike 2.

    I love that Tim Merkley’s Christmas tree has a 67-68 Penguins design ornament as well as an Atlanta Flames ornament!



    And I love his R-in-Crest treatment for the New York Rangers, much more so than the awful skinny shield NYR wore for the Winter Classic against Philly.

    At a quick glance, the new Panthers jersey looks too much like one of the Ottawa Senators jerseys…


    Oh the Cardinals and Falcons. Reebok designed uni’s produced now by Nike. It’s ironic really.

    I really used to like the Falcons uni’s but I think that they are really in need of a redesign. It’s just pretty dated now. I bet they are waiting on the new Stadium.

    Cardinals were always worse since their block numbers clash with the rest of the design.Not sure why they just don’t start over again.

    My recollection is that the Chargers wear solid blue socks with their white jerseys and blue pants creating a unitard effect. Kudos to them for the upgrade yesterday. Have they been doing this all season?

    I don’t really pay enough attention to the Jersey swap stuff to draw any conclusions, but interesting note that may or may not fit. I know Tom Brady has given jerseys out at least twice this year (once to Big Ben and once to Odell Beckham) and both times he sent the jersey over after going back to the locker room instead of swapping on the field. Not sure if that anecdote fits here, but figured I’d put it out there.

    Got a note from Josh Hinton: “Although it may seem rare for New Balance to make jerseys in the US, several major European soccer teams, including Liverpool, Sevilla, and Celtic are all outfitted by New Balance. The company bought out Warrior, so any team outfitted by Warrior is now New Balance (assuming they kept their current uniform deal).”

    Has anyone else noticed that the authentic throwback jerseys sold on NFL shop.Com have different sleeves than what the players wear in the games. I understand it can’t be 100 percent accurate but it’s not even close. Look at the sleeve stripes on the Dolphins throwback yesterday and what it looks like on the website. No way I’m spending $300 for something not even close.

    The two-fer deal on AL & NL prints of each league’s ballparks made me feel old: Coors Field is (and has been for a few years now) the third-oldest ballpark in the NL.

    I’ll make an inference regarding jersey swapping.

    I read a few feature stories on the trend, and they basically confirm what we know: Guys trade jerseys with buddies; people they grew up with, went to college with, or played with early in their careers. Players said they like to keep the jerseys and put them on display in their trophy rooms. They consider it a way of remembering their NFL careers.

    Here’s a quote from a Washington Post piece:

    “A lot of it, especially guys in college, we endured it,” said Jeron Johnson, who attended Boise State. “We beat the odds, so to say, especially coming from a small school like myself. We beat the odds, made it out and it’s just sharing it with each other.”

    Maybe that’s part of it. Guys who had a tougher road to the league want to savor their experience more, and trading jerseys with a peer they admire and respect is a way to do that. I don’t know the exact socioeconomic standings of everyone, but I would assume the average black player, over the entire course of his life, has a tougher time getting to the NFL than the average white player.





    Nice find with the Graig Nettles card. I’ve said it before, but I think we could have some real fun with bad airbrush jobs on old sports cards. Maybe a Too Good For the Ticker piece, or a weekly feature. I’d be willing to help if you’d like to make this happen.

    I am not sure if you care about this but when the local CBS 4pm game was over the affiliate cutover to the Oak/Car game in Oakland. An NFC team visiting an AFC stadium should be covered by Fox. This is the first time I can remember this happening.

    This actually happened with a couple games in week 11. Apparently there is a provision in the TV contract that allows for flexing from the traditional network assignment protocols that we are used to.


    In all honesty, I didn’t know about this until last week (and apparently this arrangement has been around for a few years). I’m a Steeler fan living in Buffalo Bills country, and I didn’t bother turning on the TV last Sunday since I assumed the Bills would be on CBS and thus pre-empting the Steelers. Alas, I missed an opportunity to watch the Black and Gold, since they were on my local CBS affiliate, while the Bills-Bungles game (an all-AFC affair) was on FOX.

    Thanks for that info. I was unaware. I am glad that the NFL and networks have added this flexibility.

    *DISCLAIMER* I am not trolling and I am not unsympathetic to either tragic incident. Loss of life is a tragedy, by what ever means.

    My question is, why can the Titans have a decal for Woodmere Elementary School and the Cowboys be denied the decal for the 5 Dallas Police officers?

Comments are closed.