By Phil Hecken and the SMUW crew
From an e-mail from Jason Bernard yesterday:
Well there’s a runaway winner for the top of the 5 & 1 in Happy Valley this week. In fact, I can’t imagine a better looking game all season.
@UniWatch @PhilHecken Pitt – Penn State is an early favorite for "Best Uniform Matchup" of the year. pic.twitter.com/ctDm1DR8Hx
— Robert Hayes (@GuitaristRobDog) September 9, 2017
Penn State vs Pitt has to be a favorite for the 5 & 1 @UniWatch @PhilHecken
— Kyle Good (@kylejgood) September 9, 2017
It was a good looking game — a damn fine looking game indeed. Yesterday Pitt broke out (for the first time ever with this uni set) road throwbacks, and they were gorgeous. I don’t think anyone, especially alumni, would be upset if Pitt just jettisoned their most recent iteration of uniforms (with one of the worst number fonts in the game), and just wore the royal blue tops for home games, and the white jerseys they wore yesterday for road games. Done and done, right?
OK, lots more to get to on the gridiron from Week Two of the NCAA Football Season, so I’ll turn this over to my brother from another mother, Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, Jr. who brings you your…
Sunday Morning Uni WatchBy Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
Second verse, same as the first.
• The MTSU Blue Raiders were lookin’ a little extra blue against Syracuse with their blue helmets (also note the NFL-style captaincy patch).
• Pitt wore some really spiffy white retro uniforms against Penn State. Easily my favorite look from Week 2.
• I normally roll my eyes at any team in college football that wears white at home other than LSU, but Michigan State’s all white look is one of the best that I’ve seen, and they’re an exception in my book. Also from that same same: last season, several teams honored Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, who died in a car accident in which Nebraska punter Sam Foltz passed away from as well. Those tributes continue as Western Michigan (the Spartans’ opponent for Saturday’s game) wore these decals on the back of their helmets. There are also additional details that I recommend scoping out from the source Tweet.
• Iowa’s helmet numbers normally look like this, but it seems that they made a change (other looks in this video). It now closer resembles the font used for the basketball team and the all-black that the football team wore last year. Also, Iowa STATE was –as the Kool Kidz say nowadays– back on their bullshit on Saturday. Yuck.
• Speaking of TV numbers Tom Whitfield (@psu2sweet) notes that Hawai’i uses a high placement for theirs.
• Kinda disappointed that they couldn’t find a “JORDAN” nameplate (PC: John Bauman/@bauman_john).
• Arkansas moved their JFB memorial from the side of their helmets to the back for their game against TCU.
• The Wisconsin Badgers played against the Florida Lantic Owls on Saturday (PC: Ryan Wozniak/@wazze100).
• Via the USC FB Equipment Twitter: the recent sweep of graduation patches continues.
• Illinois has added new helmet decals for the season. From their Twitter: “New uni addition. Helmet stickers [sic] honoring #Illini s Butkus & Grange for big plays during season. “
• Houston wore Houston Strong helmets against Arizona. Additional photos here and more here, the latter of which courtesy of Kevin Eschenfelder/@KevinEsch1. Arizona had their own Texan tribute for the game as well.
• I don’t have a lot of hi-res photos of Minnesota vs. Oregon State, but the Gophers wore all-white against the Beavers, and the white helmets make their appearance for the first time since the 2013 Texas Bowl.
That’ll do it for this rather short Week 2. And a quick word before signing off: as most of you are aware by now, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey recently, and I believe Florida is getting hammered with Irma as we speak. When I was writing this column, I took a look at the comments from yesterday’s post and read one from someone named “Steven”, who wrote: “Guys – just want to thank the SMUW crew in advance of the season for all of your hard work, especially considering various family-, work- and natural disaster-related responsibilities many of you likely have. We all get to benefit from it (for free, no less) without burning a calorie.”, and it honestly made me smile and remember one of the great things about sports: in the wake of whatever’s going on in the world –be it hurricanes, wildfires, political strife, or what have you– , sports helps to become that escape from the stress of reality. Granted, we should always be aware of our own world, but it’s healthy to turn our brains off every once in a while and just reflect… even if it comes in the form of your favorite team wearing reflective helmets. I hope everyone stays safe, and I’ll see you next week.
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back again for 2017 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Good Sunday, everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed their football Saturday. Let’s get to the list…
5) Georgia at Notre Dame — Two of the most recognizable uniforms, to me, in college football. A great looking game in South Bend, and it makes me shake my head that this was just the second time these two teams have ever met.
4) Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech — I flipped past this on the TV, during the early afternoon window of games, and immediately loved what I saw. Tech looked great in their usual gold/white/gold at home and it paired up excellently with the red/red/white of the Gamecocks (and it gives me a chance to give the FCS a little love in the 5 & 1)
3) Buffalo at Army — This game just had that simple yet beautiful look to it. Army always looks good in their usual gold/black/gold home look. This classic look really paired up well against the blue/white/blue of the Bulls
2) Oklahoma State at South Alabama — We go back to Friday night for this beaut of a game. Loved OSU going black/white/orange on the road, one of my favorite looks of theirs. It matched up great against the navy/red/navy the Jaguars went with at home.
1) Pittsburgh at Penn State — Can’t go wrong with the classic, iconic home uni’s of the Nittany Lions. But, Pitt clinches this top spot with those gorgeous looking road throwbacks. A sensational looking game in Happy Valley.
+1) East Carolina at West Virginia — I have never liked this look for West Virginia, when they go mono gold. At least they went navy lid instead of the gold lid. Match it up against the white/white/purple ECU went with, and you have one ugly looking game.
That will do it for me this week. Have a great week, keep those effected by Harvey and Irma in your thoughts, and I’ll see you next Sunday.
Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2016 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking last season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role of both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
Rex is up first today (ACC):
Follow Rex on Twitter here.
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2017 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided the best was to celebrate their Hispanic Heritage Night was to stick a “Los” in front of D*Backs on their jerseys. Note the snakehead caps too (from Ed Kendrick). The special jerseys have a pattern on the numbers letters (from Ben Hibberd). Here’s a better shot. Looks like national flags inside. … The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, went with Marineros on their jerseys (from Kevin Martinez).
NFL/CFL News: Here’s a pretty good article on the VICIS helmet, which its makers (and many players & the League) believe is much ‘safer’ than conventional football helmets. … Tyler Eifert (Tight End, Cincinnati Bengals) writes, “This entire protest about raising awareness for racial inequality has gotten lost in the media and turned into a debate about whether to sit or stand for the national anthem. I want to take this time to remind everyone why I stand” (from Brent Beck). … Aside from their new “retro” endzone script, the Browns have also added some sideline writing (from Robert Hayes). … This season, the Steelers will wear this Dan Rooney memorial patch (sent by many). … Edmonton Esks with alternate helmets & uniforms vs Stamps. Submitter Teddy says, “Should just keep these so they don’t look exactly like the Packers.”
College/High School Football News: Here is a little info on the symbolism featured on the Navy football uniforms (from Josh Sanchez). … Cooper High School is wearing the initials “MO” for a player that had passed away on the opposing team (from Jack).
Hockey News: The New York Islanders’ Joshua Ho Sang has a fancy new pair of skates. It’s unclear if the league will allow him to wear them. … Here’s a look at the Islanders’ practice jerseys, the first for them by adidas (via Paul). … Speaking of practice gear, yesterday we got a look at the Nasville Preds (from Casey MacDougal). … And here is a look at the Columbus Blue Jackets practice gear (from Derek McCord).
NBA News: The Phoenix Suns new uniform line has released this offseason and the team is about to reveal their new alternate jersey on September 15. Dammit, that’s a Friday.
To Our Floridian Friends…
our thoughts and prayers are with you.
A long time ago, in probably another lifetime, I was a moderator on a Hurricane Board (Central Florida Hurricane Center). As I type this, I’m reminded of a ‘little’ storm named “Charley” I wrote about that, while on a different track from Irma, looks like it will strike some of the same areas that took a major wallop from Charley. If you read that archived entry, you’ll note I somewhat tamed down the language I could have used to describe a major (albeit small in terms of circumference) hurricane. I was told the evening (August 12 — Charley would strike on Friday the 13th of August) by a retired meteorologist who assisted with the site that Charley was going to be bad — very bad — but not to get overly dramatic in my entry. Being he was both a met AND (kinda) my editor, I regret NOT stressing the immediate danger a bunch of folks were in. Charley was a Category II (CAT II) hurricane at the time, but he told me it would get to at least a CAT III and possibly, even likely, a CAT IV. It hit as a CAT IV. But I couldn’t *say* that — I had to hedge.
It’s kinda like when you’ve seen an embargoed uni, you can kinda describe it, if asked, but you can’t leak the pic (lest you’re ever given access to inside information again). Charley kinda felt like that — I’d seen the new uniform, but I couldn’t share it.
I have a bad feeling (and I hope I’m wrong) that Irma is going to be a LOT worse than Charley, and could be extremely destructive — but the storm surge is what I fear most. That’s the big killer in hurricanes. Charley was small and fast moving, Irma is huge and moving more slowly. And while she’s “only” forecasted to be a CAT III at landfall, that’s still incredibly powerful.
I’ll never forget the sleepless (literally) nights I spent during 2004 and 2005 when I was a moderator and which were probably the two most prolific back-to-back years in Atlantic Hurricane History. After all the destruction caused by Harvey, it looks like Irma will be worse.
Hard to fathom.
Stay safe all of our Florida friends. We’re all pulling for you.
Browns sideline writing link leads to a protected Twitter account…
Tyler Eifert and Edmonton Eskimos link both don’t work.
Thanks, Phil. Appreciate the good thoughts. It’s scary, but the time when something can be done is gone now.
Terry – Thanks for your note. I wrote that one from the heart, and from outside my dad’s hospital room where he’s been having a rough go of it. I needed a mental break, UW was my little escape and you guys provided it.
Thanks again for your hard work and stay safe everyone.
I’ve been a long time UW reader but I rarely post these days. Anyway, having gone through a very rough period of time with my dad and his health a few years back I thought I’d just send you a quick note of encouragement! Hang in there!
In the big 12 uni tracker Texas is wrong Texas hasn’t played a road game or used the white jerseys yet
Kansas also wore white helmets this week, not blue
Also, OSU wore a different helmet than pictures (one with a sheriff’s badge)
Additionally, Tech didn’t play this week. The uniform shown was worn in Week 1 vs. Eastern Washington.
The VICIS helmet link goes to the Tyler Eifert story.
The Pitt throwback unis are 100% better than their regular ones but the gold looks too much like steelers/packers yellow/gold opposed to the old Pitt mustard/gold.
Don’t hurt me, but as a younger person I actually really like the Iowa state grey uniforms. Like not full grey every week, but maybe once a season. It’s loads better than the Ronald McDonald yellows as an alt, and it doesn’t look like USC. I’m looking forward to the future, when ISU finally ditches the entire set in favor of something new, that doesn’t look like a different school.
I don’t think you’re alone. My youngest son (17 years old) loves that uniform look. I’m old school and not a fan of non school colors incorporated into uniforms.
I’ll give ISU this much; they don’t look like USC in those uniforms (which is a positive).
For the ticker note about the Edmonton Eskimos. The 3rd uniform is fine to wear as an alternate once in a while. However, its design is meant to be as a 3rd and it is a little ‘out there’ to be a regular uniform.
I do not agree with the reasoning that ‘should just keep these so they don’t look exactly like the Packers’. Yes, the Eskimos wear yellow helmets, forest green jersey and yellow pants. But the number fonts and striping are different. The Eskimos have a longstanding history wearing variations of this uniform combination, including during their dynasty years of 5 consecutive Grey Cups (1978-1982).
Honestly, the Eskimos have been wearing forest green since before the Packers. The Packers switched from navy blue to the green in 1950.
Does not seem like a good reason to me for the team to change their longstanding uniform identity.
I don’t think Teddy put any thought into the history of the Eskimos uni before he made his comment. He should have.
The links for Buffalo/Army didn’t work on my end. Hope it was just mine it didn’t work. Praying for Florida and the West with all the Fires.
Was just up in Seattle and came across Montana, had ash and smoke all the way to North Dakota.
I am typing this as I an getting pounded by Irma, but since my power has not gone out yet I have to say how great Pitt looked yesterday, two words come to mind looking at those unis clean and classy. My favorite WFL uniform was the Philadelphia Bell (sorry Sun) and if the Bell was still playing today Pitt’s white uniform would look just like what the Bell would be wearing at home. I’m sure the Bell would have gotten rid of the sleeve stripes just like Pitt did. Great job Pitt!
I was looking through my mom’s high school yearbook and enjoyed the girls’ varsity basketball uniforms. It was 1974-75 at a Catholic school.
Love Pitt’s throwback unis. Can’t say the same for Penn State. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but there’s a fine line between traditional and boring, and they’ve crossed it.
In today’s 5 & 1, both Buffalo at Army links won’t open, but instead download their jpg. Then the jpg won’t open. Maybe a photo source to be avoided in the future. Otherwise, 5 (er, 4) & 1 was enjoyable!
Both Buffalo and Army photos worked fine for me.
Also, that game was frustrating af. I can’t believe I paid to see UB blow a two-score lead.
Wow – no mention of Oklahoma/Ohio State in the 5 & 1?!
Two of the most storied programs in the college sport and both have iconic uniforms. It was a beautiful game ans a shame it wasn’t mentioned.
Thank you for your work though (I want to make sure nobody thinks I’m not appreciative of it!).
Also, Florida folks…be safe out there!
Regarding the Preds gear, that’s actually their game look as they took the ice this weekend in a rookie camp against Tampa Bay (moved to Nashville due to Irma).
It was a damn fine looking game indeed