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Nosy Business

Photo by Peter Diana, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; click to enlarge

Notice anything unusual about this photo of Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant from last Sunday’s game against the Vikings? Here, let’s take a closer look:

That’s right — Bryant was wearing a nose ring. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before on an NFL player. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it on any athlete, at least not during competition. (Of course, several athletes have worn nose hoops on their own time. The most obvious example is Dennis Rodman, but I’ll always have a soft spot for former tennis star Jennifer Capriati’s mug shot from when she got caught shoplifting in 1994, a very endearing cry for help.)

As for Bryant, some quick Googling reveals that he got his nose pierced during the spring, and he appears to have been wearing the hoop pretty much full-time since then. You can see him wearing it in this video clip from late May, in this photo from a preseason game against the Falcons, and in this shot from the Steelers’ season opener against the Browns. He wears it during pregame warm-ups, too.

The funny thing is that Bryant was wearing a Breathe Right strip, which is designed to maximize respiratory efficiency, but also had the hoop, which seems like it would impede that efficiency at least a little bit — wouldn’t it?

Update: Reader Michael Golec has just informed me that Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara wears a septum ring and a nose stud:

He wore those same two piercings while playing college ball at Tennessee (click to enlarge):

So that makes at least two NFL players who are currently wearing nose bling. Any others out there?

(Big thanks to eagle-eyed reader Chris Weber, who spotted the Bryant photo.)

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Towel tactics: What’s weirder than a player with a nose ring? How about this: Ohio safety Javon Hagan likes to steal opponents’ waistband towels during the game. He literally yanks the towels out of their pants! Here he is doing to Kansas wide receiver Quan Hampton last Saturday — and bragging about it on his own Twitter feed:

This wasn’t a new thing for Hagan. He also stole a towel from Troy wide receiver Deondre Douglas during a bowl game last winter:

Bizarre. Seems more like a weird compulsion than any sort of gamesmanship tactic. Also seems like something that would get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct if the officials noticed, right?

(I learned about this one from this news roundup, which was brought to my attention by reader Jason Hillyer.)

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False alarrrm There was a bit of excitement late in the day yesterday when the Mariners posted the tweet shown above, indicating that they were wearing Talk Like a Pirate Day jerseys for last night’s game against the Rangers. Turns out it was just a gag, as they ended up wearing their regular home whites.

Too bad. It’s a very minor league-style idea, and I mean that in a good way. It’s fun, playful, irreverent, and pretty harmless from a design standpoint, since most fans could take a quick glance at the jersey and not even realize that they’d changed the spelling.

Even better, you wouldn’t have to worry too much about the copycat factor (you know, the way a league tends to ruin any good idea by turning into a league-wide thing that ends up feeling forced and calculated instead of fun and spontaneous), because most MLB teams don’t have pirate-friendly names. From where I sit, the only ones that would work are these:

[table id=32 /]

I threw the Pirates in there because it didn’t seem right to leave them out.

They should all do it next season! Or at least the Mariners should do it, since they teased it this year. Kevin Martinez, if you’re reading this, make it happen!

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Raffle results: The first-prize winner of our Whalers raffle is Justin Pierce, and the three second-prize winners are David Kelly, Ryan Harrington, and D. Renzoni. Congrats to them, and thanks to all who entered. More raffles coming soon.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Yankees P CC Sabathia was wearing no-show socks on the mound last night (from Chris Morris). … The Angels warmed up in Anaheim Ducks crossover caps and jerseys last night on “Ducks Night.” The team also changed its Twitter avatar to a Ducks/Angels hybrid logo (from AJ). … Speaking of hockey night at the ballpark, the Giants gave away a co-branded San Jose Sharks/Giants winter hat last night (from Moe Khan). … A group of 45 men — all of them dressed like Tom Selleck’s character from the TV show Magnum, P.I. — were kicked out of the Tigers game at Comerica Park on Saturday (from J. Max Weintraub). … The Memphis Redbirds’ batting helmets have a mix of 3D logos and traditional flat decals (from Erik Spoonmore). … Phillies P Hector Neris is superstitious and has been wearing the same rosin-stained cap all season long (from Blake Fox).

NFL News: The Rams will be wearing mono-yellow, along with yellow helmet horns, tomorrow night against the Niners (thanks Phil). … The Steelers began using their now-familiar rounded NOB font in 1997. But they used a traditional block font for the ’97 preseason and the first regular season game (from @dougkeklak). … Among the items from the old Georgia Dome that are up for auction is this NFL workforce conduct notice about sexual orientation from the Falcons’ locker room (from Douglas Ford). … Whoops. Somehow, the Texans’ wordmark was added to this Atlanta Falcons toy (from Bean). … Minnesotans can get lost in a Vikings-themed corn maze this fall (from Tyler Mason). … Spotted in New England: a Patriots Lays chip truck that has both Patriot Pat and Flying Elvis (from Kevin Vautour).

College Football News: Virginia Tech will wear stars-and-stripes decals on Saturday for Military Appreciation Day (from Andrew Cosentino). … Western Kentucky will be going white-on-white-on-white this weekend (from Kyle Neaves). … Rice will once again wear helmet logos honoring the victims of Hurricane Harvey on Saturday. They wore that same helmet mark last weekend against Houston (from Aaron Corbett‏). … UNLV will be wearing silver lids with red decals this weekend at Ohio State (from @CouvillierMax). … James Madison has added a memorial decal for former university president Ron Carrier, who died on Monday (from Andrew Rader). … Colorado State is teasing what appears to be a new mono-white alternate uniform. The full unveiling will be tomorrow at 11am Eastern.

Hockey News: This has flown under the radar a bit, but the Devils will be wearing red gloves along with their new jerseys this season (from Wade Heidt). … The Kings and Canucks are playing preseason games in China this week. Kristopher Sharpe found this photo of the Kings’ mascot wearing a sweater with Chinese lettering. Could the Kings wear something similar when they take the ice? … New captaincy assignments for the Predators. … ICYMI from the Baseball Section: The Los Angeles Angels warmed up in Ducks crossover caps and jerseys last night on “Ducks Night” and Angel Stadium. The team also changed its Twitter avatar to a Ducks/Angels hybrid logo (from AJ). Also: The San Francisco Giants gave away a co-branded Sharks/Giants winter hat last night at AT&T Park (from Moe Khan). … Speaking of Sharks crossover giveaways, they’ll be giving out Golden State Warriors/Sharks jerseys in January and Sharks/Oakland A’s T-shirts in November (from William R. Smittle). … A brewery in Florida has made a new beer honoring the Lightning’s 25th anniversary. … This blog covers the uni history of the Flames (from Bryan Palmer). … Apparently, in Switzerland’s National League, each team’s top scorer wears a special jersey and helmet with flames (from Doc Serph). … New logo for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League (from María Canales). … Ed Hughes thinks the carpeting at Gaylord National Harbor Airport outside of DC looks a bit like the Golden Knights’ alternate logo. … John Muir was watching last night’s Avs/Knights preseason game on TV and has this report: “Avalanche broadcaster Peter McNab had an idea to improve player marketing in the NHL by having players wear customized helmets. His rationale is based on goalies being the only players with personalized or customized equipment, making them easily recognizable. He claims there’s no rule preventing regular skaters from personalizing their helmets. Back when McNab played, most players didn’t wear helmets and it helped fans recognize their favorite players.”

Basketball News: New floor design for Providence College. They’ve also swapped their primary and secondary logos (from Ryan McNeely). … Here’s a photo gallery of Cavs uniforms through the years (from Robert Hayes).

Soccer NewsHere’s the logo for the 2019 Women’s World Cup (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … A young Juventus fan was pranked on his birthday when he was forced to unwrap a jersey for hated Inter Milan on camera (thanks Brinke). … Manchester City was forced to change kits before a match last week because their alternate jerseys clashed with the referees’ shirts. In that same game, City’s keeper wore protective headgear because he had suffered a head injury in a previous match (from Timothy O’Malley). … Everton and Sunderland will not have their usual jersey advertisers tonight. Instead, they will wear the logo of the Bradley Lowery Foundation. Lowery was a young soccer fan who recently died from neuroblastoma (from Mark Coale).

Grab BagThis story isn’t about uniforms, rather lack of uniforms: Apparently, boys at public schools in Chicago were required to swim in the nude until as late as 1980 (from John Gogarty). … Someone was wearing a Beatles “Fab 4” baseball jersey at a Paul McCartney concert in Brooklyn last night (from Andrew Fletcher). … Sports teams aren’t the only ones who get confused about the difference between anniversaries and ordinals: Wheel of Fortune has just begun its 35th season. But a press release on the show’s website refers to as both the “35th season” and the “35th anniversary season,” the latter of which is wrong (from Max Wagner).

Comments (67)

    The Rockies could have qualified for tlap day last night, as they wore the jerseys that could be modified to “Colorrrrado”

    I thought about that (and also about “Torrrronto” for the Jays) but decided it felt like a stretch. Subjective judgment call, obviously.

    “Warrrshington” for the Nats has the added virtue of being how locals used to pronounce the city’s name, back when the Mid-Atlantic had its own accent. Washingtonians of a certain age – such as Senator McCain – still pronounce it like a pirate.

    This is the only time you’ll ever hear me wish baseball went into November, but there was a joke on Parks and Rec about celebrating Talk Like A Pittsburgh Pirate Day on November 16th.

    I installed the Texas Bible plugin on my Chrome browser, which renders occurrences of “you” in biblical text on as “y’all” when the original Hebrew or Greek used the second-person plural. (link) The plugin has a setting that allows you to have it display “yinz” instead of “y’all.” Reading biblical text with “y’all” is informative; reading it with “yinz” is awesome.

    “Avalanche broadcaster Peter McNabb” One B, two occurrences.

    He’s right; when helmets were uncommon, it was easier to identify players. (Not that I’d suggest for a moment that players shouldn’t be required to wear helmets.)

    And most of the Talk Like a Pirate Day stuff I saw referred to another losing season.

    Its not subjective imo, you are spot on Paul it has to be “ar” not “or” or “er”, the pirate thing is arrrr not orrrr or errrr.

    On another topic the english premier league (soccer) clubs are jumping on the sleeve ad bandwagon now. In the first few weeks some teams didn’t wear ads but they are almost all unveiling them by now. No-one seems willing to let a space go spare. Sad really. Everton have added “Angry Birds” word mark and it looks very lame.

    I presume Rovio approached Everton about the advertisement… if that’s the case, why not shoot for a slightly more theme-appropriate club, such as Brighton (Seagulls), Newcastle (Magpies), Swansea (Swans), Palace (Eagles), or WBA (Throstles).

    The hockey helmet (skaters, not goalies of course) is like the last frontier. Most teams wear basic white, black or team color. Number stickers and maybe a tiny team logo and that’s it. I’m pretty surprised we haven’t seen a team push that boundary in the NHL. Anyone have a clue why?

    Talk about Hilarious In Hindsight! I can’t believe you advocated tucking in hockey jerseys, but then came this beaut of a line:

    <i?"But come on, if football players can do it, so can hockey players."

    Fast forward 12 years, and it’s gone the other way – football players don’t tuck anymore!

    Hockey player helmets have historically come in a lot more diverse geometries with unique vent and ridge shapes compared to spherical football helmets. Imagine if the old Rangers equipment manager had to paint Gretzky’s tiny jofa and Messier’s bulky cooper to look the same. That’s a lot of pattern development. The current decals and numbers are much more practical to deal with helmet diversity.

    unique to the individual, but not the team, right? If the Stars wanted to put stars on their helmet, nothing in that rule says they can’t, as far as I can tell.

    Teams in major junior and US college have jazzed it up a bit and had some interesting helmets that are not just a single colour. I loved the old 2 colour Oshawa Generals helmet. Other OHL teams had double colour helmets too:


    Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State have designs on the helmets which make them look similar to their football helmets:


    Sketchy memory, but didn’t the WHA Stingers have just the black helmet to wear with home and road sweaters, and it had a single yellow stripe down the center, like the Steelers? Also, I recall seeing a photo of the Fighting Saints dark uniform having a dark helmet with a single yellow stripe. Nothing too fancy.

    Schools and national teams where players are issued a solitary helmet have more of a reason to tart up the equipment with insignias, stripes, two-toning, etc. They are more identified with the team. I can’t remember whether Paul addressed this, but in the pros, helmets are looked upon more as accessories, even now. Establishing uniform decoration across Cooper, Jofa, Stan Mikita, and CCM (I know I’m dating myself) models is a daunting task.

    Typo in the hockey section. The SF Giants / SJ Sharks giveaway was at AT&T Park (not AT&T Stadium, which is where the Dallas Cowboys play).

    Paul, a couple of years ago, you called out the St. Louis Blues for cross dressing with Cardinal baseball jerseys. From 4/3/15 Uni Watch:

    … “there’s something a little unseemly about the Blues saluting the start of the baseball season. Yeah, we all know St. Looie is a big baseball town, but still — shouldn’t the Blues have more self-respect here? It’s like they’re saying, “We know that other team is more popular than we’ll ever be.” Even if it’s true, have a bit of pride. Feels very rinky-dink, very minor league. Can you imagine the Cardinals ever returning the favor? Right, me neither.”

    Considering how many of these we have seen since (including 2 this week, and the Cards returning the favor to the Blues the fall following this article), shouldn’t you be lamenting how “rinky dink” these second class prideless MLB teams seem?

    Hard for the bigger, more popular team to be “rinky-dink.” The whole point of my comment two years ago, which you seem to have conveniently ignored in your attempt to play “gotcha,” is that the smaller team saluting the bigger team seemed kinda lame-o to me, like a little brother sucking up to a big brother. The bigger team saluting the smaller team is a completely different dynamic.

    All of that said: This cross-sport stuff has now become pretty common. I accept it, whether big-to-small, small-to-big, or lateral.

    Paul: Your direct quote was:
    “Can you imagine the Cardinals ever returning the favor? Right, me neither.”
    Am i wrong in interpreting that quote to mean that the Cards were to big for that kind of thing?
    They literally returned the favor that fall.

    Yup, I was wrong about that. But the Blues-to-Cards dynamic is still different than Cards-to-Blues.

    As I already said, this thing has become common, and I now accept it.

    A quick google image search and it doesn’t look like Ricky wore a nose stud/ring during any games. It’s hard to see with his helmet on because he usually had a tinted visor. But the shots of him in uniform with his helmet off he’s has link.

    In 1997, the Steelers’ road jerseys lacked the trademark gold lettering with black outlines. My guess is the new font gave the seamstress trouble and the traditional treatment couldn’t be turned out in a timely fashion.

    I thought this same thing, however, if you look at the Gridiron database, they suggest there was a black similar font. link

    We’d really need a photo from a preseason road game to see if this is accurate though.

    That’s enlightening. So perhaps Pittsburgh was looking to dump the yellow player names, but met with pressure during the season to continue the practice. I’ll admit they can be hard to read, but they are one of my favorite NFL eccentricities.

    Apparently, boys at public schools in Chicago were required to swim in the nude until as late as 1980

    That is true. Count me in as one of them… I can attest to having to swim nude throughout my four years at Chicago’s Foreman High School (Go HORNETS!!!) Public School. Was at first somewhat humiliating — but the reality is that you had to shower nude — before you entered the pool area (w/trunks) so what’s the big difference.

    We had some fun in Senior year when the swim coach would take attendance changing the familiar roll call from…

    Smith? Here. Williams? Here Jones? Here… etc. to
    Smith? Hard. Williams? Hard. Jones? Hard.

    Coaches let us have fun with it because it was very weird to swim with other dudes nude twice a week…

    The Chicago swimming article infuriated me; yet another example of people who have power abusing those that don’t.

    Just a suggestion: I found the piece about the memorial decal for JMU President Ron Carrier a little confusing. I thought it was saying that the president of the university died while in office. Maybe adding “former” before his title would clarify?

    Obviously no big deal, but thought I’d add my $0.02.

    If the Marrriners ever do those Talk Like a Pirate jerseys, they need to invite their former pitcher David Aardsma for the first pitch.

    I searched my twitter feed because I thought I commented something about Alex Smith. As I recall it was a stud, although I didn’t take a pic, here’s a link to the tweet if you want to use the date to research the matter.


    He must have taken the Ferrari without permission (again), leading Higgins to call Comerica Park and have them all kicked out for rooting for that Canine chap.

    Last time I attended a Toledo Mud Hens game, it was Magnum Night, with fans encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts and whatnot. Being a Tigers farm team, the Hens really played it up.

    As to the folks kicked out, man their whiny complaints annoy me. You do a thing as a group, identify to all around as a group, and then when some members of your group act badly, you complain that you’re being treated like members of a group? Grow the frick up. Don’t want to get kicked out? Then stop the bad-acting members of your group from acting badly. The proverb is that a few bad apples spoil the bunch. Bad apples, when tolerated, turn all the other apples bad by association.

    Also, anyone cosplaying as Thomas Magnum should be held to a higher standard.

    35th Anniversary/Season of Wheel of Fortune? Ah…perhaps I’m going senile, but didn’t Wheel of Fortune debut on NBC in 1975? Chuck Woolley, Susan Stafford anyone? link

    ocbee is 100% correct. WoF only seems to recognize its nighttime version in its milestones, so Woolery, Rolf Benirshke (yes, the Chargers’ placekicker) and Bob Goen get short shrift as hosts of the daytime Wheel.

    The Chicago swimming article should infuriate, despite dismissals of “fun” among the “dudes” and “bros.” I can attest personally to the abusiveness it unleashed, both from neanderthal gym teachers and those same fun-loving dudes.

    It says the Steelers wore a proper number font for the pre season and the first game of the 1997 season. That was against Dallas and I remember them wearing the silly font. The pictures I can find also bear this out as well.

    Haven’t the Devils always worn predominantly red gloves? I think every player I’ve ever seen in a Devils sweater has had red gloves with a black cuff, but may have had a touch more black or white on the back of the hand. It’s either a really minor change in color balance, or it could even just be down to the new CCM design template having less scope for additional black or white.

    It is minor change. Some details did not make it into ticker. New gloves are solid red except for black wrist roll.

    Old uniforms, there was black and white striping in the gloves, including black on the fingers and thumbs.





    The new ones kind of remind me of a pair of Warriors that Patrik Elias used to wear that lacked white on the back of the hand. I think it was down to the design template of the glove not allowing for two additional colours, but they always struck me as not fitting the Devils’ aesthetic. I was pretty surprised that Lamoriello let it fly with the way he was with uniforms:


    Those Providence logos are awful. Just dreadful work.

    Somebody (with skill) needs to stand up to the ubiquity these folks are getting sold and counsel these athletic departments with some creative direction.

    The “Friars” as an icon is BEGGING for a “dribbling Friar” and/or one that’s more active. No way you can make the mascot look good as a profile all serious without making it somewhat whimsical and active.

    Just polishing a turd with their change.

    “the Devils will be wearing red gloves along with their new jerseys this season”

    I see what you did there.

Comments are closed.