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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Bye-bye, Pinktober. Hello, Rainbowtober. That was the news around the NFL yesterday, as several teams wore rainbow-patterned captaincy patches (including Giants quarterback Eli Manning, shown at right; click to enlarge) as part of the league’s “A Crucial Catch” cancer-awareness program. Instead of focusing on breast cancer, as had been the case in past seasons, the league is now trying to tackle all cancers, each of which has its own color — hence the multi-colored captain’s patches, officiating caps, waistband towels, goalposts, and of course footwear.

Oddly, there was zero advance promotion for the rainbow graphics, prompting many confused fans to contact me, asking, “What’s up with that captain’s patch?” Hard to raise awareness when you don’t bother to make people aware of what you’re doing.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Rams wore their royal/yellow throwbacks at home against the Seahawks (click to enlarge; additional photos here):

As you can see, this version of the throwback design no longer has the annoying neck roll collar.

• The Bengals wore their orange alternate jerseys (click to enlarge; additional photos here):

• The Jets went mono-green. Additional photos here.

• Speaking of the Jets, it looks like linebacker Darron Lee had his nose bumper logo torn off:

• Here’s an interesting development: The Raiders don’t yet play in Las Vegas, but they’ll be playing there eventually, so they’ve added a “Vegas Strong” helmet decal in the wake of last week’s massacre. This shot also shows the “Crucial Catch” decal that replaced the usual NFL logo yesterday (click to enlarge):

It’s unclear, at least to me, if the Vegas decal was a one-game thing or if the team will wear it throughout the rest of the season.

• Speaking of Vegas, several players wore shout-outs to Vegas on their shoes, including Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

• If you look at this next video, you can see that the Browns don’t have a midfield logo. When’s the last time a team went that route?

• Speaking of the Browns, several readers noted that cornerback Jason McCourty appeared to be wearing a matte-finish helmet (click to enlarge):

• In the wake of the kerfuffle over Panthers quarterback Cam Newton insulting a female reporter, Newton arrived for yesterday’s game wearing a Rosie the Riveter pin.

• Three teams wore white at home: the Dolphins, Browns, and, of course, the Cowboys.

• Here’s a list of players who protested during the national anthem yesterday. In a related item, Vice President Mike Pence attended yesterday’s 49ers/Colts game in Indianapolis but left the stadium after numerous Niners took a knee during the national anthem. He then issued this tweet:

I fully support Pence’s (or anyone’s) right to boycott over the anthem protests. But his tweet is an unfortunate example of bad civics. Suggesting that protesting during the anthem “disrespects our soldiers” is demagogic nonsense, because the anthem is not for soldiers; it’s for all of us. Reasonable people can disagree on the merits of the anthem protests, but Pence’s statement is the latest example of conflating support for the military with patriotism — a faulty and dangerous point of view, and one that that is rampant throughout the sports world. (As a footnote, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced yesterday that any Dallas player who is “disrespectful to the flag” will not be permitted to play. Of course, the protests have been directed at the anthem, not at the flag, but it’s unclear whether Jones grasps that distinction.)

(My thanks to Mike Chamernik, JJ Johnson, K.C. Kless, and Scott McMichael, Jim Parry, and Beau Parsons for their contributions to this section.)

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Click to enlarge

Cue the Great Gazoo jokes: LSU offensive lineman Toby Weathersby was wearing an extra layer of protection on his helmet during Saturday’s game against Florida. Not sure how long he’s been wearing it, but he didn’t have it on Sept. 23 or Sept. 9.

For longtime football fans, this accessory brings back memories of the ProCap, famously worn in the NFL more than 20 years ago by Bills safety Mark Kelso and 49ers offensive lineman Steve Wallace. Is the ProCap making a comeback? I’ll contact LSU today and try to learn more about what Weathersby was wearing.

(Weathersby screen shot by Jeff Waddelow).

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Membership update: Six new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Judy Adams’s card (shown at right), which is based on the logo that Roger Federer wears on his sneakers at Wimbledon. This past summer he wore No. 7, for the seven Wimbledon titles he had won up until that point. But he won the 2017 title, so Judy is going with No. 8, which is what he’ll wear on his sneakers next year.

I have two open slots in the current batch of cards, which means the next two people who sign up will get their cards very soon, without much of a wait.

Remember, a Uni Watch membership card now entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me.) As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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A very vanilla story: My friends Rob Walker and Josh Glenn have been running a series of short essays about four categories of objects: talismanic objects, political objects, illicit objects, and lost objects. As you may recall from a few months ago, I contributed to the illicit series, writing about a corkscrew that I stole from some friends.

I also have an entry in the series on lost objects — a story about a vanilla bean that figured prominently in my youth. It’s one of my favorite stories about myself and my mom, and it’s now been published. Check it out here.

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LAST CALL for the blimp shirt: Today is the final day to order our latest limited-edition shirt from the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, designed by the great Sean Kane (shown at right; click to enlarge). It’s available here until 11pm Eastern tonight. Additional info here.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Two fun items involving former Reds SS Barry Larkin: First, check out this No. 11 basketball jersey that Larkin wore for a high school fundraiser game in 1989. And then dig this shot of Larkin being “tagged out” by his brother, Xavier basketball standout Byron Larkin (from Nick Hinds and @LargeTimHortons).

Football News: Left over from Saturday: Hawai’i TE Kade Greeley has FNOB. “Twin brother Karson Greeley is also on the team. No idea what’s on his jersey,” says Nik Streng. … New white helmets for Dickinson College, a D-3 school. “It’s the first time they’ve worn white helmets since 1980,” says John Philips. “While the last white helmet featured a large block ‘D,’ the new one uses the Arizona State pitchfork logo. The old ‘D’ helmet had been worn since the early 1960s but was replaced by then-head coach Ray Erney (father of former Rutgers QB Scott Erney) with red for the 1981 season — a disastrous affair that saw Dickinson go 0-9 and score 23 points for the entire campaign.”

Hockey News: The Devils have added 35th-anniversary helmet decals (from Dan Grimm). … So do the Lightning for their 25th anniversary, but only on their away helmets. That same logo is a patch on their home jerseys (from Mario Vasquez). … Penguins winger Ryan Reaves wore a Steelers helmet, which is the team’s player-of-the-game award for this season, for his postgame interview on Saturday. It has No. 17 on the back and No. 18 on the front, for the 2017-18 season (from John Kobler and Jerry Wolper). … “I noticed a few funny instances of NHL teams using old Reebok jerseys for promos,” says Ryan Robey. “The Blue Jackets gave an old jersey to Ed Sheeran for his concert at their arena on Oct. 3, and the Blackhawks gave a old jersey to Bryan Bickell for his ‘One More Shift’ event.”

Basketball News: The Heat’s 30th-anniversary logo was spotted by @KurtCobae, who notes that many of their anniversary logos have had a hoop around the number (or the phrase “X years of Heat”). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: This Cincinnati No. 11 jersey was actually worn by Reds SS Barry Larkin for a high school fundraiser game in 1989 (from Nick Hinds).

Soccer News: I don’t imagine that Shakespeare shows up on Uni Watch often, but the Portland Thorns’ pregame display before Saturday’s NWSL semi-final quoted Ophelia from act IV of Hamlet. … From World Cup qualifying: The officials in the Slovenia/Scotland match wore pink socks to provide some contrast with Scotland (again in pink themselves). To be clear, Scotland’s pink shirts are not for Pinktober; the color is borrowed from the horse racing colors of Lord Rosebery, UK prime minister in the 1890s and supporter of soccer in Scotland. … Two examples of Pinktober shirts, though: West Virginia’s women’s soccer team against Oklahoma with white shorts and socks (from Kris Blanton). … Saint Louis FC (USL) against the Richmond Kickers, with their usual dark blue shorts/socks (from Brian Henke).

Grab Bag: A Gaelic Games note from Denis Hurley: In the County Cork club hurling championship, Blackrock (green and gold hoops) and Na Piarsaigh (black and gold hoops) didn’t change against each other despite having near-identical shirts and white shorts. Both teams are in that picture if you look carefully. … Here’s an article wondering if the trademark for Ugg boots should be owned by an Australian company and whether they can become a cultural symbol of the country like champagne with France or feta with Greece (thanks, Paul).

Comments (71)

    A couple of NFL teams looked really good with their uniform combinations yesterday. I really like the Chargers in mono-white and the Titans in the Columbia blue jersey over white pants.

    One thing about Pence’s tweet that stood out to me is “Flag” and “National Anthem” are both capitalized, but “soldiers” is not. Not saying it should be one or the other, but the lack of consistency could be viewed as “disrespectful” by some.

    If you are looking for consistency from a politician you will be looking for a very long time.

    The whole thing was a mess..a 49ers player admitted afterwards the Niners weren’t going to do anything, but just because Pence was there they decided to do it anyway. Kind of sad that this has turned into empty publicity stunts being thrown at each other.

    The Rainbow thing confused me too, just another example of how horribly run the NFL is now.

    a 49ers player admitted afterwards the Niners weren’t going to do anything, but just because Pence was there they decided to do it anyway.

    Do you have a link for that? I hadn’t heard that and some initial googling has come up empty.

    Scott, we have to remember it was a player who started this controversy. Trump was wrong in stirring things up, but the players chose the wrong outlet for their political beliefs.

    Interest, and TV ratings are down for the NFL. If the players are concerned about equality, the much bigger issue would be stemming the conditions which is causing the problems in Chicago, and other inner cities. The overwhelming numbers of people with substandard jobs and in jails come from single parent households.

    Let’s please not debate who was pulling a bigger stunt, who started it, NFL tv ratings, etc. None of that is relevant to Uni Watch.

    The protests are relevant because they’re part of the visual culture of the game. And Pence’s tweet was relevant because it conflated military support with patriotism, which is a false narrative that frequently plays out in the uni-verse. (If Pence had not issued that tweet, I would not have mentioned him in today’s post.) Let’s please try to stick to those issues. Thanks.

    Link please.

    I live in San Francisco and not only have I not heard that the 49ers were going to discontinue their protests, I also have not heard anything like the 49ers players admitting afterwards they weren’t going to do anything this week.
    Eric Reid certainly didn’t admit anything of the kind.

    Not buying it without something.


    I was reading the link I thought I saw it at and was misinformed.

    My sincere apologies Paul, I seem to always start a mess whenever I comment on something. Sorry everyone, let’s get back to fun topics.

    So…matte helmets for the Browns soon?

    What got lost in the kerfluffle was the retirement of Peyton Manning’s Jersey, Statue, all which should have been a great and wonderful event without the various protests.

    Heck with capitalization. This is English, not German, so random, rather than consistent, capitalization of nouns is how we roll. What’s offensive about Pence’s use of “soldiers” is that his specificity overtly excludes those members of the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard who put their lives on the line to defend America every day, as well as veterans of those services. When one says “solders,” one excludes airmen, marines, sailors, and guardsmen.

    It may seem like a minor, even petty, objection. But find yourself a member or veteran of any non-Army service, call him or her a “soldier,” and see how they react. I once inadvertently referred to a friend who had served as the lone naval officer in an Army special ops unit as a “soldier” in casual convesation and I swear that moment was the closest I can recall ever being to getting punched in the face. In my experience, a coastie will shrug off being called a sailor, but nobody in any non-Army service will put up with being called a soldier. Imagine calling José Altuve the Astros “quarterback,” or saying the Browns are leading the Yankees in the ALDS. (As long as Girardi manages the Yanks, the Browns might just be able to pull that off, though they should keep the gloss unless they switch to brown helmets. Which would look terrific in matte.)

    “or if the team will wear throughout the rest of the season”
    “Speaking of Vegas,…” the ‘and’ is in the wrong place
    “I’ll contact LSU to day”
    Tagging problem in the Dickinson College item

    I like the matte helmet for the Browns, and wouldn’t mind seeing it team wide. I think I’ve seen matte helmets on the Vikings, but I can’t think of any other teams who’ve gone that route. I think if there’s changes to be made, going the chrome/matte route for some teams might be something that wouldn’t look too bad and could be a natural evolution of the team aesthetic.

    The Portland Thorns thing is nice, full stop.

    The other NFL teams with matte helmets:

    Jacksonville Jaguars (the black part)

    Seattle Seahawks (except for the strip at the front)

    Certain colors turn very muted and greyish as a matte, mainly dark color like navy blue, forest green, maroon, etc. Black usually works because there’s no hue to mute, but orange actually looks quite good, as do other bright colors like yellow, red, royal blue, etc.

    None of it, matte, gloss, metal flake, etc. is going to improve the Browns branding. You can’t polish a turd.

    Does anyone really believe that the Rams equipment staff: (1) removes the white horns; (2) removes the white facemasks; (3) applies the yellow horns; and then (4) installs the blue facemasks?
    The one-helmet rule rationale is a farce if there is a second set of navy blue Rams helmets for the throwback games. Didn’t Uni-Watch expose the Giants “extra” set of helmets with throwback logos 10 days prior to Color Rash last year?

    “Didn’t Uni-Watch expose the Giants “extra” set of helmets with throwback logos 10 days prior to Color Rash last year?”

    Um, no. There was no such article. I just went through the December 2016 entries here to confirm as much.

    Does anyone really believe that the Rams equipment staff: (1) removes the white horns; (2) removes the white facemasks; (3) applies the yellow horns; and then (4) installs the blue facemasks?

    Uh, yes. That’s standard equipment staff work, and that’s exactly what they do.

    The one-helmet rule rationale is a farce if there is a second set of navy blue Rams helmets for the throwback games.

    We have no reason to believe that that’s the case. Please stop spreading conspiracy theories, at least on my website. Thanks.

    Multiple sites confirmed on December 15, 2016 that the Giants equipment staff was preparing their helmets with the “GIANTS” helmet logo and white face masks for the December 22 Color Rush game.
    The Problem? The Giants still had to play one more game (December 18 versus the Lions) with the “NY” logo and gray facemasks.

    As for the Rams, I agree, I was just hypothesizing.

    To Rob S …
    The Uni-Watch reference to the Giants Color Rush helmets was in the ticker on December 16. (links below). That was published two days before (and therefore the video filmed three days before) the Giants played a December 18 game in their standard helmets.



    That’s a video of ONE HELMET being prepared. And nobody even brought it up in the comments – the only thing people talked about that day vis-a-vis the G-men was the netural end zones for that weekend.

    As for that Twitter link, we see at MOST seven helmets in one shot. For all I know, those helmets could have been prepared for promotional purposes. I can’t say that for certain, that’s true, but what I can say is that I don’t see anything showing me that a whole team’s worth of helmets were prepared early.

    One thing I noticed yesterday during the Carolina-Detroit game is that the Panthers’ helmets have a bit of a glitter effect, which stood out against the Lions’ plain glossy silver. How long have the Panthers been doing this? Is this just something I never noticed because I usually never see the Panthers?

    Thanks for the explanation of the rainbow stripes – I assumed it was some sort of “Pride” awareness. You’re right, they didn’t do a very good job of explaining

    If the Browns equipment staff realizes one player has a matte finish helmet, and makes him change his helmet, would this violate the one helmet rule in the sense that the team is making a player change shells?

    For the gajillionth time: The one-shell rule is not intended to eliminate helmet changes. It is intended to *minimize* helmet changes by prohibiting team-wide changes for things like alternates and throwbacks.

    I understand that Paul, but doesn’t the rule prohibit teams from making a player change shells, even on an individual basis?

    While watching the Yanks-Cleveland game last night, I noticed a short shout-out to UniWatch in the 9th inning. While panning the crowd, prominent on the screen was a Cleveland fan wearing his “I Still Call It the Jake” t-shirt.

    “Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced yesterday that any Dallas player who is “disrespectful to the flag” will not be permitted to play. Of course, the protests have been directed at the anthem, not at the flag, but it’s unclear whether Jones grasps that distinction.)”

    I know you’re being a fair reporter, but it’s clear. Very clear.


    I’m not sure what you mean by either “fair” or “clear.” If you’re suggesting that I’m opposed to conflating the anthem with the flag, just as I’m opposed to conflating military support with patriotism, then yes, you are correct.

    I’m you’re suggesting something else, you’ll have to be more explicit.

    The Rams in Blue & yellow looked just like the “Los Angeles Rams” should look like.
    Nice to see them look that way under a October afternoon southern California sky! Outstanding.


    Kaepernick’s original protest was the flag, not the anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”


    Seeing the Barry Larkin picture makes me think how cool it would be to see baseball jerseys morphed into basketball jerseys, or vice versa. Sadly I have zero artistic ability but perhaps someday someone will.

    Same to you Mike! Good day to sit on the chesterfield and exercise the Molson muscle while watching the close CFL tilt happening on the TV right now.

    Nice day here in Vancouver. I may have to gather my loonies and toonies and go to Timmy’s a bit later today for a double-double.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians! Serious question: Why is it spelled “poseurs” but not “hoseurs”? Aren’t there like laws up there mandating French spellings and stuff? Are you all trying to drive Quebec to secede?

    Side note: There’s a restaurant here in Wisconsin that has on its menu a dish of fries with gravy, cheese, and other stuff on it called “Vladimir Poutine.” If I were a decent enough neighbor to the True North Strong and Free to know the dates of Canadian holidays other than Canada Day, I’d have made plans to go get a dish of Vladimir Poutine tonight. Alas, not.

    Situation with poser is a bit different in French/English language usage than with hoser. Hoser is really an English language term which us hosers really don’t use too much:



    We use BRITISH spelling, not French (which happen to often be the same. We stayed loyal to the crown.

    Quick note, Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers was designated an Alternate Captain but didn’t wear the A on his sweater for last nights game against the Canadiens he did however wear it the other night against Toronto. What was the deal?

    The Rangers have three players designated as alternate captains – Zuccarello, Rick Nash, and Marc Staal. They just rotate who wears the A for each game, since league rules limit the number of captains designated per game.

    I have Paul O’Neill’s basketball jersey from that game or another one like it. The photo of Larkin’s is the only other one that I’ve seen.

    I work in an office where there are actually TWO American Flags hanging. The other day my boss played the National Anthem on his computer (I believe he was watching a youtube video) Regardless, it was blasted loud enough for the entire office to hear it clearly… Did ANYONE stand?

    You know the answer – NO. Several of my “co-workers” had already voiced their distaste for anyone “not standing” during the anthem and here they were, doing EXACTLY that.

    So apparently this only applies to them if there is an “event” directly after the anthem and they are in attendance which is ridiculous. The song is the SAME, the flag is the SAME. Don’t you just love “cherry pickers?”

    And how many of them would stand at attention when they’re watching a game at home, or at a bar, and the anthem plays?

    I have seen a few fans in bars stand for the National Anthem. Not all by any means.
    Personally I just roll my eyes and tug on some more PBR.

    I have been to plenty of sporting events, and certainly not every person stands/takes their hats off/stops looking at their phone/etc.

    My biggest problem with this whole thing is the hypocrisy involved. Black players start kneeling because of something directly affecting the people they have known and lived among, and suddenly everyone is Captain America, all the while willfully overlooking what the actual protest is about.
    (If I were to criticize the players, is that they aren’t expressing the reason for their cause literally every time they are asked about the flag, the anthem, the kneeling. Make sure that anyone saying anything about disrespecting the flag has heard players say 5001 times that its not about the flag or the military.)



    How is the “no gun” symbol at the top of your webpage “relevant” to Uni-Watch (other than the fact that it is your website?

    It is an ad, run by someone who simply wants the symbol to speak for itself (i.e., it does not link to anything, at least for now). It is no more (or less) “relevant” than any other ad on the site.

    To clarify the point of the portion of the entry regarding the ‘anthem protests’, the protests are not intended to protest the anthem but the presence of racial injustice, specifically the mistreatment of African-Americans by police.

    The athletes are using the time spent during the national anthem to draw attention to their cause, but are not intentionally disrespecting the flag or the country, just the disconnect between the values the flag represents and the current treatment of its citzens.

    The Rams throwback needs to comeback. I know they are trying to call back to the Fearsome Foursome days with the white horns, but the Sunday look against the Seahawks is something we all remember. Plus what team decides to change their look AFTER winning the Super Bowl? The Rams of course.

    The Titans light blue top/white pants look is by far their best even if it is against the Dolphins in their aqua pants. Too bad the light blue is their alternate and I know a redesign is in the works for 2018 so perhaps it goes bye bye. But one of the better looking games of the day was the Colts/49ers. It’s ho hum when the 49ers are in red, but put them in white and the Colts in blue, it is a timeless pairing.

    The Jets green always seems off to me, even if they go mono green. Shouldn’t be more of the kelly green variety anyway? And speaking of Jets going green… what I wouldn’t give for them to bring back the New York Sack Exchange look.

    They were planning the change well before they made SB XXXIV. Should they have postponed it after winning? I sure think so. But remember who was owning the team at the time.

Comments are closed.