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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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It was a tale of two throwbacks in the NFC North yesterday. We’ll start in Chicago, where the Bears wore their Monsters of the Midway throwbacks. As you can see above, the Bears go about this the right way, using grey facemasks instead of their usual navy (additional photos here).

The same can’t be said, unfortunately, for the Packers, who wore their throwbacks and once again stuck with their usual green facemasks, even though the throwback uni has no other green elements (additional photos here):

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Green Bay’s approach makes no sense. The NFL’s one-shell rule allows teams to swap out their facemasks, so the Packers could easily go with blue or grey. Sticking with green, which they’ve done for several years now, just seems lazy. I’ve asked to speak with Packers equipment manager Red Batty about this, but they’ve declined to make him available to me. Too bad.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• Good-looking game at the Meadowlands, as the Giants hosted the Chiefs (additional photos here):

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• I reeeaaallly wish the Saints would stop going mono-black at home, but it seems to be their default look now.

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• The Chargers went mono-blue — not my favorite look for them (additional photos here).

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

• Here’s a list of players who protested during the national anthem. And in a related item: With the Pats/Raiders game taking place in Mexico City, Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch, who had sat during the national anthem for all previous games this season, stood for the Mexican anthem, prompting a scolding from President Trump.

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Mini-helmet reminder: Remember the Uni Watch mini-helmet is now available. The first customers who ordered have been receiving theirs and posting photos on Twitter. They look great! Get yours here.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Football News: The Falcons livestreamed the implosion of the Georgia Dome this morning (from Bill Schaefer). … Some of the uniform combinations for the CFL division finals were sent along by Wade Heidt and Brett Kellington: The Toronto Argonauts wore mono-Oxford blue, as opposed to the more common white/blue/white. The Calgary Stampeders wore black alternates, while Edmonton created a new look with their white jersey and alternate helmet and pants.

College Football News: From Saturday: Iowa DE Nathan Bazata was missing his NOB. … Speaking of this, the North Carolina equipment people said on Twitter yesterday that they have a blank jersey on hand for any uniform-related problems, which was why a NNOB No. 45 was spotted on the sidelines (from multiple readers). … Meanwhile, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was wearing camouflage pants (from Brad Darby). … Pitt DB Maurice Ffrench’s last name is not a typo (from Yancy Yeater). … Division II Findlay (Ohio) has NOBs on their helmet stripes, rather than their jerseys (from Matt Brown).

Hockey News: One of the Rangers’ power play units yesterday had a combined 47 letters across their five surnames. Can any of you hockey fans come up with a power play unit with even more letters? (From Josh Berger.)

Basketball News: Reader Chris Perrenot sent us a picture for the Grizzlies’ upcoming holiday promotion, including a scarf giveaway. “Clearly Photoshopped,” Chris says. Notice how a wedge is missing from the bottom of the scarf. … We had one of the first grey-on-grey matchups of the college basketball season in Division II between the women’s teams of Cheyney (Pa.) and Bloomsburg (Pa.), who wore light and dark grey, respectively (from Matt Brown).

Soccer News: Scottish Premiership team Dundee debuted a previously revealed khaki third shirt which features both camouflage and yet another poppy. The team already wore a poppy two weeks ago. … Serie A side Napoli also revealed a mono-BFBS third kit on Saturday (from Ed Żelaski). I should mention that Napoli have in recent seasons worn camouflage and denim-patterned shirts, and another BFBS kit last season. … Also from Ed: New first-choice shirt for Chilean team Colo-Colo. … North Carolina FC will switch from the “third-tier” NASL to the “second-tier” USL next season, says Josh Hinton. … On the subject of expansion, the NWSL announced a new Utah team this week to be run by Real Salt Lake, but the team’s name, logo, uniforms, etc. are all forthcoming.

Grab Bag: This New York City Subway worker has an old-school system map on his shirt and line marker buttons on his hat (from Alan Kreit). … Interesting observation I was reminded of this weekend: for field hockey teams that wear sleeveless shirts, which are more common among women’s than men’s teams but not universal, the captains wears the captain’s “armband” around one of their socks. … NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran his final race on Sunday, and his paint scheme threw back to his first one ca. 2000-2002. Additionally, the three other Hendrick Motorsports drivers wore variations of Junior’s skeleton-themed gloves.

Comments (58)

    The old school system map t-shirt is a fauxback! The NYC subway system’s re-adapted the Vignelli map of 1972, but in modern colors, for their online mapping. It’s a relatively new t-shirt, as it doesn’t incorporate the 2nd Avenue Subway, but a closer look notes that it has the F train on 63rd Street, which is way more modern!


    I wouldn’t know much about it. Then again, I’m from Detroit, where there’s barely any form of mass transit to begin with, and certainly no subways. In fact, our light rail consists of one 3-mile loop in downtown, and one street car that goes up and down a 3 mile stretch of Woodward – and that last one just opened this year.

    Both the Bears’ and Packers’ throwbacks are based on unis from the pre-facemask era.

    The Bears could have kept their navy masks and would’ve looked just fine to me, since they’d at least match their helmets. Or they could have changed it up and gone with orange to match the numbers and stripes on the uniform, which would be an interesting visual. That they did change to gray is fine as well.

    The Packers seem to have a strong aversion to changing their masks. They didn’t change them out when they wore similar throwbacks in 1994, and in fact the only time they’ve gone with a non-green mask was when they had the brown helmets with the c.1929 throwbacks before the one-shell rule was enforced. That they are unwilling to change the facemasks out on their regular helmets smacks so the green doesn’t clash with their blue unis just comes off as lazy. OF course, someone will argue they should just wear gray masks for all 16 games and avoid that issue altogether. (I would argue that the Pack should wear a 1936 throwback in honor of their first-ever playoff championship – green with yellow raglan sleeves.)

    They should just wear gray masks for all 16 games.

    So should all teams.

    So let it be written.

    Truth is, NFL teams should not “throw back” at all to eras where the uniforms and equipment don’t look at all like today’s.

    Teams can get away with throwbacks that were worn maybe starting in the 1970’s but before that the differences in helmet shells, facemasks, and jersey cuts just make the throwbacks look goofy.

    This is so wrong I don’t know where to begin.

    Not only should every team (including the Cowboys, Raiders & Lions) wear colored face-masks always, but even when throw backing to a uniform that had gray face-masks, they should ignore that part and wear colored ones.

    Using gray is always a bad choice.


    I’ve never understood why gray is the default mask color when teams throwback to an era before facemasks. If you are throwing back to the pre-mask days, wouldn’t a team color mask make as much sense?

    “Using gray is always a bad choice”.

    Is there some objective criteria for that statement, or is it just personal preference? Because I happen to like the gray.

    I have no idea why the Packers not only won’t change their face masks when they wear those throwbacks (the dark green face masks stick out like sore thumbs), but also won’t make their equipment manager available for an interview. Baffling.

    ” and in fact the only time they’ve gone with a non-green mask was when they had the brown helmets with the c.1929 throwbacks before the one-shell rule was enforced.”


    If you care to correct me with regard to the throwbacks, please cite an example before I find it myself.

    Simply trying to play “gotcha” is bad form.

    For some reason, my last reply is in the moderation queue. But, I went ahead and found the answer I needed thanks to the GUD.

    The Packers did actually swap their facemasks out on their yellow helmets for gray ones to be paired with throwback unis once – ONCE – in 2001. link

    I only missed it this morning because I didn’t even notice that there was a throwback that season.

    Oh, and that 2001 throwback was white with green numbers, so they actually didn’t need to do the swap, since the green mask would’ve matched.

    Yet, in 1994 and for the past five seasons, when wearing blue throwback jerseys and using their stripped-down regular helmets, they’ve left the green facemasks on.

    (Probably should’ve thought out one longer post…)

    And before anyone tries to correct me again and bring up pre-1980 masks, it should be a given we’re specifically talking about masks paired with throwback uniforms here, not their regular uniforms.

    So there. :P

    Okay, I missed that one… then again, when looking at the thumbnails on the GUD, it’s hard to tell.

    Of course, it just further goes to illustrate the Packers’ baffling behavior. When their throwbacks have been green or they’ve used separate helmets, they’ve gone with gray facemasks, but when they’ve worn blue throwbacks with their regular helmets, they haven’t bothered to change the masks.

    Better still. All teams just have two uniforms. One with a dark jersey and another with a white jersey. And there was a rule stating that the team wears the dark jerseys for home games and white jerseys for road games.

    Something weird I noticed – clicking on each of those pictures in the lede goes to a page from Getty Images that shows several photos from each game, but not the photo that’s showing on this page.

    Even weirder, when the Lions-Bears photo page loads up, the keywords beneath each photo are in Japanese! The captions are still in English, though.

    “I reeeaaallly wish the Saints would stop going mono-black at home”

    This Saints fan agrees with you. Black jerseys/gold pants. The Saints should not wear any other combo at home. Period.

    The gold pants are great with both the black and white jerseys. I don’t see why they should ever wear black pants to begin with.

    Hockey ticker: If the Rangers put Desharnais instead of Kreider they’d have three more letters. But Desharnais was scratched.

    The whole college football multiple number thing is absurd. There are not 99 players on a college football team.

    I guess some programs retire numbers, but even then I believe the scholarship limit for D1 is 85.

    Maybe they should allow 0 and 00?

    Many major college programs will dress more than one hundred players for games, especially if it’s a home game.

    Many programs do have more than 100 players in uniform. Though looking at a different game where this issue came up I noticed many numbers were not issued, and some numbers were worn by 3 players. So yes, a lot of this can be avoided by refraining from issuing duplicate numbers until you absolutely have to. And when you do issue duplicate numbers, give the duplicates to guys so far down on the depth chart they wont play. They should never be on the field at the same time, even on special teams plays when a substitute has to come in for a starter.

    I stand corrected then. Although it remains absurd to dress over 100 players for a football game.

    Yeah but a quick scan of the headlines shows that nearly every news outlet referred to it as an implosion, including CNN, NPR, FOX, CBS, USA Today, and many others. Maybe someone will just suggest changing the definition to fit the current usage? :)

    Not a fan of the Calgary Stampeders’ ongoing team decision to wear their black 3rd Outlaw uniforms for home playoff games. Quite surprised the Eskimos broke out their 3rd uniform helmets and pants for the Western Final. They wore their regular road uniforms in the Western Semifinal. Also, not a fan of Edmonton wearing this gimmicky helmet in an important playoff game.

    True I like the more traditional uniforms. Tell me Edmonton at Calgary would not have looked better if it looked something similar to this?


    This won’t be popular, but I’m a fan of those shadowed numbers that the Eskimos are using now. Not a fan of that team-name-on-pants thing, though.

    (And is it just my imagination, or is the 7 slightly thinner than the 8?)

    Football pants should never have lettering, ever. But I’m with you; I like the drop-shadowing. It doesn’t work with every team.

    The Chargers wearing mono-navy with white helmets reminded me of a few weeks back when UNC did the same.

    In both cases, the team looked like a bunch of floating ping-pong balls when a distant camera angle was shown.

    Correction: NASL and USL are in the “second-tier” together, though it appears that the NASL’s future is uncertain; USL was promoted from the “third-tier” for 2017.

    It is interesting to note that the linked article does not specifically mention North Carolina FC transferring from the NASL.

    Is this the first time the Chargers have gone mono-blue in this set of theirs? I remember them going mono-blue back in the LT days when they had navy helmets to go with the jersey/pants, but I can’t remember them doing this since.

    RE: Longest power play names: The Rangers line-up pictured is only the 3rd longest on the team. There’s two substitutions for Chris Kreider that would beat that: Ryan McDonagh at 48, or David Desharnais for 50.

    Agree that the Grizzlies scarf is probably photoshopped, but the wedge is from the folded scarf and the jersey number behind it, not a missing piece of the scarf.

    RIP Terry Glenn, wide receiver, Patriots/Packers/Cowboys. He has at least one fascinating piece of Uni Watch trivia. I vividly remember we covered it here but I can’t find the photo, Terry Glenn once had a Ohio State Buckeye merit helmet decal sticker on a pro helmet of his. Clearly a uniform violation, but that’s not the point.

    Both the NASL and USL were “second tier” in 2017.

    The NASL’s having been stripped of that designation is currently the subject of some litigation that may be sorted in a couple of weeks, depending on the appeals court’s ruling.

    But the NASL is not currently “third tier” by virtue of having been denied Division II sanctioning for 2018. They had the option of applying for Division III status, but opted not to. They are currently in limbo.

    1. Tom Brady wore an Air Force decal on the back of his helmet in the Mexico City game vs. the Raiders (after practicing at the Air Force Academy all week) (other players may have done so as well, I only noticed Brady).

    2. For a long time now Paul has been complaining about the Saints’ mono-black look. I couldn’t disagree more. I think it’s one of the best looks in the NFL. In fact, I LOVE most instances when a team wears a solid color from the waist down (for example all black or all white pants/socks/cleats). As a younger fan, I started out liking a lot of the newer uni concepts that Paul and Phil hate (like Oregon’s constantly changing uniforms), but I’ve slowly been converted to a more conservative uni viewpoint. The all black look (at least waist down), which Paul refers to as the leotard look, is one thing I just won’t change my mind about.

    I got that NFL fun book from the Scholastic Book sale at school in 3rd grade. I credit that and the accompanying NFL poster with all 28 (at the time) helmets as sparking my interest in logos & uniforms. It stayed on my bedroom wall for years until it literally fell apart at the seams. It was awesome.

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