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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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It was old-school vs. new-school yesterday in Atlanta, as the Falcons wore their fauxbacks against the Bucs (additional photos here). As you can see above, Falcons wideout Julio Jones marked the occasion with some sock-stripe shenanigans, which actually looked pretty good. You can see additional views of him here, here, here, and here.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• Brutal-looking game in Cincy, as the Bengals paired their orange alts with their black pants (a terrible idea — that jersey should only be worn with white pants) against the Browns (additional photos here):

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• Speaking of the Bengals, they invited a bunch of the top players in franchise history for a 50th-anniversary ceremony. Interestingly, they all wore No. 50 jerseys, instead of the numbers they wore during their playing careers:

• Another rough-looking matchup was the Jags/Cards game. Among their many other problems, these two teams have particularly bad pants (additional photos here):

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• On the plus side, I love when the Seahawks go white over navy. Their game against the 49ers looked very nice indeed (additional photos here).

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• Another game that was very easy on the eyes: Bills vs. Chiefs (additional photos here).

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• Unfortunate move by the Jets, who went mono-green. I realize their team nickname is Gang Green, but this is way too much (additional photos here).

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• One team wore white at home: the Rams.

• Here’s a list of players who protested during the national anthem. There’s talk that the league may opt to keep the players in the locker rooms during the anthem next season, which is how things were handled up until 2009.

Coming next week: the “Cleats for a Cause” promotion, back for a second year. But unlike last year, when there was a lot of chatter about the various custom-painted shoe designs, I haven’t heard much buzz this time around. Have you?

(My thanks to Brinke Guthrie for the Bengals anniversary jersey item.)

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Silence of the Rams: The Rams are now 8-3 and sitting atop of the NFC West. People are starting to project how the team and its mismatched uniforms will look in the postseason.

Let’s start by stipulating that there’s a big difference between the Rams’ white-jersey look, which has just a bit of gold, and their blue-jersey look, which is a train wreck. Is there any chance that they’d wear the blue jerseys in the postseason?

The Rams wear white at home, so they’d wear white jerseys for any potential home playoff games. Looking at their potential postseason opponents in the NFC, the only other team that wears white at home even some of the time is Carolina. So if the Rams faced the Panthers in Carolina, it’s possible that L.A. would have to wear the blue jerseys.

Ah, but what about the big enchilada — the Super Bowl? The AFC is the designated home conference this season, and all of the AFC teams currently poised to make the postseason routinely wear color at home, so that would seem to guarantee that the Rams will wear white if they make it to the big game. The only rogue element there is that the home Supe team sometimes opts to wear white if it has worn white throughout its postseason run (as the Broncos did in Supe 50, for example). So there’s a slight chance of that happening, which would force the Rams to wear blue. But if, say, the Patriots make another run to the Supe? You can bet they’ll wear blue, so the Rams would wear white.

In short: It’s possible that the Rams’ worst look could get a postseason showcase, but it’s not likely.

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NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

The big news is that teams began wearing their third/alternate uniforms after Thanksgiving. Through Sunday’s games, 29 teams have played post-Thanksgiving games (all but the Lakers), and 15 of them wore their newly available third jersey in their first game after Thanksgiving. What’s more, 19 teams have played at least one home game over those three days and thirteen of them wore their new uniform in the first home game they played. Six teams debuted the new alternate uniform on the road, four of them against home teams wearing white.

Of the 30 alternate uniforms, 29 of them are colored (all except the Knicks’). So as teams begin wearing these uniforms, we’re seeing a bump in color-vs.-color matchups. Here are the updated numbers:

[table id=37 /]

The numbers are somewhat deceiving. If we look only at the games since Friday, when the third/alternate uniforms entered the rotation, seven of 23 games (30.4%) were color vs. color. By my estimation, four of those games could not have been color vs color without the third sets, and only one of them (Bulls in red vs. Heat in throwback black) did not feature at least one team in the third set. In short, expect to see a spike in all-color games now that teams are dipping deeper into their wardrobes.

Fifteen teams still haven’t debuted their alternate sets, and the Hawks still haven’t worn their throwback set. So that makes 16 more uniforms that will likely debuted before the next set of alternates is made available around Christmas.

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LAST CALL for the UWAC shirt: In case you missed it last Friday, we have a new limited-edition shirt, designed by Bryan Molloy, available only until midnight Eastern tonight. It’s a doozy of a package, with front and back designs, a custom hangtag, a sticker, and a custom mailer, and, for the first 40 orders, a magnet. (Update: We’ve now passed 40 sales and are fresh out of magnets.) Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page. Again, this shirt is only available until midnight Eastern tonight.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it during the Thanksgiving shuffle, my latest ESPN column tells the lost story of how the Vikings’ original uniforms were created. Check it out here.

Speaking of ESPN, my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide should be out this Wednesday.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: We’ve seen this before, but it’s worth repeating: The early-’80s Giants used the same number-in-streetcar treatment on their warmup jackets that the Golden State Warriors used on their “The City” uniforms (thanks, Phil). … Back in the early ’90s, the Reds sent Christmas ornaments to their season ticket holders.

NFL News: This vintage (ca. 1970s) NFC seat cushion was spotted after Saturday’s Georgia Tech/Georgia by Jeff Flynn. … A few excerpts from the book Tales From the San Diego Chargers Sideline, by the team’s former equipment manager Sid Brooks: When QB Johnny Unitas played for the team, they painted his shoes to resemble Adidas shoes, because the team had a contract with that company. Also, submitter Gene Sanny sent us the origin of the team’s 1988-2006 blue jerseys with white bolts.

College/High School Football News: A group of South Carolina fans who wore body paint on Saturday included a hand-drawn Under Armour logo in the usual maker’s-mark spot (from Chris Perrenot). … Minnesota had Goldy the Gopher helmet decals against Wisconsin, but some of the parts had trouble staying on (from Brent Kivell). … Reader Mike Raymer sent us a picture of the Troy (N.Y.) High School Flying Horses. “Has to be the only team on the planet with that nickname,” he says.

Hockey News: On Saturday the Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) debuted alternate uniforms that throw back to the 1924-25 edition of the Tigers, the city’s only NHL team (and who got their name and colors from a predecessor, also called the Tigers, of the CFL Tiger-Cats). Submitter Wade Heidt tells us Hamilton’s opponents, the Ottawa 67s, wore barber-pole alternates, making for a very colorful game. … A fan of the Cardiff Devils (in the UK’s EIHL) laced up his jersey with the rainbow shoelaces given out during this weekend’s Rainbow Laces campaign (see the soccer section for more on that). … Maple Leafs G Curtis McElhinney switched blocker pads between periods against the Caps on Saturday (from @TheGoalNet45). … Two color-on-color games to be seen this past weekend: First, in the ECHL between the Atlanta Gladiators (in yellow) and the Jacksonville Icemen (from Chris Treft). Second, in the AHL between the San Diego Gulls (in black) and the San Jose Barracuda (from Ethan Kassel). … New alternates for Notre Dame on Saturday (from Terry Mark). … Not uni-related but still plenty interesting: 100 years’ worth of NHL history can be traced through five players (from Robert Hayes). … Available on eBay right now: a game-worn Austrian hockey jersey with a “Lukas P.” NOB. The seller even references Paul and Uni Watch in his listing text (from Craig Bates).

Soccer News: A rundown of some of the visuals for English soccer’s Rainbow Laces campaign can be found here. Women’s teams are included in the campaign, but next week, as they’re on an international break. Some clubs promoted equality in another way by posing their men’s and women’s captains together (here, Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris and Jenna Schillaci) wearing the rainbow captain’s armband used this weekend. … In Saturday’s English Championship (second tier) game between Barnsley and Leeds United, Leeds goalie Felix Wiedwald was facing the sun and was given a hat by one of the Leeds fans behind his goal. … In Spain, speaking of fan-player interactions, Valencia striker Rodrigo scored against Barcelona and was duly given an orange wig by a fan for his celebration.

Grab Bag: Reader @mhgatti brought to our attention a tweet asking if any men’s sports have butt advertisements like those on the Netherlands and New Zealand women’s field hockey teams at yesterday’s Hockey World League final. Thanks to cycling, the answer is yes, and for what it’s worth, the Netherlands’ ads are small in comparison. Other sports besides cycling include some European ice hockey leagues, such as the Swedish Elite League, but that’s the result of an avalanche of advertisements more than anything else. … Formula 1 has a new logo (from Sandy Dardick and @GKG_77). … If you want to make your own (very generic-looking) logo, this site will help you do it.

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I don’t know about you, but I had a really good Thanksgiving weekend, with lots of fun cooking, good eating, some road-tripping, and more. I’ll have more to say about all of that, and about my recent trip to Virginia, later this week.

Comments (74)

    Have the Panthers worn white at home past September? I was sure it was just because of the heat that white was worn at home early in the season. I don’t know about the light blue alternates. Perhaps a reader will clarify.

    All I said is that they do it sometimes, so it’s possible.

    Here’s their jersey schedule for this season (although it doesn’t distinguish between home and road games, so you’ll have to look that part up yourself): link

    It’s also worth noting that the Panthers chose to wear white at home in the NFC Divisional round and the NFC Championship game two seasons ago.

    In addition, there is a history of Carolina wearing white at home in the playoffs dating back to their second year in existence. I can remember Carolina at home in the 1996 NFC Divisional wearing white. Making the Dallas Cowboys wear blue.


    As an original Panthers fan who has attended all their home playoff games, my recollection is that the team always wears white in these cases.

    Really, the team hasn’t had that many home playoff games in its 21 year history.

    IIRC, the team has hosted Dallas twice, Arizona 3 times, Seattle once, and San Francisco once. I am pretty sure they wore white for all of these, so my guess is that if they end up hosting the Rams, we’ll see the aptly described “trainwreck” unis for LA.

    I think it’s been mentioned here before that there was some poll not too long ago where people didn’t even realize the negative space in the old logo formed a 1. Which is something that surprised me (and still does), since it’s the central element of the old logo.

    The new logo, ironically, feels like something that would’ve been designed in the 80s to represent something 30 years in the future.

    It looks a bit like the ESPN logo … no coincidence, that the TV rights go to the WWL next year.

    Not only that, if you flip it and rotate, it is almost identical to Juventus’ (soccer or football, however you want to call it) logo presented just a couple of years ago.

    Usually the best part when a team honors past players like the bengals did, is when they have era appropriate jerseys on.
    Shame they didn’t, or even used their numbers, beyond lazy imo.

    Teams don’t always have the throwbacks, though. Still, this is the first time I can recall a team not even bothering to give the players their proper numbers.

    Bengals are a notoriously cheap team. We are lucky they didnt just draw on them with an orange sharpie!

    If I can provide a correction about what has been written in the Hamilton Bulldogs ticker item. I did note it was a colourful game, but the Ottawa 67’s barber pole uniforms are not their alternates. The barber pole uniform is Ottawa’s regular dark uniform.

    A blue Rams Super Bowl is definitely on the table should they make it. The AFC rep is looking to be either New England or Pittsburgh. NE would be fine but when the Steelers have landed in the Super Bowl as the “home” team they’ve gone with white, reserving black only for true home games in Pittsburgh.

    Pittsburgh has worn black as the home team in 3 Super Bowls, including the one after the 1979 season against the Rams.

    The Super Bowl in which they wore white as the home team was XL. That was the year they were the 6th seed and were road warriors, winning the 3 road games to get to the Super Bowl. That was the reason they wore white in that Super Bowl and was likely a one-off due to the superstitious situation.

    when the Steelers have landed in the Super Bowl as the “home” team they’ve gone with white, reserving black only for true home games in Pittsburgh.

    The Steelers have worn white as the Super Bowl home team only once, in Supe XL. They wore white in that game because they had gone thru their entire postseason run wearing white. It was a superstitious thing.

    Given that the Steelers are pretty much locks for the AFC North at this point (all they have to do to clinch the division is beat Baltimore in week 14, though if the Ravens lose both tonight and on Sunday, the Steelers could clinch in Cincy Sunday night), it seems exceedingly unlikely that they’d be wearing white in their first playoff game, which will probably be in the divisional round.

    I don’t know if the Patriots wearing their home blues in the SB (if they were to make it) is a sure thing: in their last 5 appearances, they’re 3-0 in white and 0-2 in blue.

    Of course, not that anything about the way the Pats do business screams “superstitious nonsense,” but still.

    Both of their losses in navy came against the Giants anyway, and they’re already eliminated from the playoffs. Plus, the Pats’ first two Super Bowl wins came in navy.

    Re: Butt-verts (or ass-vertisements):

    The Rochester Rhinos used to place two strategically-placed ads for a Minneapolis discount store on their shorts.

    Yep, Target.


    Watching the Bills Chiefs game, I wished it was color on color. Not color rash, but red vs blue jerseys. NFL needs more of that.

    I respectfully disagree. IMO, color vs. color only works when one team’s colored jerseys are light and the other dark.

    I have a feeling we’ll see more color vs. color in the NFL unfortunately. Fans in general seem to like it, I just think games like that just have too much going on, so to speak.

    Okay, I genuinely didn’t know the Rams had a player named Ferragamo, much less that he was their QB in SB XIV. (The first SB I ever watched was XVI, and I’ve never really sought out footage of prior post-merger games.)

    Though, why not just say “their throwbacks”?

    Or even their “Warners” since Kurt actually lead the Rams to a title in those uniforms.

    The SF Giants cable car jackets are great! My F-i-L would buy a couple dozen if someone were to recreate them. They’ve also been featured on UW before in a Too Good for the Ticker.


    Everyone is reporting that the NFL played the national anthem while players were in the locker room up until 2009, but can anyone remember ever going to a game and not seeing the teams on the field for the anthem? Even before 9/11, being on the field for the anthem still seemed like part of gameday at every level-high school, college, and the pros.

    In college in the mid-80s, I was in the marching band. I distinctly recall that we’d play the SSB, then go into a tunnel formation so the players could “charge out” onto the field. So, no, it was standard for the teams to be in the locker room during the anthem. It may have changed in some places in the wake of the 9/11 attacks but I doubt it was routine at most levels before then.

    I have gone to 40+ (going back to 1993) Indiana University home football games. As far as I know the players have never been on the field for the NA. The band does their pre-game show, performs the NA and then the teams come onto the field.

    Totally agree. I hate to think how much they spent to come up with it. Looks more like an ESPN-style “A” than anything else.

    Surprised no one brought up yesterday’s Gray Cup. Argo’s won on a long field goal. But it was a snowy field, something you don’t see much anymore.

    Probably my time to chime in. Grey Cup one helluva game and event as usual. Exciting ending to game with the Toronto interception. Some single play distance records (Longest reception and longest fumble return in the game’s 105 year history).

    Not really much to report uni-wise, thus no mentions. The snowstorm not expected to be that heavy and was bad in first half. Snow was more cleared away for the second half and teams made good adjustments for footwear at the half. Sure the field advertisers were not pleased with mother nature.

    Photo gallery of the game in the snow:


    The snow made Shania Twain’s halftime performance entrance interesting. Not sure if they came up with this on the fly – but she made her way to the stage on dog sled:


    The Bengals orange jersey is so much better than the black one. As Paul noted, if paired with white pants (and if you dropped the out of place white side panel) it would be a great look. (Of course this assumes you overlook the tiger stripe helmet).

    I don’t care for the tiger stripe helmet at all.
    I think they’d look great with an orange helmet with the criminally underused tiger head logo.

    Exactly! Only differences maybe would be to go with orange socks and a full pant stripe instead of the truncated version. But new helmet or not, I think orange jersey and white pants is the way to go for them.

    Different strokes, etc., etc. FWIW, the Bengals’ helmet is one of my favorites, right up there with the Rams.

    The Bengals helmets may still be polarizing now, but at the time they were introduced they were universally ridiculed.

    Now, at least some percentage of fans regard them as classics and would be ticked off if they ever changed them.

    Just wondering if anyone feels it might be time to consider dropping the anthem from sporting events, especially if the event participants won’t even go on the field for it. I am definitely pro anthem but what’s the point if the particular games paricipants aren’t even paying respect to it.

    Sorry for my mess up, obviously I meant for this to appear with the other previous anthem comments.

    I’d be in favor of that. But I think most American sports fans wouldn’t be. And I think fans at the game would quickly develop their own pregame ritual of singing the anthem on their own, en massse, a capella. And I think that would quickly become an ugly barometer of patriotism: “Hey, you’re not singing! What the fuck?”

    Basically, I think we’re stuck with it.

    Paul, you may have covered this before, but why does the NFL rule on new uniforms only apply to the jersey, and not the entire uniform? I know we joke about “brand identity” but to me, and I am guessing many others here, that is a legit thing; the value of the team being immediately recognizable by their uniform, and in the NFL’s cases, the helmet has just as much, if not more to do with the identity as the jersey.
    Am I being too cynical in assuming it is because they want to exhaust their stock of retail jerseys before switching to a new design?

    I believe Paul has said as much, that it’s the tail wagging the dog at this point. And helmets just don’t sell compared to jerseys.

    Apparently, after the match, the Leeds keeper returned the hat and gave the hat lender his kit.

    There were a couple more color-on-color hockey games this weekend, at the NCAA level.

    There was a four-team tournament being played in Belfast (yeah, the N. Ireland one) between Maine, RPI, Providence, and Clarkson. The tournament is dubbed the “Friendship Four”. It looks like each team only brought one uniform. As a result, RPI vs. Clarkson was a BEAUTIFUL red vs. green matchup, while the championship game was Clarkson’s green vs. Providence’s navy blue.

    Clarkson vs. RPI: link

    Clarkson vs. Providence: link

    My understanding is that in the NBA this season, the home team has the first choice in what uniform to wear. But I thought I just heard that Nike is the “man behind the curtain” in making the decision. Have you heard anything about this Paul? Anybody?

    The Bengals’ helmet is one of my favorites, as well. Unique and distinctive. Anything else (tiger head, wording) would be just boring IMHO.

    The first year of the tiger stripe helmet, I remember whoever narrated the highlights in This Week in the NFL (usually Harry Kalas) would have something to say about the design. Of course, that season culminated with the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance (XVI in Pontiac, Mich., vs. the 49ers).

    Thanks Phil for the Johnnie “The Disaster” LeMaster pic. As a long time S.F. Giants fan it brought back lots of (bad) memories. At least he had a sense of humor, putting “Boo” as his NOB.

    More “Butt-verts”: In both codes of rugby, especially Rugby League, advertisements across the aft end and down the legs of the back of the shorts is fairly common. A basic Google image search turns up many sightings, including the recent 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Even the “sirs” (refs) had a butt-vert.

    I know I’m horribly late to the game, but for the Broncos run to Super Bowl 50, they were the AFC#1 seed and wore orange at home against both the Steelers and the Patriots.

    They wore their white uniforms because they are 0-4 in Super Bowls in their orange jerseys.

    Another reason to hate the Spanks family. They ended the use of the second-best uniform the Chargers ever used (white top, blue numbers, yellow pants, with white bolt, blue helmet with yellow bolt) to the abomination mentioned on that page. Incredibly boring. When the powder blue alts were introduced later, that Sid Brooks uni looked even worse.

    Over four decades I have attended at least 200 Saints games, and the team to my recollection was on the field for every National Anthem.

    Most memorable were the Hank Stram years, 75 and 76 – where Stram had the players – the entire team with no exceptions – line up in numerical order on the Saints’ sideline facing the field, with their helmet held in the left hand cradled with the facemask forward, and with their right hands over their heart. In strict numerical order, with the lowest jersey number starting on the left and each number increasing going to the right.

    Stram was pretty picky with the uniform, everyone had tucked in jerseys, new Black facemasks (second only to the SD Chargers who got theirs’ one year earlier), Black BELTS for the pants, and identical colored shoes and socks. It was pretty clean looking and somewhat impressive.

    Add to it the 30 piece Big Band that played during game breaks and it was a very good game day experience, instead of the modern misery of listening to Rap Music and replays of incessantly over-played ESPN bumper music between EVERY SINGLE F^CKING PLAY …

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