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Monday Morning Uni Watch, Super Bowl Edition

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That was a pretty uni-uneventful Super Bowl, eh? The primary exception was when Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a touchdown pass and emerged with a big blue splotch on the crown of his helmet. That was paint from the end zone, as he had taken a header as he caught the pass.

Twelve of the previous 13 Super Bowl winners had worn white. The Eagles’ victory bucks that trend and starts a new one: The only two non-white-clad Supe winners in the past 15 years — Green Bay and now Philly — have worn green.

Congrats to the Eagles and their fans. I figured they deserved to win once they successfully pulled off that trick play on fourth and goal — very cool.

That wraps up Monday Morning Uni Watch for this season. MMUW will resume in September, when the 2018 NFL season gets under way.

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NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

This past week was the first time all season that traditional white-vs.-color matchups, with the home team wearing white, were the least common across the league. Take a look (click to enlarge):

Some observations for the week:

• The Knicks wore a non-white uniform at home for the first time all season on Jan. 30 against the Nets (and did it again last night against Atlanta, which was also just the Knicks’ second color-vs.-color game of the season).

• Twelve more teams had an on-court debut for their fourth uniform design. All of those were at home, and 24 of the 27 that have been worn made their first appearance in a home game. The only teams yet to wear their fourth set are the Celtics, Rockets, and Clippers.

• The Cavaliers wore contrasting leg tights for the first time all season on Jan. 30 (and did in each of their next two games after that as well). They had worn the unitard look for each of their first 48 games.

• On Saturday the Bucks won while wearing their black uniform for the first time since Nov. 30. It was their first win of the season wearing that uniform with matching black accessories.

• For the entire month of January, 42% of games were traditional uniform match-ups. 34% were inverse and 24% were color vs. color.

• The Rockets have played the most colors-vs.-color games (19), followed by the Celtics and Bulls with 17 each.

• Here’s a look at how frequently each uniform “edition” has been worn so far this season (click to enlarge):

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ESPN reminders: On Saturday I had a new ESPN piece about some old letters from Denver Broncos season ticketholders who wrote to the team to request tickets for Super Bowl I. Really fun stuff — check it out here.

Also, in case you missed it late last week, I have a piece about an extraordinary memo that was issued by the NFL commissioner’s office in 1966. Its subject: “Some Thoughts on the NFL and Negro Players.” This is one of the most powerful and interesting stories I’ve ever worked on, and I’ve received a flood of positive feedback about it. If you haven’t already seen it, please check it out here. Thanks.

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Naming Wrongs update: We now have a bunch of shirts available for the L.A. Coliseum. Check it out (click to enlarge):

Great job by Scott M.X. Turner with these designs!

All of these designs are now available in the Naming Wrongs shop. They’re also cross-listed in the Uni Watch shop, where card-carrying members can get 15% off. (If you’re a member and need the discount code, send me a note and I’ll hook you up.) My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: In a Giants/Padres game in 1990, Padres catcher Benito Santiago’s NOB was misspelled (from David Flynn). … A pitcher for Águilas Cibaeñas, the Dominican team at the Caribbean Series, still had the sticker on his hat (from Nathan Larsen). … Louisville manager Dan McDonnell has had an inconsistent McNOB style in the past (from Joseph Matlock. … Pro golfer Chez Reavie had the Diamondbacks’ logo on the side of his hat this weekend (from Zachary Loesl). … Northern Virginia’s Wakefield High School uses the Nats’ curly W logo (from William F. Yurasko).

Football News: Reader Corey Burnett sent us his collection of NFL mini pennants from ca. the late ’70s-early ’80s, he says. Every team from the period except the Seahawks and Broncos is represented here, and some of the duplicates are older.

Hockey News: NCAA Division III Elmira (N.Y.) College wore jerseys featuring the names of every men’s ice hockey alumnus on Saturday (from @DEFpgh). … The Laval Voisins, the 1979-85 incarnation of the city’s QMJHL team, had a sideways 3-D letter L as a chest logo, modeled here by Mario Lemieux (from Jeff Flynn).

Basketball News: On Saturday, Washington wore black at home against Arizona (from James Gilbert). … Maryland wore red at home against Wisconsin (from Josh Claywell). … The lining of Xavier coach Chris Mack’s suit features the logo of his foundation, the Mack Family Foundation (from Andrew Robbins).

Soccer News: The NWSL’s Orlando Pride introduced USWNT striker Sydney Leroux with a shirt that may just be a unique mashup of 2017’s shirt and a 2018 edition. It’s a 2017 shirt, but the team’s advertiser has changed its logo since the end of the season. No 2018 NWSL kits have been released yet. … The 2018 MLS kits released so far include socks cut off below the ankle, which some players prefer (from Jim Shemaria). … Several Premier League referees were wearing black armbands this weekend, including Jon Moss in Liverpool/Tottenham Hotspur, Paul Tierney in Bournemouth/Stoke City, and Martin Atkinson in Burnley/Manchester City. The black bands were for Paul Alcock, a former Premier League referee, passed away last week due to cancer. … At the Asian futsal championship (one kind of indoor soccer), Myanmar have two players with the exact same name, Pyae Phyo Maung, so their NOBs are differentiated with “(2)” and “(3).” … Here’s a look at the 150th anniversary kit for Scottish team Queen’s Park. The club supplied the entire first Scotland team in 1872, and the kit represents what they wore, including a white ribbon on each player’s arm.

Olympics News: The unified Korean women’s hockey team played its first game yesterday, an exhibition against Sweden. Besides the chest logo, the uniforms are essentially the same as those otherwise worn by the South.

Grab Bag: Cross-listed from the baseball section: Golfer Chez Reavie had the Arizona Diamondbacks’ logo on the side of his hat this weekend (from Zachary Loesl). … There were at least two examples in rugby union’s Six Nations of Ireland and Wales embroidering a player’s name and number of caps next to the usual match info. That would be the only place the player’s name appears on the shirt, because every team in the competition wears NNOB. … An Iroquois Confederacy flag can be seen next to one of the scoreboards in the upper corner of Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. This appears to be new-ish, because the earliest example I can find of it is this YouTube video from Nov. 2016. The Iroquois national lacrosse team partially hosted the 2015 indoor world championship in the arena. … Here’s an early look at the Team USA Ryder Cup uniforms (from Geoffrey Hawkins).

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What Paul did last night over the past few days: It’s been a very busy period around here, including back-to-back beefsteaks on Thursday and Friday nights (don’t try this at home, kids). For the sake of efficiency, I’m just going to do some Facebook embeds instead of giving you the usual rundown here in the text. Thanks for understanding.

Comments (42)

    Last night’s game was amazing, as a Philadelphian, it is surreal but the Eagles are the Super Bowl Champions!
    Tho I will say uniform wise, I don’t think midnight green will be going anywhere, nor do I think it should as I like the midnught green just as much as the kelly green (now if the 1 helmet rule ever changes than I would love a kelly green alternate)

    The only negative about the Eagles victory was that it makes it very unlikely that they will bring back the Kelly Green. Not a fan of the the dark green, and really don’t like the black as part of the uniform. The current uniform would look better with dark green socks and no black trim. The only team I remember changing their uniform after a Super Bowl victory were the St. Louis Rams, winning in royal blue and yellow, and then the next year losing in navy blue and gold.

    I watched the game with my brother, who is an Eagles fan that would like to see the kelly green return – and we both surmised the win means it isn’t coming back any time soon.


    Rams won SB 34 in 2000, and in 2001 went from yellow to gold as their accent color. And then went on to lose 2 years later against Brady. They’re going back for a redesign (yes, as a part of their move…)


    Broncos went the other direction; went from the Orange and Light blue to the Us Postal Service Bronco…and won 3 Super Bowls doing it. Likely they’ll never go back.

    There was a Super Bowl in between the 2 Rams appearances. When Baltimore beat the NY Giants after the 2000 season.

    The referees in the Premier League were wearing black armbands on Saturday as Paul Alcock, a former Premier League referee, passed away last week due to cancer. Alcock is best remembered for his theatrical fall when pushed by Paolo Di Canio after showing him the red card… link

    Thanks. I actually had no idea what they were for and didn’t hear it during Tottenham’s game (see below).

    The black armbands the referees wore were for a retired referee who died. I didn’t catch the name but they mentioned it on the Tottenham-Liverpool broadcast.

    Did anyone else notice that the font for the numbered yard lines was altered? The flags that are usually attached to the right side of the left-most number in the Vikings’ font were taken off before the game. IMO, it made the field look significantly better.

    In your ESPN piece abot the first super bowl, the handwritten list on the envelope includes the name Dreith. Ben Dreith was a longtime ref in the AFL and NFL (and an employee of the Denver Public Schools). Speedie is likely one-time Bronco coach Mac Speedie (what a name!)

    This may have been covered, and sorry if I missed it, but has a winning Super Bowl team ever returned to the big game the following year in the same uni set, only to go out as losers? I can’t think of any that come to mind.

    Dallas 1978 win over Denver
    Dallas 1979 lost to Pittsburg
    Washington 1983 win over Miami
    Washington 1984 lost to LA Raiders

    I didn’t realize Cartier was the organist for the team whose logo (one of them anyway) came from a Tiffany design.

    Was it just me or the two TVs I was watching but it looked like Bilichick’s hoodie was purple?

    This is a rather sophomoric observation, but it is amusing to see where the handle tape stopped on Mario’s stick in that picture of him from his Laval days.

    The Laval Voisins’ “Tetris” logo is cool. That has to be Mario’s last season in ’83-84 with the Cooper XL 7 helmet on.

    What is even more notable is that the team is wearing socks. The Q were back wearing socks and Cooperall short pants by 1983-84, while all the rest of the major junior teams in the OHL and WHL were wearing Cooperall long pants.

    One aesthetic note I thought Paul would have found interesting – during the Eagles lone punt, the announcers noted that both punters were left footed. It ended up not impacting the aesthetics of the actual game, because the Pat’s never punted, but I found it interesting.

    Since I’m too lazy to dig into it – does anyone know how rare it is for the SB to feature 2 left footed punters or kickers? I’ve got to imagine it’s pretty rare. No?

    Turns out I’m not as lazy as I thought – it was indeed the first time the SB featured 2 left footed punters.


    Interesting note. I was at a party at a friend’s house and didn’t hear all of the broadcasters’ dialogue, so I missed that bit.

    You probably already know this, but your article on the Buddy Young memo was mentioned in Peter King’s MMQB column this morning.

    I’m confused about the LA Coliseum shirts. What is it called now, if not the Coliseum? I know they sold the naming rights, but I haven’t heard it called anything else…yet.

    Technically, the name change doesn’t take effect until the advertising deal officially kicks in in August 2019, so for the next 18 months, the Coliseum still has its proper name.

    The L logo on Lemieux’s jersey is the logo of the Ville de Laval. As a Montrealer, I’ve always found the Laval L a little odd and dated, but distinctive. I think it’s interesting they used it for the hockey team and I wonder if there are any other examples like that…

    New video for a sports video game means teases and confirmations about jersey changes.

    1. 60th anniversary patch for the Dodgers: link

    2. All-Star Game patch for the Nationals: link

    3. Cringe at the sight of Babe Ruth sporting a Majestic logo!: link

    One minor note from last night’s game – they apparently used player models from the Madden NFL video games for some of the player graphics displays, and they looked fucking horrible. link.

    I didn’t notice it at first, if only because I didn’t really pay attention to them, but after seeing Angry Joe (a video game reviewer on Youtube) tweet about it, I started paying attention, and noticed just how horrible they looked.

    I noticed those hideous graphics, too. Not only did they look cheap, but it served no purpose other than to blur the lines between real football and the video game variety. Bad move all the way around.

    It was noted by the folks at my house immediately. They looked horrible. And why? There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason to do that.

    An additional moment of potential interest to the uni-verse occurred sometime during the second half of the game, I don’t recall exactly when. Cris Collinsworth noted that the Super Bowl LII logos, which spanned from roughly the 20- to the 30-yard line on each side of the field, were apparently contributing to footing problems for the kickers. This might explain some of the multiple missed kicks in the game.

    Ha! Fair enough! I’d actually thought about it, but got busy with family responsibilities after the game and didn’t get a chance to send off an email before bedtime. It’s one of those things I figured someone else would catch, but obviously that didn’t happen. Lesson learned… :-)

    Has anyone pointed out that the Patriots are the first team to lose in four different uniforms (red Pat Patriot unis against the Bears, white Flying Elvis shoulder jerseys against Green Bay, the current navy set twice against the Giants and now the current road white uniform last night)?

    ..And one more uni-centric moment from the Super Bowl. Apparently, the grounds crew forgot to add hashmarks near the NFL logo at midfield, so they did it with paintbrushes just a few hours before kickoff.


    Those pennants, I actually JUST threw away a Niners one I found. Parents are getting ready to sell the home I grew up in and going through boxes in the garage. Moms a hoarder, lol.

    Found a TON of old uniform/helmet sketches, a set of the old 80’s/90’s NFL pencils, starting lineups, pennents, posters, mini helmets, cards, lots of cool stuff that has no real value, but is fun to look at

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