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NFL, NBA Put the Kibosh on Unauthorized Gear

It was a tough day yesterday for unauthorized uniform accessories, as the NFL and NBA both sent their uni police squads after some rogue players, or at least some rogue gear.

Let’s start in the NFL, where, as I mentioned in yesterday’s MMUW roundup, Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. wore an expensive wristwatch during Sunday’s game against the Titans. Yesterday the league told him not to do that again — not because there’s an anti-jewelry rule (there isn’t), but because there’s a rule prohibiting hard objects.

The rule seems reasonable enough, and Beckham’s “Look at me” bling stunt was asinine to begin with, so I’m glad it was shut down. Now let us never speak of it again.

Meanwhile, over in the NBA, following up on an item that was mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that “Ninja-style” headbands — basically a bandana wrapped around the forehead with tails trailing in the back, a style that became popular among a number of players last season — will not be permitted in 2019-20:

My take: The headbands are silly, but banning them is sillier. Really, “safety” is the NBA’s primary concern here? What would be the danger — a bit of fabric flicking in someone’s eye? I guess it’s possible, but I hadn’t heard any reports of players complaining.

In any case, is there anyone — anyone — who thinks that all the concerns about safety won’t suddenly vanish as soon as the league strikes a licensing deal with a headband maker? What do you think the over/under is on when that deal will be announced?

Anyway, these moves raise an interesting question: What other accessories have been worn and then banned? The NBA cracking down on those Supreme compression sleeves two years ago would be a good example. What else? I’m not looking for garden-variety uni violations here (NFL socks too low, Derek Bell’s uni too baggy, wrong color shoes, etc.) — I’m looking for accessories that were banned. Email additional examples to me, and/or post them in today’s comments and I’ll try to put together some sort of roundup. Thanks!

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Tuesday Morning Uni Watch: Lots of uni-notable stuff from last night’s Broncos/Raiders game. One thing at a time:

• Raiders defensive lineman Dan Williams had a mouthguard sticking out of a vent in his helmet — while he was simultaneously using another mouthguard in his mouth — for a good chunk of the game:

• In another instance of an issue I mentioned in yesterday’s MMUW entry, Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict wore two captaincy stars, even though it’s his first season with the team:

• It’s not uncommon to see kickers and punters wear different-colored shoes, but Oakland placekicker Daniel Carlson’s shoes are two different brands:

• And in the most significant news of the night, that game also offered our penultimate view of a dying breed — NFL action across a dirt infield:

The Raiders are the last team to do this, and they’ll be moving to Vegas next year, so this is the last season we’ll get to see it. Based on this year’s schedule (which, somewhat incredibly, gives them no home games for Weeks Three through Eight), their final game on a baseball diamond will be this coming Sunday. End of an era.

While we’re at it: In the other Monday-night game, the Saints went mono-black. Since their pants have no side stripes, and since the new NFL hosiery rules allowed them to wear black socks without any lower white segment, the overall effect was more unitard-y than ever (click to enlarge):

(My thanks to Donny Helnore and Jonathan Young for their contributions to this section.)

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Premier League Uni Roundup — Week 4 (Aug. 31 – Sept. 1)

[Editor’s Note: While I was away from the site in August, Phil worked with reader/contributor Josh Hinton on a weekly Premier League uniform roundup. I’m happy to continue that new feature on the site as we move forward. Enjoy. — Paul]

By Josh Hinton

Southampton (red/white) 1-1 Manchester United (black)

Average-looking matchup out of the St. Mary’s, as United debuted their third kit (with change shorts to avoid a kit clash) while Southampton wore their traditional home strip. Would prefer a classier United kit — not a fan of the black on black stripes, gold sponsor logo, or neon red accents. 4/10


Chelsea (blue) 2-2 Sheffield United (white)

This Chelsea kit still hasn’t grown on me, but I’m partial to that Blades away strip with red change socks, even though it’s teamwear. 4.5/10


Crystal Palace (red/blue) 1-0 Aston Villa (sky blue)

Beautiful — Villa’s claret/blue perfectly complements the blue/red of Palace. 9/10


Leicester (blue) 3-1 Bournemouth (red/black)

Another good blue-vs.-red/black matchup, this time between the Foxes and Cherries. Both sides sported their classy home kits, which complemented each other well. 8/10


Manchester City (sky blue) 4-0 Brighton (black)

While I do love the Man City look, Brighton’s dull change kit is boring. The two-tone sleeves don’t help, either. 3.5/10


Newcastle (black/white) 1-1 Watford (green)

The Hornets broke out last season’s away kit, because their yellow and black half-and-half home kit and navy away kit clash with the Newcastle stripes. Neither strip is particularly good. 2/10


West Ham (claret) 2-0 Norwich (grey)

While I think this matchup looked fine, I’m interested to see how it would have been had Norwich worn their home kit. 7/10


Burnley (claret) 0-3 Liverpool (black)

Nothing against Burnley’s home strip, but this garish Liverpool third kit ruins it for me. 2.5/10


Everton (blue) 3-2 Wolves (old gold)

Beautiful matchup out of Goodison Park — not much else to say. 9.5/10


Arsenal (red) 2-2 Tottenham (white)

Interesting North London derby, with Tottenham debuting their navy change socks. This was one of those near-perfect matchups that the league occasionally grants us. 10/10

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie


Starting off with a nice-looking 1970s school spiral notebook with the St. Louis Football Cardinals on the front. This style of NFL graphics was popular for awhile in the mid-1970s (think of those Fleer NFL Big Signs, for instance). The seller says the first 15 pages were written on, but otherwise all clear inside. I seem to recall most of my NFL school stuff — and I had a bunch — came from Mead out of Dayton, Ohio, but this .one was made by Professional Sports Merchandisers of Plainview, N.Y.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

•  F.R. Woods of Cooperstown, N.Y., proclaims itself to be the “House of Baseball” on the side of this early 1960s MLB megaphone. (We can place this in 1964, as the Colt .45s began play as the Astros in 1965, the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, and the K.C. Athletics moved west in 1968. At least that is what my desktop Google Assistant told me.)

• Speaking of the A’s, here’s a 1940s mini-pennant when they were in their original home, the City of Brotherly Love.

• Staying in Philly, how about these 1980s Philadelphia Eagles socks, featuring a helmet with no facemask.

• This Cleveland Browns golf bag is marked with “NFL Alumni.” The seller says, “This bag was owned by Dick Schafrath. He gave it to my friend to put in his golf course Pro Shop. Dick Schafrath played for the Cleveland Browns from 1959 to 1971. He also won a National Championship with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 1957 and the 1964 NFL Championship.” 

•  Here’s a nice 1970s-1980s Atlanta Falcons ringer T-shirt, still in the bag. Can’t tell what the sleeves look like based on the photos provided, but then the seller would’ve had to remove it!

•  Can’t say I’ve ever seen the Denver Broncos cartoon logo shown on this button before.

•  Kind of a “watercolor” or “painting” motif on these 1970s NFL sheets by Bibb.

•  We have a 1970s Buffalo Bills bumper sticker here that simply says “Let’s Get Excited!” The marketing department really earned their pay on that one, huh?

•  This 1970s Dallas Cowboys pennant caught my eye because they made the helmet blue. Interesting idea; What if they had navy helmets with a silver stripe and a silver star?

•  Packers fans will want this little 1970s keychain/squeezy flashlight thing. You used to see these everywhere! Now people just use the light on their phones.

Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions to!

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Click to enlarge

ITEM! New Uni Watch cap: When we had the Uni Watch 20th-anniversary party back in June, I mentioned that Bryan Molloy, the designer who created our winged stirrup logo, showed up with new cap that showed the logo in a gold circle. That was a prototype design that he’d made for the occasion. I really liked it, so I suggested that we make it available for sale — and now, after a few tweaks, we have.

If our wool Uni Watch Classic Cap is either too expensive or too warm for you, this new cap might be more to your liking. It’s made of really nice cotton twill, and we’re selling it for $24.99. It’s a strapback, so one size fits all.

Now, it would’ve been a lot smarter if we had gotten this project up and running during the summer, when the weather was hotter (sales of the wool cap over the past two months have been d-e-a-d, which I guess isn’t surprising), but whatever — it’s available now! And as of now, we’re only planning to keep it available for a month or two, so move fast. Additional photos and ordering info here.

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Raffle reminder: The folks at our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand are generously running another raffle. The lucky winner will get to choose any product from the VB website.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern this Thursday, Sept. 12. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

In addition, Vintage Brand is currently giving away a $100 gift card every day to a random person on their mailing list. To sign up for their list and be eligible for this daily giveaway, look here.

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about an old USB flash drive. You can check it out here.

I am very much still in the market for KRC entries. If you have a special item of personal significance on your key ring, with a good story behind it, please get in touch. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsWe’ve previously mentioned that MLB players wore yellow wristbands and ribbons to raise awareness for pediatric cancer over the weekend. But what we didn’t mention was that Red Sox IF Brock Holt wore his wristbands on his shins over high socks. … Brian Weingartz notes that at least during the last game at old Comiskey Park, the foul lines did not meet batter’s box. Anyone know if this was a regular thing at Comiskey, or at any other ballpark? … I know they play in the same stadium, but the A’s and the Oakland Raiders logos are not interchangeable (from Vlad Trunz Jr ).

NFL News: From Sunday’s action: Bengals captains Andy Dalton and Geno Adkins were wearing different-colored captaincy patches (from Bill and Brandon Curtis). … Paul Ricciardi notes that the Eagles didn’t quite finish painting the “G” in one of their end zones on Sunday. … Angus O’Keefe notes that only one team — the Rams — used Oakley visor tabs that matched the color of the helmet shell (though the navy tabs stood out against yellow horns). Every other team wore clashing visor tabs, making them more noticeable. … Lots of Raiders fans are repurposing their brand-new, suddenly outdated Antonio Brown jerseys as Tim Brown jerseys (from Kary Klismet). … The chain gang and ball boys at yesterday’s Jets/Bills game at the Meadowlands had their names stitched on their vests (from Prescott Rossi).

College Football News: Colorado is among the teams using the CFB150 logo as its 50-yard marker this year (from Brett Baker). … This photo offers incredible detail of the pylons used at Clemon’s Memorial Stadium. Who knew the pawprint logo was an embroidered patch! (From @ClemsonUniforms). … LSU will wear white helmets and pants with their purple jerseys this weekend (from Jeremy Poursine). … Troy will wear 1994 throwback helmets on Saturday (from Ben Whitehead and @drryanbohannon). … If this graphic is any indicator, Cincinnati will wear their throwback uniforms this Saturday against Miami (OH). … In perhaps the most egregious act of corporate douchebaggery so for this season, viewers completely missed a blocked extra point in Saturday’s Middle Tennessee/Tennessee State game because of a giant, stupid ad (from Lawrence Benedetto). … James Madison’s new midfield logo is quite large — 30 yards wide (from Jon Solomonson). … Here’s a good example of what can happen when a high school takes the lazy route and decides to poach a college team’s logo (from Brad Koenig). … Georgia Tech’s band has new uniforms (from James Gilbert). … South Alabama WR Devin Voisin lost his Sun Belt Conference patch on Saturday (from Clint Richardson). … The Hawaii Bowl has a new logo (from @GriffinTSmith).

Hockey News: The Hurricanes’ and Lightning’s prospect teams played a color-on-color matchup last night in Nashville (from Canes Uniform Tracker). … New uniforms — including an all-grey look — for the Ogden Mustangs of the Western States Hockey League. … Jerry Eisenband shared some photos of his new goalie mask, based on the X-Men character MoJo.

Basketball NewsWWE was at Madison Square Garden last night, so the Knicks gave wrestler Steve Austin a jersey with the number 3:16 (from Justin Simmons). … Looks like Valparaiso will have new uniforms this season (from Joel Mathwig).

Soccer NewsSS Lazio’s futsal team (futsal is FIFA-sanctioned indoor soccer) has three new uniforms for 2019-2020 (from Luigi M.). … Official membership to Tottenham Hotspur comes with a side of advertising (from @PeskysPole).

Grab BagHere’s a good piece on the state of highway sign fonts in America (from William F. Yurasko). … Cuyahoga Community College has a new costumed mascot: Stomp the Triceratops. … Nike has unveiled the uniforms for the League of Legends Pro League in China, a new video game league (from Jeremy Cooper). … Here’s an evolution of the various logos used by the WWE throughout its history (from @Wilds_Lee).

Comments (59)

    I’m not sure how many years they did it, but foul lines at Old Comiskey were actually old, flattened fire hoses, painted white.

    Can’t tell you for sure if that was the case in 1990.

    In the infield???? I can believe they’d have it in the outfield, but a “line” that must have been at least 1/4″ thick would seem to cause all sorts of problems in the infield.

    You’re right. It was outfield only.

    Apparently they were still using the hoses as recently as 2005:

    ^THE PALE HOSE AND THE FIRE HOSE:@ Stroll out to the right-field corner at U.S. Cellular Field, kneel down next to the line and take a close look — you’ll notice something neat.

    Embedded in the dirt and gravel, painted pure white, is an old fire hose from the Chicago Fire Department. Same thing in left field — the hoses serve as the foul lines in deep right and left.

    The hoses are cut at an angle where the outfield grass meets the dirt, and they extend all the way to the fence.

    “You can hear it when the ball hits, it sounds like wood,” said John Bounardj, a White Sox security officer who has been stationed along the foul lines for the last year and a half. “When it hits it, it appears to pick up speed.”

    A groundskeeper explained that the hose serves to hold the white paint, making the foul line clearly visible in the gravel and sand. That would be more difficult if the line were simply drawn with chalk, as the baselines are.

    White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said the fire hose is a foul-line tradition that dates to when the team played at old Comiskey Park.

    Someone please tell the Saints that black leotards is not their best look. It’s just…high school.

    Yep – and they teased us by wearing black over gold in the preseason to show up at their home opener wearing this. For some reason, the team just loves this look.

    This is one example when just a change in pants makes a huge difference. The uniforms with black over gold is superb. A major downgrade in comparison when they have the black over black.

    Mono is never a good look, and it is even worse when it is the fake mono with teams like the Saints. When you have light colored helmet and go mono dark jersey and pants (not to mention socks too) it looks awful, like the helmet doesn’t belong. When the Seahawks go mono navy or the Ravens mono black, at least it all goes together, even if it doesn’t look good.

    I think you’ve touched on something with the helmet, and it’s why I consider it a “high school” look.

    The helmet looks abnormally large when it’s the only bright-colored element, while the black leotards visually “shrink” the rest of the body.

    A lot of the Saints, skinny receivers particularly, resemble 16 year-olds in that get-up. It’s a high school look.

    Yea but not really..the players look smaller because the pads today are a lot smaller and the helmets are bigger. My pads from my freshman year of high school are way bigger than almost anything out right now and they were like an adult small. On the flip side the newer helmets sit higher, have more pads and overall just look bigger these days. I’m saying this with experience as my son has a Xenith helmet which is larger than say a basic schutt or Riddell helmet.

    That’s Lazio’s futsal team. You can make out the small “calcio a 5” writing inside the crest.

    I think the point was, even if that was a home game, there is no guarantee that the A’s make the playoffs (as any case with any team in any year) and 10/6 would be beyond the MLB regular season. The way they do it is the instant the A’s season is over, they put grass over the infield so no more dirt on the football field, if the A’s don’t make the playoffs, which at this moment they could.

    link is a program from the first ever AFL game – 59 yrs ago yesterday – with a take on the same Broncos logo. that game had a better outcome than last night’s

    Paul, this is a rare instance where I disagree. If the NBA or the league required a certain brand of headband, I’d be with you. I know in soccer and in lower levels of basketball the ninja headbands are prohibited for safety reasons.

    In soccer the head band and neck muffler (basically a turtleneck without the garment) is banned for safety reasons because players can can get their hands caught in them and yank the wearer’s head or neck back and seriously injure them.

    Headbands aren’t banned in soccer, nor are snoods. Many players wear them.

    Certain ones may be, typically those involve some sort of hard object or extra band (cinch band, as an example). As I mentioned below, a knotted headband is banned because of the hardened knot that could potentially be a hazard when it comes to contact to the head.

    Check that, snoods are banned by the IFAB. I’m sure I’ve seen them worn in US domestic matches (college, high school, club) since they were banned in 2011.

    Snoods were definitely banned in 2011, here’s a source on it:
    IFAB defines the rules of the game. Individual competitions might not be following them properly.

    I can’t speak for the true “why” the NBA banned the headbands, but I do know they are banned in soccer. The knot on the headbands is a safety hazard.

    As hard as it is, the knot can injury the wearer OR another person. Whether it is hitting heads, ground, ball, etc. I can understand this situation if it were the same with basketball.

    What’s funny about this ‘ninja style’ headband ban is that it’s worn in the women’s game a lot. One player in particular, Skylar Diggins-Smith made it quite popular in college about 10 years ago and many other ladies followed. First at Notre Dame and now in the WNBA for the Dallas Wings, she even posted on instagram about it yesterday.

    Is this also being banned in the WNBA? Is there a safety hazard for those with pony tails? That can be pulled or get caught too.

    Photo collection can be seen here on SkyDigg’s insta

    My assumption is that many WNBA players have worn this kind of hairband for years. This GQ article supports that and says Jrue Holiday was inspired by WNBA players (link).
    Any idea if the WNBA is taking similar action?

    There was a brief period when it was fairly common to see soccer players wearing snoods (neck warmers) during very cold games. They were banned by FIFA in 2011 – link

    “Colorado is among the teams using the CFB150 logo as its 50-yard marker this year”

    I can see why… the “1” in the “150” is so truncated by the football, it’s almost invisible, at least to me.

    I can see at least a couple of potential safety problems with non-elastic headbands that are knotted. A player catching a finger in one could result in an injury either to the finger or the wearer’s neck.

    I’m more amazed that Beckham could wear a watch, which presumably has a hard metal edge. Seems like an obvious safety issue there. I know they’ve disallowed it now, but I’m amazed the refs didn’t make him remove it right away.

    Also, when I read it was “expensive” I thought $1,000 or maybe even $5,000. Nope. I read today that it retails for $250,000, which makes me question Beckham’s sanity. Not that he’d wear it on the field, but that he or anyone would buy it in the first place.

    Rafa Nadal wears a $750,000 watch on the tennis courts that’s been designed to withstand the force of his swing.


    Cost is relative to the individual, to some spending 1k on a watch is not even fathomable, to others it’s just another time piece in their collection. So a multi-millionaire probably looks at a 250k+ watch the same way us regular folk look at a 5 or 10k watch.

    Agreed. $5-10K on a watch is insane. Mine daily was about $300 an I’m still freaked out when I accidentally smack it on something.

    Per ESPN, Odell plans to continue wearing the watch. He thinks that he should be allowed to since it is plastic and not metal. This would lead one to believe that perhaps the watch maker provided the watch is planning to pay his fines. However, they deny this and insist that he is a customer and not an ambassador.

    $250k watch and its made out of plastic…

    The Saints have one of the best looking uniforms when wearing gold pants, and one of the worst when wearing black. Most if not all teams with gold or silver helmets look best with matching pants. Can you imagine the 49ers with a mono-red look, or the Raiders with a mono-black.

    “What other accessories have been worn and then banned?” The first one I remember was Kareem Abdul Jabbar with Milwaukee wearing a star and crescent necklace. He first wore it lose, and then he attached it to his jersey.

    “F.R. Woods of Cooperstown, N.Y., proclaims itself to be the “House of Baseball” on the side of this early 1960s MLB megaphone.”

    Something that I found interesting on that megaphone was the use of the “Houston Colts”, instead of Colt .45s. Was that common in those days or was it just a misprint by the megaphone company?

    They were called the Colts almost exclusively. Topps baseball cards said “Colts.” Their home uniforms said “Colts.”

    Re: banned accessories,I thought Alex Ovechkin’s mirrored visor was an example, but turns out he stopped wearing it with no rulebook change. Good article here link

    James Jones (WR, Packers) wore a hoodie under his jersey for a few games in 2015 or 2016 before the NFL made a rule against it.


    Isn’t Keenan Allen still wearing a hoodie under his pads and jersey, albeit a t-shirt one as opposed to a chunkier sweatshirt one.


    My biggest reaction last night to the Texans/Saints game was that Brees had changed his facemask (and I assume helmet).

    For the most part, all football teams look best when their helmet is the same color as at least one of the other uniform parts, shirt or pants. There are a few exceptions in which the teams look OK otherwise (Steelers with white shirts yellow pants, Redskins with white shirts yellow pants ). Not sure why i like those combinations; probably the dark helmet matching with the lighter pants. I really can’t stand the three different color looks. Like the ravens, black helmet, purple shirt, white pants and/or Wyoming, white helmet, brown shirt, yellow pants.

    Not your fault since you were just copying the twitter user who was wrong, but Dan Williams has not played for the Raiders in three years. Assuming that picture was from last night, it must be Jonathan Hankins.

    The color of the Oakley visor tabs appear to follow a pattern.

    1) If the face mask is a different color than the helmet, the tabs are the same color as the face mask (e.g. Vikings, Bills, Chargers).
    2) If the face mask is the same color as the helmet and there is a helmet stripe, the tabs are the primary color of the stripe (e.g. Cowboys, Steelers, Dolphins).
    3) If the face mask is the same color as the helmet and there is no helmet stripe, the tabs are a primary (non-white/black/grey) color from the logo (e.g. Falcons, Seahawks, Jaguars).
    4) If the team logo overlaps the location of the tabs then the tabs are the same color as the face mask (Rams & Eagles only).

    I believe the Ravens’ tabs are purple, it is hard to tell from that picture. If so then they fall under group #2. If they are black then they are an exception and my theory holds no water.

    Good catch on this pattern as I was casually wondering about this after watching bits and pieces of a few games and the entire dreadful 3 hours of my Bears (orange tab over a facemask of the same helmet color, blue) game. Though it looked like the Packers had black tabs but it could have just been a the really dark green appearing black at night.

    If that R is Rutgers’ main logo, Rutgers should have been accused of going the lazy route for a logo.
    (High School should have been accused of going the stupid/lame route for copying)

    Some people have been speculating that Nike has something to do with the headband banning, but they’re actually the ones who make them. Lots of players wore them “inside out” so the Swoosh was concealed, but it’s definitely there.

    If the Saints did that all-black look as a Color Rash, and only did it once or twice a season at most, it still wouldn’t be bearable.


    The UCI banned helmet covers a few years back. They also limited hydration packs to 0.5L, because people were wearing full camelbacks under their jerseys to effectively act as aerodynamic fairings.

    And not so much an accessory, but they banned lycra from downhill mountain bike racing in ’09.

    Anyone else find it ironic how anti-advertisements this site is, yet it is so choked with ads itself that you can hardly navigate anymore? Just sayin’

    Never forget Sam Perkins, the first and last player to wear a Durag in an NBA (albeit preseason) game way back in 2000

    Sorry I failed to hyperlink it! That article also lists a few other banned accesories but Sam Perkins was the first that came to mind because I remember listening to that game on the radio and they mentioned after halftime that the league office had told him he couldn’t wear it. If memory serves correctly, the officials asked him pregame if he had cleared it with the league. He said he had. He shamelessly lied. A true hero.

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