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Time for the Uni Watch Super Bowl Preview

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The photo above, from a 2018 game, is a good approximation of how this Sunday’s Super Bowl will look (and, I hope, is also a good representation of the outcome). But of course there will be lots of uni-related sub-plots and to consider, and I’ve broken down a bunch of them in my annual Uni Watch Super Bowl Preview, which is now available over at InsideHook. I don’t mind saying that this one is a doozy — enjoy!

Speaking of the Supe, I want to expand upon a point I brought up yesterday. It turns out that since the NFL introduced the voluntary captaincy patch program in 2007, there have been three teams in four Super Bowls that have been forced to move the Supe patch to the right side because of pre-existing team-logo or memorial patches on the left side. Those teams are the Steelers (XLIII and XLV), Patriots (XLVI), and Ravens (XLVII). But unlike the Chiefs this year, none of those other teams faced the quandary of where to put their “C” patches because none of those teams has ever worn the “C”!

It’s a pretty amazing coincidence that the three franchises who’ve had to move the Supe patch to the opposite side are all teams that choose to go “C”-less. What are the odds?

Meanwhile: If you compare the “C”-clad jerseys to the non-“C” jerseys, it’s obvious that the had to lower the Supe patch in order to accommodate the “C,” which to my mind is another ding against this arrangement:

(My thanks to reader/commenter duker for reminding me about the Ravens and their Art Modell memorial patch.)

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How ’bout them six decades: This fall will mark the Cowboys’ 60th anniversary, and yesterday they unveiled a new logo to mark the occasion (which you can click to enlarge; additional info here). It’s not yet clear whether the logo will be worn as part of the team’s uniform next season.

The logo is noteworthy on several levels:

• First and foremost, it’s so simple! Most anniversary logos these days have lots of elements, shadows, bevels, etc. This one has none of that. It doesn’t even have a big “60” to mark the number of years!

• I’d be willing to bet that most NFL fans don’t realize (or at least have forgotten) that the Cowboys wore white helmets for their first four seasons. Their current silver helmet is iconic and would have been the obvious thing to use, but instead they’ve chosen to use the logo as a history lesson. Unexpected and nice.

• Another history lesson: The type is rendered in the team’s old number font. It looks particularly good on the “S.”

• I’m not nuts about how the bottom of the helmet touches the blue panel. Would’ve preferred to see a bit of space there, with the helmet floating a bit over the panel.

• How great would it have been if they had acknowledged the team’s well-documented color inconsistencies by using multiple shades of blue in this logo? Ah well — you can’t have everything.

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Kobe tributes, continued: Nice move last night by the Hornets, who wore compression sleeves with Kobe Bryant’s uni numbers. While it’s obviously an admirable gesture, was there really no other option than to use something with such an obvious maker’s mark? If they were just ironing the numbers onto existing sleeve inventory, couldn’t they have turned the sleeves inside-out? Do we really want to live in a world where even memorial gestures are corporate-branded?

There were lots of additional uni-related Kobe tributes yesterday. Most of them can be found in tweets that are self-explanatory, so I’ll just embed them here without further ado:

(My thanks to all contributors.)

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Working Class Wannabes™, continued: My recent New Republic article about the sports world’s endless fetishizing of the working class caught the eye of North Dakota State associate professor Justin Walden, who’s invited me to be a guest-Skype-speaker next Tuesday for his special communications seminar on defining work. Exciting! (And I’m particularly happy to be speaking to a class whose school wears Uni Watch colors.)

Meanwhile, reader Doug Mooney pointed me toward this video about how the Detroit Pistons had a long-running “work”-based marketing campaign in the 2000s. Every cliché in the book is here: the term “blue-collar,” lunch pails, factory whistles (“something probably known to most fans only in old cartoons,” notes Doug), and a lot more. At one point they even designed the team’s season tickets to look like employee time cards, so fans could “punch in.”

It’s really something — you can see it here:

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! Yet another membership raffle: Reader Mike Wissman recently purchased a Uni Watch membership for me to raffle off, so we’re going to do that today.

This will be a one day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck!

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Click to enlarge

Hockey jersey reminder: In case you missed it on Tuesday, the first-ever Uni Watch hockey jersey is now available.


• As you can see above, there are three colors available. Here’s how they look on the back:

• We’re also offering two different tailoring cuts: a standard Fan Cut and a roomier Game Cut, which should fit over pads for beer leaguers. The ordering page has size charts showing measurements for both cuts.

• You can customize your jersey with your choice of number and NOB.

• You can also choose whether the upper chest will have the winged stirrup, a captain’s “C,” or just be blank.

• All graphics are sublimated. Elbows are reinforced. Lace-up collar. “For People Who Get It™” printed on inner collar.

• As with all Uni Watch products, there is no visible maker’s mark.

• The price is $69.99, with discounts if you buy more than one color. We’re taking orders for two weeks, and then the jerseys should be ready to ship on March 10. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. Again, you can order here. Thanks for listening.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Here’s a thread from BAMA Uni Tracker documenting all the jerseys Alabama will wear this season. … New home unis for Texas State (from Brant Freeman). … The Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League unveiled throwbacks celebrating their 70th season. It’s hard to tell from the video, but the jerseys feature a blue gradient (from @GraveyardBall). … The back of Oklahoma’s batting helmets will now have a huge clutter of 3D graphics (from Sam McKinley).

Football News: The Topeka, Kan., Police Department is allowing officers to wear Chiefs hats this week. … The Harry Truman National Historic Site posted this picture of a signed game ball presented to the former president by the Chiefs after they won Super Bowl IV. Truman was from Missouri (from Matthew Algeo). … Reader Keith Winney came across this pristine 1990 special edition NFL catalog in his attic. [That sound you hear in the background is Brinke Guthrie having heart palpitations. — PL] … Blaise D’Sylva finishes up his AFC helmet collection with the AFC West. … The Indoor Football League has a new logo (from Donny Helnore). … Speaking of the IFL, the Oakland Panthers have announced that Phenom will be their uniform supplier. … An interesting Browns helmet is in the background of this photo of new Browns GM Andrew Berry signing his contract. Here’s a closeup (from Beau Parsons).

Hockey News: The Jets have unveiled their 10th-anniversary logo (from multiple readers). … WHL teams are holding their own organ donor awareness nights. Here’s what the Brandon Wheat Kings will be wearing on February 7 (from Wade Heidt). …  Also from Wade: Here’s a day on the job with OHL Kingston Frontenacs equipment manager Chris Cook. … The Maine Mariners, ECHL affiliate of the Rangers, will wear jerseys designed by a local Make-A-Wish child. The proceeds from jersey auctions will benefit the Maine Make-A-Wish Foundation (from our own Anthony Emerson). … New logo for the Newcastle Northstars of the Australian Ice Hockey League (from @j_foreigner). … The University of Georgia’s club hockey team is getting a new 5,500-seat arena (which is extremely large for a club team). They draw about 2,000 fans per game at their current venue — a temporary ice sheet placed on top of carpet in a convention center in downtown Athens (from Kary Klismet). … From reader Jonathan Daniel: “A friend of mine is a big autism advocate and is doing cool things in Detroit. He just posted saying he’ll be dropping the puck at a high school hockey game in February and showed off this sweater.”

NBA News: Celtics PG Kemba Walker wore a hoodie from the 2017 Africa Game during warmups last night. … The Wizards are giving away these Rui Hachimura anime T-shirts for Japanese Heritage Night. The uni has several inaccuracies: wrong number font, dead wrong side panels, etc., but nailed the ad patch (from @averagebro). … The Maine Red Claws, D-League affiliate of the Celtics, will wear puzzle piece-themed uniforms for Autism Awareness Night on Friday (from Timmy Donahue). … Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery is launching a new beer in partnership with the Nuggets called Mile High City, with packaging and logos inspired by the Nuggets’ Statement uniforms (from Kary Klismet).

College/High School Hoops News: Murray State will retire PG Ja Morant’s No. 12 this weekend (from Andrew Cosentino and Timmy Donahue). … Virginia G Braxton Key suffered a torn jersey last night, so he was issued a new one with NNOB and No. 42 instead of his usual No. 2 (from multiple readers). … Confusing scorebugs last night for Syracuse/ClemsonPitt/Duke, and Georgia/Mizzou. … Also from Timmy: Pitt women’s will wear pink Breast Cancer Awareness uniforms on Saturday. … DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyatsville, Md., will add patches in honor of former coach Morgan Wooten, who died last week (from Brian Simpkins).

Soccer News: “In memory of Jordan Sinnott, a midfielder who played in the English seventh tier for Matlock Town and passed away recently, teams in the UK have started putting Sinnott’s name and No. 25 on one of their shirts and sending them to English Championship team Cardiff City to start a collection. Looks like about 100 teams have done it so far” (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: The Indianapolis 500 ticket design was released yesterday, and it features driver Simon Pagenaud. More info here (from @jared_law). … Several Iowa wrestlers wear the ANF (“America Needs Farmers”) decal on their headgear, which was originally made famous on the helmets of the school’s football team (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: A writer has critiqued five logos related to the Trump administration from a design standpoint. … Here’s a NYT piece on actor Blair Underwood and his father, a retired Army Colonel, discussing the new Broadway drama Soldier’s Play. There’s some military uni-related discussion in the article (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: Literacy Pros, a Jacksonville, Fla., nonprofit, is recruiting firefighters, police officers, military, doctors, postal carriers, and other uniformed professionals to help inspire students through the power of literacy. … New badges for the Denton Police Department in Texas. … The school board in Brunswick, Maine, decided to go against students’ votes and proclaim the dragonfly as the school’s mascot, instead of the chickadee, which students chose (from John Horton).

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I’m driving out to Long Island today to see my mom, so I won’t be paying as much attention to the site as usual. Play nice while I’m away, yes? Yes! — Paul

Comments (42)

    Paul — the 49ers/Chiefs game in 2018 you mention had a final score of 38-27, Chiefs. Not sure as a 49ers fan that’s “the representation of the outcome” you want to see, although I would certainly love to see it as a Chiefs fan! :)

    That police badge update was really interesting. I bet the history and design of police badges could be right up your alley if you’re looking for new material to publish. Perhaps how the intersect with their local sports teams?

    The old one was neat because Denton is known as the top of the “Golden Triangle” made by Fort-Worth, Dallas, and Denton.

    Never thought my college town would be on here for non-sports anything.

    The Cowboys need to bring back their old number font, pronto.

    In this day of distinctive fonts, why would you keep a dull, non-distinct one? Cowboys should look cowboyish. What a frustrating team.

    My genius plan to solve two of sports uniformery’s greatest problems: The Washington Nationals give their uni numbers to the Dallas Cowboys and adopt the original Expos numbers for themselves. In one stroke, two almost great but deeply flawed uniforms become masterpieces.

    No need for the Nationals to “adopt” said number style since that design is part of franchise history(which hopefully will be celebrated more once the WS after-glow has subsided) …but surely such a move would be viewed as trolling by abandoned Expos fans still in Montreal ;)

    The old Expos numbers had mostly smooth curves and variable line widths, so it would be the perfect accompaniment to the curly W and the Nationals script inspired by the curly W. Whereas the Nats’ current Dallas-like numbers visually overwhelm the curly W and also kinda looks like the team is trolling Skins fans.

    Yes, but that’s the start. The blue they chose seems to be an excellent one. Not quite Royal, but not navy. That should be the standard. Then choose a metallic blue color that evokes the late 60s-70s and they’d be all set.

    I remember the Piston’s “going to work” stuff attending games at the Palace during high school. It seemed kind of corny at the time because it was during the recession (which in Michigan started in I believe early 07) and the fact that the Pistons were out in Auburn Hills which is best known as the location for Chrysler’s white collar offices.

    “Leaving aside the odd timing — why would you do this during the lead-up to the Supe?”

    Because yesterday was their birthday. Jan 28, 1960, was the day the franchise was awarded to Dallas.

    That Kobe tattoo is BRUTAL! Im all for memorializing your idols and what not, but a huge wonky misaligned tattoo of his jersey. You’re going to regret that one bub.

    Great work as usual on the SB preview. Especially liked you calling out the ridiculousness of Shanahan’s sideline cap. (All the more meaningful coming from a Niners fan.)

    Correction for the Hockey Ticker. The Kingston Frontenacs play in the OHL, not the WHL.

    I love the Cowboy 60th logo. I do think it would’ve looked better with the gray/silver helmet. That 2 bar facemask just says “Roger Staubach”.

    In 2009 Colts WR Reggie Wayne showed up to Colts training camp driving a dump truck, wearing a hard hat and safety vest, and carrying a metal lunch pail. Very blue collar


    There were a couple instances of Steelers players pulling similar shenanigans. One year Brett Keisel showed up in a bucket loader, and dumped a single suitcase out of the bucket. The following year he drove up in one of those large, construction site dump trucks, with a dump bed that swivels and tilts. He swiveled the bed toward the sidewalk, then proceeded to dump out a suitcase. The last year James Harrison played for the Steelers, he borrowed the St. Vincent College campus fire truck and drove it up to the dorms with lights and sirens on. Interesting fact about James Harrison, he held a commercial driver’s license throughout his career, as a reminder of his father who was a maintenance worker, and because he considered quitting football and taking up truck driving when he was having trouble sticking in the NFL early in his career.

    Clarification: The Dragonfly nickname would be for the Kate Furbish Elementary School in Brunswick, Maine.

    The high school will remain the Dragons.

    For the Uniwatch Hockey jerseys it would interesting to know which color, if any, is the most popular. I ultimately went with the Yellow one myself.

    White and green are my favorite looks, but yellow was just better executed in the details I care about (outlines, shadowing, etc) and I don’t have a yellow hockey jersey, so I went with yellow too.

    No, they wore their regular silver blue helmets with the throwbacks in 1994. They did have that fauxback with the white helmets from 2004-2012 (until the one shell rule killed it).

    I have to wonder if Jerry is going to attempt to push through a change to that rule for next season, since the main reason for the rule – to keep players who continued to wear discontinued but grandfathered-in models from being forced to change to a different model for one game in order to have a matching shell – is no longer relevant since those old models are no longer permitted.

    RE: Blaise D’Sylva’s AFC West helmet collection – what’s with the Chargers and Raiders helmets with lettering on them? Never seen that before.

    I would guess it’s to indicate the franchise and the years he’s representing with the group.

    That browns helmet ticker item… Based on that facemask I would guess it’s a Lou Groza reproduction

    I live in India. I like site very much. I root for kc chiefs in super bowl. Sorry paul.

    Yes, shouldn’t be a problem. There’s a “Notes” field on the ordering page — you can add a special request that the back number be recentered to account for the NOB not being there.

    I think the NFL, if they are insistent about these captaincy patches, should create a patch that incorporates the NFL logo and place it at the base of the neck for the captains to avoid this shifting nonsense. Or eliminate the NFL logo from there altogether and make it just a captain patch.

    Elementary school students overwhelmingly vote for school nickname, adult school board arbitrarily overrules schoolkids’ votes for school board’s choice. Nice going, school board. Way to teach kids early that voting is a worthless exercise in futility.

    I’m trying to fathom why the board feels it necessary to “[unify] the mascots and colors”, instead of letting each school remain unique.

    Then again, I came up through a school district that had over a dozen elementary schools, five middle schools, and two high schools that shared a campus (since expanded to three high schools).

    Hi Lukas, about the super bowl uniforms this year maybe should have included/reminded the masses about the history of the white face masks and gray for both squads respectively.
    My two cents… enjoy big game!

    Excellent SB preview today! I had no idea about the uni number on the chin straps. Now I’ll have another thing to obsess over during the game.

    Really like the hockey sweaters for sale. Green is outstanding but the yellow would match my car. Hmmm…

    A Fredi the pizzaman reference on Uni Watch? I wonder if Matt Dery knows about this (Detroiters only).

    re: seattle nhl
    seattle seals using the original green, blue, and white from 1967 -1969 oakland seals.
    the ‘o’ can just be considered a circle.

Comments are closed.