Good morning! When I wrote last week about the Patriots’ new uniform set — the set with the navy pants that are apparently going to be worn for all games, even with the navy jersey, creating a miserable mono-navy effect — I included a look at the team’s style guide sheet, which was provided to me by a trusted industry source.
Now that same source has obtained and shared with me an earlier version of Nike’s cut sheet for the Pats. It’s from last October — six months ago — and it’s very interesting. Take a look (click to slightly enlarge):
The most obvious thing here is that the Pats were apparently planning, or at least considering, the use of grey or silver pants. Obviously, that would have been a huge improvement for the blue jersey, and would also have provided a mix-and-match option for the white jersey.
The other intriguing thing is that there was apparently at least some consideration to use TV numbers on the blue jersey — but not on the white one! It’s odd enough to see a mismatched approach like that, but it’s even odder that the one jersey equipped with TV numbers would be the blue one, since that jersey is essentially a carryover from last season’s Color Rash design, which didn’t have TV numbers. If only one jersey would get those numbers, you’d expect it to be the white one, not the blue one. It’s not a huge deal either way — certainly not as much of a missed opportunity as the pants — but it’s still interesting.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that this sheet might be a Photoshop job, or a fake, or whatever. It’s not — I know where it came from, and I trust the source who shared it with me.
So the questions now are (a) how seriously were the Pats considering the grey/silver pants and the TV numbers, and (b) why did they eventually opt not to go that route?
The Patriots did not respond to a request for comment.
Photos taken yesterday morning; click to enlarge
ITEM! Big Uni Watch birthday day: Uni Watch girl mascot President Caitlin turns 15 years old today! That’s about 76 in human years, but you’d never know it from her eternally kittenish demeanor. She’s still an inquisitive little monkey, still a chirpy chatterbox, still gets ants in her pants and races back and forth around Uni Watch HQ, still spends a lot of her day upside-down. She’s the best!
That little sprig of green near her ear is a clipping of celery leaves. We discovered last year that she really loves celery (which is apparently a thing for cats — we had no idea), so I got her some yesterday and we had a little pre-birthday session:
What a cutie! She’ll be getting more birthday celery leaves today, along with plenty of catnip and a few new toys.
President Caitlin isn’t the only member of the Uni Watch family who’s celebrating a birthday today. Lloyd Alaban, who produces the Tickers that run on Wednesdays, is also celebrating another trip around the sun.
Enjoy your special day, Lloyd. It probably isn’t going to be the birthday you had in mind, but it’ll be one you’ll probably never forget! (Also, watch your mailbox — you have a treat on the way. Not celery, I promise.)
Power Rankings reminder: In case you missed it on Wednesday, the Uni Watch MLB Power Rankings, with a first-to-worst assessment of each current MLB uniform set, is now available for your perusal over at InsideHook. Enjoy!
ITEM! Brannock update: I’ve mentioned several times now that I’m a big fan of the podcast Sidedoor, which is hosted by the great Lizzie Peabody and examines overlooked stories that relate to the Smithsonian’s collections.
Sidedoor recently invited listeners to suggest new story topics. I know that a lot of the Brannock Device Company’s early files were donated to the Smithsonian, so, ever in Brannock-evangelist mode, I recently emailed Sidedoor to suggest that they devote an episode to Charlie Brannock and his wonderful invention.
The bad news is that they didn’t do a full Brannock episode; the good news is that they did do a short segment as part of an odds-n-sods episode that just launched, and I was interviewed for it — fun! You can hear that segment at the 18:14 mark here.
They made a big fuss over my Brannock tattoo and even asked for a photo of it — which they ended up not using on their website. But I liked the way it turned out, so here it is (see above).
NEXT-TO-LAST DAY: Tomorrow is the final day to get in on the next batch of Uni Watch hockey jerseys. Available in three color options, two tailoring options, and with your choice of number and NOB. Ordering deadline tomorrow — full details here.
While we’re at it:
• Hankering for a nice, tasty brat? Let’s discuss.
• You can get 15% off of everything in the Uni Watch Shop and the Naming Wrongs Shop by using the checkout code COMMUNITY.
• I don’t often mention this, but you can get lots of cool Uni Watch stickers from our friends at StickerYou.
• It’s also been a while since I’ve mentioned our pennants and chain-stitched patches.
Okay, end of sales pitch. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
Pin Club update: The Uni Watch Pin Club’s May design will launch at midnight Eastern tonight. It will be available at this link, and then I’ll have more to say about it in tomorrow’s blog post. The April pin sold out in just a few days, so you’ll probably want to move fast on this one.
If you want to get caught up, the January, February, and March pins are still available. These all qualify for the 15% COMMUNITY checkout discount.
’Skins Watch: As we reported a few weeks ago, Land O Lakes butter has removed the Native American woman from its package design. Now the son of the Native American artist who created the design says the image of the woman was never a stereotype (from @OlegKvasha).
Working Class Wannabes™: An article about Baltimore Ravens fifth-round draft choice Broderick Washington describes him as a “down-and-dirty, lunch-pail defensive tackle” (from Timmy Donahue).
Baseball News: World’s greatest vendor Hal the Hot Dog Guy, who I profiled almost exactly one year ago, is doing a fundraiser to benefit Giants and A’s vendors and other gameday employees. Donors get one of Hal’s autographed trading cards (from Mike Delia). … Here’s how players on the Cardinals chose their uniform numbers. … “Here’s a deep dive on a Don Mattingly baseball card,” says Andrew Cosentino. “The article was sparked by a 1987 Topps card that said, ‘Don’s birth certificate states he was born in 1962, not 1961 as shown in most baseball records.’ There’s also a corresponding podcast on the topic” (also submitted by Max Wagner). … I’m quoted in this article about some Mets players wanting to bring back the BFBS alternates. … The 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, scheduled for July, has been postponed until 2021. … Here’s a good look at the Georgia 250th-anniversary patch that the Braves wore in 1983 (from @NFL_Journal). … The Fresno Grizzlies’ dentist is making masks from the team’s 2018 jerseys (from Johnny Bravo). … Some nice vintage MLB letterhead designs here (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … Former MLB skipper Buck Showalter, who in 2015 mananged the Orioles in the only crowd-free game in MLB history, says playing games without a live audience due to the pandemic would be problematic because players need to feed off the fans’ emotions.
Pro Football News: Weird face-protective setup in this 1970s Bengals shot. … Here are the new rookie uni numbers for the Cowboys, Bengals, and Washington (from William Kemen and our own Jamie Rathjen). … The Rams may put their new ram’s head logo — the one everyone thinks looks like a penis and testicles — at midfield. … New uniforms for the Columbus Lions of the National Arena League (from Kary Klismet). … Newly signed Saints QB Jameis Winston, who wore No. 3 with the Bucs, says he wants to wear No. 2 in New Orleans (from Mike Chamernik). … Joshua Lefkowitz, an eighth grader who’s the son of longtime Uni Watch reader Jason Lefkowitz, has graded most of this spring’s NFL uniform redesigns for his school paper. You can see his assessments on the back page of this interactive document.
College Football News: Here’s a bunch of Big Ten helmet-redesign concepts (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Check out the great sweater worn by this Air Force cadet falconer at a 1958 game. You can see more pics from the game itself — a color-vs.-color game against Denver — by scrolling down on that page.
Hockey News: Nice deep dive on the Bruins’ very first sweater (from Kary Klismet). … New 20th-anniversary logo for the ECHL’s Reading Royals (from Bill McClain). … Here’s the story behind the development of the Golden Knights’ name and logo (paywalled) (from Thomas Roddy).
College Hoops News: Gross: Here’s a video clip on why Arkansas coach Eric Musselman wears T-shirts featuring the logos of corporate
sponsors advertisers (from Taylor Crabtree).
Soccer News: USL League Two team South Bend Lions was supposed to start its inaugural season on May 9. Obviously, that won’t be happening, so the team is selling commemorative “non-gameday” e-tickets for $1 (from John Flory).
Grab Bag: If you like infographics and data visualizations, it’s hard to beat how effective this one is (from the Tugboat Captain). … AirAsia has new flight attendant uniforms that include long sleeves, a mask, and a hood. … Interesting article about the public response to Cadbury’s new logo (from Timmy Donahue). … Here’s a Twitter-er who specializes in taking photos of people wearing what he considers to be obscure jerseys. … Some designers have created an alternative flag for San Francisco (from @29_sunset). … Some people have issues with UVa’s new logo set. “The sabre handles mimic the serpentine walls on the grounds of the school, which were originally structured to hide enslaved laborers from view,” explains Timmy Donahue. … I have apparently been quoted on the back of a trading card/sticker thingie about eye black. Scroll down to see the front. … New logos for Montclair State athletics.
Click to enlarge
What Paul did last night: Another grey, chilly day (49º at porch o’clock). Negro Modelo for me, seltzer for the Tugboat Captain.
We talked a lot about some TV shows we’ve been watching, which is odd, because we normally never watch TV (except for sports and reruns of a few favorite old shows). We still don’t watch it during the day, but we’ve started watching a few things at night — some good, some not so good. I’m trying to decide what I think about it. I already spend my entire working day staring at a screen, so I’m not nuts about doing more of that when I’m not working. But TV does have its narcotic atractions.
We met a new dog — Joanna:
As always, you can see all of the Pandemic Porch Cocktails photos — 44 of them now — here.
Our latest raffle winner is Florian Gilleron, who’s won himself a Uni Watch membership card (and who lives in France!). Congrats to him, and thanks to Sam Marcheschi for sponsoring this one. — Paul
Congrats to Caitlin and your long time together. I lost my almost 14 year old cat in December and I know what a part of the family they are.
The Patriots set would have looked great with the silver pants and TV numbers (on both uniforms). Here’s hoping they have a change of heart before the season begins, whenever that may be.
Sorry to hear of your loss, Don — please accept my condolences.
We all miss Caitlin’s brother, Tucker, who died a few years ago. Losing a pet is so hard.
Thanks. I always liked the periodic glimpses into Caitlin and Tucker’s lives.
I wonder if Tom Brady had input on the silver pants? And then once he left, they were scrapped.
The Tugboat Captain just made my head exp!ode. Facts and research will do that.
Bookmarked, and sharing with everyone I can think of. Will definitely need to come back to that one again.
I presume the padding at the bottom of the Bengal’s facemask is a chin sling, like the lower padding in the old Cooper SK2000 helmet and HM30 cage combo that every goalie in captivity wore in the 1980’s. Must have been protecting a jaw injury.
Happy Birthday to Caitlin! My three felines are aged 3, 2, 1. So my house is filled with galloping horses pretty consistently and especially at three in the morning. But honestly I love it and hope they stay playful as they get older.
Wish the Patriots would have had the TV numbers on both jerseys for sure. Luckily they can add the gray or silver pants anytime and hopefully they do.
Even on a gray, rainy, and chilly day the budding leaves/green from your porch looks great. I often think the colors of spring against a gray background looks better. I love spring.
Just thirteen more years until we get to see the Braves wear a patch for Georgia’s 300th-anniversary!
Thanks for the podcast recommendation. I always love your culinary corner pieces and was wondering if there are any podcasts around the topic of cooking or food that you are a fan of?
I’m sure there are good cooking/food podcasts out there, but I don’t have any in my regular rotation — sorry.
When I was a boy, my dad hosted an afternoon radio cooking show, and in my listening experience cooking hasn’t become any more audio-friendly than it was in the 1970s. That said, I do subscribe to the Milk Street Radio podcast with Christopher Kimble. Dan Pashman’s The Sporkful has terrific content, but I basically can’t stand the host’s voice, so I rarely listen to episodes. And I used to listen to The Splendid Table when Lynne Rossetto Kasper hosted, but she left the show in 2018 and I haven’t yet tried getting back to the show. The new host, Francis Lam, is an amazing writer though, so the show is probably even better than it used to be.
Baseically everyone I know recommends Home Cooking with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway. I mean, with those hosts, it must be amazing, right? It’s just hard to find time to sample new podcasts among the dozens I already subscribe to.
Thank you! One that I have listed to a few times is Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle. Interesting angle.
Happy Birthday to Caitlin! Will you be throwing her a catceanera?
(it’s a thing – link)
Fortunately, we didn’t know about that!
Happy Birthday, Caitlin! My two guys, Stripe and Lou-Lou will be 1 year old on May 25th. We look forward to many years of love and joy they bring us.
Even better than the letterhead designs are the letters associated with them. The Mariners’ response, especially, is a classic. Montreal’s from former Cub, Jim Fanning, is also very good. Go back and read them if you passed them by!
Oh, and happy birthday to Caitlin!
…and that Mariners letterhead is a reminder of how good their uniforms could be had they retained the trident logo.
On the Pats uniform launch, the whole thing has had a decidedly old-school “Belichick” feel to it. Reporter: “Your uniform launch had the wrong pants to it, can you elaborate?” Belichick: “It’s just a uniform…next question”. Reporter: “Will you wear the silver pants?” Belichick: “It’s just a uniform…can we talk some football”
I wouldn’t be surprised if the silver pants make an appearance
The Pats silver pants are such a better look than mono-navy.
I also much prefer the TV numbers over the “flying Elvis” sleeve logo. I never did understand why teams duplicate their helmet logo on their sleeves. I remember when the Packers did that for a few years back in the 80’s or 90’s.
I guess it’s a ploy to to sell jerseys to the fans who obviously don’t also wear the helmet.
Is it really a “ploy?” Like, seems smart. Also seems like something most fans would appreciate.
Hey, it’s just a minor note in the grab bag, but with those new AirAsia uniforms, have we finally entered “Woody Allen Science Fiction” territory?
Every time someone does Big Ten helmet concepts, Illinois gets a “headdress” design with feathers. They are never, ever doing that. Even when we had the Chief, there was no Native iconography on the uniforms.
I’m only just noticing the beard. Very nice.
Yeah, I haven’t shaved in over a month (well, except down on my lower neck). Never had a full beard before. Still deciding what I think about it, but for now I like it. Might feel differently when the weather warms up!
For what it’s worth, I like the full beard! The touch of grey looks distinguished, and the facial hair on your cheeks frames your face nicely.
I agree, the beard is a good look for you. I usually start my beard in September and shave back to a goatee in the spring.
One recommendation I can make for a great beard is to go to a pro (when everything is safe again) and get a trim from a pro. It really changed everything for me when I started going to a barber instead of trimming myself.
Happy Birthday! My Kitty DumDum says “Hello”.
Pats with a big blunder not including the silver pants. I’m fine with no TV numbers (although, so we really need 5 Flying Elvi on one uniform) but the mono navy being the only options is unforgivable.
Every time I glance at your tattoo I think “why does he have an unfinished Ghostbusters logo?” and then I remember “it’s Paul, it’s a Brannock Device!” :)
Happy birthday, Lloyd and Caitlin! I’ll raise my own front porch/howling cocktail to you both later this evening from here in Denver.
Not a Patriots fan what so ever but the silver pants make their uniforms 100% better.
Happy birthday, Caitlin!
Me and (4-ish y.o.) Birdie.
Do you allow your cat to go outside?
I’m a fan of the Ram with horns being displayed at midfield, looks good. Hoping they will not use the LA logo on their helmet though as the Rams currently have one of the best helmet logos in the NFL.
President Caitlin has never gone outside.
Yo, it’s Modelo Negra.
Anyway, our old cat used to LOVE any green, leafy veggies — spinach, beet greens, whatever. But celery leaves were her clear favorite. There were even times when we’d leave the whole thing (what do you call it – a head? bundle?) of celery on the kitchen counter and she would drag it away and start feasting on the leaves. Sometimes she would pull them out of the bag as we were unloading groceries
Wasn’t this the original obscure jersey twitter and blog account:
AKA Straight Cash Homey
Love Euclid Middle School’s Quarantimes! Big props to the faculty advisor who helped the students pull that together.
BTW: update on a Grab Bag item from last week: Wispreps high school helmet tournament is down to the four finalists – link
I always check out the links to new ideas on familiar designs and the B1G helmet designs were interesting, not many to my liking, but fine . . . until I got to the Rutgers “Inverted”. That has to be the most nonsensical, poorly conceived design I can remember ever seeing. I cannot believe someone went through the project of redesigning 12 helmets and thought, “Yeah, publishing a reverse image of a state on their helmets is something a university would actually do, so it’s good enough, I’ll leave it that way because it won’t embarrass me.
I’m not crazy about the Pats using silver, I don’t understand why white isn’t the color, given the Continental Army’s uniforms (either white or off-white, from what I see in various images). Not sure how well off-white/cream pants would work in real life, but would definitely be unique!
I got a cat for the first time recently. I’ve always been a dog person. But I love my cat! I totally get it. Happy birthday President Caitlin t
It’s a bit niche, but if anyone is interested in mid-90’s international football (soccer) team minutiae, I have put together a run-down of all the national team badges from Euro 96 on twitter:
Hey Paul, unless an “Alex Wagner” also-also submitted the Don Mattingly ESPN piece to the Ticker, that should say “Max Wagner” (i.e., me). Thanks!
Apologies, Max — fixed!
No worries. Thanks Paul!!
(Or I suppose I should say also-also-also hahaha)
How official are the industry style guide sheets to which your source has access? I am not doubting the legitimacy of this info at all but would like to know how definitive of a source they are for what a team will wear in any given season. Have teams historically introduced uniform designs or elements that differ from what is shown in their style guide sheet? In other words, is there a possibility that the Pats will wear silver pants during the upcoming season even though they are not included in their current style guide sheet?
Is there a chance? Sure, there’s always a chance.
Happy Birthday Caitlin from the whole cat crew here; Coconut, Peach, Pumpkin, and Cherry.
Oooh, I do like cats with food names!
The Rockies are making replica Turn Ahead The Clock jerseys available for purchase:
Paul, your loyal readers all know of your admittedly defensible love for the Cardinals set, but placing the Dodgers (who should be tied for first at worst) at fifth place? Below the Phillies? And how do the Red Sox come in at 11? Despite the awfulness of the red alts, the classic home roads are, um, classic. And more pleasing than Baltimore, Detroit, NYM, Phila, etc. Also, despite their missed potential, the Astros look great on-field. Despite the gripes, THANK YOU for giving us at least a little bit of baseball …
Colombo style, I have just one more comment — the Pats should have 1) gone with white helmets and white pants at home and 2) should have gone blue red blue or even red white red on the away sleeves
Happy Birthday Caitlin, from my 10 year old all-white deaf special cat, Marsha!
Rams really need to make some tweets to the new Ram’s head logo. After it was mentioned what it looks like, I cannot unsee it. It is fixable.
The silver pants would look so much better if the center stripe was white instead of navy.
Happy Birthday to Lloyd and Caitlin!
Paul, you mentioned the Patriots cut sheet is from six months ago, and it got me thinking …
How much can teams tweak the designs before they become official? I know that uniform redesigns are a long process. Some Rams fans wonder if the team is reworking the uniforms after the negative reaction to the logos. I know the Rams have always planned a split release (not the best idea), but is it still possible they are altering them now?
Or is there some sort of cutoff date? I could see the uniform redesign becoming “final” once it’s approved by the league, and then the team can release it publicly at any point after that.
Good question! I’m sure such a cutoff date exists, but I don’t know when it is.