By Phil Hecken
Greetings everyone! Hope you and yours are staying safe (and cool!). That heat wave I promised is about to really envelope the East Coast today through Tuesday, and I know the rest of the states have, for the most part, been extra toasty lately.
For those who have been reading Uni Watch for some time, you are aware I’ve run a series of “What’s Your Sign(ature)” articles — until now all detailing baseball teams — where I look at a club’s uniform history and attempt to establish what I call a “signature” look. Now, the signature look is not one the team has worn the longest, or the team’s “best” uniform set (although either could qualify). Nay, the team’s “signature” look is one that when you see it, you KNOW the team wearing it. It could be a very unique look (usually the case) or even a classic one. But it’s the uniform that most stands out as being the look for that team.
Today we’ll look at the Jacksonville Jaguars, who’ve sported a number of different looks over their history. These can actually be divided into ‘eras’ although some of these only lasted five or so years. To use one of Paul’s analogies, there are Coke teams and there are Pepsi teams — and the Jaguars are most definitely a Pepsi team.
So let’s take a look at the several different looks the team has had over the years, and I’ll try to determine what is the “signature” look for the franchise.
Before we even begin, you may recall the team actually introduced a logo and uniforms they never wore. The logo was deemed to be too close to the logo used by a certain automobile manufacturer and so never used. It was actually pretty cool looking — and the team used it (or would have worn it) as a very interesting shoulder stripe (a look no other team in the NFL has ever adopted). Here are the original, unused unis and logo:
Original (Unused) 1993-1994
Interesting! The original helmet was silver, and featured a black/gold/teal/gold/black stripe (repeated on the pants), which, on the home uniform were also silver. The dark jersey was a distinct teal color (very apropos for the time period). The road uni featured a white jersey with teal pants (!) with a white/black/gold/black/white striping pattern. Too bad this uni was never worn. It might have qualified as the signature look!
The Jags original uniforms (that actually saw the field) were beautiful and simple. The team tweaked the unused teal for a more blueish hue and changed the helmet color.
The helmet went from silver to solid black and had a new jaguar head logo. The home uniform was a teal jersey with white numbers trimmed in black and gold. The away uniform had teal numbers also trimmed in black and gold. They were the first NFL team to have 2-tone borders on their numbers, and also the first NFL team to feature a complex logo on the sleeves with the crawling jaguar image. The numbers were standard block numbers, with the away jersey numbers being teal. Between 1995-2001 there were minor changes to the uniform, with the most visible change being a change to a unique number font.
There was so much to love about this uniform. It was an instant classic, and it certainly merits the “signature” designation. But being a Pepsi team, change was soon to come.
During and after the 2002 season, the team would really start to take on a different identity, using black much more heavily in the rotation (it’s not really BFBS because their helmet was already black, and they used black striping), but the team added both a black jersey and a pair of black pants to the rotation. This allowed them 5 combos: white/white, white/black; teal/black; teal/white and black/black.
The black pants that were introduced in 2002 had teal stripes with thin gold/thicker black/thin gold striping. The white pants were only worn early in the year. In 2004 the away jerseys were changed to feature black numbers instead of teal. The black pants also were changed to remove the teal stripes, which were replaced with the Jaguars head logo. This gave them a distinctly leotard look. While these certainly weren’t the worst uniforms the team would ever wear, ditching the stripes on the black pants was a definitely bad move. The team would continue to wear the teal/black combo through 2006, while in 2007 they would stick to four combos, and by 2008 they ditched the black jersey entirely.
By 2009, the whole uni scheme began to fall off the rails. The team would ditch their “semi” classic look for a modern look that failed with a capital “F” — with one exception. The helmet…
Everything about this uni set was awful. For the first two seasons, the team only wore teal over white or white over black. But it wasn’t the colors that made this set awful — it was the curious, amorphous thin piping worn on both the jerseys and pants. It was a unique look to be sure, but it wasn’t a good one at all. In 2011, the team would pair the white jersey with white pants. In 2012, they’d add a black jersey, which they wore with both the black pants as well as the white pants. But as bad as these uniforms were — they did have one very cool, very unique, very redeeming feature. The helmet. I’m not a helmet guy, nor a car guy, but I’m pretty sure the team used a trick to paint teal flakes into the black helmet base, which had the effect of becoming sort of color shifting depending on how the light hit it. No one before or since has done this to an NFL helmet. It’s too bad because it was the one redeeming feature of this bad set.
No worries, though, because the next one would top both for wretchedness…
By 2013, with Nike having taken over as official outfitter for the NFL a year earlier, the team decided to jettison their wretched uniforms. There was only one problem: they actually got worse. It’s as if Nike’s design team had one of those “Hold My Beer” moments. Everything got worse — the unis were probably the worst in the league until they were replaced in 2019, and the helmet was the worst in the history of the NFL. I do not exaggerate…
About the best thing you could say about this uniform set is that it replaced a really bad set. I’ll give them credit for trying to be different. But different was not very good. It was overkill from the get go. From the subtle shoulder ghost stripes to the crazy giant number fonts to the tiny color contrasting sleeve caps to the weird pants “stripe” (more like a parallelogram). There was also the odd mini-striping around the collar. But, as bad as all that was, then there was the helmet. Now, teams have attempted to do two-tone helmets before, but the fade usually goes from top-to-bottom. This one went front-to-back, with a matte black finish in the front, abruptly separated by a shiny gold finish in the back. The effect was jarring.
Unfortunately, even though this team jettisoned these uniforms after the minimum five years, their memories will last much longer. Yes, Jacksonville — THIS is your signature uniform.
But wait…there’s more. The color rash!
Color Rash 2015-16
People with eyes fans had been clamoring for the team to ditch this uni set almost as soon as it was introduced, and after suffering through the full five years of mandated wearing, mercifully, the team got new duds for the 2018 season. All was not lost…
From maximalist (and not in a good way) to almost minimalist. That’s how the Jags went with their second redesign under Nike. They returned to simple uniforms, with a solid black helmet, and three different options for jerseys: teal, white and black. The pants came in the same three colors, and the team manged to mix and match to wear 8 or the 9 possible combos. Only the mono-teal, which is an option, hasn’t been worn yet.
The new unis are very plain, with simple fonts and only hints of piping on the sleeve cuffs and around the collar. The pants are plain except for a tiny hint of color contrast on the very back of the pants hem. Solid, if unspectacular, uniforms! These may last more than the five year minimum. They certainly won’t be remembered for these, but they are such an improvement over the past two sets.
And there you have it. Many teams will have a signature uniform that isn’t one of the worst in NFL history. The Jags have already cornered the market there. But seriously, even though the team only wore that set for five years, we’ll never forget it. And unfortunately for them, that makes it their signature uniform. Feel free to disagree in the comments below.
Uni Concepts & Tweaks
After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
Occasionally I’ll have some concepts tweeted at me. After I posted an article that the Cleveland Baseball Team may be jettisoning its current moniker, some concepts came my way. Up first is from Brad Wolf:
While I have a strong attachment to the @Indians name/brand, I understand the need to change. That said, here’s my take on some Cleveland Spiders logos and uniforms. What do y’all think?
That prompted @bigbatsnut to also post his Spiders concepts:
I hope they go with black and red. Way too many blue and red teams in MLB. This is their chance to wear a distinct color scheme that they will own and stand out in.
Thanks. OK readers, tweeters (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner
Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.
So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Birds Sweep Series”
Subject: Brooks Robinson, Dave McNally and Andy Etchebarren, 1966
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 32″ x 40″
From the outset of the 1966 World Series, it was fair to say that not too many people gave the Baltimore Orioles much of a fighting chance. Though they carried the American League MVP and Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson, they had a very young pitching staff inexperienced in October baseball. Additionally, facing the premiere National League dynasty of the 1960s in the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baltimore underdogs had quite the mountain range to surmount – stalwart hurlers Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax being the most daunting of those peaks. Having swept the Yankees in an improbable performance in 1963 and winning a hard-fought battle against the Twins in 1965, The Dodgers proved that their two great pitchers and stellar staff could silence any line-up, as both opposing American League teams were held to an anemic total of 14 runs in eleven World Series games.
For the first two games at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, the Orioles took this ideal to heart, winning both contests with spirited performances from 23-year old Dave McNally in the former and 20-year old Jim Palmer in the latter. After a day off, coming home to Baltimore for the third game provided the blueprint from which they would hope to emerge victorious in the series, with the young Wally Bunker shutting out the Dodgers on a six hit performance.
Returning to the mound in Game 4 was opening game winner McNally. With only one run scored by a solo home run from World Series MVP Frank Robinson, the contest was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish. In the hopes of redeeming himself for a poor Game 1 start, Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale gave up only one run; though unfortunately for Los Angeles fans, it was the only one that mattered in the 1-0 Oriole victory. Pitching brilliant ball, McNally allowed a measly four hits and no runs against the boys in blue. The lefty’s performance was indicative of that of the entire Baltimore pitching staff during the postseason, as the Dodgers were held without a run for the last 33 innings of the World Series.
Pictured is the precise moment after the last out of the series – a catch by Oriole centerfielder Paul Blair – which spread jubilation across the field in Memorial Stadium, as well as all of Baltimore. With the ecstatic crowd beginning to rush their heroes to join in the celebration, Brooks Robinson is shown emphatically jumping into the arms of winning pitcher McNally, and the Bird’s rookie catcher, Andy Etchebarren.
Baltimore would see their team reach the top of the American League standings every year from 1969 to 1971, capturing the title again in 1970. The Orioles talented pitching staff and smooth defense would come to define their era, the likes of which had not been seen in the American League since the New York Yankees. Certainly, this dynasty was a far cry from the woeful performances of the hapless St. Louis Browns, the team which in 1954, was embraced by Maryland when they became the Baltimore Orioles.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from Sweet William-o.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
Click to enlarge
And now a few words from Paul
Hi there. In case you missed it on Thursday, Adelph Wear’s Nathan Haas and I have come up with a line of new Tour de France-inspired Uni Watch cycling jerseys: yellow (for the overall leader), green (Points Classification leader), and polka dot (King of the Mountains).
Each jersey can be customized with your choice of number (there’s a bib-style panel on the back for that) and/or NOB — or you can skip those elements and leave the back blank. Up to you!
We’re taking pre-orders from now through Friday, July 24, which should allow us to get the finished jerseys to you by Aug. 29 — the first day of the Tour de France.
Full details, including rear views, a sizing chart, and more, here.
While I have you here:
• We’ve now sold through more than two-thirds of the Uni Watch Pin Club’s bobble-pin design. I can’t stop smiling when I see how much people are enjoying them:
— Brett Baker (@BrettSBaker) July 16, 2020
Isn’t that great? You can get yours here.
• All fitted sizes of the Uni Watch Classic Cap (shown at left in the photo below) are once again available, and our cotton “gold circle” strapback cap (below right) is back for another round of orders as well. We will probably stop offering the gold circle cap after this weekend, so move fast if you want one.
• All colors of Uni Watch seam rippers are still in stock, but I’m almost out of green and blue. So if you want those (or any of our other colors), you know what to do.
My thanks, as always, for your support and consideration. Now on to the Ticker.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: The Reds wore their St. Patrick’s Day jerseys last night (from @sircliffthegr8t and @DKBThinks). … Gaylord Perry had a super imbalanced NOB in the 1974 All-Star Game (from Tom Konecny). … Some Twins player wore mismatched unis during yesterday’s intrasquad game. … Speaking of the Twins, OF Max Kepler had some decal troubles (from Peter Fischer). … Cardinals hopeful, Austin Dean, wants a single digit number because he has a short last name. When pretty much every single-digit number is retired, you ask for 0 (from David Dahl).
NFL News: The white outline on the Chargers’ shoulder bolt is much bigger in actual photographs than renderings (good spot by Craig Hoekstra). … An Ontario family has created a giant Bills helmet in their backyard (from Timmy Donahue).
College/High School Football News: ESPN has a fun article about old Heisman candidates’ websites, still active years after their college careers ended (from Kary Klismet).
Hockey News: Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro wore a mask that reads “He Shoots, He Scores, You Suck” during a press conference (from Mike Chamernik).
NBA News: Journalist Rob Perez got a sneak peak at a new Hawks throwback jersey. Question: why don’t the Hawks adopt this look full time? (from multiple readers). … Nuggets G Will Barton has opted against wearing a message on his jersey (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … Also from Nicklaus, Pacers G Malcolm Brogdon is wearing a mask in practice following his recovery from COVID-19.
Soccer News: Yeovil Town FC have a new kit that will only be worn for this season’s promotion playoffs. Potentially, it could be worn only once — today — if Yeovil loses (thanks, Jamie, Craig King and Alex Evans). … Also from Jamie: Scottish side Livingston has unveiled their new away kit. … West Ham have officially unveiled their new away kit, inspired by the kits of the 1960s and 70s. … Mexican side Pachuca have unveiled their new kits. … Also from Josh Hinton, Inter Milan’s gorgeous new away kit has been leaked. … Scottish side Inverness Caledonian Thistle has unveiled their new change kits (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: Greek side AE Larissa will wear a slogan calling to keep the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul a museum. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently signed a decree turning the Hagia Sofia into a mosque. … Dundee United’s new kit incldues ads on socks (from @texastrvor).
Grab Bag: ESPN+ is still using the old logo for Australian SuperRugby team Western Force, and using random background colors on the logo (from Evan Stewart). … Lacrocity has ranked all current pro lacrosse uniforms (from Thomas Foote and Edward Hojnacki). … Alabama Gov. and Auburn alumna Kay Ivey wore an Auburn mask after signing an order requiring masks in public spaces. … A potential First Amendment issue is arising in Pasco County, Fl., after the school board decided to punish students who post comments on social media if their avatars depict Pasco uniforms, including athletic uniforms (from Timmy Donahue).
And Finally… Hope everyone enjoyed the return of the “Signature” series — let me know if you guys like these and I’ll keep doing them. They’re a LOT of work, but it’s enjoyable work and if you like them I’ll keep on keepin’.
RIP John Lewis.
Everyone have a good Saturday and stay safe! I’ll catch you again tomorrow.