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It’s Time for the 2020 Uni Watch NFL Season Preview

Don’t look now, but the 2020 NFL season kicks off tomorrow night. That means it’s time for the annual Uni Watch NFL Season Preview, which is jam-packed with all the uni-, logo-, and field-related news for the season. A whopping eight teams have new uniforms this season (including the new looks for the Bucs, Chargers, Browns, and Falcons, as shown above), so this is a particularly uni-momentous season, plus there’s the usual mix of patches, memorial decals, and a lot more. You can get the full scoop here.

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NBA endorsement: The Rockets lost to the Lakers last night, which means Houston now trails L.A., two games to one, in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals. Normally I wouldn’t care one way or the other — I have no emotional rooting interest in either team — but this year is different, because the Rockets are currently the only NBA team with ad-free uniforms (their ad patch deal with Rokit phones expired during the period when the NBA was shut down due to the pandemic).

That means the Rockets have, by definition, the best uniforms in the league, which in turn means Uni Watch is rooting hard for them. Amidst all the nonsense that this year has served up, crowning an NBA champ with ad-free uniforms would be a small but tasty morsel of goodness.

Game Four of the Houston/L.A. series is scheduled for tomorrow night. Go Rockets!! #NoUniAds

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“You sank my battleship!”: The screen shots shown above are from this video, which shows 1940 footage of the minor league Louisville Colonels. As you can see, they used an alpha-numeric roster system!

The text on the YouTube video page explains the system like so:

The jersey numbers worn by Colonels [were] part of a scheme to number players based on their position. Numbering was 1 for pitchers, 2 for catchers, 3 for first base, etc., in addition to a [letter] for multiple players at a position, meaning pitchers were numbered 1-A, 1-B, etc. The jerseys were used only in 1940, possibly only by the Colonels.

There must be more to it than that, because the catcher appears to be wearing No. 2-L. I mean, did they have 12 catchers on the team? In any case, interesting stuff!

(My thanks to Andy Rivkin for bringing this one to my attention.)

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Leading off this week’s Collector’s Corner with a remembrance for Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who passed away last week at the age of 75. While living in Cincinnati, I distinctly recall the news when I heard he had been traded from the Mets to the Reds in June of 1977. “We got Seaver?” A true baseball immortal, he is depicted here wearing his classic Mets pinstripes in a framed print by LeRoy Neiman. (Also, this button refers to that Mets/Reds trade but gains a sad double meaning with Seaver’s death.)

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

 • We’ve got a 1964 record here on “Columbia Auravision” featuring Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.

 • Check this out: This 1928 sheet music is for the tune “Babe Ruth! Babe Ruth! We Know What He Can Do!” Great artwork, presumably from the Babe’s SlimFast period.

 • This Minnesota Twins 20th-Anniversary Homer Hanky from 2007 commemorates the team’s 1987 World Series win.

 • Here we have an auction for a set of four Johnny Unitas Golden Arm cocktail glasses. The Golden Arm was open for business from 1968 until 2004.

• Dallas car dealer Kircher Pontiac-Fiat was the sponsor of this 1978-1979 Dallas Cowboys Stars in Action calendar, with Blaine Nye and Preston Pearson on the cover.

 • Interesting generic Sears football T-shirt here. No team identifiers, but those are clearly Riddell and Spot-Bilt shoes, and the stadium facade is definitely Yankee Stadium. Color-vs.-color game, too!

 • Saints fans will really, uh, “geaux” for this vintage Louisiana Superdome bank.

 • The seller says this 1972 San Francisco Giants mg was presented to VIPs as a holiday gift.

 • Staying in The City, here’s a classic Bill Walsh-era 49ers sweater from Cliff Engle (naturally).

 • These 1960s Buffalo Bills stadium cushions seem to be in good shape! White with the old standing buffalo on the front, red on the reverse.

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Color Remix reminder: In case you missed it on Tuesday, our first four Uni Watch Color Remix T-shirts have launched. Here’s where you can order the black/yellow, royal/orange, navy/red, and red/navy versions.

The corresponding four caps will be available next week, and then we’ll roll out shirts and caps for three or four new color combos next month, and another three or four in November, and so on.

All of the shirts will remain available indefinitely in our Teespring shop; the caps will be available on Bryan’s website for one-month windows, although we’ll probably bring back the most popular ones. Thanks for your interest!

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Henderson discount reminder: The new ninth edition of Bill Henderson’s Game Worn Guide to MLB Jerseys — an essential resource that I find myself referring to literally almost every day — is out now, and Bill is very generously offering a big discount to Uni Watch readers.

If you use this link anytime from now through this Sunday, Sept. 13, you can get the guide for $24.99, instead of the price of $45.95.

I don’t receive any royalty or affiliate fee on any of these sales. My only stake in this is promoting a great uni-related product that I strongly believe in. Take advantage of this great discount while you can!

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Raffle reminder: In a very generous move, reader James Mellett has donated a whopping $200 that can be spent on Uni Watch merchandise. I’m going to raffle it off to two winners, who’ll each get $100 that they can spend on any combination of Uni Watch items.

This is a two-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: The Cardinals haven’t yet added a memorial patch for Lou Brock, who died on Sunday, but their social media avatar shows a Brock memorial icon that matches the style of the patches the team previously wore for Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst. According to this story, the Brock patches “were being designed and manufactured earlier this week in hopes they’ll be affixed to the Cardinals’ jerseys by the end of this home stand.” The home stand runs through Sunday, although it’s hard to imagine that it will take that long to get the patch in place. … The Phillies wore their day game cream alternates in the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader, which took place at night (from multiple readers). … Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully is auctioning off memorabilia from throughout his career. The items can be viewed and bid on here (from Mike Chamernik).

NFL News: The Ravens require the eye in their logo to remain red even in grayscale (from @TruColorNet). … The Seahawks released a photo of LB Bobby Wagner still wearing the old Flywire jersey template (from Eric Farrell).

College/High School Football News: Florida State is adding a “Seminole Scholar” patch to the jerseys of players who achieve a certain level of academic merit (from Kary Klismet). … The Big 12, whose season begins this weekend, has a new anti-racism campaign that includes “a social justice message on the front left of their uniforms, as well as a black Big 12-branded unity sticker on the back of their helmets.” … Reader Ben Zoss’s mother stitched together a backpack from a Morton High School jersey, where Ben is both a teacher and a football coach. Ben said, “At first, I thought she had just attached part of the jersey to a backpack she already had, but she apparently sewed the backpack and then repurposed many parts of the jersey into parts of the backpack. She even attached the Nike tag from the jersey, which is kind of like a strange version of logo creep. I think the whole result is kind of cool. I have told her about your website and encouraged her to take some pictures as she made the backpack.”

Soccer News: In England’s Women’s Super League, Reading striker Jess Fishlock had her NOB misspelled (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: New shirts for Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Barcelona. … One more from Jamie: Scottish Premiership team St. Johnstone released their second kit for this season. … Fulham has released some renders of its planned stadium upgrades (from Kary Klismet). … The Telegraph ranked every Premier League uniform this season (from Ted Arnold).

Grab Bag: A couple of items from our own Jamie Rathjen: New field hockey kits for Louisville. … Renault is renaming its Formula One team “Alpine,” after one of its car brands, starting next season, and changing to a French flag color scheme instead of black and yellow. … New kits for Polish Men’s volleyball team Indykpol AZS Olsztyn (from Jeremy Brahm). … The Latvian National Road Race Championships took place over the weekend. A new champion was crowned because the previous year’s champion, Toms Skujins, was riding in the Tour de France and could not be present to defend his title. On Saturday, Skujins wore his national champion’s jersey but had to swap that out on Sunday for the standard trade team jersey, which he ripped open after a crash yesterday (from Mark Smith). … There are plans to reconfigure Auto Club Speedway from two miles down to a half-mile (from Christopher Hickey). … DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office uses an official font in press releases (from @OlegKvasha). … The grocery store chain Food Lion changed its uniform policy after an employee resigned because he was told he couldn’t wear an American flag-themed mask (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: A Toronto police officer faces disciplinary action after he was photographed wearing a Punisher skull patch on his police uniform. The Punisher skull symbol is based on the Marvel Comics character the Punisher, and has been adapted as a symbol for the Blue Lives Matter movement. … Images of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris went viral after she wore Chuck Taylors (WaPo link) in a recent campaign appearance.

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Comments (35)

    As of 8:13 Eastern, all the text starting with Collector’s Corner is displaying as white, so only links can be read.

    As a Chelsea supporter, having a Chelsea jersey that looks like a Crystal Palace shirt is completely egregious. I’d take zebra, leopard, or tiger print any day.

    Baltimore Ravens red eye in grayscale. Wow. I haven’t seen a Catch-22 like that since the last time I went to the DMV! I mean, what are you supposed to do if you only have a black and white printer? Keep a red Sharpie on your pocket?

    As was my initial reaction when the Tottenham kits were leaked, the thirds are my favorite. Jamie, what do you think?

    The problem I have with it:

    While yellow is a traditional Spurs change color, it was mostly worn without any trim. The yellow and blue ringer-T look was used by Arsenal in the ‘70s (with blue shorts).

    The yellow thirds for Spurs will probably see a lot more action than the dark green change kit. That seems to be the way of it with Spurs. Get a dark change kit, but then hardly wear it because the preferred whites are suitable for tons of road matches and the third kit is better against the striped teams like Newcastle, West Brom, etc.

    With Leeds and Fulham back in the Premier League, there will be two more away matches where Spurs can wear the dark greens.

    I thought the Lakers used to just wear white on Sundays. Appears that has changed.

    I applaud that the Rockets do not have an ad on their jersey. Other than that, their uniforms are a hot mess. Not really supportive of their decision to be another red and black team.

    Lakers have eschewed a lot of their uniform practices once Nike took over the uniform manufacturing and distribution; the Lakers have work their gold jerseys during regular season road games and I still cannot get used to that.

    Thanks for the link to the Vin Scully auction items…there go my life savings I guess.

    Thank you for no dumbass WCW today. Uniwatch is no longer a regular daily read for me due to the stupid, annoying and rarely uni-related Working Class Wannabe stuff.

    Actually, WCW appears only on days when I do the Ticker — i.e., once a week. That day is usually Thursday, so that’s the day when WCW usually appears. (Ditto for ’Skins Watch.)

    If it doesn’t interest you, I’m not sure why can’t simply scroll past it instead of skipping the site altogether, but of course that choice is ultimately up to you. Stay well!

    I disagree with a lot of what I read on here, but what’s the point in getting this angry about it? Take a deep breath and smile, man.

    I’m pretty sure Hanson is the same person posting in every football group I am in about how they are not going to be watching football because of “glorifying criminals and disrespecting the flag, blah blah blah”. Who knew he was so prolific.

    Take a chill pill and realize your opinion is unique to you, but everyone can smell it.

    It’s totally fine if he (or anyone else) doesn’t like the WCW section. I just don’t understand why he (or anyone) can’t simply scroll past it on the one day per week when it appears on the site!

    I find it really strange the Cardinals didn’t already have Lou Brock patches ready.

    For a team with a consistent uniform memorial system I would expect them to already have a list of who would be eligible and have the patches available just in case.

    Oof…on one hand I completely understand what you mean, but on the other hand, come on man…that would be more hurtful than pre-writing an obituary, especially if it gets leaked. Signature over a retired number in a circle. Use your imagination until the patches get produced and added.

    At the risk of sounding morbid, I’m with jack harlington on this. I have friends who work at newspapers. They uniformly agree that obits of famous-ish people are, indeed, largely pre-written. Brock had been in ill health for years, his demise wasn’t a surprise to anyone in the Cardinals’ employ. I think that “strange” is an appropriate sentiment in this context.

    MLB Network had a Matt Vasgersian voiced over 4 minute video obituary for Lou Brock within a couple hours of his death being announced. These things have to be being pre-done.

    Regarding the Washington Football Team…

    I’ve paid very little attention to the issue of Native American imagery in sports over the years, and this has probably been said before. But it seems to me like the path ahead for teams with Native American themes (Chiefs, Braves, Blackhawks, etc.) should be pretty straightforward. With the technology we have available today, it should be pretty easy to simply poll Native Americans in the local market, get a feel for what they would like to see changed (or not), and then just go with that.

    Why is it not that simple?

    here’s something to add to your list..even though it such a minor change.. the number on the back of the Browns helmets look to be larger(and of course in the new font). also looks like instead of being on the same side if the player wears double digits, the number is split by the stripe

    Last year : link

    this year: link


    also disappointed they didnt take the time and make the number font on their social distancing markers the same as the team used number font

    Interesting Uni-related kerfuffle in the Presidential Race:

    CNN aired a biopic this week about Joe Biden, and included a pic of him in the stands holding one of his sons. In the original picture, the son is wearing a beanie with a Redskins logo on it. In the picture CNN aired, the logo was airbrushed out.


    CNN says it was due to copyright concerns, though that’s never been an issue before.



    “…crowning an NBA champ with ad-free uniforms would be a small but tasty morsel of goodness.”

    It would, if not for that Nike swoosh.

Comments are closed.