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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be safe and well (and one continues to be incredibly cute). Hope the same is true at your home.

Now then: Epically unattractive game yesterday in Denver, as the Bucs debuted their mono-pewter alternates. Granted that uniform would probably look bad in any setting, but it was particularly bad when sharing space with the Broncos’ stuck-in-the-’90s look. Lots of additional photos here and here.

Obviously, color-vs.-color games are unusual in the NFL unless both teams are wearing their Color Rash uniforms. I asked an NFL spokesman about this and was told, “This is the third season in which a road team may wear white or an NFL pre-approved non-conflicting color if the home team wears its color jersey. That was the case today.” I was not aware of this being the official policy, but there you go.

Another visually notable element from that game: In addition to having about 5,700 live fans in attendance, the Broncos installed 1,800 cutouts of characters from the TV show South Park, which is set in Colorado and has made frequent references to the Broncos over the years (additional info here). All of the cutout characters were depicted wearing masks:

The stadium staff even had diagrams indicating which character should sit in which seat (additional phtoos here):

And yet another note from that game: Broncos head coach Vic Fangio wore a plastic face shield. I’m pretty sure he wore cloth face coverings for the team’s previous two games, so this was a new look for him:

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In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Washington/Cleveland game gave us something we haven’t seen in nearly six decades: an NFL game in which neither team wore any helmet logo or decoration other than a number!

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The last time that happened, I’m pretty sure, was Oct. 28, 1962, when the Browns played the Steelers. (By the time they played again four weeks later, the Steelers had added their helmet logo.)

Update: Reader/commenter Jim Vilk points out that there have been quite a few throwback games in which neither team had any helmet logo or other ornamentation. My bad for not specifying that yesterday was the first time since 1962 that we had such a game in a non-throwback situation.

• In that same game, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski appeared to be wearing a shirt with the team’s outdated white-facemasked helmet logo, instead of the current brown-masked version:

• The Rams, playing in Buffalo, wore their gradient-numbered mono-blue look for the first time, while the Bills wore white at home (additional photos here and here):

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• Two weeks after the Patriots had players wearing their old number font and old NOB font for the season opener, offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor still had the wrong number font yesterday:

In both of those photos, that’s Eluemunor (No. 72) wearing the old font and teammate Sony Michel (No. 26), with the correct font.

But wait, it gets better (or, really, worse). Wideout Isaiah Zuber’s jersey was in proper order — except for the Z on his nameplate, which was in the old font:

How crazy is that? Here’s teammate Ryan Izzo with the correct Z.

Come on, New England — get your shit together!

• The Cardinals went blood-clot and also added an “8” memorial patch for Hall of Fame safety Larry Wilson, who died on Sept. 15:

They’ll wear that patch for the rest of this season. (As an aside, isn’t it crazy to think there was once a time when a safety could wear No. 8?)

• Speaking of uniform memorials: The Bears, surprisingly, did not add any kind of memorial for Gale Sayers — no patch, no rear-helmet decal, no throwback helmet logo, no white-over-white uni combo, no nothing. That seems almost unthinkable, doesn’t it?

• For the second consecutive week, the Panthers’ opponents — in this case the Chargers — opted to wear white at home. And for the second consecutive week, the Panthers responded by wearing their blue alternate jerseys instead of their black primaries:

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It made sense for them to wear blue instead of black last week in Tampa, because of the heat. But yesterday’s game was in the new L.A. dome, so it’s not clear why they’d again opt for the alternates instead of wearing the black primaries.

• Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette’s red-dyed hair appeared to be leaving a red stain on the back of his jersey:

• Packers linebacker Za’darius Smith was wearing an updated facemask. It appears to be the same as his old one, but with a pair of Zs (for Za’darius, get it?) added:

• 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s pullover appeared to have a Niners logo patch covering up last season’s NFL centennial patch:

• The aforementioned Bills and Chargers were the only two teams that wore white at home.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Andrew Flynn, Rob Gugliotta, Ron Ruelle, @ianb78, @ewbozz, and @Richie59FIFTY, and mega-thanks to Lance Harris for spotting Isaiah Zuber’s wayward Z — a Uni Watch Hall of Fame catch if ever there was one!)

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Photos by Austin Danforth, Burlington Free Press; click to enlarge

Pants vs. shorts: We’ve seen plenty of football players who wear their pants very short, but the Otter Valley (Vt.) High School team literally wore shorts for their game against Middlebury High on Saturday night. Also: No shoulder pads! “It’s all part of Vermont’s move to seven-on-seven one-hand-touch football this fall,” explains Tris Wykes. (As you can see, all players also wore cloth masks.)

Some of the Otter Valley players wore white tights under their shorts, including this kid who’s apparently happy to be a poster boy for a certain sportswear company:

And then there was the Otter Valley quarterback, who had one bare leg and one white-clad leg:

All very interesting. You can see lots of additional photos here.

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Click to enlarge

ITEM! Uni Watch Koozies: After getting loads of requests, I’m happy to report that we now have collapsible Uni Watch Koozies available! They feature our tequila sunrise design on the front and back (they’d be particularly good holding a can of this beer), along with the Uni Watch circular logo on the bottom.

This was sort of an experiment, so I only ordered 50 of them, and about 30 already sold over this past weekend. The remaining ones are available here while supplies last.

It turns out that koozies are relatively easy to produce in small quantities, so I’m open to making more of this same design, and/or other designs. Since the koozie has a front and a back, it’s easy to use the same designs we’ve used for our two-side T-shirts — “Vertically Arched,” “Radially Arched,” “BFBS,” stars/stripes, Canada Day, Padres/brown, even Brooklyn Branches! Should I do koozies of any of those? Just the winged stirrup on both sides? The circular logo on both sides? Other? I’m open to suggestions.

Also: The manufacturer I’m using also offers jersey-themed koozies, complete with “sleeves.” They’re a bit cheesy, and they only fit bottles, not cans. Still it seems like a website devoted to uniforms should probably have a jersey-based product like this, no? Let me know what you think.

These aren’t big-money products — I see them more as a fun outlet. Hope you agree! Feedback welcome.

(My thanks to reader Jeffrey Link, who not only asked/suggested that I produce Uni Watch koozies but also pointed me toward a good manufacturer for them.)

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Membership update: With the Royals sending outfielder Alex Gordon off to retirement by saluting his signature pine tar stain, Uni Watch reader Jesse Holt decided to do likewise with his new membership card — nice!

Jesse’s card is part of a new batch that’s been added to the membership card gallery. I have one slot left in this batch before sending it to the printer, which means the next person to sign up will get his or her card very quickly, hint-hint.

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice, plus a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in the Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,900 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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For all photos, click to enlarge

Lucky fella: Last Monday was my half-birthday, so the Tugboat Captain decided that Saturday was Paul’s Half-Birthday (Observed) and surprised me by making me half a cake!

Mocha with mocha frosting, natch (my favorite). As you can see, Uni Watch girl mascot President Caitlin liked it, too. I can confirm that half a cake, much like the cliché about half a loaf, is much, much better than none!

The cake was a surprise, but we had already planned to make gumbo that day (not for my half-birthday — just as a fun project). Some gumbo recipes call for using okra as the thickener, while others call for filé powder. We decided to use both:

The “holy trinity” for any gumbo is onion, bell pepper (our was green, although some people prefer red), and celery. The two shades of green and the white onion looked so nice together:

Some gumbo recipes call for duck, but I’ve found over the years that chicken works fine (and is, of course, a lot less expensive). Once everything’s stewed down, you can’t really taste the difference between chicken and duck — or at least I can’t. So we went with all dark-meat chicken, along with plenty of andouille sausage and plenty of shrimps:

Several hours’ worth of roux-making, simmering, and stirring later, it was done. Like any good gumbo, this one came out looking like a big tub of mud:

I cannot even begin describe how completely delicious it was — a truly stupendous meal!

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Teespring sale reminder: Today is the last day for Teespring’s latest 10%-off sale. So if you move fast, you can save some coin on Uni Watch merch and we’ll still make our full profit — a win-win!

This discount applies to everything in the Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs online shops. To claim your discount, use the checkout code GOLDEN for any orders you make now through midnight tonight.

My thanks, as always, for your support and consideration.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Royals honored retiring LF Alex Gordon with a No. 4 mowed into the grass and again with a pine tar stain on the players’ NOBs, which is a reference to Gordon’s signature jersey stain (from Blake Cripps). … Meanwhile, the Paper Stadiums Twitter account, which we’ve featured here a few times, made a commemorative logo of sorts for Gordon (from James Burke). … The Nationals completed the entire season without wearing their standard white jerseys and also seem to have left out two others (from David Raglin and Marc Masters). … Cubs 2B Jason Kipnis played first base yesterday and wrote “Gold Glove” on his mitt yesterday. The team’s usual first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, is the reigning National League Gold Glover at that position (from @CoachCrewser). … Marlins OF Lewis Brinson was apparently wearing a Miami Heat “Vice” jersey under his Marlins jersey yesterday (from @ezbutton11).

Football News: Reader Johnny Woods has come up with a pretty clever Browns logo concept. “I could see them using it on their sleeves, since the stripes no longer wrap around,” he says. … We apparently had this in the Ticker a few weeks ago, but once more won’t hurt: A USAA commercial shows a 49ers-themed pickup truck that includes the team’s infamous “one-day” logo (from Chris Hickey).

College and High School Football News: Virginia WR Terrell Jana went NNOB on Saturday. You’ll see a few UVa backups with NNOB in probably every game, but Jana, a starter, is apparently doing it to honor the unknown individuals memorialized at the school’s new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers. I also noticed starting C Olusegun Oluwatimi with NNOB. … Virginia Tech RB Jalen Holston is their first player to wear No. 0 (from Andrew Cosentino). … Shiner (Texas) HS has a shoeless kicker (from Brian Walter).

Hockey News: A QMJHL preseason game between the Chicoutimi Saguenéens and the Shawinigan Cataractes was color-vs.-color, with Shawinigan wearing yellow at home, “like what many hockey teams used to wear for their light uniforms if they did not have white,” says Wade Heidt. The game also featured entirely blank boards.

Basketball News: Cross-posted from baseball: Miami Marlins OF Lewis Brinson was apparently wearing a Heat “Miami Vice” alternate jersey under his Marlins jersey yesterday (from @ezbutton11). … The SuperSonics’ number font had different No. 2s and possibly No. 4s in 1978-79 (from John Przebieglec). … If this shirsey is any indication, the Lakers will have a blue throwback next season.

Soccer News: English clubs Bristol City and Norwich City released third shirts. Bristol City’s shirt features the names of over 5,000 season ticket holders who chose not to receive a credit towards ticket purchases to make up for games held without fans. … Scottish Premiership team St. Mirren wore warm-up shirts thanking National Health Service workers. They also wore their red and black second kit at home. … A group of former gamblers finished a 130-mile walk between the stadiums of eight Premier League and Championship clubs in the English midlands that all have gambling ads, but not necessarily on their shirts. … In MLS, the Vancouver Whitecaps are playing their home games in Portland because of travel restrictions, so their logos and ads went up in the stadium and the Portland Timbers were the away team-designate (from Wade Heidt). … In the NWSL, Orlando Pride coach Marc Skinner wore a T-shirt referencing current events for the second week in a row. This one had several references to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a swoosh for good measure. … OL Reign and the Utah Royals also wore warm-up shirts in memory of Breonna Taylor.

Grab Bag: Virginia field hockey has three new kits, which ends their status as the school’s only team sport not to wear blue. … A reader who wishes to remain anonymous tells us that a U.K. clothing company stopped selling one of its shirts in the U.S. and Canada because it’s been coopted by a far-right group. … Meanwhile, the Portland, Ore., police explained that a cap officers can wear with a “P” logo represents the police union and not that same far-right group (from @EasyPretzel). … With airline revenues in free-fall, Qantas has ended its sponsorship deal with Rugby Australia.

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What Paul did last night on Friday night: The Tugboat Captain and I love our UPS guy, Ricky, who always takes good care of us and our packages. Sometimes he drives by during our Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ sessions — he always waves, and we always wave back. I happened to be setting up for Friday’s photo just as he came down the block, and I managed to capture the moment when he and the Captain waved at each other. Perfect!

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — now nearly 200 of them — here.

Comments (57)

    Vic Fangio got a hefty fine (as did the Broncos) because he kept taking down his mask when he was calling plays. I assume that was the reason behind the switch to the shield.

    And for the second consecutive week, the Panthers responded by wearing their blue alternate jerseys instead of their black primaries, presumably to avoid the heat

    The Panthers-Chargers game was in the new “dome” in LA yesterday and the roof is not retractable (though the sides of the stadium are supposedly open air). They should have worn their black jerseys.


    Yep – black jerseys and grey pants. The silver helmet/blue jersey/black pants combo does not fit well together. Too much going on there.

    Agreed on “too much going on there.” Could/should have gone blue/black/blue to help pull in the blues if they wanted to wear the alts. Or blue/white/blue, though that probably doesn’t contrast against the Chargers enough and could cause confusion.

    In all fairness, folks, wasn’t stadium construction progress slowed by the pandemic? That is, the Panthers – given your scenario – might have worn black in the heat of Carson of wherever Plan B was if the stadium wasn’t finished? And do we know when the teams are required to submit the jersey colors in relation to the season as well as the pandemic?

    Food for thought here. Not at all defending the Smurf jerseys – personally, I’m NOT a fan – but at least they have a use for when teams in warm/hot weather spots wear white at home … something the Panthers have done for daytime kickoffs in September and October since their inception.

    Incredible to think that the Chicago Bears had no tribute, whatsoever, to Gale Sayers on Sunday. They had 4 days…

    The only thinking that could apply is to have the tribute start when they return home this Sunday. It would be asinine to have nothing for one of the greats.

    If Vermont high schools have moved to 7-on-7 touch football without pads, then why do they still need to wear football helmets?

    Oh, so we’re playing sarcastiball in Vermont, are we? So then where are the bras and tinfoil hats, huh? (LOL, nice.)

    Would be a lot cheaper for them to wear Rugby Scrum Caps.

    Cost of a helmet: Between $200 and $500 each.
    Cost of a Scrum Cap: Between $30 and $40 each.

    I think Stefanski’s shirt doesn’t have a white facemask, it just has the helmet (and all parts of the helmet) in a white outline, like so: link

    and the sun is just bringing out the white more so the brown is lost underneath it

    This is true. I thought the same thing last week and was like, wait, why is he wearing an old logo? But then another shot i could see the thin brown lines making the facemask. you can kind of see it in the image above too.

    The Washington/Cleveland game gave us something we haven’t seen in nearly half a century: an NFL game in which neither team wore any helmet logo or decoration other than a number!

    2001: Packers/Lions
    1994: Packers/Bears, Packers/Eagles, Cardinals/Browns, Steelers/Cardinals.

    There might have been some others (NONE involving the Seahwaks, smart alecks), but I know of those logo-less games for sure.

    I guess you could say that those games were throwbacks, where the Cleveland Washington game was their primary uniforms.

    The first thing I checked was the 1976 Seahawks schedule to verify they did not play the Browns since there would have been no helmet logo and they didn’t.

    So, I still think it is historically significant it is the first time in a non-throwback game for sure.

    “The last time that happened, I’m pretty sure, was Oct. 28, 1962, when the Browns played the Steelers.”

    Over in the AFL, the Titans and Raiders played with logo-free helmets a week later(November 4):


    Both LA Teams yesterday had similar looks:

    No TV Numbers
    Only thing on the sleeve below the shoulder logo was the Nike Swoosh



    Both also had similar results. They lost.

    Pretty shocking to see a H.S. football game with one of the teams playing in shorts! That’s a head scratcher. They have to wear a mask, but no protective knee, hip or thigh pads???

    That gumbo made my mouth water. Did the roux simmering fill the house with a pleasing aroma?

    A little weird hearing about a hockey pre-season game, while the Stanley Cup Finals are going on.

    My wife – who actually has reasonable taste in uniforms (not quite a Diner pre-requisite) albeit a non-interested view, liked the Rams numbers. Maybe there should have been a pre-marriage uniform quiz :)

    You could have asked your fiancee if she knew the colors of the original Colts team AND what movie made that question famous.

    Also weird about the hockey preseason game. QMJHL is playing their preseason but other major junior leagues OHL and WHL are not starting and do not appear close. All 3 leagues are competing for the same trophy at the end of the year (Memorial Cup). Will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

    There’s something willfully perverse about a team eschewing its most attractive jersey, as the Nats have done. The curly-W works far better than any other home jersey they’ve worn, and it boggles the mind why they’re avoiding it.

    Due to the pandemic, most teams opted to keep things simple this year — fewer alts, more primaries. And the Nats basically decided to make the gold-trimmed championship uni their de facto home primary.

    I grew up in south Louisiana. “Back in the old days,” (meaning when I was a kid, and am now old) you could ride your bike around the neighborhood and smell who was cooking gumbo on the first cool days of the autumn.

    And though my parents were friends with one of the local fellows who made file from scratch, we never had file or okra in our gumbos. I guess my parents didn’t like it. But then there’s a lot of variation between how gumbo is made in towns, neighborhoods, families, and even within families. Our “special” touch, which I do to this day, is boiling eggs on the side, and then breaking them up in my gumbo.

    A reader who wishes to remain anonymous tells us that a U.K. clothing company stopped selling one of its shirts in the U.S. and Canada because it’s been coopted by a far-right group.

    The guy who invented the swastika feels your pain.

    Does anyone else wonder why on earth the Browns still use that old Riddell helmet for their primary logo? I feel like they could update that to a more modern style of helmet and improve their brand image and sell more merchandise in the process.

    The midfield logo at Lucas Oil Stadium was also a Riddell helmet. My guess is if they used a Schutt helmet as an image, they would have to expensively license it from the company. Riddell’s, on the other hand, might fall under public domain.

    I never understood why they didn’t use an old two bar helmet for the logo. Seems like that would fit their brand pretty well, especially now that they’ve gone back to something resembling their more classic uniform design.

    The best solution for this debate would be for the Browns not to use their helmet as their logo.

    If they are not going to use the Brownie logo, I remember a logo with the letter “B” that was out there. This logo would be good as their primary logo rather than the helmet:


    It really surprises me that the NFL would allow personalized facemasks like Za’darius Smith’s. Obviously there’s always been some degree of freedom with facemask design, and I can’t think of a good reason why they wouldn’t allow a personalized design if it meets all their safety requirements. I guess it’s along the same lines as the guys who would make little designs in their facemask with tape. Still, it feels weird.

    The one-hand touch league seems really odd to me. I wonder why they wouldn’t choose to play TWO-hand touch or flag football? It seems like both of those options would make for a more interesting game. One-hand touch seems like it’d make for a very herky jerky game with lots of plays ruled down very quickly. Obviously there’s lots of open field with only 7 per side, so maybe that’s the intention.

    I love the small relationships we make in life, like knowing the delivery person and sharing a wave when we see them.

    I was thinking about this recently–I’ve been biking before work a couple days a week. Usually Tuesday and Thursday–same route most of the time. I’ve started to notice some familiar faces on my rides, and any time I go on a different day, I notice a whole new cast of characters.

    I also notice how the bike path I go on is different depending on the time of day. (For instance, on occasion I’ll ride right after school lets out, and have to weave through small pockets of idle teenagers.)

    Those Bucs all pewter uni really are something. Yikes. They’ll look much better under the lights than on a Sunday afternoon. Here’s to hoping the NFL will eliminate the one shell rule for 2021 so we can get some throwbacks instead of the awful monochromatic looks aka color puke.

    Paul, you need a chair for the front porch, sitting on that cushion must be uncomfortable after a while

    The helmet on Stefanski’s shirt doesn’t really have a white facemask. I have a bunch of browns stuff and they embroider the brown facemask with a white border to give some contrast.

    Here’s a quick search of some merchandise and you can see what I mean:


    In regards to that Larry Wilson memorial patch, one could say that the Cardinals found themselves behind the 8-ball yesterday.


    That Cleveland Browns logo concept is the best thing I’ve seen on Uni Watch since that other thing.

    I’m wondering if the Broncos will still have the South Park figures at their next home game. While the stunt appears to have been well-organized in a way that you would have to think gaining approval happened with someone, at minimum the South Park Studios, I have an odd feeling the NFL may frown upon it.

    I looked through the pictures and, while it seemed they avoided being too edgy, they were still plenty edgy, not that you can totally avoid it with South Park.

    SEEN (I’ll let you look these up if you don’t know the show):
    Big Gay Al
    Mr. Slave
    Mr. Hanky
    A Sarcastaball referee (from an episode mocking the NFL)
    Jesus Christ
    PC Principal, Strong Woman and the PC babies
    Terrance & Phillip

    Any real-person-based character, like Saddam Hussein
    Mr. Garrison (who had a Trump-like story arc in recent seasons)
    I saw Kenny’s parents; maybe I missed Kenny

    Very rarely do I hear/read the pluarl word “shrimps.” I had to double check it. Yes, “shrimp” can be singular or a collective noun, and “shrimps” is also an acceptable plural.

Comments are closed.