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Sunday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken and the SMUW Crew

Normally I don’t condone teams going mono-black, even if black is technically a school color. And I usually dislike any white helmeted team who goes mono-black, as the effect is particularly jarring.

But yesterday’s game featuring Marshall gets a complete pass. Why? Well, you may recognize the helmet featured in today’s splash. It is the helmet the Thundering Herd wear when they are memorializing the victims of Southern Airways Flight 932, which crashed 50 years ago yesterday, the anniversary of one of the worst sports disasters in U.S. history. You may have heard about it. The crash claimed 75 lives (hence the helmet decal), including most of the football team. It devastated the University, and there is a remembrance every year. For several seasons, the team has been wearing the “75” decal to mark the tragic events, but yesterday’s game and memorials had special meaning, as it was the 50th Anniversary of the tragedy.

So, in remembrance of the horrific events and victims, the team wore their special helmets and solid black jerseys and pants yesterday. It wasn’t a great look, but sometimes that’s not the most important thing.

As you can see, every player had a “75” decal on the left side of their helmet (the opposite side had the Marshall “M” logo).


For good measure, Marshall won the game — that’s not the most important thing however. But it probably didn’t hurt.

Here’s TJ with the rest of your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

How are we literally… LIT-RUHLLY halfway through the month already??? Time is an illusion. Let’s talk about throwbacks and flags on the field (and not the yellow kind)

From Tuesday:

• Kent State channeled their inner Chargers AND G.I. Joe’d it up at the same time (albeit the camo is faint)! Now that’s what I call a two-for-one “special”.

From Friday:

• Something that I noticed in the Iowa/Minnesota tilt is that Junior OL Mark Kallenberger of the Hawkeyes (sorry guys, no M*A*S*H or FMA references this time around) has his John Hayden Fry memorial on the left sleeve (he’s #71), while the others have it on the right.

From Saturday:

West Virginia, Appalachian State, and Ole Miss wore S&S decals over the weekend, but I’m more than sure that there are plenty more that I missed.

• It was subtle, but UCF wore nose bumpers reflecting each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (I believe the previous photo showed the bumper for the Marine Corps).

• Speaking of Ole Miss, they wore the light blue tops against South Carolina. I have but one thing to say.

• Moving to North Carolina, they wore some sweet throwbacks against Wake Forest. Those block shadow numbers (not drop shadow) are what sold it for me.

• Keeping on the Wayback Machine way-back-in-the-day train, Purdue wore what I’m considering to be fauxbacks to Drew Brees’s days as a Boilermaker (more specifically, the 2000 Big Ten Championship team that would go on to play in the 2001 Rose Bowl game against Washington). The one element pushing it into fauxback territory being the neck logo; it’s the tiny modern-day forward-facing train (better look here), as opposed to the large cartoon-style oncoming perspective version used from 1996-2011 that was present on the Brees-era togs (reveal vid here).

• Michigan State wore simple block ‘S’ decals on the right side of the helmet (with nothing on the left) in their game against Indiana. This was in honor of George Perles, who played and coached at MSU for a combined 25 years, if math serves correctly. 1954-1956 as a player, 1959-1970 as a DL coach, and 1983-1994 as a head coach, with yesterday’s helmet treatment serving as a nod to the 83-93 run. Perles passed away earlier this past January at the age of 85.

Michigan and WisconsinP E R F E C T I O N.

• In this bout between some fightin’ Catholics, Boston College wore their Red Bandana uniforms. For those who might have never seen much of BC, and are wondering why choose a bandana of all design elements, it’s part of their annual Red Bandana Game that they do in honor and memory of Welles Crowther, a former Boston College Lacrosse player who saved many people during the September 11th plane crash, which unfortunately cost him his own life. With that being said, in the past, they typically regulated the bandana elements to gloves, helmet stripes, etc., so it’s nice to see them expand it to the actual uniform.

• Color-vs-color between Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

• Rutgers vs. Syracuse kinda gave me SEC vibes with all of these saturated colors. I like it.

• Speaking of orange, Florida broke theirs out against Arkansas. Honestly, I like the Razorbacks’ road unis more than their home ones.

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Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of your SMUW…

Joe Ringham 5 & 1

Memal’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, Catherine Ryan after him, and finally Joe Ringham, in 2019 we introduced a new “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups — Michael “Memal” Malinowski. Like Joe, Catherine & Jim, Memal will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

Here’s Memal

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It was an interesting schedule of games Saturday as there were some teams playing to keep pace in the heat of conference races, some teams just getting on the field for the second time this year, and then there were 30 teams who stayed home as their games were either postponed or cancelled. On behalf of all Those Who Get It in the Uni-verse, I wish the players on those 30 teams well and hope they get a chance to see their dreams of playing college football realized to its full potential. They at least had an opportunity for distraction from their circumstances in some outstanding looking games!


Honorable mention: Wisconsin @ Michigan


5. Army @ Tulane

Not only do I like the uniform choices by these teams for this contest, I love the contrast of identities between them. The Black Knights in their uniform NOB and simple uniform set from New York traveled down south to New Orleans to meet the Green Wave in their sky blue uniforms and cartoon helmet logo character. I admit I’m projecting a bit, but I enjoyed just about everything I saw from this game.


4. Miami (FL) @ Virginia Tech

It almost looked like a Big East game in Blacksburg as the Hokies went maroon/maroon/white against the Hurricanes in white and orange pants. Is it just me, or does Miami’s number and NOB font look a little too small for their uniforms?


3. Northwestern @ Purdue

Sometimes I feel there’s too much a particular color in a uni matchup, but in this instance I love how much black there was on the field between these teams. On top of all the black uniform elements, the game was played on a dark dreary day in West Lafayette in front of dark empty stands and I can’t help feeling it’s a shame it wasn’t played two weeks ago on Halloween!


2. Vanderbilt @ Kentucky

Between the chain pattern on the helmets and pants of the Commodores and the racing silk sleeve pattern and chrome helmets worn by the Wildcats there was a lot to absorb in this game. Sometimes a lot of uniform elements can look tacky, but in this color-on-color matchup it succeeded!


1. Hawaii @ San Diego State

I like unique stripe patterns and this game featured a pair of teams with two of the most unique patterns in all of football. The helmet choices also helped make this a visually stunning matchup. The Rainbow Warriors sported two different helmet decals, their standard H logo on the right side and an outline of the state of Hawaii on the left, and the Aztecs wore a bold black stripe and the Aztec calendar in place of a team logo.


&1 Iowa @ Minnesota

Despite only one team wearing it, this game looked to have too much maroon. The Gophers sported two or three too many decals on their helmets that when met with the different shade of gold by the Hawkeyes created a visual dissonance that made this a difficult uni matchup to look at.

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Thanks, Memal! OK readers? What say you? Agree or disagree with Memal’s selections? Let him know in the comments below.

NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2019 trackers are back! Unfortunately, not all of the conferences are back. Here’s how the trackers would track, if all the schools were playing:

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.

We started the year off with three conferences (SEC, B1G, PAC-12) not playing at all, but now all five of the Power 5 have returned to play.

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences (I’ve left all the previous tracker info in their usual slots, even if the conferences aren’t playing. In case you want to click on any of the links):

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

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More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

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And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:


More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:


And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:


Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:


Welcome to the 2020 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.

Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!

Thanks Dennis!

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

NFL News: The Rams have worn three different uniform combinations already this season, and they’ll debut a fourth on Sunday against the Seahawks. What will that be? Royal over bone. … The Buffalo Bills will go white over royal against the Cardinals today, who are expected to wear red jerseys (and either white or red pants). … Helmet striping observation: “On the back cover of the book, Sports Illustrated: The Football Book, Larry Csonka of the Miami Dolphins is pictured,” writes Kurt Rozek. “He looks odd without that horseshoe-shaped nose guard, but the helmet striping really jumps out to me. I’ve never seen the Dolphins without spacing between the helmet stripes. And the striping seems like it’s bubbling or peeling. I checked in the Dolphins’ uniform database and found no years in which they had fused helmet stripes. I just found this to be odd.” … Today the New Orleans Saints will be dressing in mono-black vs. the 49ers. … The NFL remains intent on finishing the season without using a bubble but will consider various scenarios for the playoffs (WaPo link). … Intersting logo on this Houston Texans snapback (from Daniel Barrera) Full listing here.

College/High School Football News: “This was in a Facebook group from my hometown,” writes Robert Turning. “Look at the number font/placement. I can’t decide if it’s cool or half-assed: 1932 Wooster (OH) High football team.” … WHOOPS! That’s not NC State’s logo (good spot by James Gilbert). … The author of this article thinks the Sooners have one of the most iconic looks in NCAAFB.

Hockey News: As we all anxiously await the “reverse retro” unveilings (TPFIC), here’s a pretty good article on the history of the Dallas Stars uniforms. … Speaking of the RR jerseys — here’s some more teasers for the Avs. … Need a laugh? “I have on great authority that the Flyers are cashing in on the NBA trend and releasing this as a City Edition uniform,” says Dennis Dugan. “Seems legit!” … Also teasing their RR jerseys are the St. Louis Blues.

NBA News: Are fan jerseys giving free agency clues? “Saw this Millsap Mavs jersey (accessed in Australia). Seems odd as he never played for them,” writes Heath Morrell. “I was just about to press send and looked it up online and saw this just came in.” … After years of San Antonio Spurs fans begging the team to release Fiesta-themed jerseys, those calls were answered, and everyone is pretty pumped about it. … On the flip side of the coin, New Orleans Pelicans fans aren’t too thrilled with their new “City” alts. … This article ranks the top 5 new NBA uniforms. … ICYMI: Paul interviewed 76ers Prexy Chris Heck last week, and some of his comments some of his comments weren’t particularly well-received in the city of brother love.

College/High School Hoops News: Thaden School in Bentonville, Arkansas has a gym sponsor. Submitter Chris Mattox says, “Not surprised because of the location, but just depressed by the corporate douchebagery.” [I didn’t want to change Chris’ words, but that should be “gym advertiser” — PH] … Georgia Tech have unveiled new hoops uniforms.

Soccer News: New home, away and third jerseys for the Milwaukee Torrent, “Milwaukee’s only pro outdoor men soccer team” (from Ryan Wozniak). I’m actually kinda digging that third kit!

Grab Bag: As the WBBL (“Womens Big Bash League”) prepares for First Nations Festival of Cricket, check out some of the indigenous kits the clubs will be wearing. … Tiger Woods’ caddy Joe Lacava was rocking a NY Rangers shirt under his bib at the Masters (from LevityNYC).

And finally… that’s it for today. Thanks, as always to the whole SMUW crew. Everyone have a great (or at least good, it is 2020 afterall) week, and I’ll catch you back here next weekend.



Comments (22)

    Exactly. Although if you argue Rutgers *should* be playing Syracuse in the Big East, I wouldn’t disagree.

    While it may be hard to believe by today’s travel rosters, there were only 36 players who died in the Marshall plane crash. The other victims were coaches, staff, community members and flight crew.

    The jersey article for the Dallas Stars ignores a significant change that us uni watchers wouldn’t miss. After 1993-94, the green was darkened, the stripes were a bit wider, a white-based number on the black compared to green-based number. Pant lettering and nameplates different.



    Mooterus fan here. Love the color scheme! But the Stars of Dallas would have been better-served by rendering the actual Taurus constellation on the front of the sweater rather than some artist’s whim of what it *should* look like.

    I applaud sarcastically the New Orleans Saints releasing an article or making an announcement that they will be wearing black over black this weekend. Must be a slow news day. Like they wear this to my disgust most of the time. Is this announcement really needed or do they just like rubbing it in our faces?

    They must really hate the matte-finished ochre pants that Nike would have foisted on them. I say: Bring it! This is my team, and I can’t stand the ballet-dancer look.

    Neither the UNC nor the Purdue jerseys are accurate throwbacks. They’re fauxbacks. Neither uniform used a proper font. UNC got the block shadow right but they used the current font for the numbers and the “CAROLINA” lettering on the sleeve stripe, not the period-appropriate font. Purdue’s set similarly came close but missed. Nike outlined the numbers (white number, black outline, 2nd white outline) but did not use the Champion font that Purdue used in the Brees/Tiller years. If you think it isn’t a big deal, picture the Chicago Bears or Boston Red Sox wearing uniforms with numbers in an improper font.
    And as said above – Illinois, not Syracuse.

    I really liked the uniforms that BC wore this weekend, but the only element that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the wings on the front of the jerseys.

    It was a beautiful game to watch. Go Irish!

    Why show UCLA and Cal uniforms in the Pac 12 tracker, when they didn’t play? Their opponents, Utah and ASU, uniforms aren’t shown and instead say “cancelled”.

    Perles spent time as a Steelers’ ass’t coach. I think the “S” on just one side, as well as the simple “S” cap you can see if you do a Google image search are subtle homages to those black and gold roots.

    No Space Force nose bumper for UCF?

    Although, if your intent is to honor veterans, it probably doesn’t make sense to include a military branch that doesn’t really have any.

    Something I noticed on the packers instagram today is that the inside of the Packers jersey collars have numbers on them, along with an older packers logo. The interesting thing is that the numbers aren’t the same as the ones on the jersey. Aaron jones has 44 on his collar and Aaron Rodgers has 46. I’ve never heard anything about this before.

    Memal, you must have missed the late Pac 12 game between Oregon and Wa State BC the contrast was glorious. It was a real looker! This game definitely should have been in your 5 today and arguably deserved the top spot. The simplicity of both uniforms and the complimentary colors involved made for a visual treat under the lights.

    I texted literally every uniform aficionado (including my mom!) the glorious contrast of that game! Glad someone else appreciated it!

    I take exception to the axiom that every team with a maroon helmet, maroon jersey, and white britches has a “classic look”. What you have is an overused look. So much so that Texas A&M earned praise this season for making their uniforms more ordinary. Give me Temple’s uniforms; at least it looks like they put some thought into it.

    Good God, some of these sweaters are lame.

    I don’t like the dishwater-coloured ones. At all.

    The Rangers, Red Wings, Lightning, Flyers, and Islanders jerseys are nearly the same as what was worn before.

    The ones I like are the Golden Knights, Capitals, and Coyotes.

    That being said, the only one worthy of joining the rotation of regular sweaters is Montreal. I really like those.

Comments are closed.