For all photos, click to enlarge
Good morning, and welcome to the first Monday Morning Uni Watch report of the 2021 NFL season. Let’s begin in Landover, Md., where the Chargers and Washington provided something we don’t often see: an NFL game in which both teams wore TV numbers on their helmets.
A lot of people on Twitter asked me the last time this happened in the NFL. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the answer is 1960, because the Browns and Steelers both wore helmet numbers that season (and also in 1957, ’58, and ’59). Here’s a photo from their 1960 game:
There were presumably a fair number of games like this during the first couple of AFL seasons, because the Bills, Patriots, Broncos, and of course the Chargers all had helmet numbers during that period.
I’m thinking there may also have been some throwback games featuring both teams wearing helmet numbers, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Anyone..?
Update: Sure enough, reader/commenter Chris Hickey points out that the Broncos and Chargers played a throwback game in 2009 that fits the bill:
And in one final note regarding all of this, Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa was missing one of his helmet numbers for at least part of the second half (he appears to have had the other one):
In other news from around the league yesterday:
• The Packers added a “TT” memorial decal, apparently for former GM Ted Thompson, who died back in January:
I can’t make out the typography beneath the “TT.” The Packers did not wear this decal during the preseason, and I haven’t seen any announcement about it (anyone..?), so I’ll try to find out more today.
• Speaking of memorial decals, here’s something I missed in my NFL Season Preview: The 49ers are wearing a “70” memorial decal for Charlie Krueger. Unlike the Packers, they did wear this during the preseason, so there’s no excuse for my having missed it:
• Speaking of the Niners, they’ve added something new this season: uni-numbered chinstraps! The Chargers and KC have been doing that for decades, but this is the first time the Niners have done it:
• The Rams debuted their new white alternate jersey. Definitely their best uni combo, although it still has a lot of problems (additional photos here):
• The Rams also went with a seriously bold end zone design that I really liked (here’s last year’s for comparison):
• Colts quarterback Carson Wentz warmed up for yesterday’s game wearing the team’s new single-striped throwback pants (but then wore the proper double-striped pants for the game):
— Sara Walsh (@Sara_Walsh) September 12, 2021
• As had been previously announced, the games involving the two New York teams — Broncos at Giants and Jets at Panthers — featured 9/11-related sideline gear for all four teams:
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 12, 2021
• Speaking of the Panthers, their end zone wordmark was black (instead of last year’s Carolina blue):
• The Seahawks have two defensive linemen wearing Nos. 8 and 10. That’s not kosher, even under the new numbering rules, but they seem to have gotten away with it. Full details here.
• In a related item, two Panthers linebackers changed to single-digit numbers just prior to yesterday’s game.
• As is often the case early in the season, when the weather is warm, a fairly large number of home teams — eight of them — wore white: the aforementioned Rams, plus the Texans, Panthers, Bengals, Titans, Bills, Saints (playing in Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida, but still the designated home team), and Falcons.
And there we have it — the season’s first MMUW. Not bad for the first week!
(My thanks to all contributors, including Gabe Cornwall, James Gilbert, Chris Hickey, Alan Kreit, John Moore, Kenny Norwick, Jay Thomas, Chris Wellbaum, and @calbearz24.)
Click to enlarge
Bobble-pin reminder: In case you missed it last last week, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s September Pin is finally available for ordering. As you can see above, it’s a football bobblehead design — and it really bobbles! Dig:
This pin was produced in a numbered edition of 300; as of this morning, about 150 were remaining. It’s available here.
My thanks, as always, for considering our products.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: Fox marked the start of the NFL season by posting football helmet concepts for MLB teams yesterday (from multiple readers). … The High-A Beloit Snappers played their last game under that name this weekend, as they’re planning a new name for next season. Appropriately, they wore turtle-themed jerseys (from @BeloitRockers).
Football News: Left over from Saturday: Reader Brian Jones points out that Illinois has played two teams in a row that shared their colors — UTSA and Virginia. … Three FCS teams wore flag-themed helmet decals, while two others had new helmets (from Blaise D’Sylva). … Halifax’s Saint Mary’s University played a preseason game this weekend and made some changes to their uniforms. “They now have ‘Huskies’ wordmark on the side of the pants. It used to be blank before. There is also a slight change to how the sleeve logo looks. SMU is ghosted now and Huskies team name is under the logo when it had not been before,” says Wade Heidt. Wade has more Canadian college items in yesterday’s comments. … Houston will be wearing white throwbacks this Saturday (from Ignacio Salazar).
Hockey News: The Athletic did a (paywalled, obviously) article on goalie mask artists (from Kevin Zdancewicz). … Preseason shenanigans: The WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings wore blue helmets instead of white with their white jerseys (from Wade Heidt).
Soccer News: Scottish club Motherwell, who have supported mental health causes a few times in recent years, had striker Tony Watt and nobody else wear a suicide-prevention patch on Saturday, with his shirt auctioned off to support two charities. World Suicide Prevention Day was on Friday. … D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls wore flag-themed numbers on Saturday, aside from the yellow pediatric cancer ribbons and 9/11 patch that all MLS teams wore — yes, Canadian teams also wore the 9/11 patch. … The NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC are playing one home game Oct. 6 at the Philadelphia Union’s stadium to honor retiring midfielder Carli Lloyd, who’s from the area. … Tottenham Hotspur’s women’s team switched to wearing the Women’s Super League font instead of their proprietary club font, which has usually appeared for WSL games and men’s European games but whose continued existence seems to be in a bit of doubt. … Some English clubs have been releasing third shirts recently, including Derby County and Hull City.
Grab Bag: The winner of the men’s race at yesterday’s Vienna Marathon, Derara Hurisa, was disqualified because his shoes’ soles were too thick, as he’d registered with legal ones but switched (thanks, Paul). … It’s apparently a tradition — although I can’t remember hearing about it or reading about it here — that tennis players at Grand Slams leave their shoes behind in the locker room for the attendants. Here are some from the U.S. Open (from Bill Fenbers). … Providence field hockey wore yellow shoelaces on Friday for pediatric cancer. … Maryland’s Potomac Curling Club has new buttons, which are the center of the house (from Steve Kaltenbaugh).