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Monday Morning Uni Watch

For all photos, click to enlarge

Notice anything unusual about New England quarterback Mac Jones’s jersey from yesterday’s game against the Bills? He was wearing the team’s now-outdated number font! Here’s a side-by-side comparison — a proper 2021 jersey on the left, yesterday’s jersey on the right:

Jones also had the wrong number font, and the wrong NOB font, on the back of his jersey. Again, proper 2021 specs on the left, yesterday’s jersey on the right:

Several people said linebacker Josh Uche also had the wrong typography, although this was the best photo of him that I was able to find:

As you may recall, the Pats had a lot of similar font issues last season, when they were transitioning from the old Color Rash jerseys to the new home jerseys. But that doesn’t explain how Jones and Uche ended up with the wrong typography yesterday — Jones is a rookie and Uche is in his second year, so it’s not like the Pats would have old, pre-2020 jerseys on hand for them. They had to go out of their way to create yesterday’s erroneous jerseys. Not a proud moment for the New England equipment staff.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Eagles wore their mono-black alternates (marking the fourth time in six weeks that they wore black pants):

• The Jets likewise wore their mono-black alts:

• The Bengals also went mono-black (are you sensing a theme here?):

• The Panthers, not wanting to feel left out, also went mono-black:

• In happier news, the Falcons wore their fauxbacks:

• The Texans wore their mono-navy Color Rash set:

• Washington went mono-burgundy:

• Back on Dec. 5, the Seahawks wore navy over grey at home for the first time ever. Yesterday — their first home game since that date — they did it again:

Could this mean the end for their longstanding mono-navy protocol? Hope so!

• Only one team wore white at home: the Cowboys, of course.

• A leftover item from Saturday: In case you were busy with Christmas activities, you may have missed that the Fox scorebug managed the neat trick of making the Browns’ helmet look like a rabbit pushing a shopping cart or a walker (further info here):

As for tonight’s game, the Saints will be going — well, you can probably guess.

(My thanks to Zack Cox for the Josh Uche shot.)

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For all photos, click to enlarge

Christmas wrap-up: This was the scene on the Uni Watch HQ front porch on Christmas afternoon. We had originally planned to visit a friend’s house in Manhattan (an annual ritual), but that plan got scotched when the friend’s daughter tested positive the day before, so we had to improvise. (As you may recall, that wonderful curling sweater was a gift I received last year from Uni Watch reader Will Scheibler. Thanks again, Will!)

One of my presents from Mary was 50 oysters, so we set up shop on the porch and had cocktails and bivalves (if you look closely, you can see that Mary was performing the shucking duties). While we were out there, two friends from another part of Brooklyn happened to be biking by on their way home from visiting another friend, so they stopped and joined us, and then one of our friends from down the block also joined in (he’s the one who took the photo shown above), and then another neighbor wandered over. So what started as a solitary exercise became an impromptu festive holiday gathering. A Christmas miracle!

Since we couldn’t go to our Manhattan friend’s house for dinner like we had planned, we got a boneless leg of lamb roast. I neglected to photograph it in its original state, but it looked very much like this:

I butterflied it, meaning that I cut it open so it laid fairly flat, and then I applied a garlic-herb paste:

Then I rolled up the meat with the paste inside, tied it with twine, and applied the remaining paste on the outside:

After about an hour and a half in the oven, it turned out beautifully. We served it with potatoes roasted in duck fat, an arugula salad, and gravy made from the lamb drippings:

It wasn’t the Christmas we had planned on, but it was still a special day.

As for presents, we mostly got each other silly, fun stuff. One present I got for both of us is this bar of soap designed to look like an old TV test pattern — looks great in our bathroom (and is available here if you want one for yourself):

Thanks for listening. However you spent your Christmas, I hope it was as much fun as ours.

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Never seen that before: In what I’m assuming is an NBA first, Clippers guard Brandon Boston Jr. got a rebound last night while tying his shoelaces. Amazing!

(My thanks to Mike Chamernik for this one.)

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Meanwhile, over on the ice: With the annual NHL Winter Classic set to take place this Saturday at the Minnesota Twins’ ballpark, Wild goalie Cam Talbot’s mask has a lot of Twins-related details, including little icons for all of the Twins’ retired numbers — nice.

(My thanks to Ben Hagen for this one.)

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A founding father: The photo shown above is from 1900, and the player on the left is Tigers third baseman Doc Casey. According to uni historian Craig Brown, who runs the excellent Threads of Our Game site, this is the earliest example we have of a big league player wearing colored stirrups over white sanitary socks. Quoting from this page on Brown’s site:

Other photos of Casey with Detroit do not show that he consistently wore stirrup-style stockings, and there was no mention of this “fashion first” in the newspapers of the day. According to research by historian Marc Okkonen, it was not until the 1912 season when the majority of major-league players began to wear baseball stirrups. However, some players did wear this style soon after 1900. Two separate Detroit team photos from 1903 each showed a player wearing stirrups.

As much as I love baseball stirrups, it’s never been clear to me who was the first player or team to wear them, or which sporting goods company was the first to offer them for sale. Big thanks to Brown for helping to fill in the historical record on Uni Watch’s favorite uniform element!

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Gumball-licious: Kudos to reader John Williams for these renderings of how today’s NFL helmets would look as gumball designs. Nicely done!

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Et tu, ’Trotters? You know things are out of hand when the Harlem Globetrotters, of all teams, go BFBS. Yikes! (Oddly, the “22” memorial patch for Curly Neal, which is the one thing you’d expect would be black, is red.)

Even worse than the BFBS, they’re also using black-on-black typography, like the NBA’s “Big Color” uniforms from 2012. Here’s the rear view (click to enlarge):

Those two photos are both from the ’Trotters visit last night to Green Bay, where longtime reader/pal Jeff Ash says he’s glad he didn’t go see them. “I don’t know, man — ain’t broke, don’t fix,” says Jeff. “But maybe the kids dig it and I’m just an old guy who’s nostalgic for the classic look. On the plus side, the Washington Generals look good in green.” Indeed.

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Sorry, no Ticker today, because all Uni Watch support staff had the day off. The Ticker will return tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it over the weekend, here are the winners of this year’s year-end raffle. I’ll try to get everything mailed out by the end of this week! — Paul

Comments (32)

    FYI: “You things are out of hand…”

    Also, I don’t have a screencap, but there was something going on with Mac Jones’ pants striping yesterday. It looked like the top couple of inches of the striping on his left leg was misaligned with the rest of the striping. I saw it several times, so I don’t think it was a wrinkle, but I could be wrong. Other wise, I have no idea what could have been going on.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought at first, but I kept seeing it over and over. It did look like he had a brace or something on his knee, so that could have kept the fold in place throughout the game. I seem to remember he had a minor knee issue in the summer or early fall, plus a lot of QBs wear a brace on their front knee as a precaution.

    Thanks for the pic; I’ve got no screencap skills at all.

    I agree that I am generally not a fan of mono-black, or mono any color, really. BUT, at least in the Bengals case, they had:

    1. pant stripes
    2. contrasting uppers/tights

    I feel like the latter especially makes a considerable difference. (The first at least breaks up the color block _some_).

    I don’t think the Eagles all-black is salvageable because the green is just too close to the black (it’s hard to even discern that there is a green stripe on the pants; I really only register the white). Same probably goes for the Jets.

    The Bills? I’d like to see blue over blue with a red sock. Or the Panthers with blue ones. (The Redskins, blech, burgundy is going to be ugly either way.)

    I agree about the Bengals. I’m ok with the Panthers going mono-black as well. Considering it is a primary color. But the Jets/Eagles? Going mono-black or mono-grey is out dated, if it’s not in your color scheme. Didn’t like it when it was “the norm”. Sure don’t like it now.

    One combo I would like to see is the Bills pairing those red jerseys with white pants. That could be pretty cool.

    Also, could Detroit add some blue striping to those white pants? Seeing NFL teams dressing like 90’s college football teams just isn’t fun. That goes for your as well, Saints/Ravens.

    In these modern times of digital movie projection, there actually are movie “test patterns” so that the projectors can be set up correctly. Here’s one example: link

    Good point. Though the audiences usually don’t see those, and they’re a bit more sophisticated than the traditional SMPTE color bars.

    The Christmas Lamb you prepared and cooked looked really good. Thanks for including your recipe steps (as you often do) as I look to duplicate soon.

    Herb paste was (roughly) 1/4 cup each of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, 8-10 cloves of garlic, some salt/pepper, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, all mixed in a food processor.

    Roast was just shy of 4 lbs. Preheated oven to 425, then lowered it to 350 when I put the meat in. Began checking internal temp after an hour or so. Was shooting for 135, which took another 20-25 mins after I began checking. Enjoy!

    Paul, where are you able to find duck fat? I’ve tried several types of places with no luck and don’t want to buy it on the internet.

    That Rams gumball helmet really drives home for me how bad their new design really is. Yuck.

    The Falcons faux-backs look so good and the matte helmet with the vintage logo looked great as well. As a Falcons fan, I don’t think their new set in of itself is a total fashion crime. The crime is that they had this look in their pocket but instead went full nü-uni. The faux-back style with a white road jersey and alt red jersey with silver pants would have been timeless.

    I LOVE the gumball helmet mock-ups. But one small error was made: the Falcons helmet is shown with a black face mask. They now have a chrome one.

    Thanks John Williams for the gumball helmet illos. Love that you depicted the Browns helmet with a sticker when it wasn’t strictly needed.

    One question – why #32 for the WFT?

    Also, because this is what I do, from left to right:
    NFC West, AFC North
    NFC South, AFC West
    NFC North, AFC East
    NFC East, AFC South

    Based on the 60 for the Chargers likely representing their inaugural season of 1960, I would assume 32 is meant to represent the WFT franchise’s inaugural season (their first and only under the name “Boston Braves”).

    The Patriots changed their uniforms during a pandemic. I know the Rams have done fine, but you don not know how hard it may be to get these simple font/jersey replacements due to supply chain issues.

    I don’t know why Washington still uses that terrible mono-burgundy set. It make all the players look like blood clots, and they’re something like 1-6 all time wearing them. That includes embarrassments like Jim Zorn’s double fake field goal and multiple (bad) losses on national TV. Hopefully Sunday’s disaster will put them to bed permanently.

    I really don’t get the mono-uniform obsession in the NFL, seems like every team is getting in on it way too much. A few times a season fine, but like my team the Titans they wear the all navy WAY too much. Seattle’s navy overy grey looks SO much better.

    I thought it was kind of cool back in the mid 2000s when teams started doing stuff like this because before that the NFL seemed too stuffy with uniforms. But now I think it’s gone too far. I was always afraid when the Titans started doing it because I was afraid they’d pull a Seahawks and make it pretty much their default home uniform, and they have.

    What exactly is wrong with the mono look? I seriously do not understand why it is so hated by UW staff and readers alike.

    Speaking only for myself: Looks more like a superhero costume than a sports uniform (an effect that’s accentuated by the shoulder pads, helmet, etc., all of which make the player look more like a cyborg).

    Okay fair enough! As a soccer guy first and foremost I guess I’m used to and rather fond of the solid look. And for us, American football players already look like cyborgs with all the equipment lol

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