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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Photo by Robert Scheer/IndyStar, USA Today Network; click to enlarge

Good morning, and happy 2022 from Uni Watch HQ! Hope you all had a good New Year’s weekend.

Now then: Yesterday’s slate of NFL games featured several tributes to the late John Madden. First and foremost, as you can see above, the Raiders added a “JM” memorial decal on the back of their helmets, in the same design style as the “AL” perma-memorial for Al Davis that they’ve been wearing since 2011. It’s not yet clear, at least to me, whether the Madden decal will also be worn for next week’s regular season finale (and for the postseason, if the Raiders advance), or if it was just a one-game thing.

In addition, Raiders wide receiver DeSean Jackson wore Madden-themed shoes:

The tributes were not limited to the Raiders. Bills wideout Stefon Diggs had his own Madden-themed footwear:

And Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wore a Madden T-shirt for pregame activities:

In addition, there was a moment of silence and scoreboard salute prior to each game:

Also, for Fox’s games yesterday, the network intermittently put a little Madden graphic in the upper-right corner of the screen:

In other news from what turned out to be a very uni-eventful day around the league:

• The Bengals wore their orange alternate jerseys:

• In that same game, there was a bizarre sequence involving Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s nameplate. First it was coming loose:

Then the nameplate was stripped clean off of the jersey by KC lineman Chris Jones:

That left Burrow to finish the game while wearing a modern-day NFL rarity — an NNOB jersey:

• In yet another Bengals note, wide receiver Ja’marr Chase apparently changed his shoes at halftime:

• In an absolute visual nightmare, the Ravens and Rams went mono-purple vs. mono-dishwater:

• In that same game, Rams running back Sony Michel had a pretty sizable Band-Aid on his left knee:

• The Titans wore their light-blue alternate jerseys over navy pants:

• The Jets went mono-green:

• In the third quarter of that same game, Bucs wideout Antonio Brown removed his jersey, shoulder pads, undershirt, and gloves, tossed the undershirt and gloves into the stands, and left the field. Turns out he’s a southpaw:

• For the fifth time in seven games, the Eagles wore their black alternate pants (which at this point I guess can no longer be considered alternate):

• In that same game, Washington running back Wendell Smallwood took a helmet-to-helmet hit that literally knocked the TV numbers off of his helmet:

• The Panthers went mono-white, including white socks. According to the Panthers Uniform Tracker, it’s the first time in team history that they’re worn that uni combo:

• In that same game, the Saints wore black over gold. Incredibly, according to the Gridiron Uniform Database, that’s the first time they’ve worn that combo at home since 2018 (although they’ve worn it a few times on the road during that span).

• The Cowboys wore their mono-white alternates:

• I always like it when the Chargers wear powder blue over yellow. Such a good look:

• One of Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson’s helmet logos got chewed up:

• Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, whose jersey had the wrong number and NOB fonts last week, had a proper jersey this time around:

• Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter arrived at the stadium wearing a New York Rangers hockey jersey:

• All teams wore “Inspire Change” helmet decals as part of the league’s social justice program, with similar messaging on goalpost padding, sideline hats, and elsewhere on the field. All of this will continue next week as well (additional info here):

• Here’s something I missed: Back on Dec. 7, the NFL announced the 32 nominees for this season’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. For the the past four weeks, including yesterday, those 32 players have been wearing the Payton logo as a rear-helmet decal (the eventual winner, who’ll be named at the season’s conclusion, will get to wear the logo as a jersey patch for the rest of his career):

• Only one home team wore white: the aforementioned Cowboys.


And that’s it for yesterday. As for tonight, Steelers vs. Browns should be a very good-looking game.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Mike Chamernik, Brinke Guthrie, Marcus Hall, K.C. Kless, Alan Kreit, John Muir, Brad Parker, John Turney, Mike Weston, and the bizillion people who told me about Joe Burrow’s nameplate.)

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Click to enlarge

And speaking of Madden: According to a tweet from a cartoon-centric Twitter account, Madden was slated to appear in the 2018 movie Ralph Breaks the Internet (the sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph), but his sequence didn’t make the final cut. The exploratory sketches shown above were done by Jeff Merghart, one of the animators who worked on the film. They’re really fun, although reader Jaime Galindo points out that Merghart neglected to include Madden’s longtime visual signature: the dangling sideline-access pass.

I love both of the Ralph movies. If they ever do a third one, maybe Madden could be included in that one.

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Click to enlarge

Possible NHL All-Star leak: Phil had this in yesterday’s Ticker, but in case you missed that, Icethetics is reporting that this year’s NHL All-Star Game jerseys may have leaked via a retail catalog. The legitimacy of this leak hasn’t yet been confirmed, but Icethetics tends to be a very reputable source. Get the full story here.

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Pin Club update: Today is the first weekday of the month, so I’d normally be announcing our new pin design. But that won’t be happening, because Todd Radom and I have decided to shut down the Pin Club.

This has nothing to do with the December pin’s shipping snafu — Todd and I had already made the decision a few months ago. We felt that two dozen pin designs were enough and that we’d rather stop now, while the designs were still strong.

More pin news:

• All the remaining Pin Club inventory is being sent back to me from the Teespring warehouse (again, this decision had already been made before the recent shipping issues). Once I get everything sorted, I will sell the pins myself at a discounted price and will offer further discounts for multiple-pin orders. I had always wanted to do this via Teespring (I practically begged them to offer multi-pin bundles), but their retail software didn’t allow for it, so now I’ll just do it myself. This should all be ready to go either later this week or early next week — stay tuned.

• Although the monthly pin series is ending, Todd and I will still do a Press Pin this October.

• The 2021 bonus/All-Star pins should be ready to mail out by the middle of next week (and possibly sooner — just waiting for them to arrive from the factory).

Meanwhile, I have a new creative collaboration with Todd — and with some other talented designers — that I’ll be rolling out this year. More on that soon.

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Resolute: I’ve made only one New Year’s resolution in my life. That was in 1999, when I made a resolution to create and sell a column about sports uniform design. I’d gotten the idea several years earlier, but in the intervening time it had become one of those things I talked about doing instead of actually doing. I hated that the idea had been relegated to that mental treadmill, so I figured more drastic action was needed — hence the resolution. A little less than five months later, Uni Watch was born.

Since that resolution turned out so well, you’d think it would have made me a convert, but I’ve never made another New Year’s resolution. I’m not sure why (especially since I frequently make to-do lists, which are sort of mini-resolutions), but for some reason I’ve never bought into this particular annual ritual.

What about you? I realize some of this stuff may be very personal or private, but if you’re willing to share, I’d be interested in hearing what resolutions Uni Watch readers have made for 2022. Feel free to post about that in today’s comments. Thanks!

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Click to enlarge (it’s worth it)

Oh. My. God. These spectacular vintage ag company promotional booklet covers are part of a much larger collection, which you can see here. They’re really, really nice pieces of design.

(Super-duper-thanks to Brad Loliger for this one.)

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Sorry, no Ticker today, as the Ticker team had the weekend off. The Ticker will return tomorrow.

Meanwhile, please join me in wishing the happiest of birthdays to our own Phil Hecken, who’s celebrating another trip around the sun today. Enjoy your special day, buddy!! — Paul

Comments (49)

    Bengals Halloween Spiderman costume is pretty unfortunate. Their black sets and white sets aren’t nearly as bad as the old ones, but this mess is hard on the eyes. I also get the vibes it’s their fan favorite (somehow).. Ugh.

    Regardless of your particular opinion of the Bengals’ uni combo this weekend (I liked it overall), it clearly shows how much better all teams look with socks differing in color from their pants, the dreaded “uni-tard” look. Had they worn black socks, it would have looked so much worse. It’s the same reason I don’t really like the white pants/white socks look. The pants and socks should contrast in some way IMHO.

    And to my NY Jets: again, try the black jersey with the green pants. Again, some contrast would be nice. MONO-GREEN SUCKS!!! Of course, so does the team, but that’s a different issue.

    Chargers looked really good with the White helmet, blue jersey, yellow pants and blue sox. Classic.

    The Bengal O/O/B is probably the least favorite of the combos, and I really like the orange jerseys. I think they should be the permanent home jerseys, but only with the white pants.

    I just can’t. Yes, white pants looks better here but the orange jersey never looks like The Bengals to me. Broncos own that.

    About the agricultural booklets: The guy who runs Field Notes is the captain of my softball team. Small world!

    Teams really need to stop with the all white sock look. It’s horrible.

    And the Ravens all purple unis are awesome.

    Thanks for the b-day shout (and to all who sent wishes)!

    Resolutions: I haven’t made any in a while (last was I think 2015) but I did accomplish it in the last week of that year). Previously, I’d made a few and managed to complete most — they’re hard, sometimes (especially the ones that involve more than just dedication but also rely upon certain dominoes to fall), so I’ve always tried to set realistic goals. Didn’t make any for 2022.

    After 2020 & 2021, I just want to make it thorough 2022.

    Great point. I knew they had worn that combo earlier this season but didn’t make the connection that they hadn’t worn it *at home*. I’ll add that to the text.

    I was just looking at the GUD, and it looks like they actually last wore black-over-gold at home (not counting preseason games) link.

    Still been quite a while… damn those black pants!

    Very nice to see all the pin designs together. I’ve followed all the releases (and even ordered a few of them here and there), but this is the first time I’ve seen the whole body of work in one place, and it really hit me just how great all of the designs are. Question: Was the first press pin done in 2019 or 2020? I know it sold out very quickly, which is probably why it is omitted from the graphic (as well as the fact that adding it would have disrupted the nice square matrix), but I could not remember what year it was done. At any rate, I’m looking forward to the next project you have coming out!

    First Press Pin was in 2019 (and, as you point out, sold out almost immediately). The success of that pin is what gave me the idea for the monthly Pin Club.

    The 2020 Press Pin (which also sold out quickly) isn’t shown on the graphic either. But 2021 is included because we still have some of those left.

    Curious: 3 of the 4 that sold out are baseball related. Not sure if that is because they are great(er) designs {Each is great!} or it says something about Uni-watch watcher’s overall sport preference????

    Might be a neat poll — If you could only watch one sport for the rest of your life….

    Happy Birthday to Phil! A terrific guy!

    A key detail on Ravens/Rams game is that each team took a different approach to their sock choice.

    The Rams wore contrasting blue socks/baselayers, something that has not universally been the case.

    Meanwhile, the Ravens wore purple socks with the non-color rush version mono purple. Normally, they’ve worn black socks when going purple over purple with white numbers on the jerseys and black/white/black stripes on the pants. This is the first time they’ve gone full purple in a non-color rush scenario.

    So while one team leaned into the color rush motif, the other went away from it.

    Also the Jets wore solid white socks with the mono green, which had been the usual look prior to this year.

    The Antonio Brown incident was bizarre. The Bucs are now the 4th franchise that has parted ways with him. I’m beginning to wonder about his mental health and concussion history. It would also not surprise me if he is on another team before the end of the season.

    Always liked the pins, although I only ever ordered one (the Olympics one), mostly b/c I don’t know where to put them. Great designs! I’ll miss seeing them.

    As a lefty myself, I always notice when someone else is left-handed, so that was the first thing I thought when I saw AB’s gear-toss video!

    I’m left-FOOTED (to go along with being right-handed), so I similarly notice when someone else kicks with their left foot, such as the first time Ben Roethlisberger did a quick-kick for the Steelers. Also, at one point during Ben’s tenure, they also had a left-footed punter (name escapes me now, it might have been Daniel Sepulveda), who threw a pass on a fake punt right-handed, thus giving them two players who throw right/kick left, and would also potentially (by nature of their positions) use both skills within the course of the same game.

    Happy Double Deuces to all. Here’s hoping that 2022 is not 2020, too.

    Congrats to Phil on completing another successful orbit around the sun.

    I never thought to share the Field Notes design stuff here, be it there agriculture notebook collection or anything else. But of course in hindsight it makes perfect sense! There’s a sports connection as well. They published a short book about Roberto Clemente that is must read, A Drive Into the Gap. All about his bat and his 3000th hit. Which maybe should’ve been worth highlighting when it came out….!

    I posted this question yesterday, but I didn’t get any responses. Does anyone know why the Colts are still using their now outdated wordmark in their end zones??

    There appears to be a bit of a bug on the website. I’m catching up on old blog posts (first day back at work after the holidays) and when I hit “older posts” at the bottom of the home page, it skips a few days when going to page 2. The last entry on the homepage is from Dec. 31, and the first entry on p.2 is from Dec. 27. Is there some weird coding that’s causing the second page to skip three days?

    Man, I saw some of these uni-happenings on TV and was writing the lede in my head. Nice to know there are others watching out for the ones I missed. It’s also nice to see there is something to be gained by looking at historical games since we all missed the Man of the Year helmet decals!

    Additionally, thanks for the pin club. I only bought one and it’s for my least favorite sport, but I love it and the series!

    Sad to see the pin club is being retired, but I surely appreciate all the designs and am happy to have been a collector of all 24 pins plus the 2020 bonus pin and the 2021 press pin. Unfortunately I missed out on the 2019 and 2020 press pins before they were gone. Feels like my collection is not quite complete without them…..oh well. Thanks again for the fun collection option over the last 2 years. I always looked forward to that first blog of the month to see what the new pin was going to be. Looking forward to the design for the 2021 bonus pin and the new project you have planned.

    Happy birthday, Phil! Hope you have a fantastic day & may the upcoming year hold many wonderful moments in store for you!

    I’ve never done resolutions for the new year. A year ago I was hoping 2021 would be better than 2020, what with COVID and all. Turns out it was worse due to 6 deaths in the family. There were a few good moments but overall it sucked. Let’s all do better in 2022!

    One other item of uni-note from yesterday.

    Seahawks went back to the all blue look in Russell Wilson’s last home game as a Hawk.

    Bummed about the pin club shutting down. This is one thing I was looking forward to every month since 2020 began. With that being said, I am looking forward to what else you have in store.

Comments are closed.