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What Should Commanders Players Have Worn in the Pro Bowl?

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Good morning! The world’s most pointless “football game,” the Pro Bowl, took place yesterday. In case you had something more worthwhile to do, like tweezing your nose hairs or sleeping through the entire day, here’s a news flash you might have missed: There was actually a genuinely interesting uni-related issue in the Pro Bowl. Really!

And here it is: The newly renamed Washington Commanders had two players in the game — offensive lineman Brandon Scherff and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. I couldn’t find any photos of Scherff, but Allen wore his now-obsolete Washington Football Team helmet. This presumably marked the first time a Pro Bowl player (or, rather, two Pro Bowl players, assuming Scherff did the same thing that Allen did) wore the helmet of a team that no longer exists.

If you look again at the photo of Allen at the top of the page, you’ll see that he had a silver-ized circular sleeve patch. At first I thought this was the new circular Commanders logo patch that appears on the left sleeve of the team’s new black uniform. “Aha!,” I thought. “They’re mixing and matching the old helmet with the new team logo!”

But I was wrong. Wilson’s (and presumably Scherff’s) Pro Bowl sleeve patch was actually based on the WFT logo (click to enlarge):

So Allen (and presumably Scherff) wore a helmet and a jersey representing a team that no longer exists.

On some level, this makes sense. The Pro Bowl is based on the players’ performance in the 2021 season, and Allen (and Scherff) spent 2021 playing for the WFT, so of course that’s who they’d represent.

But it’s also really weird to have them repping a team identity that poofed out of existence just a few days ago. And wouldn’t it have been cool to have the Commanders’ helmet make its on-field debut right after the unveiling?

I’ve been trying to think of similar situations in other sports. The closest I could come up with — it’s not the same thing, but somewhat similar — is the odd case of MLB reliever Jeff Shaw in 1998. He started that season with the Reds and was chosen for the National League All-Star team. But three days before the game — after he had already been named to the N.L. roster — the Reds traded him to the Dodgers. He appeared in the All-Star Game in a Dodgers uni, so his first appearance as a Dodger wasn’t even in a Dodgers game.

At least Shaw was traded within his own league. In 2014, Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija was selected to the National League All-Star team but then was traded to the A’s. The change of leagues made him ineligible to pitch in the ASG. He appeared with the other National Leaguers during pregame introductions, wearing his National League BP jersey, even though he was technically an American Leaguer at that point.

But while the Shaw and Samardzija situations are interesting, they’re not quite the same as yesterday’s WFT/Commanders conundrum. Of course, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion if the Commanders’ unveiling had taken place a few days after the Pro Bowl, instead of a few days prior to it. In any case, at least now we know who were the final two players to wear a WFT helmet — at least until the Commanders revive it as a throwback, which seems like something they’ll have to do eventually, right?

Meanwhile, one other Pro Bowl note: Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs somehow ended up wearing a practice T-shirt with a Saints logo on the sleeve:

(My thanks to our own Brinke Guthrie for bringing Allen’s helmet to my attention.)

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ITEM! Press Pin raffle: Reader Frank Seitz somehow ended up with two of our 2021 Press Pins and has generously offered to let me raffle off one of them, so that’s what we’re going to to today.

This will be a one-day raffle. USA mailing addresses only. To enter, send an email with your mailing address to the raffle in-box by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Frank for doing this!

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Triple-A Worcester Red Sox plan to wear jerseys with the team name rendered in American Sign Language next season (from Kevin Rice).
 

Football News: Have you ever wanted to know the result of every Super Bowl coin toss? The blog Impersonal Finances has you covered. … Ohio State is apparently getting ready to unveil a fan-created field design.

Basketball News: At least one Nuggets player, PF Aaron Gordon, wore a warm-up shirt in support of teammate Nikola Jokić’s MVP candidacy (from Alan Baca). … Left over from Saturday: The Rutgers men’s team wore Black History Month-themed jerseys (from Michael Romero). … Women’s college teams that wore pink or pink accents included Boston College, Iowa, and both North Carolina and Miami (Fla.) (from James Gilbert), Oklahoma, and Virginia. … Ohio State men’s G Meechie Johnson was wearing a plastic face mask with an extra part over his mouth yesterday (from Jeremy Brahm). … NBA numerologist Etienne Catalan has some more new and changed player numbers. … The boys’ team at Capital HS in Charleston, W.Va., wears jerseys with a strong Bullets/Wizards influence (from @joshuaexline).

Soccer News: Tottenham Hotspur’s teams wore Lunar New Year-themed warm-up shirts over the weekend. Both games were against Brighton and Hove Albion, which makes it more obvious than it otherwise would be that Brighton wore different combos for both. … In Germany, VfB Stuttgart wore a message on Saturday saying “Every person counts, no matter on what pitch” and a rainbow-logoed captain’s armband as part of the annual commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. … After the controversy over Scottish club Raith Rovers’ signing of striker/rapist David Goodwillie last week, the men’s team lost both of their shirt ads to the women’s team after this season, even though the club has since U-turned on the signing. The women’s team also renamed themselves “McDermid Ladies” after author Val McDermid, who is one of said shirt advertisers. Reader Trevor Williams found this picture of the team’s new shirts, with a “Z” patch, for “zero tolerance,” in place of a crest — the team said they would remove the Raith Rovers crest.

Olympics News: During the U.S./Switzerland mixed doubles curling match, broadcasters mentioned that a team’s light or dark uniform color is supposed to correlate with the color of the team’s curling rocks, but the U.S. superstitiously wants to wear light-colored shirts, regardless of their rock color (from Casey Paletz).

Grab Bag: The NLL’s Colorado Mammoth wore purple-accented “Lacrosse Out Cancer” jerseys and helmets on Saturday (from Wade Heidt). … New kits for the U.K.’s Netball Superleague’s Manchester Thunder. … Twitter-er @NasLeaf made a logo concept project replacing the “A” in the 2028 Summer Olympics logo with the logo of every Los Angeles men’s and women’s pro sports team, plus UCLA and NASCAR. … In a development that sounds like something out of The Onion, Nike is suing the online sneaker-resale marketplace StockX for selling unauthorized Nike sneaker NFTs (from Tom Turner).

Comments (44)

    Scherff didn’t play the game for to injury and the lions Jonah Jackson replaced him. That’s why there are no photos.

    Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh played for Anaheim and made the NHL All Star game but was traded to Florida a day before. He wore his Ducks uniform for the Skis competition but the next night he wore his All Star uniform but with no team patch on the shoulder

    Nevermind. My memory fudged this story. He went to Anaheim from Florida and he skipped the skills competition. He did play the ASG with no team designation though

    A similar thing happened with Bernie Nichols when he was traded from the Kings to the Rangers just before the NHL ASG in ’89 or ’90. He was announced as a Ranger (and I vividly remember that NBC showed a Rangers graphic when he got introduced before the game because I am a Rangers fan) but played for the Western Conference.

    John Scott (NHL) got voted an All Star captain for the Coyotes, but was 1) traded to the Canadiens and 2) sent down to the AHL just a week or two before the game. Ended up playing and winning MVP for a division he was no longer a part of wearing an All Star patch instead of a team logo when he wasn’t even currently in the league.

    Scott was an enforcer who was elected to the game by a fan vote, and then was traded. He played one more NHL game after the All-Star Game, and the NHL has since changed some rules so it won’t happen again.

    Interestingly, inside the arena, all images of Scott were shown wearing a Coyotes uniform with all of the logos edited out.

    From the overnight Olympic desk: The women’s hockey game between Canada and the ROC team had the players wearing masks while they waited for test results. Team Canada kept their masks on for the entire game, while the ROC players removed them for the third period.

    link

    Talk about being in great shape! When I’m forced to wear an N95 mask, I feel as if I’m suffocating.

    If you don’t read ASL (I don’t know it – but do know the alphabet letters) – the Worcester Red Sox jersey says “WOOSOX”

    In the NHL All star game a few years back (2016) there was a player (John Scott) who was no longer an NHL player as he had been demoted to the AHL, he wore the NHL all star Crest instead of his team crest.

    I like the way they handled the Washington Football Commanders logo/helmet. Jonathan Allen was playing to represent the present season’s team, not next season’s.

    Noticed this year’s Superbowl will feature a uniform match where both teams feature 3 different colors in their 3 main uniform elements (helmet, jersey, and pants). This only happened once before, Superbowl LI, Atlanta (black, red, white) vs New England (silver, white, navy).

    Sorry, but isn’t white represented twice in the SBLI example you gave? Thus this would be the first such instance…?

    Not sure what you mean. In SB51 Atlanta had three different colors (black helmet, red jersey, white pants) as did New England (silver, white, navy). That was the first time it happened where both teams had three different colors. This year will be the second time; Los Angles will have three different (blue, white, yellow) as will Cincinnati (orange, black, white).
    The case could be made that some past Superbowls featuring the Cowboys (and perhaps the Vikings) also count since the exact hues don’t match up on some of their uniform elements, but I chalk that up to manufacturing issues as opposed to intentional uniform design.

    Definitely rooting against US curling now if they aren’t going to follow the uniform conventions. Unbelievable.

    That team lost twice yesterday. They’re done, deservedly so. Compared to other teams I saw yesterday, they were not up to speed.

    What if Jonathan Allen got traded in the offseason? Then he would be the first ever to debut a uniform for a team that has never played a game that he would also never play a snap for. Now that would be a nightmare.

    The NFL is the rare league that doesn’t have the All Star game mid season. That’s the only reason the situation even happened. They got voted in based on the season they had for a specific team. Same reason the NFL didn’t let Dalvin Cook wear #4 that he is switching to next year.

    Not really the same thing, but in 1996 when the Detroit Pistons changed to the Horsehead logo and teal unis, Grant Hill & Allan Houston modelled the new unis at the unveiling. A few weeks later, Houston signed with the Knicks and would never actually wear the new unis in a game.

    link

    That happened in 2013 to the Suns. They acquired Caron Butler in the offseason, used him when they unveiled the new uniforms, and he was traded before the season began. He never appeared in a game as a Sun despite being a model for the uniforms.

    link

    Probably in the “Same, But Different” category, but didn’t Roberto Clemente wear the Forbes Field/vested version of Pirates uniform in the 1970 ASG just a few days before it was retired for the Three Rivers pullovers?
    That’s all I got.

    This relates to a post from a couple weeks back, but after reading about WSI Sportswear I checked out their website and ended up buying some glove liners with their HEATR technology. I have to say I am incredibly impressed with this product. I wore them skiing with temps in the teens and my fingers were comfortable the whole time. Now I have to resist sending all my money to Minnesota for other cold-weather gear!

    There is actually some precedent, if I remember correctly — after the Expos announced their move to DC, there was an All-Star MLB tour of Japan where the MLB team had at least one Expo/National. That player wore an Expos uni.

    Yesterday was actually Meechie Johnson’s third game wearing that mask. He sustained a facial fracture on Jan. 9 and was out until he returned wearing the mask on Jan. 27. Not sure how long he’ll have to wear it.

    The Arizona Cardinals current helmet made it’s debut in the Pro Bowl. I don’t remember the player,but I feel like it was a defensive player.

    Right, if I recall correctly they released the new logo, but not the new uniform at that point (not that he would wear the new uniform in the Pro Bowl anyway). Given they hadn’t shown the new uniforms (thus the helmets could have been completely different), they essentially slapped the new logo onto the existing helmet. That is what the new helmet ended up being anyway, but at the time we really only knew this was their new logo. So it was odd they rolled it out that way. I believe they did the new logo ahead of the new uniforms because elements of the logo were going to be part of the design of the stadium that was under construction at the time, and perhaps were going to be leaked if they held off on releasing the logo.

    There are official start and end dates to the season on the league calendar. The 2021 season is still ongoing, thus as noted these guys were in the Pro Bowl as members of the 2021 WFT.
    For practical purposes Washington’s 2021 season is done, and they unveiled new uniforms for 2022, ahead of the official league start of the 2022 season. But they are still in the 2021 season, so anything related to the 2021 season officially in the NFL books, would feature the 2021 name and uniform.
    Though during the Pro Bowl for the 2004 season, a Cardinals player wore the newly unveiled logo for the team on his pro bowl helmet, contradicting the convention.

    I always thought the Cardinals should have lost a draft pick or at least be fined when they had the player wear the logo from the upcoming season on the helmet. It really angered me at the time.

    A lot of considerations including branding, merchandise, etc.

    2028 Olympics logos are missing the LA Guiltinis, 2021 Champions of Major League Rugby in North America.

    I was scrolling through the ticker from the weekend and noticed in the promo photos of the LSU players in the Super Bowl Rams’ OL Andrew Whitworth’s captaincy patch is below the Rams patch. If I remember correctly Cooper Kupp’s was above the Rams patch. Whitworth’s certainly looks better.

    In October 2004 the Expos played their last game. The Arizona Fall League ran through Oct & Nov, and the players from that organization wore Expos uniforms, rather than Nationals uniforms.

    I just looked it up – the AFL ended on Nov 20, 2004. The Nationals uniforms were unveiled Nov 22.
    Still, the Expos no longer existed while they were being represented in the AFL. Maybe this is a technicality, but I’m sticking to it!

    The Tennessee Oilers announced that they would be changing their name to the Tennessee Titans on November 14, 1998, effective for the 1999 season: link

    Three Oilers (Eddie George, Mark Stepnoski, and Craig Hentrich) played in the Pro Bowl in February 1999 wearing Oilers uniforms: link

    However, I’m not sure if this really counts, because the Titans’ new uniforms weren’t unveiled until April 13, 1999, so there was no new uniform as of the date of the Pro Bowl: link

    That said, depending on the effective date of the name change, it’s possible that these three players could have been playing under a nickname that was no longer effective.

    My other thought along these lines was for Baltimore’s change from the Browns to the Ravens after the 1995 season, because that move was announced in November 1995. However, the deal to leave the Browns’ name, uniforms and colors in Cleveland wasn’t reached until February 1996, after the Pro Bowl. And in any case, the Browns didn’t have any players make the Pro Bowl after the 1995 season.

    “…wouldn’t it have been cool to have the Commanders’ helmet make its on-field debut right after the unveiling?”

    The new helmet is about the only part of the uni I ever want to see on the field.

    While this is more or less just semantics, I’m not sure Paul is technically correct in saying that the WFT “no longer exists”. The team still exists, just under a different name.

    I was thinking the exact same thing. It’s still Washington, same owner, players and everything. The branding was updated and new uniforms unveiled.

    Maybe its a simple answer – the new Commanders helmet is a different (matte) helmet and with the unveiling only last Wednesday there wasn’t time to get him a new helmet?

    Maybe if the new helmet had been the same helmet with a new logo they’d have been able to show off the new identity.

    This reminds me of a pet peeve I have in the Premier League, where teams will wear NEXT season’s kit in one of the last matches on this season.

    That bit about the US curling team not following convention.

    When do they pick the rock colour? I’ve curled a lot (bonspiels and provincials) and we don’t know what colour we have until after the coin flip – winner gets hammer in the first end, loser gets to pick rock colour. In the olympics do they pick earlier so that they can coordinate their outfits?

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