Gear up for the 2020 MLB Season with new gear from Nike

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi there. Obviously, for most of us this will be a Thanksgiving unlike any other. I won’t be getting together with any of my family members or any of my friends today (well, except maybe on a video call). First time that’s been the case since I had the chickenpox in 2009.

But while this year’s Thanksgiving circumstances may be less than ideal, I find that I’m appreciating the spirit of this particular holiday more than ever. As many people on social media have said, “This isn’t a time when you get what you want. It’s a time to appreciate what you have.”

And what I happen to have is a whole lot to be thankful for. Along with the obvious things — health, shelter, a wonderful partner, a completely awesome cat, etc. — I’m also incredibly thankful for Uni Watch, and to all of you who form the larger Uni Watch comm-uni-ty.

Back in March, as the scope of the pandemic was becoming clear and the sports world was shutting down, I asked what you wanted Uni Watch to be during this bizarre extended moment. The most common response was something along the lines of, “Please, if you can manage it, just keep Uni Watch going, so I can have at least one normal thing to rely on every day.” I’ve tried to take that responsibility seriously, and along the way many of you have told me how much the site has meant to you this year, which is an incredibly humbling thing to hear. Thank you.

Along the way, I found that maintaining Uni Watch on a daily basis was exactly what I needed as well. It kept me in a rhythm, gave me a sense of purpose, and kept me in touch with so many of you. And although the sports world was shut down for months, there was plenty of news to cover — unveilings, the renaming of the ’Skins, and a lot more. I’m not sorry that the sports world started up again, but those four months or so when everything was shut down were surprisingly rewarding in terms of creating Uni Watch content and getting feedback from you folks. I’m proud of how we all weathered that storm, and I’m truly thankful for the role that Uni Watch — including all of you — has played in my life this year.

In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to take a minute to give thanks to all the people who continue to make Uni Watch possible, including Ticker assistants Lloyd Alaban, Anthony Emerson, Alex Hider, and Jamie Rathjen; “Collector’s Corner” columnist and Facebook editor Brinke Guthrie; membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner; merch designers/collaborators Todd Radom, Bryan Molloy, and Nathan Haas; weekend contributors Terry Duroncelet Jr., Michael Malinowski, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker, Ethan Dimitroff, Jim Vilk, and Robert Marshall; webmaster John Ekdahl; proofreader Jerry Wolper; Photoshopper Nic Schultz; cap fulfillment manager Mark LaFountain; and, especially, deputy editor Phil Hecken, the world’s hardest-working bench coach.

Big thanks also to Zac Neubauer, who provided the vintage postcard image that I’ve been featuring on these Thanksgiving posts for more than a decade now.

I realize this will be a hard day for many people, especially if you’re by yourself and/or if you’ve lost loved ones during the course of this terrible year. As I’ve been saying all along, we’re all in this together, so please accept a virtual hug from me if you’re feeling blue. The storm isn’t yet over, but the vaccine news is promising, so here’s hoping we’re all enjoying a more conventional Thanksgiving a year from now.

Everyone stay safe, stay well, and stay in touch, and thanks again for making Uni Watch a special place. Peace. — Paul

Shut Your Mouth: Grizzlies Unveil Stax-Themed Uniform

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The Grizzlies unveiled their new (and previously unleaked!) City alternate yesterday, and it’s interesting on a number of levels, so I want to talk about it today.

Viewed in strictly aesthetic terms, it’s not bad. The chest lettering looks pretty snappy, and the tone-on-tone pinstriping is nice. But check out the story (or “storytelling”) behind those elements: The lettering is based on the logo from the great Memphis-based R&B label Stax Records (wish they’d also used that font for the numerals, instead of sticking with the team’s standard font), and the striping on the black fabric is meant to simulate the grooves in Memphis soul records.

The rest of the uniform stays with that theme. The collar trim, shorts trim, and side panels feature a Kente cloth pattern (for Memphis’s large African American population) with “MG” lettering (which stands for “Memphis Grizzlies” or, if you prefer Stax house band Booker T. and the M.G.’s):

Hidden within the folds of the shorts are the Stax logo on one side and the late Stax artist Isaac Hayes’s signature sunglasses on the other (the uniform was created in consultation with Hayes’s estate):

The uniform’s gold/turquoise color scheme is based on Hayes’s gold-plated Cadillac, which is exhibited at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis.

The team is promoting the uniform with a video set to the tune of Hayes’s 1971 No. 1 hit, “Theme from Shaft,” complete with images of the Stax Museum, the Cadillac, and Hayes himself:

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Although the uniform itself is fairly sedate by NBA City standards, this strikes me as the apotheosis of the Nike/NBA/City approach to uni design. It fits squarely within what I like to think of as Nike’s “tourism bureau” format (i.e., promoting the city or region in much the same way that the local tourism agency would), plus it incorporates a major strain of pop culture, plus-plus this particular pop-cultural strain has Black-identified street cred but is also palatable to Whites. Checks all the boxes. (Additional info here.)

As it happens, my longtime Memphis buddy Sherman Willmott was the founding curator of the Stax Museum and even drove Hayes’s Caddy to the museum after picking it up from its previous owner (the car passed through several pairs of hands after Hayes owned it). He’s also published a series of Memphis travel guides, run a Memphis tour operation, and even written and published a book about Memphis pro wrestling, so it would be fair to say that he’s a legit voice of Memphian authority. As soon as this new uniform was released yesterday, I asked him what he thought. His response:

Dig it! Like the font and the colors best. You know I love any Stax hook-ups! Side panels not so much, but I can dig It! Wish they would change the name to a more appropriate Memphis Souls! Or Memphis Sounds! Or Memphis Gold!

But there’s never been a cooler uni reveal video! Grizz gettin’ it on and off the court. Wish we could actually go to a game!

Ladies and gents, if it’s good enough for Sherman, it’s good enough for me. Print it!

Meanwhile, in other City news from yesterday:

• The Mavs’ design had already leaked, but now it’s been officially unveiled (additional info here):

The feather pattern on the sides is a reference to Dallas’s famous Pegasus sign (again with the travel bureau approach). But wait — I thought Skyline Green, not Pegasus, is synonymous with the city of Dallas. It’s so hard to keep track of these things.

• The Raptors still haven’t officially unveiled their City design, but they essentially confirmed a previous leak by announcing their re-signing of point guard Fred VanVleet by posting a video of him in the new City uni:

• Similarly, the Pacers haven’t yet officially unveiled, but their earlier leak from a few days ago appears to have been confirmed by video game screen shots:

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Merch reminders: We’re once again taking pre-orders for another round of Uni Watch hockey jerseys, tequila sunrise cycling jerseys, and Tour de Uni cycling jersey — all available with your choice of number and NOB.

You’ll need to get your order in by Dec. 11, and they should arrive by mid-January. (Sorry, too late for Christmas delivery — mea culpa on that.) Full details here.

And as long as we’re talking merchandise, keep the following points in mind:

• The Uni Watch Classic Cap, which normally costs $39.99, is now only $35.99 — a 10% break. All fitted sizes are currently in stock, along with the adjustable strapbacks.

• I’ve also reduced the price of Uni Watch trading cards. Full details here.

• Today is the last day to get in on Teespring’s free shipping deal for all orders of $50 or more. You can combine items Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops (or any other Teespring items) to hit that $50 threshold. Use the checkout code FREEOVER50 to get in on the deal, which is good from now through the end of today.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: A shop in Kansas City is selling Royals jerseys with Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’s NOB on them (from Cameron Schneider).
 

Pro Football News: Throwbacks this week for the Bills (from Isaiah Livers). … Football Night in America used a nonstandard Saints helmet in one of its graphics on Sunday (from KC Kless). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: A shop in Kansas City is selling KC Royals jerseys with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’s NOB on them (from Cameron Schneider). … Reader Michael Hoster stumbled on his childhood collection of early-1990s gumball helmets, displayed on a customized shelf made by his father.

College Football News: Ohio State is going mono-white this week at Illinois (from @BlockOCanada). … Iowa State is also going mono-white this week (from Chad Lehman). … Reader Nate Mueller has 3D-printed a BCS National Championship trophy Christmas tree ornament.

Hockey News: The Athletic has a retrospective on the Ducks’ uniform history (from Kary Klismet). … A wrestling team in New London, Conn., is using an interesting variation of the old Whalers’ logo (from Charles, who didn’t give his last name).

NBA News: F Obi Toppin will wear No. 1 with the Knicks. The Knicks botched Toppin’s announcement twice: He is from the University of Dayton, not “Dayton University” and the font size in the announcement doesn’t match the game-size font on other Knicks jerseys (from Eric Farrell). … SF Kelly Oubre Jr. will wear No. 12 with the Warriors (from Etienne Catalan). … Also from Etienne: C Marc Gasol will wear No. 14 with the Lakers, F Aleksej Pokuševski will wear No. 17 with the Thunder, PF/C Ed Davis will wear No. 17 with the Timberwolves, and SG/SF Dwayne Bacon will wear No. 8 with the Magic. For the latest on NBA number updates, be sure to follow Etienne’s Twitter feed. … This Bleacher Report graphic erroneously shows Hawks PG Rajon Rondo wearing No. 9. Rondo will actually wear No. 7, as No. 9 has been retired by the Hawks for PF/C Bob Pettit (from Elijah Newsome). … A Houston-area hair salon is poaching the logo of the Rockets’ former home, The Summit (from Dave Holz).

College Hoops News: UNC is adding a social justice message to the back of its jerseys (from James Gilbert). … New blue uniforms for Duquesne. Old version on left, new on right. … New uniforms for Coastal Carolina University (from Luke Rohan). … New uniforms for UIC (from Jake Epstein). … New uniforms for Fresno State (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Liberty University has opened its new basketball and volleyball arena. … New uniforms for Quinnipiac (from Jacob Resnik). … New unis for Army women’s (from Justin Rocke). … Virginia Tech will be going GFGS for today’s season opener against Radford (from Andrew Cosentino).

Soccer News: Greek side Panathinaikos has unveiled renderings of its planned new stadium (from Kary Klismet). Also from Kary: The Flint City Bucks have unveiled their championship rings for winning the 2019 USL League Two title. … New mono-black kits for Indonesian side Persija Jakarta (from Trevor Williams). … Sampdoria G Emil Audero was originally supposed to wear the field players’ third kit, which was black. He ended up changing twice before and during the game so at the end he was wearing a mono-green goalie kit (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Grab Bag: T.C. Williams High School, which gained national attention after being portrayed in the 2000 film Remember the Titans, is getting a new name after the school board voted to remove the name of segregationist T.C. Williams (from Tom Turner). … A mechanical engineering professor has calculated exactly how fast the eagle in the USPS logo is going (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a compendium of particularly absurd marketingspeak terms (NYT link) that have been floating around lately.

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Uni Watch will still be open and publishing tomorrow and every day through the Thanksgiving weekend. Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll be back with some holiday thoughts tomorrow. — Paul

Just When You Thought 2020 Couldn’t Get Any Worse

The video shown above has the entire 1979 NFC Championship game between the Buccaneers and Rams. (The Rams won and went on to lose Super Bowl XIV to the Steelers.) I put it there just to show how good these two teams can look when facing each other.

If you want a close-up, this should do nicely:

Now compare that to how these same two teams looked when facing each other last night:

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Dishwater vs. dogshit — what a disaster.

Naturally, there were lots of laundry jokes circulating during the game. Peter Macaluso said, “It looks like the Rams accidentally threw [their] white unis in the laundry with the Bucs’ brown ones.” And Zack Fowler said, “[I]t looks like [the Rams] meant to wear all-white but forgot to do laundry, and [the Bucs] meant to wear all-black but did too much laundry.” Nice one.

Now, this was obviously a very, very bad-looking game. But was it the worst-looking Bucs/Rams game ever? Before you answer that, consider what these two teams wore when facing each other in 2015:

Ah, the infamous ketchup vs. mustard game, with the Bucs’ alarm clock numbers thrown in for good measure. If forced to choose, which would you opt for? If you want to study for the test before responding, you can see more pics from last night’s game here, here, and here, and you can see more pics of the Condiment Bowl here.

If forced to choose between those two football games, I think I’d rather watch baseball, or maybe go for a walk.

Two other notes from last night’s game: First, as you may recall from earlier in the season, lots of Rams players were wearing untucked blue undershirts with the dishwater uniforms:

Last night they were wearing untucked dishwater undershirts, which still looked sloppy but at least didn’t create that miserable cummerbund effect. So this is the rare dishwater uni component that actually improves the uni’s overall look!

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The other notable thing about this game is that it featured the first all-black officiating crew in NFL history (additional info here):

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College Hoops Preview reminder: In case you missed it on Monday, the annual Uni Watch College Hoops Season Preview, with all the news on this year’s new uniforms, logos, court designs, and related issues (including Arizona State’s new black alternates, Duke’s new “Equality” slogan underneath the back numbers, and UNC’s new navy alternates, all shown above). is now available for your enjoyment on InsideHook.

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NBA hits keep coming: Let’s give credit to the Jazz, who’ve managed to combine two major uni tropes — BFBS and tequila sunrise — into their new City alternates. Additional photos and info here, here, and here.

As is the case with so many NBA alternates these days, this one comes with its own court design:

I think all of this may look pretty good in game action. As several people suggested yesterday, maybe it’s time to rename the team as the Utah Red Rocks.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

    

I was quite the Dallas Cowboys fan from the early 1970s through the late 1990s. So with Thanksgiving being two days away, now is the right time to feature this Leon Lett autographed mini-helmet. Lett won three Super Bowls as a Cowboys defensive lineman, but he’s most famous for two particular plays. One was in Super Bowl XXVII, when he was returning a fumble for an apparent touchdown and started celebrating a bit early:

Ouch. The following season, the Dolphins were lining up for a game winning field goal to beat Dallas (snowing in Texas Stadium!) and it was blocked! However, the ball was still live, and Leon zoomed over to scoop up the ball. This was an unfortunate decision — unless you were a Dolphins fan, of course:

Leon, you are forgiven. It’s Thanksgiving. 

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Another great Cowboys item here, dating back to 1970: It’s called a 
Texaco Flip-Chart, and the local Dallas Texaco stations would have them every week. You fold them up so that the offense of one team lines up against the defense of another. They were great — I remember getting the new one every week!

• Paul would probably like this Reach, Wright & Ditson athletic equipment catalog from 1929. [Yes indeed! — PL]

• Here’s a set of 1960s Kansas City A’s scorecard pencils, “compliments of” the  team. The seller notes, “Some wear.” Well, sure — they’re pencils!

• Speaking of “compliments of,” the American League graciously gave away these 1966 pocket schedules.

• Here’s a nifty two-in-one item for the New York Football Giants — a 1950s/1960s combination stadium seat cushion and poncho. (The poncho is contained in the seat cushion and there’s a zipper to pull it out. So, if it rains, you won’t get wet, but you won’t have anything to sit on, either.) The cushion includes the Giants’ old stadium-based logo, the pinstriped NFL shield, and “Football Country USA.”

• It doesn’t get much love, but I’ve always liked the World Hockey Association logo, available here on a sticker.

• Here’s a set of four St. Louis Baseball Cardinals stackable team coasters

• This proves that companies will license anything: a 1980s Jim McMahon puppet and can cooler. Someone in marketing thought, “There is a need for this product.”

• How about this (guessing 1950s or ’60s) Green Bay Packers floaty pen! Now, this one has no ink, but the point here is that the football player would float across the field to catch the winning score!

• And here we have a 1969 Black Label beer can, celebrating the Boston Bruins’ 1969-70 Stanley Cup championship. (No beer, though!)

Got an item to include on Collector’s Corner? Tweet submissions to @brinkeguthrie

And be sure to check out the Uni Watch Facebook page starting Friday for a month of fun retro holiday content — an annual tradition curated by yours truly.

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ITEM! Hockey, cycling jerseys available again: I’m happy to report that we’re taking pre-orders for another round of Uni Watch hockey jerseys, tequila sunrise cycling jerseys, and Tour de Uni cycling jersey — all available with your choice of number and NOB.

You’ll need to get your order in by Dec. 11, and they should arrive by mid-January. (Sorry, too late for Christmas delivery — mea culpa on that.) Full details here.

And as long as we’re talking merchandise, keep the following points in mind:

• The Uni Watch Classic Cap, which normally costs $39.99, is now only $35.99 — a 10% break. All fitted sizes are currently in stock, along with the adjustable strapbacks.

• I’ve also reduced the price of Uni Watch trading cards. Full details here.

• Today and tomorrow are the last days to get in on Teespring’s free shipping deal for all orders of $50 or more. You can combine items Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops (or any other Teespring items) to hit that $50 threshold. Use the checkout code FREEOVER50 to get in on the deal, which is good from now through the end of tomorrow.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: This 1972 photo shows Red Sox LF Carl Yastrzemski wearing a prototype of the sansabelt unis the team eventually switched to later that year — with a few notable differences, including pants striping (from AJ).

Pro Football News: The NFL is instituting new pandemic protocols that will require players to wear masks on the sidelines. … The Steelers will wear Color Rash uniforms on Thanksgiving (from Andrew Cosentino). … Following Sunday’s pregame skirmish between the Titans and Ravens, here’s a brief history of road teams disrespecting an opponent’s midfield logo (from Josh Tretakoff). … Jon Solomonson found one of those old Riddell soft-shell helmet toppers at a Florida antiques store, except the shell was outfitted as a throwback Falcons helmet. … Barry Sanders threatened legal action to prevent a Detroit brewery from using his image — in 8-bit form — on one of their beer can designs (from Mike Chamernik). … According to Wade Heidt, this graphic features a player in a uniform he will never wear. Toronto Argonauts QB Matt Nichols (No. 20) was signed by the team in February 2020 and was promptly photoshopped into the Argos’ 2019 set. Of course, the 2020 season was not played, and Toronto just debuted a new helmet logo for the upcoming season. … Matt Knobbe has built a page that allows you to send a custom-uniformed Tecmo Bowl Thanksgiving message to the recipient of your choice.

College Football News: Check out the cover of this 1966 Rose Bowl program, which features cartoon versions of the Big Ten and Pac-8 logos. They were designed by Disney Studios to celebrate Walt Disney’s selection as the grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade that year (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: Several items today from Wade Heidt: NHL.com caught up with Terry Smith, the man who designed the original Sharks logo, to get his thoughts on the team’s new Reverse Retro jersey (also from Kary Klismet). … Charles-Edward Gravel, a goalie for the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, was called up last night and played the entire game in the mask he wore with the Mississauga Senators of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. … Luke McGeough, the son of deceased NHL ref Mick McGeough, wore one of his dad’s old jerseys while reffing a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League game on Saturday. … A Wisconsin goalie took a shot to the head that dented his facemask in practice the other day (from Garrett Van Auken). … New BFBS uniforms for Holy Cross women’s hockey (from @OlegKvasha). … The NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts have new uniforms (from our own Jamie Rathjen).

Basketball News: For the latest in NBA number assignments, head to Etienne Catalan’s Twitter page. … Interesting photoshop treatment by ESPN for free agent PG Isaiah Thomas (from Cody Reeder). … Miami is the latest college program to put a social justice message underneath the back uni numbers (from Jason Lefkowitz).

Soccer News: New logo for the Egyptian Premier League (from Kary Klismet). … Here’s an interesting thread that imagines soccer jersey concepts for several UK-based supermarket chains (from Steve Kriske).

Grab Bag: Several items from Kary Klismet: Caledonia High School (Mississippi) is dropping its “Confederates” team name and opting instead for Cavaliers … X-Men writer Chris Claremont explains why characters tend to change uniforms and costumes intermittently. … New logos for the University of Pikeville, an NAIA school in Kentucky. … We have another NASCAR/football jersey crossover concept from Luis Fernando — this time it’s Dale Earnhardt’s silver and red paint scheme. … Here’s an in-depth look at the U.S. Army uniform from World War I (from Timmy Donahue). … Another one from Timmy: South Korea is now permitting people with tattoos to become police officers. … Disneyland security guards have their own challenge coin — a commemorative coin often carried by military members or law enforcement (from Nick Allen). … New uniforms for French volleyball club ASPTT Mulhouse (from Jeremy Brahm). … New jerseys for Indiana University field hockey (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Here’s a video about the hidden history of Star Trek uniforms (from Steve Tilders).

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Our latest raffle winners are Dan Netser, Casey Lute, Mike Engle, Bob Novotny, and Kraig Bishop, each of whom has won a Uni Watch Trading Card. Congrats to them, and my repeated thanks to Gordon Blau for sponsoring this one.

Monday Morning Uni Watch (and College Hoops Preview!)

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Big day today, as we have a major season preview column for your enjoyment. But before we get to that, protocol dictates that we deal with yesterday’s NFL action.

So! Interesting move yesterday by Washington, which wore retro uniforms (I don’t think we can properly call these true throwbacks). They went with blank helmets — no logo, no numbers, no nothin’ — and also removed the Indian head sleeve logos that have previously been part of this jersey design. Here’s a comparison:

Also: In that “New” photo, see the little grey plastic panel on quarterback Alex Smith’s helmet? Those plastic pieces are standard on one helmet model — I think it’s the ridiculously named Schutt Vengeance. Most teams have them match the shell color, but Washington usually has them in yellow, to match their facemask color. Since yesterday’s retro uni included grey masks, they also used grey for those little plastic panels:

You can see more photos from this game here and here.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Eagles wore their green pants for the first time this season, which helped create a very good-looking game in Cleveland:

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• In that same game Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry saluted his Philly opponents by wearing cleats featuring former 76ers star Allen Iverson:

• The Ravens wore their black alternates:

• The Panthers went mono-black:

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• In that same game, Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter made a cross-sport move by wearing Charlotte Hornets-themed cleats (not sure if he wore them in the game or only for pregame activities):

• Sort of a yin/yang game in Houston as the Texans wore navy over white against the Pats, who wore white over navy:

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• The Vikings broke out the purple Rash:

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• On the last substantive play of that Vikings/Cowboys game (there were two subsequent kneel-downs), one of Vikes wideout Adam Thielen’s yellow shoes inadvertently came off, causing many fans and broadcasters to mistakenly think a penalty flag had been thrown:

• Something about the Steelers/Jaguars game was really visually discordant. The two teams’ color schemes just didn’t mesh well at all. If felt like the Steelers were playing in bright sunshine while the Jags had some sort of dark filter:

• That Pittsburgh/Jacksonville game had something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, as Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his ankle by stepping on a just-tossed penalty flag (additional info here):

• We’ve seen lots of players in recent years wearing Tredcals, which are those thigh pads with the player’s uni number or team logo in raised relief. But Colts defensive lineman Grover Stewart is the first player I’ve seen who’s wearing one with the Black Power fist:

Some quick photo research reveals that he also wore it last week and the week before that, but I hadn’t been aware of it until now.

After a few of us discussed this on Twitter, I learned that Steelers defensive back Terrell Edmunds also wore the raised fist yesterday — as well as “BLM” on his other thigh pad:

Edmunds has been wearing these pads at least since Oct. 11. Again, I hadn’t realized that until now.

• Chargers kicker Mike Badgley arrived for yesterday’s game against the Jets wearing a L.A. Kings jersey:

• Not a single home team wore white.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Mike Chamernik, Jakob Fox, Pro Football Journal, @bparras, and @GoinRounds.)

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College Hoops Season Preview: Don’t look now, but the college basketball season tips off this Wednesday. That means it’s time for the annual Uni Watch College Hoops Season Preview, with all the news on this year’s new uniforms, logos, court designs, and related issues (including Arizona State’s new black alternates, Duke’s new “Equality” slogan underneath the back numbers, and UNC’s new navy alternates, all shown above).

There are over 350 Division I schools, so this is always my biggest column of the year. My InsideHook editor and I were updating it past midnight last night, so it should be very up-to-date! You can check it out here.

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ITEM! Save some money while giving me money: I’m assuming that the holiday shopping season, like just about everything else, is going to be a bit different this year (at the very least, we presumably won’t have people trampling over each other at the Walmart entrance on Black Friday). But one thing you can usually depend upon around this time of year is a series of sales, price breaks, and so on. So in the spirit of the shopping season, I’m happy to announce the following:

• The Uni Watch Classic Cap, which normally costs $39.99, is now only $35.99 — a 10% break. All fitted sizes are currently in stock, along with the adjustable strapbacks.

• As I announced last week, I’ve also reduced the price of Uni Watch trading cards. Full details here.

• And as I mentioned at the end of last week, Teespring is currently offering free shipping on all orders of $50 or more. You can combine items Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops (or any other Teespring items) to hit that $50 threshold. Use the checkout code FREEOVER50 to get in on the deal, which is good from now through Wednesday.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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ITEM! Trading card raffle: Longtime reader Gordon Blau has generously purchased five Uni Watch trading cards for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. 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 five winners tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the winner of the Austin FC shirt raffle is Audra Krake. Big congrats to her!

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Japanese Central League’s Chunichi Dragons revealed an 85th-anniversary logo (from Jeremy Brahm).
 
 

Football News: Pitt added a patch of the athletics program’s “United as One” logo, which was released about a month ago (from @MrBudziszewski). … The CFL’s Edmonton Football Team wants fans to send in suggestions for a new name (from Wade Heidt). … There may not be in-person NFL jersey swaps this season, but Buccaneers QB Tom Brady still got one in the mail from Cardinals WR Deandre Hopkins for winning a tongue-in-cheek meme contest (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: A California high school is building a new stadium. … The music industry is cracking down on NFL teams for using copyrighted music without permission in highlight and locker room footage.

Hockey News: The K-Pop group NCT has a new hockey-themed music video that shows the band members in custom team uniforms, plus there are retired-number banners and a locker room shot (from Mike Chamernik). … The junior United States Hockey League’s Des Moines Buccaneers are building a new arena (from Kary Klismet).

Basketball News: NBA numerologist Etienne Catalan has some more new and changed player numbers. … A high school in Indiana added the initials of its state all-stars to its boys’ team’s jerseys (from Tim Mangas).

Soccer News: Further memorials for former England goalie Ray Clemence from his clubs, Liverpool, Scunthorpe United, and Tottenham Hotspur, included Spurs’ warm-up shirts and black armbands for those three clubs as well as some others. … Liverpool’s ad was also replaced with the advertiser’s charity, which Premier League teams can do once per season (from Moe Khan). … New shirts for Japan’s J2 League’s Ventforet Kofu (from Jeremy Brahm). … A new Chicago team in the National Independent Soccer Association is holding a name-the-team tournament — one of the top choices, Chicago Sting, is a reference to the NASL team (from Chuck Nolan Jr.).

Grab Bag: In Australian Twenty20 cricket’s Women’s Big Bash League, the Sydney Sixers added motivational messages to their shirts in support of young cancer patients. With that, the WBBL has provided us Ticker items for every week of its regular season. … In Ireland, the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday was commemorated by the two county teams that played in the associated Gaelic football game, Dublin and Tipperary. Dublin wore sleeve patches on both sleeves and Tipperary wore throwbacks. The commemoration was made possible by the pandemic, because county teams usually play from January to September. … The U.S. Virgin Islands police have new uniforms (from Timmy Donahue). … Meanwhile, most of last week was Transgender Awareness Week, and the U.K.’s South Wales Police could wear associated patches (also from Timmy). … Here is a history of the Lego logo (from Kary Klismet).

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What Paul did last night two nights ago: Saturday’s installment of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ was more festive (and, as you can see, more cluttered) than usual. That’s because it was the weekend before Thanksgiving. Ordinarily, that would mean we’d be joining up with our friend Carrie and going down to her dad’s place on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where we’d attend the annual Ducks Unlimited Eastern Shore Oyster Roast (I wrote about the 2017 edition of this great event here). Since this year’s oyster roast was cancelled due to the pandemic, we all decided to get together on Saturday and eat oysters over Zoom (you can just barely see our laptop in the PPC™ photo — the Tugboat Captain is looking down at it).

Carrie and her parents just slurped raw oysters, but we decided to simulate the oyster roast by grilling ours, so I set up our little kettle grill in front of the house and strapped on my holstered oyster-shucking knife:

We got a bunch of Malpeque oysters and shucked some of them while leaving the others unopened, plus we also got some littleneck clams:

When the fire was ready, we put the unopened oysters on the grill, added the lid with the vent left open, and cooked them for 10 minutes, by which time they had opened and were ready to eat:

Then we put the shucked oysters on the grill and spooned on a mixture of butter, garlic, paprika, and parsley, followed by a topping of breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese (this is more of a Gulf Coast thing, not a Virginia thing, but it’s mighty tasty). After another 10 minutes they were ready:

It wasn’t as good as a real Virginia oyster roast (and our oysters were farmed, not wild, so there were no pea crabs!), but it was a reasonable facsimile — enough to scratch the itch that my internal clock has developed every year around this time. Here’s hoping we can go back to Virginia for the real thing a year from now.

As always, you can see the full set of daily Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — now more than 250 of them — here.