We have a lot to cover this week, boys and girls, so let’s get started, beginning with some observations from Week 1 in the NFL:
• Ronnie Brown and Chris Chambers were both wearing some serious high whites on Thursday night (particularly interesting in Brown’s case, because he had very low whites during the preseason). Here they are together.
• Good to see that the Steelers still wear those ribbed socks.
• Completely lame for the Lions to wear black for their home opener (or, let’s face it, for any game at all).
• Warrick Dunn’s still wearing his big metal necklace.
• Several Cowboys players were doing that trick where they tie down the base of the jersey collar to the shoulder pads, which has the effect of obscuring the NFL logo.
Numerology: As most of you probably saw (or wrote) in the Comments section, the consensus about Pitt’s inconsistent numbers and nameplates in the 1977 Sugar Bowl (full details of which are available here) is that the players with the simpler, plainer design were probably wearing tearaway jerseys, which are now banned.
And it turns out that inconsistent numbers are hardly unique to tearaways, or to Pitt. John Vivino points out that in Penn State’s 1994 season, culminating in the 1995 Rose Bowl, the Lions had at least two different numbering styles. Compare the two different 3s here, or the difference between the navy 2s here and here, or between the white 2s here and here.
These sorts of mistakes still happen today. Just last Saturday, for example, Ole Miss debuted their new road jerseys (the numbers, shoulder stripes, and “Ole Miss” chest logo on have switched from red with blue trim to just red). Check out the difference between the 7s here and here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Underbill Update I: According to this article, Twins prospect Matt Garza writes “Shove It” (“as in shove it down the throats of the hitters”) and his kids’ initials under his brim. … Underbill Update II: Chris Creamer snapped this photo of Paul Byrd, but the writing isn’t clear enough to make out. … Latest reader complaint about the Cool-Flo batting helmets: Matt Sanderson says they sit a bit lower on the head (or else are cut a bit lower near the non-flapped ear region), so the non-flapped ear ends up getting crimped or shmushed. Compare: old, new. “In addition to looking downright silly (ears poking out from under helmets at 90-degree angles) and bush league (why can’t they get a $10 million player a helmet that fits?), it CAN’T be comfortable, can it?” writes Sanderson. “Some players seem to (intentionally or unintentionally) ‘tuck’ the ear in, so you can’t see the top of the ear (sort of like the new AI-inspired hip hop way to wear a fitted cap way too big).” … Still more on the topic of white name/number tags on socks, courtesy of a source with the Astros: “We have a white dot on the toe of the sock where they write the number. Why put it on the upper part when you can put it in the shoe?” … New Mexico’s basketball team plans a season-long celebration of the Pit’s 40th anniversary, including a jersey patch and a throwback game featuring 1966 unis. Further details here (with thanks to Rob Montoya). … Oh-so-clever Steve Bakeis has come up with an alternate Uni Watch T-shirt design. … The Sabres will unveil their new unis this Saturday. … The White Sox did their annual “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” promotion last Friday, with the team wearing ridiculous green trim, green caps, and — at least for Jim Thome — green socks. … Bryan Redemske, who last week pointed out that Nomar was wearing Reebok cleats on August 30th and Puma on September 2nd, notes that he was back to Reebok on September 8th. … Unscheduled blood donation Friday night in Baltimore, where pitcher Brian Burres, making his MLB debut, developed a nosebleed right there on the mound, necessitating some serious sleeve wipeage. And for good measure, he spat some blood, too. (Thanks to Bill Blevins for the tip.). … There was some concern that Louisiana-Monroe’s new road jerseys wouldn’t be ready in time for Saturday’s game in Kansas, which would have created a minor crisis (for details, scroll down to the last news item here). But the whites arrived just in time. … Minor goof Saturday night in Minnesota, where the uni number on the front of Justin Morneau’s jersey was red, instead of the Twins’ usual white. … In 2002 through 2005, the Mets wore first responder caps on 9/11, whether they were at home or on the road. But this time around they wore the caps yesterday (i.e., on 9/10), because they’ll be on the road tonight. Not sure if they’ll also wear the caps tonight in Florida. … In further 9/11 news, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin wore an FDNY cap last night (thanks to Mike from Queens for the screen-grab), and many other Giants coaches and players wore first responder caps as well. … Not quite uni-related, but germane to our discussions of logo creep: Marc Wermund passed along this article that explains how to remove the logo from your cell phone with sugar (maybe it’ll also work on coaches’ headsets). … Nice work by Jonathan Carone, who writes: “I was front row on the 50 for tonight’s game between Liberty U (I-AA, yes, Falwell’s school) and Glenville State (DII). To my surprise, one of the guys on the [chain gang] was wearing stirrups.” Long ago, of course, chain gang stirrups were common in the NFL, too. … In case you missed the discussion in the weekend Comments sections, Oregon actually looked okay on Saturday, but the silver nameplates were illegible. Another brilliant move by Swoosh Inc.