Yesterday I mentioned that Bolivar High in Missouri wears a yellow decal on the left side of their helmet and a white uni number on the right, and asked if anyone knew of any football teams with mismatched helmet decals.
It turns out that this basic format — logo on one side, uni number on the other — is hardly unique in the world of high school football. Within hours of yesterday’s post going up, readers had identified several similar schools, including Kings High School in suburban Cincinnati (logo, uni number), Fort Madison High in Iowa (logo, uni number), Wooster High in Ohio, and La Salle High in Milwaukie, Oregon. Several other readers said they knew of additional examples but didn’t have photos.
Granted, that’s not a huge number of schools, but it’s a lot more than the number of pro or college teams that design their helmets this way (i.e., zero). I was about to ask if anyone knew why this trope appears to be limited to the high school ranks when it hit me: merchandising. High schools don’t sell replica helmets, helmet-shaped ice buckets, helmet-shaped lamps, or any of that other crap. If they did, they’d probably want the school logo on both sides. Just another case of the merchandising tail wagging the uni dog.
Thanks to all who contributed, especially Matt Lanzoff, Scott Mason, and Tim Snyder.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Speaking of high school football, if for some reason I had to go back to high school, I’d try to enroll at Sullivan South in Tennessee, where they know a thing or two about how to dress a football team (except maybe for that facemask, but don’t tell Blane Gallatin I said that, since he’s the one who provided the photo). … According to this article, Reebok’s new NHL uni template will be unveiled at this season’s All-Star Game (which means we’ve all got three months to perfect our suicide plans). … Boston College coach Tom O’Brien has a small quip about FSU’s all-black unis at the very bottom of this article (with thanks to James Harvey). … Nice little uni-centric blog entry, including a look at the NFL’s old uniform and equipment guidelines, available here. … Todd Krevanchi notes that UConn’s women’s hoops team is switching from this to this. … And Jonathan Carone reports that Liberty now looks like this (here’s another view). … We all know by now that the Cowboys have two different sets of silver pants. But Ryan Mackman wonders if they were mixing and matching last Sunday, or if it was just the way the light was reflecting on that shot. … The best thing about last night’s Mets/Cards rainout is that it gives me another excuse to link to this. … Great soccer tidbit from RJ Charles, who writes: “Interesting occurrence in England this past weekend. Chelsea had two goalkeepers injured during their game vs. Reading, forcing captain John Terry to don the third-string goalkeeper’s jersey and protect the net for the final minutes of the game. His usual uni number is 26, but the jersey he put on had No. 40. Too bad Reading couldn’t even get a shot off on him before the game ended.” … Always good to hear from Uni Watch Tennessee bureau chief (and Ralph Lauren Polo devotee) Luke Pellegra, who reports that the Tennessee hoops team, which previously looked like this, is adding some completely unnecessary black trim this season. Different side panels, too (old, new). Looks like they have some typographic issues to work out on the numeral “2,” however, at least judging by the media day pics — compare this to this (the latter of which matches the style used last season) … Speaking of media day photo shoots, here are some more shots of those crummy new OSU unis (tip o’ the cap to Michael Keys). … Good observation by Chaz Noerenberg, who notes that the uni number of Matt Leinart’s jersey clearly has a white edge, while many of his teammates’ numbers don’t. Noerenberg thinks this indicates that the black trim on Leinart’s number “must be screened onto the white twill, much the way the Swingman replicas are produced,” but I think maybe it’s just a case of crummy quality control. Joe Hilseberg, if you’re reading this, fill us in! … Did Neil Rackers have a Band-Aid on his forehead last night? … New ESPN column tomorrow (a day earlier than usual), and I don’t mind telling you that it’s a doozy. Seriously, people, prepare to have your little uni-centric worlds rocked to the core — this one’s gonna be big.