Listen up, boys and girls, for today I bring you a bona fide scoop. It begins with a note I recieved yesterday from a source who checked in with the following: “Word I hear is that the NFL is going to go to Cs on the captains’ jerseys this year, NHL-style. They’re supposedly going to start during the regular season.”
This was news to me, so I checked with an NFL source, who passed along a press release I hadn’t previously seen, dated May 22nd of this year. According to the release, the league’s Player Advisory Council has been developing a “team captain leadership initiative” for this season, designed to “to support and recognize the importance of team leadership through the role of the captains.” Among the measures being considered: “captain identification on game uniforms.”
So are they going ahead with that plan? My NFL source initially indicated that the Cs were pretty much a done deal for this season. “Captains will wear a C on the right chest,” he told me. And what about teams that already have a patch in that spot? “The C will go above the patch.” (I didn’t think to ask about the Broncos, who present some unique challenges for letter placement.) But later in the day he told me that he’d asked a few more people and had now been informed that the Cs were just a “possibility,” although I got the strong sense that they’re, y’know, a strong possibility.
Captaincy designations aren’t so uncommon in the NCAA, but they’re rare in the pros. The last team to employ the C was the 1994 Patriots (here’s another shot), and the only other C-ified team I’m aware of is the 1983 Cowboys, who slapped the C on Danny White, Bob Breunig, Drew Pearson, and Ron Fellows.
Can’t say I’m in love with this idea. For starters, real estate on NFL jerseys is already in short supply, what with the disappearing sleeves, the massive NFL Equipment logo, the increasing use of chest wordmarks, and so on. Adding another element to the mix is gonna make for some seriously crowded jerseys.
And consider this: As we all learned last week, the Red Wings are moving their C and A designations to the other side of the jersey this season, because Reebok’s new tailoring template puts too many seams and fabric panels where the letters would normally appear (for further details, look here). Given that today’s football jerseys are a veritable crazy quilt of stretch panels and seams compared to hockey jerseys, I’m willing to bet right now that the NFL’s newfound embrace of the C — assuming it happens at all — won’t last long.
Research Project Update: A big pat on the back to everyone who responded to yesterday’s call for “one and done” uniforms (i.e., uniforms that were worn just once, or a handful of times, before being abandoned) — my ESPN column tomorrow will be stronger thanks to your efforts. I won’t have room to thank everyone by name within the column itself, but I’ll do so here on this site tomorrow.
Membership News: Very odd development on Monday, as two completely unrelated people both asked for Harlem Globetrotters treatments for their membership cards (you can see one of them at right). This tops the membership program’s previous coincidental oddity, which came a few weeks ago when three consecutive new enrollees asked for No. 17.
Meanwhile, if you’ve signed up for membership, have you checked to see if your name’s on the roster? Here’s why I ask: The current roster listing has 420 names, plus there are two members who’ve asked not to be listed (although their cards are shown in the design gallery), so that’s a total of 422 enrollees. There are 421 designs in the card gallery, plus there are three cards that haven’t yet been designed, so the full gallery would have 424 designs. That means there are two people who I somehow left off the roster. Are you one of them? Let me know.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I meant to list this on Monday, but it fell through the cracks when my computer crashed over the weekend (and by now most of you probably know about it anyway, but just in case…): Iowa State is letting fans vote on a new helmet design for 2008. … Meanwhile, the Fresno Grizzlies are asking for fan input on redesigning the logo (with thanks to Aaron Wiens). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Blue Jays have added an “SP” memorial patch for former team CEO/chairman Sam Pollock. … The Mets will be wearing Los Mets jerseys this Friday, for Fiesta Latina. … Several people have asked why I haven’t mentioned anything about the Little League World Series. Answer: Because I think the LLWS is bad news. The level of media coverage, the hype, etc. — it’s unhealthy for the kids involved, and arguably even worse for any kid watching it. I’ve written plenty of times about Little League, Pop Warner, and the like, and will continue to do so, but I won’t be party to something like the LLWS. … Nice little piece here about the Brewers’ batting helmets. … Very good article here about players who don’t wear batting gloves. … Just imagine the potential uni-related ramifications of this. … Scotty Johnson reports that dirt late model driver Scott James, who’s from Cincinnati, has a Bengals-themed helmet (and note the “Ocho Tres,” because his car number is 83). … Good catch by Jason Taylor, who notes that Andruw Jones appears to have added an American flag decal to the back of his batting helmet. … Victory Pennants honcho Morris Levin
totally kissed my butt wrote some really nice stuff about Uni Watch in his blog yesterday. … Here’s yet another photo of the “8” on Fenway Park’s exterior wall, and in this shot you really can see that the numeral is upside-down (nice job by Matthew Knell). … Merchandise malfunction, as documented by Justine DeCotis: “I work in the team store of the Pawtucket Red Sox. Recently this hat came in with the correct PawSox logo on the front, but on the bill, where it’s supposed to say ‘Pawtucket Red Sox’ on one side and ‘Pawtucket, Rhode Island’ on the other, it says ‘Atlanta Braves.’” … Cardinals punter Scott Player is currently doing an excellent Hulk Hogan impersonation. “Add in his single-bar facemask and the fact his last name is on most prototype jerseys, and Scott’s my new favorite,” writes Eric D.