Been a long time since we checked in with screen-shot maven Steve K., who spends his time scrutinizing old NFL video (you can see the previous entries featuring his work here, here, here, and here). Here’s his latest batch of spectacular finds, many of which are NOB-related this time around:
• You may recall from some of Steve’s earlier posts that the 1975-77 Chargers sometimes put a player’s first initial after his surname back in the early 1970s. Steve has now documented another team using this odd format: the 1981 Browns. “But there were always exceptions, and not necessarily logical ones,” says Steve. “Here’s offensive lineman Matt Miller. The only other Miller on the squad was Cleo, so not sure why he needed his entire name spelled out. And look at the inconsistent treatments of Robert E. Jackson and Robert L. Jackson.”
• “Rarely did a football team have as many NOB fonts as the late-1970s New York Giants,” says Steve.
• “Gotta love the size of the 1970 Rams’ NOBs,” says Steve. “Most of the Rams players had huge blocky font like this, which is similar to what was worn by Lance Mehl of the Jets in 1984. Unlike the Rams, however, the Jets used this large font for players with short names.”
• Here’s Mike Hogan going NNOB in 1976. “This was his second game with the Eagles and second in a green jersey, so I’m not sure what the story is there,” says Steve.
• Check out Floyd Rice sporting what might be the most ridiculously wide-spaced NOB in NFL history. “That’s from a 1973 game at Cleveland,” says Steve. “The Oilers tended to do this a lot in 1972-73.”
• Of all the ways to handle a McNOB, this seems like one of the most awkward-looking: a full-size superscript C. That’s Florida’s Lee McGriff, from the 1974 Sugar Bowl.
• FNOB alert. That’s Jerry Davis (duh) of the WFL’s Jacksonville Sharks.
• Does it count as FNOB when the first name is a pair of initials? The other Pearson on the Chiefs in 1980 was Aaron Pearson.
• Here’s a rarely seen Jets logo, as modeled by sadly misnamed head coach Charlie Winner.
• Speaking of New York logos, check out this jacket being worn by Tom Landry, from his late-’50s coaching stint with the Giants. Not sure I’ve seen that particular interlocking NY before.
• Steve usually sends me nothing but football shots, but this latest batch included some old WHA images, including this great view of the Birmingham Bulls wearing center-striped helmets!
Great stuff. And it’s particularly nice to see these old-school designs after yesterday’s Nike hype-athon. Speaking of which…
ESPN Reminder: In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, here’s my piece about yesterday’s Nike unveiling. I could have said a whole lot more, but (a) I had to knock out the piece really fast after the unveiling event, and (b) the whole Pro Combat program is so silly, trying to critique it via conventional standards seems pointless. Making a big fuss over it would just further legitimize it. I prefer to think that Nike’s approach here (i.e., corporate lifestyle branding masquerading as team branding, and merchandising masquerading as school spirit) pretty much speaks for itself, especially for Uni Watch readers.
That said, this excellent piece, which ran on Yahoo Sports yesterday, offers some good analysis of the Nike situation. Recommended reading.
Incidentally, about 30 seconds after I arrived at the unveiling event, a guy approached me and said, “Are you Paul?” He introduced himself as a Nike designer, shook my hand, and then said, “I know how you feel about us, but I’ve gotta tell you, I love your site. I read it every day.” At first I figured maybe he was an special operative assigned to soften me up, but he seemed pretty sincere. He even appeared to be disappointed that I wasn’t wearing stirrups.
In the unlikely event that you need still more info on these new Nike designs, here’s the mother lode.
Pre-emptive Strike: The Giants haven’t announced a corporate sponsor for their stadium yet, but No Mas and I decided not to wait. The result: our “I’m Calling It Giants Stadium” shirt, which is now available. Yes, it’s a little pricey — sorry about that (I don’t have any say regarding the price point).
And as long as we’re talking T-shirts, remember that the Meats tee is available in gray and white, sizes M thru XXL, for a mere $13 + $3 shipping for the first shirt and $1.50 shipping for each additional shirt. To order, send the appropriate amount via Amazon Payments to plukas64 at gmail dot com (after paying, send me a separate e-mail with your size, color, and shipping info), or send a check to Paul Lukas, 671 DeGraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217. Overnight shipping available if you want the shirts delivered in time for your Labor Day barbecue.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Now that’s a long NOB. That’s Mats Zuccarello Aasen, a Norwegian player recently signed by the Rangers. Let’s hope he makes the team. ”¦ Check this out: an NFL ref wearing blue gloves. Never seen that before (good spot by Scott Mason). ”¦ Lots of Knievel-style motorcyle suit designs — or “leathers,” as they’re apparently known — on display here (with thanks to John Weghorst). ”¦ New home soccer kit for England. Additional coverage here (with thanks to Stephen Wong and Michael Orr). ”¦ Lots of great old Syracuse sports photos here (with thanks to Jeremy Richardson). ”¦ Pretty cool shots of Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason painting his own crease and teammate Mike Commodore working on the center ice logo (big thanks to John Muir). ”¦ Here’s a new spin on FNOB. I’m assuming that’s a spring training shot (with thanks to Paul Wiederecht). ”¦ Pretty good story about that high school that uses the Van Halen logo on its helmet (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Here’s a good video about the Browns’ equipment staff (with thanks to Joseph Bailey). ”¦ Coupla interesting Dartmouth football practice photos from Tris Wykes: This one shows a coach using a “fumble strap” — it loops around the ball and the coach can tug or jerk on it while the back tries not to cough up the pigskin. And the large ball in this shot is part of a drill designed to teach backs how to shed low tackles. ”¦ David Teigland was at the Minnesota State Fair and reports that Timberwolves booth were being encouraged to vote on the team’s 2011-12 throwback uni. “The guy I talked to at the booth (probably a ticket sales rep) said it will definitely be one of those two designs,” says David. “They are also selling T-shirts with each design. The same guy said the Muskies one was leading in the fan voting (I’d guess it would win, since people in MN love their fishing). Though I’m sure the fan vote is not a binding ballot.” Further info here. ”¦ Phil probably covered this last month, but just in case: NFL officiating crews are wearing memorial cap patches for Bob Lawing, a back judge who died earlier this year. Further info here (big thanks to Daniel Dykstra).