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Why Not Just Wear a Tank Top?

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Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist had some seriously short sleeves yesterday. His shoulder pads were poking out on both sides for the entire game, and his “ND” sleeve logo was more like a shoulder logo. My thanks to reader Eric Geyer for pointing this out.

Other college football notes from yesterday:

• My college football column on ESPN mentioned that Louisville had a new helmet stripe and new facemask color, but I didn’t know they also had new pants striping (not until Brian Davis told me, that is).

• Missouri is wearing a memorial decal for former QB Daniel Schatz.

• FBS uni change we all missed: Last year Vanderbilt went NNOB with a star logo above the uni numbers, but this year they’ve scrapped the logo and restored the NOBs.

•  Another one we missed: New uniforms for Bowling Green. Sorry, that’s the best photo I could find of the new design, at least for now.

• UNLV defensive player Troy Aoki was wearing a Nevada flag patch instead of an NOB. Anyone know what that’s about? Like, does one player get to wear that each game or something like that?

• Louisiana Tech wore their new blue road pants for the first time. Pretty sharp look, methinks.

• Hmmm, I don’t recall having seen Adidas visors before. Is that a new thing?

Uni Watch News Ticker: British Foreign Secretary William Hague caused a bit of a stir by wearing a baseball cap (thanks, Giancarlo). ”¦ Some goalie in Russia likes to put kittens on his mask designs (with thanks to Todd Davis). ”¦ The Pirates have added a “JLB” memorial patch for former GM Joe Brown. ”¦ Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that the Chargers would wear memorial decals for Don Coryell and Big Hands Johnson for their season opener. Correction: It will be for their home opener, which is Week 2. ”¦ I’ve loved just about every uni- and logo-related move the Minnesota Wild have made since their inception, except for this wordmark. The good news is that they’ve scrapped it; the bad news is that the new wordmark is only marginally better. ”¦ A semi-pro football player has landed in the clink for attacking a ref with his helmet. ”¦ Really interesting piece about the old “Rumble in the Jungle” stadium in Kinshasa (nice find by Don Gale). ”¦ Holy Cross soccer goalie Evan Polanik wore some sort of rugby-ish headwear last night (with thanks to Tris Wykes). ”¦ Tyler Kepner wrote in last night with a great observation: “So I’m watching this UNC/LSU game, which is being played in the Georgia Dome, site of the Rams/Titans Super Bowl in 2000. How weird is it that, just like in that game, there’s a team in white jersey/yellow pants against a team wearing light blue? Of course some things are a little different, but all in all it’s a pretty close match. I expect to see Kevin Dyson dangling the ball at the 1-yard line as time expires.” ”¦ Really interesting article about Nebraska mascot Herbie Husker. To get to the best bits, search on the word “Adidas” (big thanks to Brian Hansen).

96 comments to Why Not Just Wear a Tank Top?

  • The Jeff | September 5, 2010 at 8:26 am |

    If those sleeves get any shorter, they’re going to have to start going the route that the Backbreaker video game used and put stripes on the pads.

    • ryan | September 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm |

      Crist wasnt the only one with those sleeves…all the QB’s had them. If you saw the guys wearing the red ball caps they had the absurdly short sleeves as well

  • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:10 am |

    One, hopefully, final thought on yesterday’s strident name-calling.

    Garrison Keillor once said (and I’m paraphrasing) that this is an extraordinary country and that “I don’t think that’s something that was accomplished by angry people.”

    In the long run, it isn’t the narrow-perspective bellowers who have led us to where we are. Thank God.


  • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:13 am |

    Anyone notice that yeserday’s Texas-Rice game was probably the least “bumper-sticked” game we’ve seen in a long, long time?


    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:19 am |

      Don’t know about the white belts on Rice, though.
      A little too “Herb Tarlek,” maybe?


      • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 9:32 am |

        With the caveat that they should be wearing their home white pants with the blue jerseys, the white belt does break up the blue-on-blue-on-blue nicely.

        Of course, most of that white should be gray anyways, since we don’t “fight for the blue and white,” but…

  • Jonathan Sluss | September 5, 2010 at 9:21 am |

    the unc game came close enough…same endzone too

  • Ricardo Leonor | September 5, 2010 at 9:33 am |

    Took a break from college football and grilling yesterday and sat down with the kids to watch the movie Sandlot. I had been “aware” of the film but had never taken the time to sit down and watch it.

    I am having a debate with a friend over something in the film that is uni related. In the movie several kids were Yankee caps, Benny wears and LA Dodgers cap, and one kid wears an LA Angels cap ( with halo). The cap that Benny gives Smalls is navy blue with a yellow block letter “C”. It’s origin is of course never specified except that it was “Benny’s old hat”..

    I say that it’s college ( Cal Golden Bears) since the movie is set in California 1962. My buddy says it is not. He says the Golden Bears were already wearing the Cursive “Cal” on the helmet and caps. That doesn’t seem very late 50s-early 60s to me…

    In any case if anyone knows let me now. The first half bar tab at next week’s Giants-Panthers game is on the line!!

    • JTH | September 5, 2010 at 9:37 am |

      According to the Helmet Project, script Cal didn’t appear on the football helmets until 1978.

      (scroll down to Cal in the historical helmets section.)

    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:42 am |

      Well, based on styles of the era, I’d go with you. In the late 50’s, early 60s, Cal wasn’t even using “Cal” on it’s football helmets yets. Can’t imagine it appeared on baseball hats first.


      • LarryB | September 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm |

        a “nimrod” quarterback???????

      • teenchy | September 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm |

        Being an East Coaster I’ve never seen the Cal jerseys from that era. They look very reminiscent of Princeton’s. I’m guessing navy with yellow sleeve stripes; does anyone have any color pics of them?

      • TA | September 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm |

        I’m pretty sure the Cal baseball team has never worn the script Cal on its caps. The block C cap is what they wear to this day.

        • teenchy | September 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm |

          Can’t reply to Ricko’s last post but thanks for sharing. I like those Cal jerseys; they’d make a nice throwback but for the phenomenon captured in today’s headline. Even Princeton itself doesn’t truly wear sleeve stripes anymore, having morphed them into something reminiscent of the Islanders’ Stanley Cup hashmarks.

    • Ricardo Leonor | September 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm |

      Forgot to mention that the pitcher seemed to be wearing KC Monarchs cap….

      This version:

      Very nice touch. Normally Hollywood would overlook a detail like this and put the kid in Cubs or Indians cap..

      • Bob A | September 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm |

        “You’re killing me, Smalls!”

  • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 9:37 am |

    “Koshechkin says the kitty’s name is [something I don’t know how to transliterate in Russian] and that it is very bored from being on the side of his head all the time.”

    Do hockey goalies get hit in the head a lot more than it looks like they do or is he just delightfully crazy?

  • mje | September 5, 2010 at 9:41 am |

    In regards to the UNLV player with the flag… I think I heard the announcer say that his jersey was ripped off of him in the first half so he changed jerseys. The discussion was centered on the number change. I guess it is like the “blood jersey” in soccer games.

    • Jerry | September 6, 2010 at 8:21 am |

      No! It’s because Nevada is the 36th state. 36 is the special number at UNLV.

  • LI Phil | September 5, 2010 at 10:14 am |

    is it possible to get skeeb or someone who’s either in the equipment room or has access to the guys with these incredible shrinking sleeves to give a “definitive” answer as to why they keep disappearing altogether?

    the “obvious” answer is “to prevent being grabbed” (or some such) and while i won’t argue with that premise, how is it that sleeves survived for…oh…75 years (even though jerseys got progressively tighter)… and only NOW did the discover they might be used against them?

    or is this, much like the pajama pant, just some (hopefully) cyclical trend in uni style? because, in some small way, i gotta think this i a) an effort to show off the guns (hey, you’re football players, we KNOW you have huge biceps) but also b) more canvas to display ink

    it’s sad when in the major sports, the players’ union has such power that they can unilaterally oppose “restrictions” upon how players wear their uniform, and the uni police are, at best, forced to give only token fines to violators

    one thing is for sure (at least in the pros), the sleeves will never shrink so far that they can’t fit the vector on them — there will ALWAYS be enough room for that

    • JTH | September 5, 2010 at 10:23 am |

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Nonexistent sleeves might force the NFL to allow Reebok (or Nike or whoever has the contract at that point) to put the logos to the front of the jerseys, a la the NCAA, or to the back, above the NOB, like they are in the NHL.

      • JTH | September 5, 2010 at 10:26 am |

        …to ***MOVE*** the logos…

        (that’s what I get for trying to edit what I’ve written without a preview window)

    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm |

      I repeat..

      Chicks dig big guns.


  • KT | September 5, 2010 at 10:49 am |

    The ceiling, to me, is what makes this room:

    • mtjaws | September 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm |

      very cool. Those wood carvings are awesome. I’d like some of those for my favorite teams.

      And hopefully the Coyotes can get more great/crazy fans like this guy.

  • Andy McNeel | September 5, 2010 at 10:51 am |

    Re: Holy Cross goalkeeper wearing rugby-style headgear…

    Chelsea and Czech Republic keeper Petr Cech wears the same thing, ever since he suffered a fractured skull in a game in 2006.

  • Jim Vilk | September 5, 2010 at 11:15 am |

    Louisville upgraded their unis most splendidly. Only one thing left to fix: CARDINALS DON’T HAVE TEETH.

    • Jim Vilk | September 5, 2010 at 11:19 am |

      And no “…just like anyone else in Kentucky” jokes, now…

      • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm |

        So may they should black out one of the Cardinal’s teeth?


      • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm |

        Notice how small the ball looks in Crist’s hands?

        That’s how most of us look holding a Junior or Intermediate size football.


        • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm |

          Well, that got posted in the wrong place.

    • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm |

      And I wouldn’t say they changed their stripes. They added stripes, and they look good, much better than the blobs on last year’s pants, according to the photo.

    • JamesP. | September 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

      count again, Count…there are seven! Seven Adidas logos! BWAHAHA!

      • The Jeff | September 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm |

        2 visor clips
        2 arm bands
        1 collar
        1 pant

        Where’s number 7?

      • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm |

        Both gloves are striped. That could make eight.

        • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm |

          Nah, that would only count if there were three stripes. There’s at least seven gray and six white stripes on his gloves.

  • LarryB | September 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

    I laughed when I saw today’s subject title. I have thought the way football sleeves have gotten shorter and shorter that they may as well wear tank tops.

    And basketball players used to wear tank top type jerseys. The 2 sports have gone to the opposites.

    • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm |

      And not just with shirts but with pants too — basketball players now wear longer pants than football players. They passed each other going in the opposite direction a few years ago.

      • Ricardo Leonor | September 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm |

        The other night, some of the NYG linemen really did look like they wear wearing tank tops….so some of those tops that female athletes wear…..

        Funny how a bad cut can ruin a simple classic look…

  • JamesP. | September 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm |

    Louisiana Tech’s white on blue looked awesome last night. Probably the bet looking of the Nike uniforms out there this season!

    • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |

      Call me a classicist, but I loved Miami of Ohio’s threads.

  • Ricardo Leonor | September 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm |

    TCU….worst uni of the opening weekend….

    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm |

      Agreed. If someone showed up wearing a Horned Toad suit in the line to get onto “Let’s Me A Deal” we’d say he was a goofball.


  • PatrickinMI | September 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm |

    Jim Vilk, where’s your 5 best college football unis of the weekend?

  • DJ | September 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

    The adidas eyeshields are not that new; I recall seeing them on Notre Dame players for the last couple of seasons.

    • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm |

      Expect to see more of them now that players can’t wear eyeblack with messages, corporate or otherwise.

    • =bg= | September 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm |

      Yeah, true. I remember a shot last year of Clausen, he had the Adidas A everywhere.

  • Terry D. | September 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    How come I’m getting a Philip Rivers vibe from Dayne Crist?

  • S. Bennett | September 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm |

    Adidas doesn’t have to actually make the visor to provide little stickers to put on the tabs.

    The Holy Cross GK thing that caught me wasn’t the scrum cap – as someone else noted, it’s not unprecedented. Petr Cech and an outfield player by the name of Cristian Chevu, who plays for Inter, wears one. Unstrapped too. He also suffered a skull-breaking incident.

    The thing that caught me about the Holy Cross pic was the Nike kit and the Adidas accessories. seems out of sync with NCAA soccer that they’d mix manufacturers, especially on something like a skull cap and something that needs quick replacing like ‘keepers’ gloves. Considering the cost of gloves and the average income of college kids, I’m immediately throwing out personal preference.


    • JTH | September 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm |

      Just because the average college student may not be able to afford it doesn’t mean that this kid can’t. There were a couple kids from my high school who got soccer scholarships at NCAA D-I schools (Wake Forest and Colorado State, maybe?). There were also some football, baseball, etc. scholarships, but since we’re talking soccer here…

      Both of them drove very nice cars that they didn’t have to shell out a dime for. I’m sure, relieved of the burden of having to pay college tuition, their parents would not have blinked at the prospect of buying a little supplemental personal preference equipment.

      Unless I win the lottery or something, I have no plans to buy any of my kids their own car. But if one of them does manage to get a sports scholarship, I would have no problem picking up the tab for whatever additional equipment that’s “needed.”

      • S. Bennett | September 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm |

        It’s a pretty rare athlete who is allowed to wear branded equipment outside the university’s monster athletic contract.

        The only exceptions I can think of are when the manufacturer simply doesn’t make the product (even then they often obliterate the competitor’s logo or smear one of their own on it) or your dad is Michael Jordan.

        • JTH | September 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm |

          Holy Cross has a monster contract with Nike?

        • Patrick Johnston | September 6, 2010 at 1:33 am |

          I’m pretty sure Nike doesn’t make a scrum cap. They make everything else a rugby player might need, and despite kitting out England and France, no player has ever been seen wearing a scrum cap with a swoosh on it.

    • S. Bennett | September 5, 2010 at 7:54 pm |

      From Nike’s perspective, I doulbt it’s one of their bigger deals.

      From Holy Cross’ perspective, sure. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s covering a significant portion of the team’s expenses to get free unis. training gear and clothes, tracksuits, equipment and so on. With that in mind, I find it odd that a player went on the field with competitors’ branding clearly visible. On highly visible / marquee pieces of equipment, too.


  • Geeman | September 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm |

    Gotta disagree with the person who said the UNC-LSU game was like that Super Bowl game. Carolina wore light blue (thankfully) last night and the Titans wore dark blue in that Super Bowl.

  • James Craven | September 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm |

    Mr. L., when will we see the NFL UNi Preview

    • Paul Lukas | September 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm |


      • James Craven | September 7, 2010 at 10:33 am |


  • =bg= | September 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm |

    PL, you’d know this.

    Watched my Giants steal one from LA last nite…

    Game of the week tonite, btw.)

    ..and I wondered why are the Dodgers numbers red in front?

    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm |

      This may not be accurate, but I always had the impression it was something that begin in Spring Training at Vero Beach in the late
      40s-early ’50s, as a way for the management and coaching staff to identify the scads of players on hand at Dodgertown, at all levels of the Dodgers system, both coming and going (seeing as they couldn’t possibly have know all their faces).

      Eventually the numbers became part of the uni after “goin’ north”, too.

      I have color photos clipped from a mid-’50s SI (somewhere around here) that show members of the coaching staff wearing red Dodgers hats, too. And some personnel (probably coaches) also had large red letters on the front instead numbers, such as “A” through “D”, maybe.



  • DenverGregg | September 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

    Flipping through channels I saw the Tulsa/East Carolina game and Tulsa players are wearing patches similar to the NFL captain patches.

    Since football pants are now shorter than basketball shorts, I guess it only makes sense that the jerseys are converging too.

  • Scott W | September 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm |

    SJSU added NOB’s and took away the lettering from their helmet logo; all that’s left is the Spartan “shield logo”

  • mtjaws | September 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm |

    I noticed Notre Dame’s tiny sleeves too, and hated it. Plus swapping shoulder tv numbers for the ND logo is a real downgrade. Especially since the ND was more on the shoulder corner than the sleeve.

    Thankfully they won’t be on tv much again this year. grrr.

    • Joel | September 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm |

      all there games all played on NBC

      • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm |

        Only home games. That’s all they–or any team–can control for that “own network” deal of theirs.


      • mtjaws | September 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm |

        Oh I know! I was just poking fun because NBC has all the home games, and ESPN/ABC/CBS pretty much shows every Irish road game too. I know they have a national following and it’s a unique arrangement. I’ve just never been a fan of ND, so I always watch a different game when they are on every week.

        • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |

          Amazing how much clout Regis Philbin has with the networks, huh. :)


  • Ray H. | September 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm |

    As if Tulsa didn’t already screw up by not batting down the pass, they also had two #1’s on the field at the same time.

    • Ray H. | September 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm |

      Still one of the dopier NCAA rules, the duplicate numbers on the field at the same time thing.

      I mean, it’s kinda been done for years when teams like Alabama used to dress half the state for home games…but back then they’d issue the duplicate numbers to guys waaaaaayyyyyy down on the depth chart.


      • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm |

        The reason, of course, being 17-year-olds saying things like, “I’ll play for you if I can keep my trademark number 2 (or whatever).”

        Right. Your “trademark number” at East-South Valley High back in Smokestack, PA or Coral Driveby, FL.


      • war eagle jeffrey | September 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm |

        seems like it shouldn’t be two players who garner significant playing time both having the same number.

        e.g., auburn’s starting qb is #2, cam newton…starting linebacker is #2, aaron savage. i don’t like it one bit.

        a wide receiver and the starting place kicker also share the same number.

        i want to identify a number with ONE player…if two share a number one should be buried on the depth chart.

    • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm |

      I thought it was only legal if the two players were on opposite sides of the team, so they couldn’t be on the field at the same time. Was that a special teams play or something?

  • Zach Brady | September 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm |

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned this. Having short sleeves on a football jersey is far from a fashion statement. Maybe if you never played you wouldn’t know this, but your arm movement is really constricted with shoulder pads and a tight jerseys. A QB will either roll up or cut off his sleeves for a better and less constricted range of movement, especially if he has short arms

    • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm |

      I’d like to repeat my question from last week about why a QB would choose such large shoulder pads as to necessitate sleeve shenanigans to have enough range of motion to throw.

      • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm |

        They don’t. That business about putting the ball up by your ear—trying to place it as near “12 o’clock” as possible—is myth.


    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |

      Okay, Zach and I are saying the same thing but from opposite ends of the conversation. I’m taking about the pads not getting in the way. He’s talking about it being the jersey that can mess it up the throwing motion, and he’s right.

      The longer, baggier half-sleeves of the past worked fine. But the tight sleeves of today restrict movement if not modified. That why QBs either do what Crist does, or what players like Tony Romo, the Mannings and others do: Stick the with wider half sleeves with, in the case of Romo and Eli on the road, stripes an’ everything.


  • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm |

    How ’bout this old Navy uni (esp. the helmet)?


    • Ricko | September 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |

      And, no, I don’t mean something you can pick up at Old Navy.


      • Inkracer | September 5, 2010 at 10:51 pm |

        Damnit.. NOW You tell me.. well, that’s one Old Navy I’m never allowed in again..
        Oh well..

  • Clint W | September 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm |

    White Sox September call-up Alejandro De Aza has a little spacing problem with his two-word NOB.

    But this raises a better question. Wouldn’t the Sox’ NOBs look a lot better if they bothered to cut the white fabric out of the middle of the letters with enclosed spaces, like O’s and R’s?

    • jdreyfuss | September 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm |

      Yeah, that does make it look like a bad DIY job or a youth league where the player’s mom put the kid’s name on his jersey.

  • J.D. | September 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm |

    When East Carolina completed a hail mary with no time left to beat Tulsa today, Tulsa had an interesting coincidence: they had two players on the field wearing #1, DB Trent Wilkins and WR Trae Johnson.


    It was my impression that in NCAA football two players on the same team were allowed to wear the same number, as long as they were not on the field at the same time. Maybe Tulsa deserved to lose in heartbreaking fashion due to their flagrant flouting of this uni rule.

    • Adam | September 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm |

      I was just going to comment on the same thing. I was definitely under the impression this wasn’t allowed. I remember a few years ago Purdue’s backup QB Chris Bennett ahd to go in, but since his #17 was worn by a receiver, he had to borrow Joey Elliott’s #14 jersey. What’s the rule on this?

    • jdreyfuss | September 6, 2010 at 6:07 am |

      See about five slots up for the earlier discussion.

  • Brandon | September 6, 2010 at 12:14 am |

    Paul, I remember during the broadcast on Versus. The announcers briefly talked about #36 and the flag. There was a TD and then a commercial and I don’t remember if they ever got back to the subject.

  • jdreyfuss | September 6, 2010 at 6:15 am |

    Interesting concept, but they already have a #36 listed on their roster, a long snapper from Hawaii named Troy Aoki. Didn’t he have to change his number?