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Good Thing There Are No North Koreans in the NHL


Interesting move in last night’s Rangers/Flyers game, as Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Voracek — both native Czechs — paid tribute to the recently deceased Václav Havel by wearing his initials on their helmets. The solemnity of that occasion was somewhat undercut during pregame warm-ups, when both teams promoted the Winter Classic helped move some merch by wearing throwback ski caps — in some cases with the hang tag still attached. Classy. ”” Paul

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Benchies Header

Two-for-One Benchies

by Rick Pearson


Keep believing maybe reindeer can fly, too. You just never know…

12-24-11 d-Present

And the full-size.


And one for tomorrow…

Somehow, must combine Holiday tradition and an NFL Sunday…

12-25-11 s-Ryder

And the full-size.

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Uni Watch News Ticker, Xmas Eve Edition: Here’s a close-up of that Wisconsin Rose Bowl jersey design. The countdown is for the full uni unveiling on Dec. 30. … Scroll down to the middle of this page for some interesting info on the mask now being worn by Indiana hoops player Derek Elston (from Todd Usher). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Lots of gorgeous vintage New England skiing photos here. … Russ Yurk was recently at the UNC basketball museum and got the best shots I’ve ever seen of UNC’s numbered stirrups. Also: There was a warm-up top with this neat little basketball button. … Tulane hoops wore blue uniforms for the first time since 1985 the other day (from Evan Horton). … Here’s a dynamite piece on the state of airline livery design. Be sure to click on the interactive feature, which has some great photos (major thanks to Robert Wheeler). … Ooh, dig these great Cubs caricature illustrations. … New logo for the Women’s United Soccer League, “if anyone cares,” says Ben Traxel. … Finally, it was mighty thoughtful of Nike and a bunch of their idiot customers to provide us with this holiday snapshot of everything that’s wrong with America. Way to make us proud, gang. And to all a good night.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with the list of this year’s reader-appreciation raffle winners. The comments will be open, so you can chime in with uni observations or holiday greetings in between sips of eggnog and make-out sessions under the mistletoe. Although there’s a full slate of NFL games today, I’ll be busy all day with party planning, cooking, etc., so I don’t expect to have any uni coverage in tomorrow’s post. I’ll try to cover those games on Monday, if I’m not too wiped out Sunday’s activities.

Comments (73)

    I thought one of the Ranger’s players had something extra on the back of their helmet while I was watching. I think it may have just been the Garden of Dreams logo centered instead of on the left side of the back of the helmet.

    Party planning and cooking instead of Uni Watching… You’re a disgrace to your own site. A *real* Uni Watcher would do both.

    /just kidding, don’t ban me

    i think mike’s xmas present should be a new 72″ HDTV, so he and mick won’t have to watch on that teeny tiny little thing…

    Below are Tulane coach Ed Conroy’s post game comments about the blue uniforms from the New Orleans Times-Picayune via its website after the Green Wave lost to No. 1 Syracuse Thursday night:

    “The Green Wave played without starting forward Tomas Bruha, a 7-footer whom Conroy said reinjured his right knee in practice a couple of days ago.

    Conroy said he sensed his team was down about Bruha’s absence, and he decided to give the players a new look. So at the team’s pregame meal Thursday, he revealed a blue jersey, a color the team hadn’t worn for a game since 1985.

    “I was looking for the right time to pull them out,’’ Conroy said. “Not that there’s magic in the uniforms, but they had a chance against the No. 1 team in the country. Plus, it’s Christmas. It’s a gift.”

    Why is the NFL playing all of it’s games today anyway? I know they’ve done xmas day games before. Thank you NFL, for giving me freaking NOTHING to watch on TV tomorrow.

    A. No I won’t.

    B. If I did, I’d have to wear an eyepatch, and as a Raiders fan I’m ok with that.

    C. Bah Humbug.

    Not positive, but I *think* it’s in the current collective bargaining agreement that the players can no longer be forced to play on Dec. 25. I think that’s a nice move, frankly — let the players enjoy the holiday with their families.

    There’s still a scheduled game on Christmas Day this year (Chicago at Green Bay), so it seems unlikely you’re recalling the current CBA. Other recent Christmas Day games include 2010 (Dallas at Arizona), 2009 (San Diego at Tennessee), and 2006 (Philadelphia at Dallas and NY Jets at Miami). And as a side note, this year’s Packers play regular season games on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day – the first team ever to do so.

    Yeah, but it’s just one game, rather than the whole slate.

    Maybe I’m mis-remembering, but I recall multiple Christmases in my youth that featured the majority of the NFL schedule being played. Essentially, if it was Sunday. they played. This shifting everything to Saturday for no real reason kinda bothers me.

    Are you new?

    The NFL did the same thing back in 2005, 1994, playoffs ’88 & 83. Christmas on a Sunday is not your typical NFL Sunday. A lot of people in church, traveling, relatives, etc. Plus it’s probably a Union thing to have Christmas off for the players.

    Sometimes after reading some of his comments I wonder about Jeff’s sports & uni background history. Tho I’m going to throw in that Raiders fan card in there….

    Coupla things…

    Yeah, for decades if Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, the NFL played.
    However, for many of those years they already were into the playoffs by Christmas, so it would be post-season games.

    As to shifting most every game to today (CBA or not), why not let players spend Christmas Day with their families. Those who don’t think the day is anything special can feel free to embrace that notion, but to deny that most of the country DOES believe the day is important–even if just for family reasons–is simply not grasping or accepting cultural reality.

    I understand that most of the country celebrates Christmas… but at the same time I really fail to see why spending time with your family is somehow more important on the 25th rather than the 24th or 26th. I don’t celebrate X-mas anymore, but I did as a child and there were a few years where the family did the gift-giving thing a day early or a day late due to various scheduling issues.

    In short, the exact day really shouldn’t matter, should it?


    For one thing, just because someone plays in the NFL doesn’t mean everyone in his life isn’t subject to the work week paradigm of most people.

    And, if there are little kids involved, Christmas morning only comes on Christmas morning. If the attached childhood wonder and innocence are something a father or grandfather wants to be part of if he can, can you blame him?

    (Those who are childless or grandchildless will find that last point irrelevant, I know…but they’ll be wrong).

    Do you celebrate New Year’s Day (or attach significance to it)? That’s as arbitrary a designation as anything, but it gains power due to the almost-universal acceptance of January 1 as the start of a new calendar year.

    Also, isn’t just about the players.

    There’s the not-small matter of all the people who work the games, from statisticians to EMTs to ushers to vendors to parking lot attendants to the cleanup crews.

    They can’t say, “Well, I make the big bucks for this high-profile job, so I guess I can give up Christmas Day with my family.”

    First pro games played on Christmas Eve that I can determine were in 1967, when the AFL had two games and the NFL had a playoff game.

    There were two divisional playoff games on Christmas Day in 1971 (including the famous Miami/Kansas City double OT game) and two on Christmas Day in 1972.

    There were two divisional playoff games on Christmas Eve in 1977 (including Ghost to the Post) on NBC and the other two were moved to Monday the 26th on CBS.

    There were two wild card games (the first one under the new format) on Christmas Eve in 1978 (I remember watching one of them), two in 1983 and one in 1988 (the other was moved to Monday the 26th).

    The very first actual Monday Night Football game on Christmas Day was in 1989 (back when they still had an MNF game on the season’s final weekend).

    There was one game on 12/25/1993, and in 1994 (when 12/25 fell on a Sunday), every week 17 game but one was played on the Saturday and the other was on Monday the 26th (again, an actual MNF broadcast).

    12/25/1995 was a Monday and brought us Cardinals/Cowboys on MNF (Rod Tidwell, hello).

    Week 16 in 1999 actually brought us a Friday night game (New Orleans/Dallas on FOX) on 12/24, one game on 12/25 and everybody else on 12/26 (save for the requisite MNF game on 12/27).

    There were 11 games on Sunday, 12/24/2000 and one on Christmas Night (Monday).

    2004 saw another Friday night Christmas Eve game and two games on Saturday 12/25 with everybody else playing as normal on Sunday 12/26 (and a Monday 12/27 game).

    2005 was much like this year, with most games shifted to Saturday 12/24, two games on the Sunday and one on the Monday.

    There were 12 games on Sunday 12/24/2006 and two on Monday, 12/25.

    Week 16 in 2009 brought one game on Friday night, 12/25.

    Last year the Cardinals hosted Dallas on Saturday night 12/25, with a dozen games on the Sunday (and one on the Monday, with one on the preceding Thursday having started things off).

    As to the general point….if you’re going to whine about not having anything to watch on TV on Christmas, do it somewhere else. You don’t have a deity-given right to watch NFL football on 12/25.

    i don’t have a problem with no games on xmas, but i DO have a problem with the bowls* all being moved to 1/2/12 because the nfl has to play on that particular sunday

    if they can play on xmas eve to accommodate the players/fans/tv execs, then they can move their sunday games to 12/31 so i can see the granddaddy (rose) played on 1/1 like god intended

    *(yes, they no longer play the orange or sugar [and how bout the real cotton bowl replacing the tostitos bowl??] even on NYD anymore, but that’s wrong too)

    and i understand even the nhl now has to bow down to the mighty nfl…and they’re screwing that relatively new NYD tradition too (moving the winter classic to 1/2)

    fuck that

    I always thought the Rose Bowl was played on the 2nd because Sunday was for church, because I thought they’d been playing on the 2nd since the beginning.

    “The Rose Bowl (officially the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio for sponsorship purposes) is an annual American college football bowl game, usually played on January 1 (New Year’s Day) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.[1] When New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the game is played on Monday, January 2.”


    from wiki

    Historically, all New Year’s Day bowl games shift to Monday the 2nd when necessary.

    Colleges have rarely played football on Sundays.
    Again, speaking historically.

    NFL had nothing to do with it.

    In fact, the NFL focused on Sunday BECAUSE they knew they’d have the day to themselves. College football, which was far more popular, wouldn’t compete with them.

    historically, rose bowl played on 1/1

    unless 1/1 is a sunday

    not arguing that

    doesn’t mean i have to like it

    No, you don’t, of course. But a lot of people sure are accustomed to it by now. It’s just…normal. SOP. What we expect.

    I’m not sure the Rose Bowl has EVER been played on a Sunday the 1st.

    And the bowls didn’t move this year to accommodate the NFL games on the 1st. Quite the contrary. The NFL could have years ago figured the bowl games would be played on Monday in 2012.

    Heck, even the Winter Classic has been moved to the 2nd this time around.

    And the NHL isn’t “bowing down”.

    It isn’t “bowing down” to simply accept that the NFL pretty much owns Sunday. That’s just painfully obvious reality.

    So the Winter Classic has quickly put itself in lock-step with the bowl games as part of what becomes the “national Monday off” most of us get when Jan. 1 is a Sunday.

    Absolutely the smart call–and good business–on the NHL’s part.

    Otherwise, if the WC, the bowls and the NFL all played next Sunday, we’d end up sitting around Monday the 2nd bitching about having a day off and no sports on TV.

    “even the Winter Classic has been moved to the 2nd this time around.”



    that wasn’t done because they want to compete with the nc2a…that’s because they don’t want to go up against the nfl

    once again, the nfl owns sunday, unless of course, that sunday happens to be 12/25…then they take over saturday

    if they can move off of christmas because it’s on sunday, then they can move off of new year’s for the same reason

    /not consistent

    Umm, that’s what I said. The NHL is smart enough to know the NFL owns Sunday.

    And part of it, of course, is that it hasn’t been that many years that the season has been this long, so the whole Christmas Day on Sunday thing just hasn’t come up in the NFL all that often in this situation. Not exactly a pisspot full of regular season precedent to cite.

    What IS consistent, are the bowl games moving to Monday if New Year’s Day is a Sunday…and colleges not playing on Sundays. Those are the lynch pins on which things swivel.

    Not that the NFL doesn’t own Sunday. It works out that way, yes, but it doesn’t mean they HAVE to play on Sunday, especially if they can switch to accommodate a holiday.

    Besides, do we honestly think season ticket holders don’t prefer them playing today instead of tomorrow…if there’s a choice?

    right…and not arguing that the NFL owns sunday

    but if they owned sunday, they’d be playing tomorrow

    if they can switch “because they can” or play on sunday “because they own the day” … they should be consistent

    they originally played on sunday because they couldn’t compete with college…and because college doesn’t play on sunday

    but now the NFL can just pretty much play any day it wants to, forcing everyone and everything to accomodate them

    like the WC…a new year’s tradition (ok, it’s only four years, but it’s always been played on 1/1)…now they have to move because the NFL plays on sunday

    but if the NFL plays on sunday, they should be playing tomorrow, not today (at least more than one game)

    so, THE has nothing on tv to watch tomorrow now

    It also has to do with the “observance” of a holiday that falls on Sunday. The “official” holiday is the Monday.

    I can only find three bowl games ever played on January 1 when January 1 fell on a Sunday (Gator Bowl 1/1/1989 and Peach and Orange Bowls on 1/1/95). The Rose was played on January 2 even as far back as 1922 (as well as 1928 and 1933 and 1939, when the NFL sure as hell wasn’t bullying them off the date). Now we have bowls all over the place. But there have only been 36 bowl games EVER played on a Sunday (the first? 1972 Sugar Bowl, 12/31/1972) out of 1,126 games.

    College football is simply rarely played on Sundays (though there have been instances of it throughout history).

    And, again, have an issue with it if you will, but there are larger forces at work here. You’re not going to win this one.

    Actually, in 1960, the Packers-Eagles NFL Championship game was played on Monday the 26th. Of course, until fairly recently, the NFL season was over by Christmas and we didn’t have any worries about this.

    Personally, I’d like to see Christmas Day without a single sports events, reminding us that there are other things in the world. I manage to get close to that because I totally ignore that the NBA exists.

    Actually, I believe Kim Jong Il played ice hockey once…They won the game 26-0, and he played goalie and scored 18 goals and had 7 assists and stopped all six shots he faced. The teammate who scored the one goal that he didn’t assist on was shot.

    Interesting tidbit, he had never even skated before that.

    Merry Christmas to all here @ UW.

    As a present, I offer a mini-selection of Music From NFL Films..the cool old school stuff.

    Anyone want, please send email to brinkeguthrie at yahoo dot com…subj line NFL Music

    Merry Christmas to all

    Brinke, my phone’s ringtone is “Autumn is a Raider”.

    Sam Spence is the man; the new stuff isn’t near as good.

    The plane is fine – service good – food abysmal. Constantly ran out of food so we were left with what everyone else didn’t want. Overall though a good trip. Even saw a circular rainbow over Romania, something I’ve never seen before.

    From the Dec. issue of NFL Magazine, the complete list of Christmas Day games:
    (Home teams in caps.)
    1971 Dallas 20 MINNESOTA 12 (divisional playoff)
    1971 Miami 27 KANSAS CITY 24 (2OT) (divisional playoff)
    1989 MINNESOTA 29 Cincinnati 21
    1993 Houston 10 SAN FRANCISCO 7
    1994 MIAMI 27 Detroit 20
    1995 Dallas 37 ARIZONA 13
    1999 Denver 17 DETROIT 7
    2000 TENNESSEE 31 Dallas 0
    2004 KANSAS CITY 31 Oakland 30
    2004 Denver 37 TENNESSEE 16
    2005 Chicago 24 GREEN BAY 17
    2005 BALTIMORE 30 Minnesota 23
    2006 Philadelphia 23 DALLAS 7
    2006 N.Y. Jets 13 MIAMI 10
    2009 San Diego 42 TENNESSEE 17
    2010 ARIZONA 27 Dallas 26
    2011 Chicago at Green Bay 8pm ET

    As I said, prior to the merger, both league’s regular seasons were well over before Christmas.

    They also opened the season earlier than the colleges, usually around Labor Day, and college football started a week or two later, after school was in session.

    Then, for a long while, the Blue-Gray Game was about the only football on Christmas Day (if it were a weekday). But it eventually died, largely because most of the nation’s quality players were involved with the ever-increasing number of bowl games. Toward the end it seemed like it was mostly Ivy Leaguers and small-school players, i.e., guys we weren’t likely to ever see play again.

    Killer uniform matchup for the Jets-Giants today… But as someone pointed out to me here, the Jets need to put a couple white stripes on those green socks.

    it’s 33 @ that game. How does Ryan just wear the XXXXXXXL sweater vest? Does all the blubber insulate him? Freakin’ 29 here outside SF this morning.

    Ha, he wears that thing whether it’s 80 out or 30. Must be nice to self regulate your temperature like that.

    Yeah, he wears that thing all the time. I’m guessing he just puts on a whole crap-load of UA/Reebok/whatever thermal layers underneath the white shirt.

    Hey, if it’s a Jets home game it’s a Jets home game.

    Know what else, Giants’ ticket holders don’t get their seats, either. Or their parking passes.

    Seems like the Giants got all bent out of shape before they a) stopped and thought about or b) asked if it was standard procedure for all Jets home games, which apparently it is.

    Before we get out noses out of joint, it’s always good to be certain it’s a situation WORTH getting our noses out of joint.

    I think the Giants are lucky to be using their own locker room at all. They should be using the visitor’s locker room, as they should experience conditions as realistic as possible for a visiting team.

    The Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar, the reigning cyclo-cross world champion, wore a black arm band in honor of Václav Havel while competing Friday night in Diegem, Belgium: link

    Isn’t about the creativity, it’s the newest “retro” model.

    I remember Randy Moss wore basically that upper (possibly with a football bottom) for a few games with Vikings.

    And from the look of it, most of the people obsessing about owning a pair aren’t old enough to remember the shoe…so it’s some kind of “gotta have it classic”, I guess.

    Doesn’t make the crazy demand any less stupid, though.

    Well of course there will always be hypebeasts, but people wouldn’t buy them and resell them @ enormous markups if they weren’t popular. Someone may not know the lineage of the shoe (Space Jam, MJ’s return) but does that lessen the attractiveness of said shoe?

    Well some people like different things I guess, but the overall popularity is undeniable, although I prefer the Black, Black, Blue colorway to the Concords.

    Holy crap did anyone see the Jerome Simpson front flip against the Cards? Play of the year right there.

    Greetings to you all this holiday season.

    I have seen the Detroit Lions play on TV a few times this year and their Defensive Coordinator on the sideline wears a red polo shirt.

    As a high school football coach, I understand wearing a contrasting color to separate yourself from the players when sending instruction to the field. Since our school colors are green, gold and white, we wear green shirts at away games and gold or white at home games.

    As far as I know, red isn’t a team color for the Lions.

    Does anyone have an explanation for this?

    Probably for the same reasons that you listed for your football team. My guess is white is a sideline personnel-specific color, and black is too close to blue in contrast, so they use red because it pops more. Notre Dame backup QBs wear red sideline caps when play-calling so the offensive captains and such can spot them better.

    And just to be pedantic, it’s not the “Women’s United Soccer League.”

    There’s a collection of leagues beneath MLS whose umbrella organization is United Soccer Leagues (it has changed names over the years, but its been United Soccer Leagues since 1999). It operates a men’s professional league at the third division level called USL Pro, a men’s amateur/open league called the PDL (most recently Premier Development League, though they’re moving away from that the way the ECHL doesn’t stand for East Coast Hockey League anymore) and a women’s league called, simply, “the W-League.” (Their top men’s league used to be called the A-League, which is now what Australia calls its league).

    Way back in the day, the women’s league was kinda sorta officially the “United States Women’s Soccer League,” but it’s always been referred to as the “W-League.” It’s definitely not the “Women’s United Soccer League.”

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